By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
Explosions, pratfalls, and robots; heroes, aliens, and blondes—it must be summertime at the movies.
Beyond the flash, though, it's striking to note how many movies will require us to actually think this summer—aren't we supposed to save thinking for the fall? Maybe it's the election, but some serious flicks are coming our way—documentaries and foreign films and dramas that don't guarantee a happy ending. It's a welcome trend, and as an act of support, we're taking the pledge: For every movie we see that's playing on more than one screen at the multiplex, we vow to see one film that might be good for us. Because after all, as with pop idols and presidents, we get the movies we deserve.
The summer in action and horror
The Incredible Hulk: Edward Norton goes green.
Hancock: Will Smith as a modern-day superhero who's becoming more famous for being drunk than for his ability to lift a whale with one hand.
Mad Detective: Hong Kong action masters Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai team up for this tale of an insane detective (literally) and his search for two missing cops. Watch for the split personality/split screen scene.
Midnight Meat Train: Bradley Cooper stars as a Manhattan photographer who becomes obsessed with finding a subway serial killer. The first in a series of films to be based on Clive Barker's hardcore horror collection "Books of Blood."
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Brendan Fraser, lifelong mummy catcher, goes to China.
Mirrors: In this remake of a South Korean film, Kiefer Sutherland battles a vengeful ghost in a haunted department store. In other words, stay out of the dressing room.
Babylon A.D.: Vin Diesel in a near-future world all gone to hell, trying to protect a woman whose baby will be the next Messiah. Don't worry: Vin will save us.
The summer in drama
Expired: Love—or is it abuse?—blossoms between a shy meter maid (Samantha Morton) and her aggressive co-worker (Jason Patric). This film marks a welcome return to the screen by the recently ill, and always delightful, Teri Garr in a dual role.
August: Josh Hartnett is a Manhattan entrepreneur riding the rise and rapid fall of the dot.com boom-and-bust. (Not a horror movie.)
Boy A: After spending most of his life in prison for a notorious crime, a young man (Andrew Garfield) adjusts to life on the outside.
Baghead: In a film reported to be heavier on character development than psycho-terror, two couples in a remote cabin are being watched by a potential killer.
Brideshead Revisited: Evelyn Waugh's classic novel of English manners—and a wildly popular '80s PBS miniseries—comes to the screen with Matthew Goode as Waugh's narrator and Emma Thompson as the lady of the manor.
Henry Poole Is Here: A dying man (Luke Wilson) is forced to face his religious beliefs when his neighbors begin to see Christ's face in a stain on the side of his house.
The Longshots: Although it's probably the last film people would have expected him to helm, rock star Fred Durst makes his directorial debut with the true story of the teenage girl who became the first female to play on a Pop Warner football team. Keke Palmer stars, with Ice Cube as the coach.
Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America: Two Vikings lost in 11th-century North America attempt to survive, and then rebuild, while struggling to overcome their instinct toward war. Features very little dialogue and a reportedly intense rock soundtrack. Head bangers take notice.