Get Inside—It's Summertime!

Your guide to the season's hottest films (and the other ones, too)

SHOW BUSINESS: THE ROAD TO BROADWAY
Director: Dori Berinstein
This documentary promises unfettered backstage access as four musicals—Wicked, Taboo, Avenue Q, and Tony Kushner's Caroline, Or Change—inch their way to opening night on Broadway.

JUNE 27

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q.

Director: Len Wiseman
Twelve years and many flops after Die Hard with a Vengeance, Willis competes for box office gold as maverick cop John McClane, who takes on a cyber terrorist (Olyphant) with the help of a computer-geek sidekick who just happens to be played by Mac ad kid Justin Long.

JUNE 29

DEATH AT A FUNERAL
Cast: Ewen Bremmer, Peter Dinklage, Matthew MacFadyen
Director: Frank Oz
A black comedy about a proper British funeral where the mourning family is slowly coming unhinged, thanks to accidental drug trips, unexpected trysts, and the unnerving appearance of the dead patriarch's secret gay lover. Great trailer.

EAGLE VS. SHARK
Cast: Loren Horsley, Jermaine Clement, Brian Sergent, Rachel House
Director: Taika Waititi
At a "dress as your favorite animal" party, a New Zealand oddball named Lily (Horsley), dressed as a shark, falls for a lonely guy named Jarrod (Clement), dressed as an Eagle. Love and comic mayhem follow.

EVENING
Cast: Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close
Director: Lajos Koltai
Novelist Michael Cunningham (The Hours) wrote the screenplay for this star-packed adaptation of Susan Minot's exquisite 1999 novel, in which a dying woman flashes back to a wedding 40 years earlier at which she fell madly, and tragically, in love.

RATATOUILLE
Voice Cast: Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo
Director: Brad Bird
Pixar Animation and the director of The Incredibles team up to tell the inspiring tale of Remy the Parisian Rat, who dreams of being a master chef in a world that doesn't always respond enthusiastically to a rodent in the kitchen. Even a cute one.

SICKO
Director: Michael Moore
After taking on the car industry (Roger & Me), the gun industry (Bowling for Columbine), and the war industry (Fahrenheit 9/11), Michael Moore shifts his obsessive gaze to the American health care system. Hey, insurance companies: No publicity is bad publicity, right?
YOU KILL ME
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni, Luke Wilson, Philip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman
Director: John Dahl
A crime noir comedy from Red Rock West director Dahl about an alcoholic Polish mafia hit man (Kingsley) ordered to dry out in San Francisco, where he finds love and a part-time job as a mortician.

JULY 4

LICENSE TO WED
Cast: Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski
Director: Ken Kwapis
Sadie (Moore) dreams of marrying her fiancé (Krasinski) at her family's church, but it's all booked up for the next two years. Except: There is one open day, and to score it, the couple must survive a marriage-prep course devised by a most unorthodox pastor, played by the ever unorthodox Robin Williams.

TRANSFORMERS
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson
Director: Michael Bay
Imagine if those nimble robot action figures gathering dust under your kid's bed decided to bulk up, rise up, and take over Earth. With the director of Pearl Harbor and Armageddon at the helm, expect a long, noisy war.

JULY 6

BLACK SHEEP
Cast: Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis
Director: Jonathan King
In this horror comedy from New Zealand, a young man with a pathological fear of sheep (yes, sheep) returns to his family's farm to find that it's been overrun by mutant, flesh-eating sheep (yes, sheep).

JULY 13

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!
Director: Guy Maddin
This new 90-minute silent film from Canadian filmmaker Maddin is a black-and-white comedy/melodrama/tragedy about a man who's flashing back to a childhood spent in the orphanage his crazy parents ran inside a lighthouse, on a remote island. There's a mad scientist, twin teen detectives, and a mother who takes turpentine baths to "wash away the sin!"
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
Director: David Yates
An obscure British import, for which there's very little advance publicity.

INTRODUCING THE DWIGHTS
Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Khan Chittenden, Emma Booth, Richard Wilson
Director: Cherie Nowlan
From Australia, a comedy about an overbearing mother and comedienne (Blethyn), her two devoted sons, and the new girlfriend who's coming between them all. Beware acid-tongued, jealous mothers.

MY BEST FRIEND
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Dany Boon, Julie Gayet
Director: Patrice Leconte
A gentle comedy about a lonely, uptight businessman (Auteuil) who accepts a bet that he can meet and make a best friend within two weeks.

JULY 20

CASHBACK
Cast: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Shaun Evans
Director: Sean Ellis
Filmmaker Ellis expands his Oscar-nominated short about a young art student (Biggerstaff) who, suffering from insomnia, goes to work at an all-night market. There he discovers that he can stop time, a trick that allows him to find unexpected beauties (female and otherwise) within the store.

HAIRSPRAY
Cast: John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken
Director: Adam Shankman
Filmmaker John Waters's lifelong dream of invading the suburban multiplexes of America finally comes true with this big-budget version of the hit Broadway play, which in turn was based on Waters's non-musical 1988 comedy. In full drag, John Travolta plays a '50s mom, continuing a tradition set by the late, great, and much-missed drag queen Divine, to whom the part will always truly belong.

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