By Stephanie Zacharek
By Simon Abrams
By Michelle Orange
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Nick Schager
By Amy Nicholson
By The Invisible Woman
By I Used to Be Darker
Explosions, pratfalls and robots, heroes, aliens and blondes: It must be summertime at the movies.
Beyond the flash, though, it's striking to note just 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 there are some pretty serious and intense flicks coming our way — docs and foreign films and dramas that don't guarantee a happy ending. The distributors must be nuts, but in a sweetly brave and naive way. And so, as an act of solidarity, we're taking the pledge: For every movie we see that's playing on more than one screen at the multiplex, we hereby vow to see one film that might be good for us. Because after all, as with pop idols and presidents, we get the movies that we deserve.
THRILLS & CHILLS: The summer in action and horror
A retirement-home caregiver (Mena Suvari) hits a newly homeless executive (Stephen Rea), and his body gets stuck in her windshield. She goes to bury him, but — uh-oh — he's still alive. Based on a true story. From Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon.
The Mother of Tears
The Incredible Hulk
Edward Norton goes green.
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.
Hellboy: The Golden Army
The Dark Knight
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 hard-core horror collection, "Books of Blood."
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Brendan Fraser, lifelong mummy-catcher, goes to China.
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.
Nicolas Cage is a hitman on assignment in this action thriller from China's talented Pang Brothers (The Eye), here remaking their 1999 debut film.
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.
BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS: The summer in drama
When Did You Last See Your Father?
Quid Pro Quo
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.
Josh Hartnett is a Manhattan entrepreneur riding the rise and rapid fall of the dot-com boom and bust. (Not a horror movie.)
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