Summer Movies 2010

It’s that time again. Every year, Film School Rejects is looked to by readers the world over to be the guiding light for summer movie-going. What can we say? We just have a knack for knowing what’s going to be worth your money months before you have the opportunity to spend it. This year, we’re excited about what looks to be one of the most diverse summer movie seasons in recent years. Sure, there’s a big superhero film, and there are some big comedies, and Ridley Scott is going to give us a big side dish of epic sword and (whatever the people of Sherwood Forrest wear on their feet instead of sandals) action. But there are also some little movies worth mentioning. Some science fiction, some scary stuff and several movies that involve men with guns, on a mission, entering the kill zone and emerging victoriously (or so we can only hope) as badasses. It’s a summer that looks to have something for everyone. We even threw in a romantic comedy, for good measure.

If you see any 18 movies this summer (yes, we know that’s a lot — but if you want to be taken seriously, you need to get your ass to your local theater this summer), these are the ones we’d highly recommend…

Iron Man 2 (May 7)

Summer Movies: Iron Man 2

We’ve already reviewed the summer’s most anticipated movie, and this is it. The verdict: yes, it’s worth seeing. Director Jon Favreau returns to helm Iron Man’s next adventure, one that sees him facing off with unique new villains, picking up a bad (in a good way) new sidekick in War Machine, and ending up square in the middle of one of the most exciting final acts imaginable. So yeah, it works. It isn’t a perfect film, nor will it blow die hards out of the water. But audiences of all ages, sizes and creeds will flock to this one. And for good reason. It’s a perfect starter for an exciting summer movie season. - Neil Miller

Robin Hood (May 14)

Summer Movies: Robin Hood

I’m looking forward to Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood just as much as the rest of you, but I think we’ll just have to accept that it won’t reach the entertainment heights of 1991’s Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman. (And yes, I realize you think I’m joking about that, but I’m into fuzzy accents.) Scott and Russell Crowe can be a powerful force for quality film-making as evidenced by the awesomeness of Gladiator, but they can just as easily turn out schlock like A Good Year. This leans heavier towards the epic and bloody nature of Gladiator (and even the trailer carries a Kingdom of Heaven vibe), and Crowe is joined by a fantastic supporting cast with Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, William Hurt, Danny Huston, and Max von Sydow. And something to ponder… Crowe is playing the origin of Robin Hood at the same age Sean Connery was when he played the bow-wielding hero in the twilight of retirement in Robin and Marian. - Rob Hunter

MacGruber (May 21)

Summer Movies: MacGruber

We are not messing with you. MacGruber made this list at the expense of its own blood, sweat and tears. It’s probably just the sort of silly, surface-level comedy that we’d usually leave off our big summer list. But we caught a rough cut of it at South by Southwest and I must say, I had a blast. Between the absurdly named (and even more absurdly crafted) villain played by Val Kilmer and Will Forte’s throat-ripping hero, MacGruber delivers laughs in waves — waves fueled by a commitment to sheer absurdity. A solid ensemble and a few running gags that, surprisingly, never get old bring the whole thing together in perhaps one of the funniest films we’ll see this summer. Yeah, you read that right. - Neil Miller

Micmacs (May 28)

Summer Movies: Micmacs

Jean-Pierre Juenet, the director who gave the world City of Lost Children and Amelie, continues in his tradition of making playful movies about very dark subject matter. This time, it’s an endlessly fun, quirky tale of war profiteering and a man (played by the ever expressive Dany Boon) whose life may be ended at any moment by a bullet lodged in his head. As I reported in my review from SXSW, it’s an immensely fun time at the movies and one of those rare imports that could speak to any audience — or at least, any audience capable of reading subtitles. Go see this movie, those of you who can read this. - Neil Miller

Splice (June 4)

Summer Movies: Splice

Mix two solid actors (Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody), the innovative director behind the brilliant sci-fi gem Cube, one genetically created creature, and the hot-button topic of stem cell usage, and what do you get? If you answered a small horror film that would be better served by a September/October opening then you’d be right… Splice stars Polley and Brody as two scientists whose experiment with genetic engineering results in a strange and potentially dangerous new life form. Opening this little movie in the middle of summer may seem like smart counter-programming, but I fear it’s dooming the flick to future obscurity. Hopefully it finds an audience though with folks who like their entertainment mixed with strong acting, fantastic effects, and ethical debate. Oh, and sexy bald chicks. - Rob Hunter

The A-Team (June 11)

Summer Movies: The A-Team

Beyond comic books, it seems like another mainstay of this summer is the men on a mission. The A-Team seeks to elevate a group of beloved 80s icons and rebirth them for the screen, and that gives hope for at least one hilarious Mr. T cameo. Not to get too deep, but in a way we’re getting to see the kinetic directing talent of Joe Carnahan placed in a time machine and taken back 30 years in the past. Bradley Cooper and Sharlto Copely are looking to own the summer yet again, and if the whole thing seems cheesy, there’s Liam Neeson to guide us through that swamp of cheese. If you really need further proof, they drop a damned tank out of a plane and fire it mid-free-fall. A tank. Skydiving. And blowing stuff up. Get excited. - Cole Abaius

Toy Story 3 (June 18)

Summer Movies: Toy Story 3

If summers past have taught us anything, it’s that we should never bet against Pixar. They are the surest bet in Hollywood. And even though this is their first foray into the world of sequels of sequels, we have to feel confident that their imagination machine will churn out something special. The adventures of Buzz, Woody and the gang were what started this great run, and there are no signs of slowing. Director Lee Unkrich makes his debut as a one-man director show, but that shouldn’t worry anyone. He’s a Pixar veteran who knows exactly what he’s doing with these characters. - Neil Miller

Jonah Hex (June 18)

Summer Movies: Jonah Hex

The world is flooded with comic adaptations, and even though many production houses are turning to anti-heroes these days, Jonah Hex is still a fan favorite. It’s refreshing to see a deformed hero take the stage that isn’t Carrie from those Sex and the City movies. Cheap shots aside, John Malkovich, Josh Brolin, and Michael Fassbender bring the acting pedigree that Megan Fox sucks out of it, and there’s something intriguing about seeing the writing team behind Crank take a shot at comic book-style action. But perhaps the most anticipated part of the film is seeing Jimmy Hayward take his Pixar and Horton Hears a Who history into the live-action world for the first time as a director. Either that or it’s seeing Brolin wrestle gators. - Cole Abaius

Knight and Day (June 25)

Summer Movies: Knight and Day

Tom Cruise and this movie have an equally uphill battle this summer. He’s lost a lot of his cache over the years and even though Mission Impossible III did decent box-office worldwide it carries the stigma of perceived financial disappointment. One of the common complaints against Cruise is his tendency to stick with the same character again and again. His new film finds him in the untested waters of comedy, and that alone should be reason enough to give him and the flick the benefit of the doubt. Cameron Diaz (the only real weak link here) stars as a woman bemoaning the lack of good, interesting men in her life, until she meets Cruise’s character who claims to be a government agent in need of her assistance. Cue the wacky action and globe-trotting adventure as the pair find themselves chased and shot at by bad guys. Or maybe they’re the good guys… there’s a distinct possibility that Cruise is playing a crazy man here. Can Cruise go from cocky to funny and still deliver a solid piece of entertainment? If the movie’s as fun as the trailer suggests then the answer appears to be yes. - Rob Hunter

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