So, did you hear that “The Dark Knight Rises” is coming out this summer? So did everyone else. We also heard about the “Spiderman” reboot, “Prometheus” and the “Men in Black” sequel. While these films are expected to do well in the box office, there are plenty of other great films coming out this summer. Here’s a list of eight movies you might not have heard about. Some of them are getting a platform release, meaning that they first open in a few theaters in major cities (New York, Los Angeles, Boston, etc.) and gradually add more theaters every week. Release dates, therefore, may not apply depending on where you live.
“Moonrise Kingdom,” May 25
Wes Anderson’s new movie comes hot off the heels of a Cannes Film Festival premiere. His distinct style and humor has amassed a strong fanbase, and with good reason. “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” are both beautiful, heartfelt films of substance. “Moonrise Kingdom,” the story of two children who run away and prompt a search party including Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and more, looks like it will continue in that vein.
“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” June 22
Along with his role as Michael Scott in “The Office,” Steve Carell has been a reliable comic actor in film. He stole scenes in “Anchorman,” voiced the main character in “Despicable Me” with frantic energy and successfully led romantic comedies with “Date Night” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” In “Seeking a Friend,” he’ll continue his tradition of leading a summer rom-com while being improbably paired with Keira Knightley as an asteroid hurtles to earth.
“To Rome with Love,” June 22
Last summer’s “Midnight in Paris” was Woody Allen’s best film in years, and the native New Yorker concludes his trip around Europe with “To Rome with Love.” Allen returns to acting alongside Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page and, in what might be a career comeback, Roberto Benigni. The film was released in Italy already to good-but-not-great reviews, but comedic taste often differs between countries, so it may be received better here.
“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” June 27
Every year there are a few movies from the Sundance Film Festival that everyone talks about for the rest of the year. Last year those films included “Another Earth” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” At the 2012 festival, the movie that got the most attention was “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a film by a first-time director about the communal power of recovery and childhood in post-Katrina New Orleans.
“Savages,” July 6
Oliver Stone brought actual marijuana to the set of this crime thriller about two brothers who confront a Mexican drug cartel that has kidnapped their shared girlfriend. Universal, the backing studio, claimed to have no knowledge of Stone’s actions. The movie has assembled an eclectic cast, including Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Blake Lively, Emile Hirsch, Benicio del Toro and John Travolta.
“Ruby Sparks,” July 25
From the director of “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Ruby Sparks” seems like another one of those feel-good indie romantic movies that are great during the summer. It’s about a writer, played by Paul Dano, who writes a girl, played by Zoe Kazan, to life and falls in love with her. It’s kind of like Will Ferrell’s 2006 movie “Stranger than Fiction,” but much less terrifying.
“Hope Springs,” August 10
Every August there seems to be a movie that’s geared toward women and exceeds expectations at the box office. In the last two years it’s been “Eat Pray Love” and “The Help.” “Hope Springs” isn’t based on a best-selling book, but the rom-com features Meryl Streep reuniting with “The Devil Wears Prada” director David Frankel. She and her husband (Tommy Lee Jones) go to a marriage counselor (Steve Carell) after 30 years of marriage. Lee Jones is popular among men and Steve Carell has had plenty of success in romantic comedies, so this is sure to be a crossover hit with both genders.