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Summer Movies

A radical simplification of the season’s movie calendar, broken down to the five big and five little productions not to miss.

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THE BIGGIES


5/25
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Two fashionable reasons to fly the Jolly Roger: 1. Johnny Depp is the only white guy who can pull off dreds. 2. Keith Richards may not need a costume to play Jack Sparrow’s pirate father.


6/1
Knocked Up
The 40-Year-Old Virgin director Judd Apatow returns with a film about a slacker (Seth Rogen) who impregnates a go-getter (Grey’s Anatomy blonde Katherine Heigl). Apatow has promised that ticket buyers will see “Paul Rudd on mushrooms at Cirque du Soleil.” Sold!


6/8
Ocean’s 13
The only movies with more stars than these heist flicks are the musical numbers that kick off the Oscars. No. 3 adds Ellen Barkin and Al Pacino.

7/4
Transformers
Director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg pay tribute to a generation’s lunch boxes by updating a brutal toy story about robots who turn into cars and jets—and turn Earth into an intergalactic battlefield. It’s War of the Worlds—with car chases!


7/27
The Simpsons Movie
Which ’toon? Shrek the Third gets a pass since the Hollywood-spoofing Shrek 2 played like an animated adaptation of the E! Channel. Ratatouille looks like just another mouse flick—even if Pixar auteur Brad Bird is behind it. So we’re sticking to 2-D. Homer, sweet Homer.


THE INDIES


5/18
Fay Grim
This is the comeback that fans of Hal Hartley—and Parker Posey—had given up on waiting for. Hartley’s funniest and sharpest movie in years is a sequel to his Long Island indie Henry Fool and a war-on-terror farce that’s reminiscent of Martin McDonagh, the Marx Brothers, and, best yet, vintage Hartley.


6/1
Crazy Love
This only–in–New York doc pays tribute to the craziest tabloid story this side of Dog Day Afternoon’s John Wojtowicz—by explaining how Burt Pugach threw acid in his ex-girlfriend Linda Riss’s face, went to prison, then won back her heart.


6/22
A Mighty Heart
The sight of serial adopter Angelina Jolie playing Daniel Pearl’s widow should be the setup for a maudlin lessons-learned biopic—except that it’s directed by renegade Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, The Road to Guantánamo), who’s made a career out of making fiction films that are as strange as truth.

7/4
Rescue Dawn
In German auteur Werner Herzog’s POW film, Christian Bale should earn his first Oscar nomination for one of cinema’s strangest portrayals of a Vietnam soldier.

8/17
Penelope
In this modern fable, Christina Ricci plays her weirdest weirdo yet (and that’s saying a lot): a literally pig-nosed girl looking for love.


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