15. 'The Dictator'
Release Date: May 16
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, John C. Reilly
The Scoop: Cohen has always been a provocateur of the highest order, but could this lampooning of Middle Eastern despots, inspired by the novel "Zabibah and the King" by Saddam Hussein (!), be that final crossover into "too far" territory? Not by a long shot. Not since Charlie Chaplin spoofed Hitler in "The Great Dictator" has a world-class comedian had the cojones that Cohen does, and this will be a take-no-prisoners laughfest from "Borat" and "Brüno" director Larry Charles. Look out for Megan Fox parodying herself in a sexy cameo. | Watch the trailer
14. 'Safety Not Guaranteed'
Release Date: June 8
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson, Karan Soni, Mark Duplass
The Scoop: The plot is pretty simple: Kenneth (Duplass) places an ad in the paper reading, "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before." Journalist Darius (Plaza) comes into his life to investigate the claim, and that's when things get complicated. Based on an Internet meme, the film was praised at this year's Sundance Festival and has "indie sleeper" written all over it.
Release Date: July 6
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Blake Lively, Emile Hirsch
The Scoop: Oliver Stone is going back to the crazy-ass, hallucinogenic vibe of "Natural Born Killers" with this tawdry tale of a couple of easygoing marijuana-dealing bros (Johnson and Kitsch) and their polyamorous girlfriend (Lively) who gets kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel. Let the bodies hit the floor. Stone also wrangled Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro and John Travolta along for the ride. '90s enough for ya? | Watch the trailer
12. 'The Campaign'
Release Date: Aug 10
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Dylan McDermott, Jason Sudeikis
The Scoop: If you're at all familiar with a little series called "Between Two Ferns," then you know that Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are a hilariously combustible combo. This satire from director Jay Roach ("Austin Powers," "Meet the Parents") follows two rival Southern politicians, played by Ferrell and Galifianakis (sans beard, mustache only), who are not gentlemanly about winning a coveted North Carolina congressional seat. With HBO movies "Recount" and "Game Change" under his belt, Roach has done pretty well using politics as a backdrop for drama, so we'll cast our vote that he can mine the comedy as well.
11. 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'
Release Date: June 22
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
The Scoop: Honest Abe is back, and he's pissed off! The virtuous 16th president helped free the slaves in the Civil War, but any bloodsucking monster he encounters is going to need facial reconstruction. Adapting Seth Grahame-Smith's popular tongue-in-cheek novel that re-mythologizes Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) as a badass, Ruskie Timur Bekmambetov of "Wanted" fame directs this All-American story of bloodshed and patriotism. | Watch the trailer
Also Check Out: The Complete 2012 Summer Movie Flipbook
Release Date: June 22
Starring: (voices) Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, John Ratzenberger
The Scoop: The lucky 13th feature film in the jewel-encrusted Pixar dynasty is a dynamic change of pace. The lovely Macdonald ("Boardwalk Empire") brings her Scottish brogue to voicing Princess Merida, a defiant young woman with a "my way or the highway" attitude. To overcome a terrible curse, the skilled archer must find a way to undo it, which may involve firing arrows at a giant frickin' bear. Cool. | Watch the trailer
9. 'Total Recall'
Release Date: Aug 3
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston
The Scoop: Nobody thought Paul Verhoeven's triple-breasted 1990 sci-fi classic needed a remake, but so far, the footage screened of Len Wiseman's futuristic vision has been received positively by fans. Colin Farrell, believe it or not, is the Schwarzenegger substitute, bringing a more cerebral take on the mixed-up memory bank of character Douglas Quaid, who tries to get a vacation implanted in his head when things go violently haywire.
8. 'The Bourne Legacy'
Release Date: Aug 3
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Oscar Isaac
The Scoop: Jeremy Renner proved in last year's "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" that he can do the spy thing with gusto, but can he bring the same Energizer Bunny intensity to this franchise that Matt Damon did? Despite the title, this is a Jason Bourne-less entry in the Robert Ludlum franchise, with Renner's Aaron Cross an alumni of the same kick-butt school that Bourne dropped out of. The events will parallel much of the action in the previous three movies, kind of like "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" but with more car chases and choke holds. Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, and David Strathairn all reprise their roles from the previous films. | Watch the trailer
Release Date: July 13
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel McHale
The Scoop: "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane is trying his hand at a feature, but it won't be family friendly. The cute stuffed teddy bear of the title magically comes to life and grows up to become a foul-mouthed, alcoholic, pot smoking slacker along with his "thunder buddy for life" John (Mark Wahlberg). When John's girl Lori (Mila Kunis) wants Ted out of his life, the horndog Snuggle Bear from hell has to strike out on his own. If MacFarlane can sustain the hilarity of the trailers, he just might have a subversive sleeper hit on his hands. If not, it'll be a noble collection of dick jokes. | Watch the trailer
6. 'Dark Shadows'
Release Date: May 11
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Bella Heathcote
The Scoop: We are now officially living in the age of the vampire, but with Johnny Depp and Tim Burton hitting the blood bank we expect this adaptation of the cult classic '60s soap opera to have a bit more bite than "Twilight." His Deppness plays Barnabas Collins, a 200+ year-old who wakes in 1972 Collinsport, Maine, and has to adjust to his modern family and the vengeful witch Angelique (Green) who cursed him. Expect this vamp to be high camp. | Watch the trailer
5. 'The Amazing Spider-Man'
Release Date: July 3
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan
The Scoop: With Sam Raimi's last Spidey spin only five years back, you may feel like this reboot is déjà vu; but as Steely Dan said, "wheels turning' 'round and 'round / You go back, Jack, do it again." Peter Parker (Garfield) is once more a nerdy high schooler, but with a bit more emo than Tobey Maguire brought to the role. This time 'round he's bit by the spider, invents his own web shooters, tangles with The Lizard (Ifans), and gets some blonde ambition in love interest Gwen Stacy (Stone). Besides his usual swinger charm, expect Garfield to emphasize Spidey's trademark wisecracks, as well as a suit that looks like it was designed by Nike. | Watch the trailer
Release Date: June 8
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron
The Scoop: Back in the sci-fi saddle for the first time in over three decades, director Ridley Scott is dipping back into the "Alien" well for a sorta-prequel that will also stand alone as its own unique sci-fi horror epic. Detailing nothing less than the origin of mankind's existence, this will be one seriously intense voyage to the dark side of the universe for the title ship and its all-star crew. Be sure to face-hug someone close to you. | Watch the trailer
3. 'Snow White and the Huntsman'
Release Date: June 1
Starring: Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Ian McShane
The Scoop: How many Snow Whites does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Two, apparently. With the already released "Mirror Mirror" not as "fairest" as it set out to be, its competitor for your fairy-tale dollar features Bella herself, K.Stew, as an armored warrior version of the sunlight-deprived maiden. Theron is the evil queen who wants to swallow your soul, and Hemsworth puts down Thor's hammer for the Huntsman's axe. | Watch the trailer
2. 'The Avengers'
Release Date: May 4
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson
The Scoop: Loki has an army, but Tony Stark has a Hulk. That's how this works. Nerd deity Joss Whedon ("Serenity") has assembled Marvel's mightiest heroes for the knock-down, drag-out slugfest we've been waiting five movies for. Downey gets back in his shiny tin can as Iron Man, Evans is the defrosted Captain America, Hemsworth is a strange Thor in a strange land, and Ruffalo finds it's not easy being green as Bruce Banner's incredible alter ego. | Watch the trailer
1. 'The Dark Knight Rises'
Release Date: July 20
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman
The Scoop: Um, duh, this one was always No. 1 with a bullet. Christopher Nolan seemed hesitant to try and top the Joker-tastic previous film -- the biggest superhero movie of all time -- when he told Hero Complex in 2008, "I have to ask the question: How many good third movies in a franchise can people name?" Well, Chris, you must have found a way, since the Caped Crusader (Bale) has risen with supervillain Bane (Hardy) and ambivavillain Catwoman (Hathaway) hot on his tail for the final part of our generation's ultimate cinematic Batman saga. | Watch the trailer
Also This Summer ...
Screenwriter Noah Baumbach classes up a flagging animated franchise with "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," while Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg (now there's a dyslexic's nightmare) enjoy some degenerate father-son bonding in "That's My Boy." If you're looking for romance, you can see Greta Gerwig as she navigates the world of being a post-dumped 30something in "Lola Versus," while Michelle Williams wants to cheat on husband Seth Rogen with some hunky dude in "Take This Waltz." Acclaimed Sundance winner "Beasts of the Southern Wild"is a poetic creature feature. Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass navigate relative awkwardness when the latter hooks up with "Your Sister’s Sister," and Eugene Levy gets the Tyler Perry treatment when he enrolls in "Madea’s Witness Protection."
It's "Speed" on a bicycle with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a New York messenger being chased by dirty cop Michael Shannon in "Premium Rush." Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy run moonshine in the Prohibition-era "Lawless," and middle schoolers will shoot milk out their nose during "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days." Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton grow a child in their backyard in "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," while "Harry Potter" vet Tom Felton helps vanquish some evil spirits (and hopefully typecasting) in "The Apparition."