Summer Movies: Free Air-Conditioning at the Cineplex

Too hot to deal? Take shelter in the cool and dark of the matinee.

Summer movie season has arrived. There are an insane number of films on the list that follows, and plenty of room for optimism. To that end, we've tried to cut back on the snarky comments about pointless sequels and loathsome actors— although it's nearly impossible to let those infernal pirates sail by without a slap or two. But, hey, they can take it, because they're really, really rich, and because everyone knows pirates can't read. Happy summer, America. (And remember: All dates are for New York only and are subject to change.) —Chuck Wilson


JUNE 1

Christina Ricci in Penelope
photo: IFC Films
Christina Ricci in Penelope

CRAZY LOVE
Director: Dan Klores. In this irresistible documentary, Klores tracks the insane lengths Bronx lawyer Burt Pugach went to woo the woman who rejected him. (Magnolia)

DAY WATCH
Cast: Konstantin Khabensky, Maria Poroshina. Director: Timur Bekmambetov. The second film in Russian director Bekmambetov's proposed trilogy promises more blood and dizzying camera moves as the director explains how a 14th-century Mongol conqueror and his "Chalk of Destiny" lead to a modern battle between good and evil. (Fox Searchlight)

GRACIE
Cast: Carly Schroeder, Elisabeth Shue, Dermot Mulroney. Director: Davis Guggenheim. Inspired by events in her own family, co-producer Shue stars as the mother of a teenage girl (Schroeder) who decides to take her older brother's place on a boys' soccer team after he's killed in a car accident. (Picturehouse)

KNOCKED UP
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Seth Rogen. Director: Judd Apatow. A slob (Rogen) and a TV reporter (Heigl) get drunk, have sex, and inadvertently make a baby. (Universal)

MR. BROOKS
Cast: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt. Director: Bruce A. Evans. Costner plays a rich Portland businessman who moonlights as a serial killer, a sideline at which he excels until a smart cop (Moore) and a blackmailing photographer (Cook) start messing with his master plan. (MGM)

PIERREPOINT—THE LAST HANGMAN
Cast: Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson, Eddie Marsan Director: Adrian Shergold. A drama based on the life of Albert Pierrepoint (Spall), an English grocery clerk whose secret life as a state executioner—he's credited with executing 450 people, including Nazi war criminals—is exposed, making him a social pariah. (IFC)


JUNE 6

12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST
Cast: Mircea Andreeseu, Teodor Corban, Ion Sapdaru. Director: Corneliu Porumboiu. In this Romanian comedy, a small town TV host wants to debate whether anyone in town actually participated in the overthrow of Communist leader Ceausescu 16 years earlier. The problem is that the only available guests are a history teacher with a hangover and a lonely old man. Winner of the Camera d'Or at Cannes 2006. (Tartan)


JUNE 8

HOSTEL PART II
Cast: Lauren German, Bijou Phillips, Heather Matarazzo, Roger Bart. Director: Eli Roth. In a decidedly unkempt Slovakian dungeon, three vacationing Americans are flayed, decapitated, and generally mistreated by insane rich men with knives. (Lionsgate)

LA VIE EN ROSE
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud. Director: Olivier Dahan. The year's first bit of Oscar buzz is building for Cotillard's fierce performance in this biopic about French chanteuse Edith Piaf. (Picturehouse)

OCEAN'S THIRTEEN
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin. Director: Steven Soderbergh. A band of very pretty people rob a casino. (Warner Bros.)


JUNE 15

EAGLE VS SHARK
Cast: Loren Horsley, Jermaine Clement, Brian Sergent, Rachel House. Director: Taika Waititi. At a costume party, a New Zealand oddball named Lily (Horsley), dressed as a shark, falls for a lonely guy named Jarrod (Clement), dressed as an eagle. (Miramax)


JUNE 22

A MIGHTY HEART
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Will Patton, Irrfan Khan. Director: Michael Winterbottom. Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane Pearl, who journeyed to Pakistan to search for her husband Daniel, a reporter kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists. (Paramount Vantage)

BROKEN ENGLISH
Cast: Parker Posey, Melvil Poupard, Gena Rowlands, Drea de Matteo. Director: Zoe Cassavetes. In a rare dramatic role, Posey stars as a Manhattan hotel exec unlucky in love, until the night she meets and falls hard for a visiting Frenchman (Melvil Poupard, who was so good in 2005's Time to Leave). (Magnolia)

CAPTIVITY
Cast: Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies, Pruitt Taylor Vince. Director: Roland Joffé. A fashion model (Cuthbert) and her chauffer (Gillies) are kidnapped and tortured by one of her fans (Vince). Locked in a tiny room together, model and chauffer predictably fall in love and unite to defeat their captor. (Lionsgate)

DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE
Cast: Jaime Pressly, Holly Valance, Sarah Carter, Natasha Malthe, Devon Aoki. Director: Corey Yuen. Scantily clad beauties fight evildoers in this live action version of a popular video game. (Weinstein)

EVAN ALMIGHTY
Cast: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham Director: Tom Shadyac. Freeman returns in this talking-deity series. (Universal)

SEPTEMBER DAWN
Cast: Jon Voight, Trent Ford, Tamara Hope, Terence Stamp. Director: Christopher Cain. A bearded Stamp plays Mormon leader Brigham Young in this dramatization of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre. (Black Diamond Pictures)

YOU KILL ME
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni, Luke Wilson, Philip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman. Director: John Dahl. A noir comedy about an alcoholic Polish mafia hit man (Kingsley) ordered to dry out in San Francisco. (IFC)


JUNE 27

GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL
Director: Asger Leth. This documentary tracks the rivalry between two brothers who rule separate factions in a brutal Haitian gang. Music by executive producer and Haitian hero Wyclef Jean. (Think Film)

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q. Director: Len Wiseman. Maverick cop John McClane (Willis) takes on a cyber terrorist (Olyphant) with the help of a geek sidekick (Mac ad kid Long). (Fox)


JUNE 29

DEATH AT A FUNERAL
Cast: Ewen Bremmer, Peter Dinklage, Matthew Macfadyen. Director: Frank Oz. A black comedy about a British funeral where the mourning family is slowly coming unhinged, thanks to accidental drug trips, unexpected trysts, and the unnerving appearance of the dead patriarch's secret gay lover. Great trailer. (MGM)

EVENING
Cast: Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Red- grave, Patrick Wilson, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close. Director: Lajos Koltai. Novelist Michael Cunningham ( The Hours) adapts Susan Minot's exquisite 1999 novel, in which a dying woman travels back in her mind to a wedding 40 years before at which she fell tragically, in love. (Focus)

GYPSY CARAVAN
Director: Jasmine Dellal. Doc follows five renowned Gypsy bands as they tour four countries in six weeks. (Shadow Distribution)

RATATOUILLE
Voice Cast: Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo. Director: Brad Bird. Pixar Animation and the director of The Incredibles team up to tell the inspiring tale of Remy the Parisian Rat, who dreams of being a master chef. (Buena Vista)

SICKO
Director: Michael Moore. Moore shifts his obsessive gaze to the American health care system. (Weinstein)

VITUS
Cast: Bruno Ganz, Fabrizio Borsani, Teo Gheorghiu. Director: Fredi Murer. 12-year-old piano prodigy (real life virtuoso Gheorghiu) crumbles under pressures from his family in Switzerland's entry for last year's Best Foreign Film Oscar. (Sony Pictures Classics)


JULY 4

INTRODUCING THE DWIGHTS
Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Khan Chittenden, Emma Booth, Richard Wilson. Director: Cherie Nowlan. From Australia, a comedy about an overbearing mother and comedienne (Brenda Blethyn), her two devoted sons, and the new girlfriend who's coming between them all. (Warner Independent)

LICENSE TO WED
Cast: Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski. Director: Ken Kwapis. Sadie (Mandy Moore) dreams of marrying her fiancé (John Krasinski) at her family's church. To score the one open date, the couple must survive a marriage-prep course devised by a most unorthodox pastor (Williams). (Warner Bros)

RESCUE DAWN
Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies. Director: Werner Herzog. The true story of Dieter Dengler (Bale), shot down over Laos in 1964 and thrown into a North Vietnamese prison. (MGM)

TRANSFORMERS
Cast: Shia LeBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson. Director: Michael Bay. Imagine if those nimble robot action figures gathering dust under your kid's bed decided to bulk up, rise up, and take over Earth. (Dreamworks/Paramount)


JULY 6

JOSHUA
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga. Director: George Ratliff. Everyone's thrilled when Brad and Abby (Rockwell and Farmiga) bring home their new baby girl. Everyone except 9-year-old brother Joshua (Kogan), that is. Soon evil plagues the family. Maybe Joshua is more than just smart. (Fox Searchlight)


JULY 13

1408
Cast: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack. Director: Mikael H Stephen King penned the short story that inspired this scary movie about a professional haunted house debunker (Cusack) who checks into a room many have entered and few have exited. (Weinstein/MGM)

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson Director: David Yates. Obscure British import, for which there's very little advance publicity. (Warner Bros)

INTERVIEW
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Sienna Miller. Director: Steve Buscemi. Buscemi stars as a hardened political reporter who's sent to interview a soap star (Miller). Adapted from a screenplay by murdered Dutch director Theo van Gogh. (Sony Pictures Classics)

THE STRANGERS
Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman. Director: Bryan Bertino. In a remote vacation home, a young couple face three masked invaders. (Rogue)

TALK TO ME
Cast: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor. Director: Kasi Lemmons. Don Cheadle stars as Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene, a legendary 1960s radio and talk show host who galvanized Washington D.C. by leading public protests against poverty and racism. (Focus)

TEKKONKINKREET
Director: Michael Arias. In this anime film, Arias translates Taiyo Matsumoto's graphic novel on two street urchins, one with magical powers. (Yari Film Group)


JULY 20

ARCTIC TALE
Director: Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson. From National Geographic Films, a doc tracking an Arctic walrus named Seela and a polar bear dubbed Nanu from birth to parenthood. (Paramount Vantage)

CASHBACK
Cast: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Shaun Evans. Director: Sean Ellis.Ellis expands his Oscar-nominated short about a young insomniac art student (Biggerstaff) who goes to work at an all-night market. There he discovers that he can stop time. (Magnolia)

FIERCE PEOPLE
Cast: Diane Lane, Anton Yelchin, Donald Sutherland. Director: Griffin Dunne. Fifteen-year-old Finn (Yelchin), who dreams of becoming an anthropologist like his absent father, moves with his drug-addicted mother (Diane Lane) to a New Jersey suburb and sets out to study its wealthy inhabitants. (Lionsgate/After Dark Films)

GOYA'S GHOSTS
Cast: Stellan Skarsgärd, Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman. Director: Milos Forman.Forman dramatizes the rivalry between painter Francisco Goya (Skarsgärd) and the clergyman (Bardem) infatuated with Goya's teenage muse (Portman). (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

HAIRSPRAY
Cast: John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken. Director: Adam Shankman. In full drag, John Travolta plays a '50s mom, continuing a tradition set by the late, great, and much missed drag queen Divine, to whom the John Waters–penned part will always truly belong. (New Line Cinema)

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel. Director: Dennis Dugan. Two perpetually single New York firefighters pretend to be lovers in order to receive domestic partnership benefits. (Universal)


JULY 27

I KNOW WHO KILLED ME
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Julia Ormond, Neal McDonough, Brian Geraghty. Director: Chris Sivertson. After escaping a sadistic serial killer, Aubrey Fleming (Lindsay Lohan) awakens from a coma to say that she is not who authorities believe she is, and that the real Aubrey Fleming is still out there, in danger. (Sony)

MOLIÈ
Cast: Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Laura Morante. Director: Laurent Tirard. Duris, from 2005's The Beat That My Heart Skipped, stars as the great French playwright Moliére. It's 1644 and the starving 22-year-old encounters a succession of people who will later inspire greatest play, Tartuffe. (Sony Pictures Classics)

NO RESERVATIONS
Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin. Director: Scott Hicks. A Manhattan chef (Zeta-Jones) is suddenly given charge of her 9-year-old niece (little miss sunshine) as a hand- some, spirited sous-chef (Eckhart) joins her staff. (Warner Bros)

THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Director: David Silverman. Please be funny. (Fox)

THIS IS ENGLAND
Cast: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley. Director: Shane Meadows. An English boy (Turgoose) whose father was killed in the Falklands falls in with a skinhead gang, whose leader (Graham) returns from jail, preaching racism and hate. (IFC First Take)


AUGUST 1

EL CANTANTE
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony. Director: Leon Ichaso. Latin singing sensation Marc Anthony stars as the wildly popular 1960s and '70s salsa star Hector Lavoe, who couldn't overcome his addiction to cocaine and heroin. J. Lo plays Lavoe's wife. (Picturehouse)


AUGUST 3

BECOMING JANE
Cast: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, Maggie Smith. Director: Julian Jarrold. This costume drama from the director of Kinky Boots imagines that at age 20, budding English novelist Jane Austen (Hathaway) had a romance with a penniless but handsome young lawyer (McAvoy). (Miramax)

HOT ROD
Cast: Adam Samberg, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane. Director: Akiva Schaffer. Rod Kimble (Samberg), a motorcycle stuntman, plans to jump 15 buses to raise money for an operation his abusive stepfather (Ian McShane) desperately needs. (Paramount)

RESURRECTING THE CHAMP
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Samuel L. Jackson. Director: Rod Lurie. After realizing that a homeless man (Jackson) is a former boxing champ, sports reporter Hartnett tries to revive the boxer's career and also boost his own. (Yari Film Group)

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, David Strathairn. Director: Paul Greengrass.Former CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Damon) dodges bullets and flying cars (again) while investigating (again) the mysteries of the past he can't remember (again). Regression therapy might have been easier. (Universal)


AUGUST 10

ROCKET SCIENCE
Cast: Reece Thompson, Nicholas D'Agosto. Director: Jeffrey Blitz. The director of the Spellbound helms this comedy about a stutterer (Thompson) who joins his school debate team at the insistence of the beautiful team queen (Kendrick). (Picturehouse)

RUSH HOUR 3
Cast: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker. Director: Brett Ratner. The funny cop and the whirling dervish cop head to Paris to break up a Chinese crime gang. (New Line Cinema)

STARDUST
Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Peter O'Toole. Director: Matthew Vaughn. An young Englishman follows a falling star and ends up in the fantasy land of Faerie. Based on a Neil Gaiman graphic novel . (Paramount Pictures)


AUGUST 17

FANBOYS
Cast: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel. Director: Kyle Newman. A comedy about four sci-fi geek best friends who break in to George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch and somehow screen Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. (MGM)

THE INVASION
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam. Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel. Umpteenth riff on the 1955 novel The Body Snatchers. (Warner Bros)

PENELOPE
Cast: Christina Ricci, Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, James McAvoy. Director: Mark Palansky. A modern fable about a young woman afflicted with a pig snout of a nose. (IFC)

WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY
Cast: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham. Director: Goran Dukic. Zia (Fugit), who killed himself after his girlfriend dumped him, wakes up in a boring little desert town that's a kind of hell for suicides. Look for a cameo by Tom Waits. (Lionsgate)


AUGUST 24

THE COMEBACKS
Cast: David Koechner, Bradley Cooper. Director: Tom Brady. In this spoof, the unluckiest coach in sports (Koechner) takes over a talent-less football team with the worst record in history. (Fox Atomic)

EXILED
Cast: Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Frances Ng, Simon Yam, Lam Suet. Director: Johnnie To. Sergio Leone meets the Coen Brothers in this modern western from virtuoso director To. (Magnolia)


AUGUST 31

BALLS OF FURY
Cast: Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken. Director: Robert Ben Grant. A former ping-pong champ tries to find his father and defeat his father's arch rival and possible killer (Christopher Walken). (Rogue)

MR. BEAN'S HOLIDAY
Cast: Rowan Atkinson. Director: Steve Bendelack. Mr. Bean wins a vacation to France, where he wreaks his distinct brand of havoc. (Universal)

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