By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers: Director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) returns to his indie roots with the story of an elderly man (Henry O) who comes from China to Spokane to visit his newly divorced daughter.
Choke: A sex-addicted con artist (Sam Rockwell), his deranged mother (Anjelica Huston), and a recovering chronic masturbator (Brad Henke) populate Clark Gregg's adaptation of Chuck "Fight Club" Palahniuk's novel.
Elegy: Ben Kingsley is a womanizing English professor who's slowly becoming unraveled by his obsessive affair with a student (Penelope Cruz). Based on a novella by Philip Roth, with Dennis Hopper and Patricia Clarkson.
Towelhead: A love-it-or-loathe-it film from Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under) about a 13-year-old Lebanese-American girl (Summer Bushil) who encounters racism and sexual abuse when she moves to Houston. With Aaron Eckhart.
The summer in foreign films
Mongol: This recent foreign-film Oscar nominee recounts the early years of Genghis Khan, the mighty 12th-century warrior and conqueror.
The Last Mistress: Director and provocateur Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl) heads to 19th-century France, where a young nobleman (Fu'ad Ait Aattou) tries to shake his obsession with his longtime mistress (Asia Argento, 2008's most prolific actress).
A Girl Cut in Two: Reportedly inspired by the 1906 murder of New York architect Stanford White, this thriller by French director Claude Chabrol concerns a TV reporter (Ludivine Sagnier) torn between two charismatic, and possibly treacherous, men (Benoit Magimel and Francois Berleand).
The summer in documentaries
Encounters at the End of the World: Werner Herzog, who knows a thing or two about living life to the extreme, heads to Antarctica to meet the researchers who man one of the world's most remote science stations.
The Sky Turns: After 35 years away, filmmaker Mercedes Alvarez returns to the tiny Spanish village where she was the very last child to be born.
Trumbo: This tribute to blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Roman Holiday, Johnny Got His Gun), written by his playwright son, Christopher, features readings by Joan Allen, Kirk and Michael Douglas, and Paul Giamatti.
Gonzo: The Life & Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: With the help of Johnny Depp, illustrator Ralph Steadman, and a treasure trove of 1960s and '70s archival footage, filmmaker Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side) tracks the life of the mad-genius journalist.
American Teen: In this Sundance hit, filmmaker Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture) tracks a year in the life of four Indiana teens.
Man on Wire: Filmmaker James Marsh explores the ultimate high-wire act: tightrope walker Philippe Petit's 1974 illegal stroll between the Twin Towers.
The summer in family fare
WALL-E: The new computer 'toon from Pixar director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) takes place 700 years in the future when a lonely Earth robot called WALL-E and a sleek 'bot from space named EVE team up for adventure.
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl: In a role likely to make Dakota Fanning pea green with envy, Abigail Breslin stars as Kit, the mystery-solving 10-year-old heroine of the popular Depression-era book series.
Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D: Brendan Fraser digs deep.
Space Chimps: Animated monkeys blast into space to head off approaching aliens.
Fly Me to the Moon: Animated 3-D astronaut flies (very cute flies) go to the moon.