Loud, proud trailers say new Terminator, Transformers and Harry Potter installments are heading our way soon. But don't let sequel-fatigue get you down---chase down those explosions with our summer picks.
The Limits of Control (directed by Jim Jarmusch) A mysterious, sexy criminal (Isaach De Bankolé) journeys across Spain, and through his own consciousness, meeting up with white-haired, cowboy-hatted Tilda Swinton (and Bill Murray) along the way.
O' Horten (directed by Bent Hamer) The perfect antidote to summer-movie loudness: a well-regarded Norwegian film about a train engineer on the verge of retirement.
Also: Documentary Outrage lambastes closeted anti-gay politicians.
Away We Go (directed by Sam Mendes) A very scruffy John Krasinski and SNL's Maya Rudolph play a couple journeying across America to find the perfect place to raise their coming baby. Sounds cloying, but looks cute---and literary luminaries Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida (co-editor of The Believer) wrote the script, which can't hurt.
Moon (directed by Duncan Jones) The trailer looks like a strange Sam Rockwell-filled cross between 2001: A Space Odyssey and the recent guy-stabs-himself-in-the-arm time-puzzle Timecrimes. That certainly isn't a bad thing. (P.S. Duncan Jones is David Bowie's son.)
$9.99 (directed by Tatia Rosenthal) Somehow, stop-motion animation makes the possibly pretentious---like a story about people "in a Sydney apartment complex looking for meaning in their lives"---seem potentially enchanting, instead. (Plus, the film's based on a story by Etgar Keret, who wrote the story that inspired the better-than-it-sounds Wristcutters: A Love Story.)
Also: Dangerous Liaisons team (director Stephen Frears, screenwriter Christopher Hampton and Michelle Pfeiffer) meets again for Chéri; doc Food, Inc. turns a critical eye to the food-production machine.
Humpday (directed by Lynn Shelton) Two straight male college friends reconnect, and somehow one-up their way into agreeing to sleep together for an amateur porn contest.
(500) Days of Summer (directed by Marc Webb) Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel meet cute over music by The Smiths; much later, they break up; non-chronologically, the audience learns why.
In the Loop (directed by Armando Iannucci) "Spin-off" doesn't have to be a dirty word: In the Loop was spun off from award-winning BBC TV series/political satire The Thick of It, and the film's director and co-writer, Armando Iannucci, is TTOI's creator, which bodes well. Plus: Steve Coogan and James Gandolfini!
Also: Funny People has a lame, sentimental trailer and stars Adam Sandler, but give Judd Apatow the benefit of the doubt.
Taking Woodstock (directed by Ang Lee) Impressively, Lee's helmed a superhero flick and a Jane Austen costume drama; the director continues his delightfully confusing genre-jumping by following up Chinese espionage thriller Lust, Caution with a comedy-drama about Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin), the guy who accidentally ended up hosting Woodstock at his family's farm.
Inglourious Basterds (directed by Quentin Tarantino) Assuming Tarantino's recent weird-ass American Idol appearance didn't you put off the man forever, his long-awaited film about a group of Jewish-American soldiers who kill Nazis during WWII is worth a look. Besides, it's the only place you're going to see The Office's B.J. Novak and Neal Schweiber from Freaks and Geeks dressed up together in uniform.
The Boat That Rocked (directed by Richard Curtis) Love Actually director brings the tale of a '60s-era British pirate radio station housed in a boat. With Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rhys Darby (Murray from Flight of the Conchords)
Also: In Paper Heart, a pseudo-doc about love, Michael Cera and real-life girlfriend Charlyne Yi (Knocked Up) star as themselves, sorta; the English-dubbed version of anime great Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo featuring Miley Cyrus' little sister as a fish.