Summer may not officially begin until the end of June, but in Hollywood it starts in early May. This year it’s May 7, to be exact, when Iron Man 2 hits theaters and could well top the opening weekend record set by The Dark Knight a couple of years ago.
Following are the ten films I’m most looking forward to this summer. As always, this list is merely a snapshot of my thinking right now and could change as reviews roll in… though I’ll watch the films at the top of this list regardless of how well they’re received.
And I’ll no doubt see movies that aren’t on this list either because of the kids or because there’s just nothing else to see and we really want to go to a movie.
Those disclaimers aside, here are my most anticipated movies of the summer (and I’ll say up front that this looks to be a very lackluster season… I’m not very excited for anything beyond the top four):
1. Toy Story 3 (June 18): I’ve learned never to doubt Pixar and I’m certainly not going to start with the third installment of their most beloved franchise.
2. Inception (July 16): Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented and thought-provoking directors working today and this Matrix-esque thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio promises to be very intriguing.
3. Iron Man 2 (May 7): The first one was an unexpected delight and the return of Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau makes this a must-see. I admit I’m a little wary of the multiple villain/sidekick thing going on here, but I’m sure it will be a blast.
4. The Karate Kid (June 11): Advance word is very strong for this remake starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan and the trailer hits all the right notes. The kids seem a little young for the romance to work but it’s hard to top the formula that made the original such a feel-good classic.
5. The Killer Inside Me (June 18): I really like Casey Affleck, following his wonderful turns in Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. And this hard-boiled noir based on the Jim Thompson novel promises to give him one of his meatiest (and scariest) roles yet.
6. The A-Team (June 11): When I saw the trailer for this movie, I overheard a guy behind me say “This is Charlie’s Angels for guys” and I think he got it exactly right. Cartoonish action, cornball jokes and throwbacks to an old favorite TV show sound like just the ticket for at least one weekend this summer.
7. Knight and Day (June 25): Despite his eccentricities, I remain a Tom Cruise fan. And I like the idea of him mixing comedy with his action… I consider him an underrated actor in general and underrated as a comic actor specifically.
9. The Adjustment Bureau (July 30): Scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but I like the idea of Matt Damon in a thriller based on a Philip K. Dick novel. Could be the makings of a great movie.
10. Dinner for Schmucks (July 23): OK, this looks pretty stupid, but the Paul Rudd factor puts it on my radar by default. Steve Carrell doesn’t hurt, either.