Summer Movies I Want to See, 2012

My fourth annual list of summer movies. 26 of them this year. Some blockbuster (Avengers, What to Expect, MIB3), some artsy (Intouchables, Invisible War, Robot & Frank). For previews and info on the popular ones, go to the Yahoo! Summer Movie Guide.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild

  • The Avengers – May 4 – Like Thor last year, Marvel got things off to an early start. Best superhero movie I’ve ever seen (in 2D and 3D – I rarely see movies twice in the theater, so that’s saying a lot). 9 out of 10.
  • Hysteria – May 18 – Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy star in this Victorian-era romantic comedy inspired by the invention of the vibrator. 7 out of 10.
  • The Intouchables – May 25 – Already the second highest grossing non-English film ever. Looks like a golden feel-good film. I’m a sucker for French cinema, too. (July 13 @ Baxter in Louisville.) 9 out of 10.
  • Men in Black 3 – May 25 – Josh Brolin as a young Tommy Lee Jones. 9 out of 10.
  • Lola Versus – June 8 – A woman approaches the age of 30.
  • Prometheus – June 8 – Ridley Scott’s Alien-esque prequel. Michael Fassbender has been on a roll. And I love Noomi Rapace. Best trailer I’ve seen this year (embedded below). 9 out of 10.
  • Brave – June 22 – Pixar’s first film with a female lead.
  • The Invisible War – June 22 – Documentary exploring the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. Support the cause and find out more at InvisibleWarMovie.com
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – June 27 – Benh Zeitlin’s film centers on a resourceful 6-year-old girl in an isolated sector of the Louisiana bayou. (July 27 @ Baxter in Louisville.) 10 out of 10.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man – July 3 – I can’t imagine director Marc Webb will be able to make the franchise any better, but I’ve always enjoyed Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. 7 out of 10.
  • The Dark Knight Rises – July 20. 9 out of 10.
  • Planet of Snail – July 25 – A Korean man who is both deaf and blind calls himself a “snail” because he can only communicate through touch.

Runners Up

  • The Dictator – May 16 – Sacha Baron Cohen as a Qaddafi-like despot.
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting – May 18 – Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, etc.
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – June 8
  • The Woman in the Fifth – June 15 – Ethan Hawke in Paris, a thriller.
  • To Rome With Love – June 22 – Only so I can see famous people in the city I visited in March. Woody Allen. 8 out of 10.
  • Magic Mike – June 29 – Steven Soderbergh directs Channing Tatum as a male stripper. 7 out of 10
  • Ted – June 29 – Seth MacFarlane directs this R-rated comedy with Mark Wahlberg and his dirty-talking teddy bear.
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift – July 13
  • Red Lights – July 13 – Blind psychic (De Niro) poses a challenge to skeptics Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy.
  • The Bourne Legacy – August 3 – Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross (not Jason Bourne). Hmmm…. 9 out of 10.
  • Savages – July 6 – Taylor Kitsch, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, etc. Oliver Stone’s version of Pulp Fiction, apparently.
  • Robot & FrankJuly 20 Delayed to August 24 – A futuristic buddy film, about a cantankerous elder (Frank Langella) who forms a friendship with his caretaker robot. With Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Peter Sarsgaard. Movie clip and Wired.com article.
  • The Expendables 2 – August 17 – Sly and the super action hero cast again.
  • Side by Side – August 20 – Keanu Reeves interviews the world’s most famous movie makers about the digital age. David Fincher, Lena Dunham, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, etc. etc. Trailer on IMDb.

Sources: NYT Summer Release Schedule (the most complete list I’ve been able to find and browse through quickly, with synopses) and indieWIRE’s Summer Movie Preview: The 20 Indies You Must See.

Past lists: 2011, 2010, 2009.

EDIT: Okay, I was called out on Magic Mike for being on the top list. I guess I was so caught up in the hilarity of it. A lot of the films I considered for this list make much better rentals, MM included, I’m sure.

  • This is a great list. Lot of overlap between my own mental list and this. The Invisible War sounds really interesting. Not that it’s an incredible show or anything, but Private Practice did an episode revolving around that topic this season, and I thought it was very insightful.

  • This is a great list. Lot of overlap between my own mental list and this. The Invisible War sounds really interesting. Not that it’s an incredible show or anything, but Private Practice did an episode revolving around that topic this season, and I thought it was very insightful.