10. Sherlock Holmes 2

Release Date: December 16, 2011
Director: Guy Ritchie
Studio: Legendary Pictures, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry join Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law on another mystery-solving adventure against the duo’s fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). The first one was a lot of fun and had some great energy and we’re hoping the sequel can match it.

9. Sucker Punch

Release Date: March 25, 2011
Director: Zack Snyder
Studio: Cruel & Unusual Films, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

Zack Snyder brings his visual style, unique action sequences and creative imagination to this intense fantasy action film. In Sucker Punch, a young girl (Emily Browning) is institutionalized against her will by her stepfather, and tries to plan an escape with four other girls by using an alternative reality. It’s 300, but with young ladies using swords and guns against robots and dragons. We’re hoping (against hope?) that this will be more than pretty visuals and will actually have some heart.

8. X-Men: First Class

Release Date: June 3, 2011
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Studio: Bad Hat Harry Productions, distributed by Twentieth Century Fox

The make or break film of the popular X-Men franchise brings Bryan Singer back into the fold and Matthew Vaughn at the helm (both who dropped out of the director’s chair X-Men: The Last Stand previously). X-Men: First Class is a prequel based in the 1960s and tells the story of young Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier as they meet and recruit other mutants to form the first X-Men and explore their different views on humanity. Can this rushed production bring a quality movie after two poorly received franchise installments? Call us insanely optimistic, but we hope so.

7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Release Date: July 1, 2011
Director: Michael Bay
Studio: Hasbro, distributed by Paramount Pictures

The third and final Transformers film by Michael Bay and starring Shia LaBeouf without co-star Megan Fox. After a terrible second installment, can Ehren Kruger’s script deliver the franchise’s best movie and end on a high note? The Dark of the Moon teaser trailer was great, but can the film, which is shot in 3D, fix the growing mistakes and problems of Revenge of the Fallen? (And if it’s great, we won’t hesitate to say so.)

6. Cowboys & Aliens

Release Date: July 29, 2011
Director: Jon Favreau
Studio: Touchstone Pictures, distributed by Universal Pictures

Arguably one of the most unique summer blockbusters of 2011, the genre-mixing Cowboys & Aliens takes its Western feel very seriously, mixing in the horror of an alien invasion. Starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde, it’s hard to go wrong with Jon Favreau working off a script worked on by Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.

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