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
  • 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 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.