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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.



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.

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!

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.

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!

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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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