[Update: We now have our own mashup trailer for the 2010 Summer Movies!]
Congratulations! You have officially made it through the droll winter season and the spring weather tantrums and are now on the brink of that most wonderful time of the year: When the weather outside is so gorgeous we just have to flock to the dark indoors to catch some of the biggest spectacles that Hollywood can put up on the screen.
If you’re hopping up and down in anticipation of movies like Iron Man 2, Christopher Nolan’s Inception, the animated showdown between Dreamworks’ Shrek Forever After and Pixar’s Toy Story 3 – and for the ladies, a second helping of Sex In The City or an obscure little film called The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – well, you’ve come to the right place.
Screen Rant’s 2010 Summer Preview will guide you through all of the biggest films at the theater this summer – and even the ones you may want to skip. We’ve got 30 summer movies listed below complete with release dates and our thoughts on each one – good or bad (bookmark this page so you’ll know when the big movies are opening this summer).
If you’re impatient and want to skip around, here’s where you can find:
Also if you want a good look at what these movies are going to be like, be sure to check out our Ultimate 2010 Summer Movie Trailer, which combines trailers for at least two dozen of the movies listed below!
Iron Man 2 – May 7
Synopsis: Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, the wealthy playboy whose exploits as Iron Man are now public knowledge after his admission at the close of the first film. In the follow-up, Stark is pitted against his Russian arch nemesis, Whiplash (Mickey Rourke), and corporate rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell). Also making their Marvel debuts are Scarlett Johansson as the sexy Russian spy Black Widow, and Don Cheadle, who takes over the role of Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine from Terrence Howard.
Our take: Our only regret is that the first film to kick off the summer 2010 season is also our most anticipated. Aside from a few choice exceptions (Toy Story 3, Inception), there really is nowhere to go but downhill after Iron Man 2 blasts through theaters.
Robin Hood – May 14
Synopsis: In this Ridley Scott adaptation of the classic tale, an archer (Russell Crowe) in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion fights against the Norman invaders and becomes the legendary hero known as Robin Hood. Cate Blanchett, Danny Huston, Max von Sydow, Kevin Durand and Mark Strong co-star.
Our Take: This movie looked OK at first – that is, until we were blown out of our theater seats by the full trailer. Remember the days when epic story, great action and skilled acting trumped explosions, CGI and 3D gimmickry? Thankfully it looks as though Ridley Scott does.
MacGruber – May 21
Synopsis: A comedy based on Will Forte’s bumbling secret agent whose lack of skill and abundance of personal problems serve as a detriment to him – and those around him. Ryan Phillipe, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Val Kilmer (yes, Val Kilmer) costar.
Our Take: There are moments in the MacGruber trailer which are very funny (the bomb wire bit slays me), but even with the “R” rating, at this points it seems unlikely that a mildly-amusing SNL sketch-turned-movie could be worth anything more than a DVD rental.
Shrek Forever After – May 21
Synopsis: Longing for the days when he felt like a “real ogre,” Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking deal-maker, Rumpelstiltskin and finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Now, it’s up to Shrek to undo all he’s done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love.
Our Take: So long as this really and truly is the final Shrek movie – forever and ever after – maybe we’ll be in attendance. Just for old times sake.
Sex and the City 2 – May 27
Synopsis: Series runner Michael Patrick King returns to pen the sequel, re-teaming the vivacious stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis for another glitzy romp – except this time they’re going international.
Our Take: Can you even call it Sex and the City when a large portion of it doesn’t even take place in the city?
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – May 28
Synopsis: Based on the video game, the film follows an adventurous prince (Jake Gyllenhaal) who teams up with a rival princess (Gemma Arterton) to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world.
Our Take: Will Prince of Persia finally break the video game movie curse by actually being good? We’re rooting for it, but statistically speaking, the odds are against it.
Get Him To The Greek – June 4
Synopsis: In this spinoff of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Russell Brand reprises his role as vain rocker Aldous Snow. Jonah Hill plays Aaron Green, a music industry gopher who is dispatched to London by none other than P. Diddy to escort Snow to a concert appearance in NYC. Debauchery and hilarity ensue.
Our Take: Hey, if you liked Sarah Marshall and was a fan of Brand’s rockstar hijinks, then why not have a go at Greek? Personally, I’ll wait for the DVD.
Splice – June 4
Synopsis: Two young rebellious scientists (Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley) defy legal and ethical boundaries, splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism. Named “Dren”, the creature rapidly develops into something fantastic…and deadly.
Our Take: Vincenzo Natali (Cube) is a writer/director known for taking an interesting premise and adding deeper layers to it. We have a feeling Splice could be good…just not the creature-feature most people are expecting.
Killers – June 4
Synopsis: A vacationing woman (Katherine Heigl) meets her ideal man (Ashton Kutcher), leading to a swift marriage. Back at home, however, their idyllic life is upset when they discover their neighbors could be assassins who have been contracted to kill the couple.
Our Take: Shouldn’t this film be titled Mr. & Mrs. Smith: The Reboot? More to the point, the names “Heigl and Kutcher” headlining a film automatically make me never want to see it. Pass.
The A-Team – June 11
Synopsis: In this re-imagining of the classic 80s TV series, a group of Iraq War veterans look to clear their names with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime they were framed for.
Our Take: The A-Team trailers have shown us some good, some bad and some definite ugly; but all in all, this looks like it could be a fun popcorn flick.
Karate Kid – June 11
Synopsis: Work pressures cause a single mother to move to China with her young son (Jaden Smith). Bullied in his new home, the boy embraces Kung Fu, taught to him by a master of the self-defense form (Jackie Chan).
Our Take: This movie has gotten a bad wrap – some of it undeserved. By the way: it’s called “The Karate Kid” for a reason, even though Smith’s character actually learns Kung Fu.
Toy Story 3 – June 18
Synopsis: Woody, Buzz, and the rest of their toy-box friends are dumped in a day-care center after their owner, Andy, departs for college. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and the rest of the gang return, with new toys voiced by Michael Keaton, Timothy Dalton, Whoopi Goldberg and others.
Our Take: It’s Pixar and Toy Story – need we say more? Unless you’re totally averse to animated movies (how heartless you are!) then you’ll be in the theater to catch this.
Jonah Hex – June 18
Synopsis: In the Wild West, a scarred bounty hunter (Josh Brolin) tracks a voodoo practitioner (John Malkovich) bent on liberating the South by raising an army of the undead.
Our Take: This film has been plagued with problems including re-shoots under a different director. We’re not expecting much at this point – so if you’re an optimist, there’s plenty of room for pleasant surprise.
Grown Ups – June 25
Synopsis: Thirty years after their high school graduation, five good friends reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend. Kevin James, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and Chris Rock play the friends.
Our Take: A movie with some of the biggest names in comedy entertainment sharing the screen, yet the trailers have spent a lot of time focusing on Selma Hayek – that tell you anything? Let me know when this film hits HBO – I’ll set my DVR.
Knight & Day – June 25
Synopsis: An action-comedy centered on a fugitive couple (Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz) who embark on a glamorous and sometimes deadly adventure where nothing and no one – even themselves – are what they seem. Amid shifting alliances and unexpected betrayals, they race across the globe, with their survival ultimately hinging on the battle of truth vs. trust.
Our Take: It’s not that the film looks bad – it just looks like re-heated leftovers of the Mission: Impossible franchise. Still, there are plenty of people who will show up to see Cruise and Diaz trading sparks.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – June 30
Synopsis: In this third installment, lovestruck teenager Bella (Kristen Stewart) must choose between her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Meanwhile, a conflict between vampires and werewolves reaches a head. Director David Slade (30 Days of Night) is at the helm this time.
Our Take: At this point you either love The Twilight Saga or you hate it. David Slade is an inspired directing choice, and the trailer makes Eclipse looks like it could be the best installment yet, relatively speaking.
The Last Airbender – July 2
Synopsis: In this M. Night Shyamalan adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series, 12-year-old Aang (Noah Ringer), the new “Avatar,” must return peace and balance to his world and master “bending” all four elements – Fire, Water, Earth, Air – in order to stop the imperial Fire Nation.
Our Take: So far this film has looked like it will redeem Shyamalan’s bruised reputation as a filmmaker, but some lukewarm early word of mouth has us a bit wary. Still, we’re hoping for the best.
Predators – July 9
Synopsis: A group of elite warriors are abducted from Earth to be hunted by members of a merciless alien race known as Predators. A reboot of the popular sci-fi/horror franchise. Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, Alice Braga and Derek Mears star as the hunted humans.
Our Take: The trailer was cause for excitement, and it seems producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal have recaptured the magic and menace of the now-classic original Predator. We’ll definitely be in attendance.
Despicable Me – July 9
Synopsis: Super villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), is planning the biggest heist in the history of the world. He is going to steal the moon. Armed with his arsenal of shrink rays, freeze rays, and battle-ready vehicles for land and air, he vanquishes all who stand in his way – until the day he encounters the immense will of three little orphaned girls named Margo, Edith and Agnes.
Our Take: Maybe this film will be a surprise charmer, but early impression is that there are better animated movies to see this summer (read: Toy Story 3).
Inception – July 16
Synopsis: In Chris Nolan’s (The Dark Knight) mysterious new film, A CEO-type (Leonardo DiCaprio) becomes involved in a blackmailing scandal. Of course his company specializes in entering people’s minds to extract and implant thoughts, so you know things are going to get twisted. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger and Michael Caine all co-star.
Our Take: You had us at “Nolan,” but with an ensemble cast this talented and the mind-blowing visuals we’ve seen in the trailers, this is a must-see summer movie.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – July 16
Synopsis: Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can’t do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé.
Our Take: Cage and National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub are reuniting for this action/adventure, and believe it or not, early word of mouth is that it’s good. Wow… we may just have to see it now – if only to find out for ourselves.
Salt – July 23
Synopsis: As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture.
Our Take: From the looks of it, this “Female Jason Bourne” flick is the type of movie we’ll forget about five minutes after leaving the theater. Then again, it’s Angelina Jolie as a tough badass, so expect an audience to show up.
Dinner for Schmucks – July 30
Synopsis: Tim (Paul Rudd) is a rising executive who “succeeds” in finding the perfect guest, IRS employee Barry (Steve Carell), for his boss’s monthly event, a so-called “dinner for idiots,” which offers certain advantages to the exec who shows up with the biggest buffoon.
Our Take: This movie has the makings of something funny, alright – but then again it’s the Americanized version of Francis Veber’s Le diner de cons, which is already pretty excellent. Carell and Rudd get the benefit of our doubt, for now.
The Adjustment Bureau – July 30
Synopsis: Based on a short story by sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick (Total Recall, Minority Report), this new sci-fi/romance stars Matt Damon as a politician who engages in an affair with a ballerina (Emily Blunt). But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of fate itself – the men of The Adjustment Bureau – who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together.
Our Take: Some Philip K. Dick stories are adapted into classic movies like Blade Runner, while others end up like Paycheck. The plot of Adjustment Bureau sounds intriguing, and having Damon and Blunt on board is a strong endorsement. For the sake of mid-summer brain stimulation, we may check it out.
The Other Guys – August 6
Synopsis: Two mismatched New York City detectives (Mark Whahlberg, Will Ferrell) seize an opportunity to step up like the city’s top cops (Sam Jackson, Dwayne Johnson) whom they idolize — only things don’t quite go as planned.
Our Take: We’ve already been called “leftist media” for saying the trailer made us chuckle – do we dare go see it? Yep, we think so 😉 .
Step Up 3D – August 6
Synopsis: More street meets elite dancing, this time in 3D.
Our Take: For fans of the Step Up franchise, it’ll be a treat to see sick dance moves pop (and lock) in the third dimension. For the rest of us: Pass.
The Expendables – August 13
Synopsis: A team of mercenaries head to South America on a mission to overthrow a dictator. Sounds simple, but add the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin and cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and you have one kick-ass throwback action flick on your hands.
Our Take: The scene in the first trailer of Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger on screen together was enough to get ME in the theater. The awesome 80s-style action movie feel is just icing on the cake.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – August 13
Synopsis: Lovable loser Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) must defeat his new girlfriend’s “seven evil exes” in order to win her heart and find true happiness. Based on the popular graphic novel series.
Our take: The trailer – with its classic comic book conventions and arcade game sound effects – has sent the fanboy nation into a frenzy. Cameos from the likes of Chris Evans (Captain America), Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) only add to our prediction that Scott Pilgrim could be the hipster sleeper hit of the summer.
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang – August 20
Synopsis: Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives to help a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war, though she uses her magic to teach the woman’s children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons.
Our Take: Ralph Fiennes, Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Maggie Smith and Rhys Ifans make for an impressive ensemble cast for this kids movie. The kids should enjoy it – and learning lessons doesn’t hurt either.
Piranhas 3D – August 20
Synopsis: A tremor under the surface of Lake Victoria unleashes scores of prehistoric piranhas, an event which rallies the local sheriff (Elisabeth Shue) who will risk everything to save her townsfolk.
Our Take: Director Alexandre Aja initially impressed with his French horror/thriller High Tension, but his Hill Have Eyes and Mirrors remakes have been downward spirals. Add in the requisite faded stars, grindhouse trademarks and cheap 3D gimmick, and Piranhas has B-movie written all over it. We suppose it could be some midnight movie fun?
Priest – August 27
Synopsis: A priest (Paul Bettany) disobeys church law to track down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.
Our Take: This could be the next Blade or it could be the next Legion. Let’s hope the Priest leans more toward the former than the latter – don’t want to end the summer on a bad note.
That’s it for Screen Rant‘s Summer Movie Preview. What has you watching movie trailers in excitement this summer? The epic action of Iron Man 2? The mind-bending awesomeness of Inception? The childlike nostalgia of Toy Story 3? The big boy nostalgia of The Expendables? Let us know!