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Check out the flicks that will keep us in theaters all summer long

Shaun Harrison
summer-movies-avengers-1.jpg
1 of 21 Zade Rosenthal/Walt Disney Pictures

The Avengers

Premiered: May 4 Six heroes for the price of one? Established Marvel good guys Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) work with Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow and Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye to defeat Thor's brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), an alien with a bit of an inferiority complex. But before the butt-kicking can begin, Joss Whedon's record-breaking box office smash asks the question: Can the guys in tights put their super egos in check long enough to save the world?
2 of 21 Warner Bros. Pictures

Dark Shadows

Premiered: May 11 The dynamic duo of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up once again to do what they do best: transform the spooky and macabre into something charmingly humorous. Inspired by the late '60s cult-favorite daytime soap opera of the same name, the film focuses on Depp's Barnabas Collins, a vampire who awakes after 200 years in the 1970s. Besides being completely out of touch with the times, he also has to deal with his ancestors who have taken over his home. Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter also star.
3 of 21 Columbia Pictures

Men in Black 3

Premieres: May 25 Agents J and K are back, 15 years after the first installment took the planet by storm. But by the end of this film, 15 years will seem like nothing. When Will Smith's Agent J learns that the fates of both Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Earth are at stake, he travels back to 1969 to stop an alien (Jemaine Clement) from assassinating a young Agent K (Josh Brolin). Emma Thompson and Alice Eve star as the heads of MiB in present day and the past, respectively.
4 of 21 Universal Pictures

Snow White and the Huntsman

Premieres: June 1 This is not your average fairytale: It's a dark, modern twist on the Brothers Grimm classic, with an all-star cast and jaw-dropping scenery. Kristen Stewart stars as Snow White, who takes on the tyrannical Evil Queen (Charlize Theron). Not enough eye candy? Chris Hemsworth plays Eric the Huntsman.
5 of 21 Dimension Films

Piranha 3DD

Premieres: June 1 With strippers replacing lifeguards, and hot women in abundance, Big Wet seems like the perfect place to cool off this summer. But when the popular new waterpark is infiltrated with flesh-eating piranhas, things take a turn for the worse. David Hasselhoff back in his Baywatch lifeguard garb? Sounds like the makings of a perfect horror flick!
6 of 21 Paramount/Dreamworks

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Premieres: June 8 Will these animals ever make it back to the Central Park Zoo? They're certainly still trying. In this latest chapter, Ben the lion (Ben Stiller) and his fellow mammals (David Schwimmer, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith) end up in Monaco on the run from an animal control officer (Frances McDormand). In order to blend in, the quartet join the circus, where Ben falls for Gia (Jessica Chastain), a jaguar with a gift for the trapeze.
7 of 21 20th Century Fox

Prometheus

Premieres: June 8 Whether or not this flick is a prequel to director Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece Alien, it's still one of the year's most-anticipated films. Noomi Rapace (the other Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) stars as an archaeologist who finds evidence that another civilization once visited Earth and leads a voyage to a distant planet to search for it. Along for the ride (and the ultimate disastrous results) are Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender. Lost mastermind Damon Lindelof co-wrote the script.
8 of 21 David James/Warner Bros. Pictures

Rock of Ages

Premieres: June 15 Tom Cruise channels the '80s as rock star Stacee Jaxx in this big-screen adaptation of the Broadway hit. Directed by Adam Shankman, the jukebox musical celebrates the era of hair bands and glam metal and with an impressive ensemble cast, including Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
9 of 21 20th Century Fox

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Premieres: June 22 Funny, we must have slept through this day in history class. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov from a script co-written by novelist Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), the film reimagines one of our country's most famous presidents as a vampire-killing superhero. (Apparently, in this version of history, those undead creeps had something to do with inciting the Civil War.) When you add producer Tim Burton to the mix, it all sounds just crazy enough to work.
10 of 21 Warner Bros. Pictures

Magic Mike

Premieres: June 29 Channing Tatum channels his male stripper roots in this Steven Soderbergh-directed comedy that's actually based on Tatum's experience as a teen. Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer also star. As strippers. Need we say more?
11 of 21 Touchstone Pictures

People Like Us

Premieres: June 29 Alex Kurtzman makes his directorial debut in this heart-wrenching drama loosely based on his life. Chris Pine (Star Trek) plays a struggling man who, after losing his father, is tasked with delivering $150,000 in cash to an alcoholic sister (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew he had. Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jon Favreau also star.
12 of 21 Lionsgate

Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection

Premieres: June 29 The latest addition to Tyler Perry's Madea franchise finds an "all new" Madea opening up her home to George Needleman (Eugene Levy), a New York CEO who heads south to hide in witness protection after being accused of spearheading a Ponzi scheme for the mob. Denise Richards, Tom Arnold and Romeo Miller (you know… Lil' Romeo, the rapper) also star.
13 of 21 Columbia Pictures

The Amazing Spider-Man

Premieres: July 3 What's truly "amazing" is that only five years after Tobey Maguire hung up his Spidey suit, the entire franchise is being reimagined. Not that we mind. This reboot, directed by Marc Webb (heh), dives back into the source material to put Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker up against a new villain, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), aka The Lizard. Spidey also gets a new love interest in the form of Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy.
14 of 21 Paramount Pictures

Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D

Premieres: July 5 Curious what life is like behind the scenes for the adorably quirky pop sensation Katy Perry? The 3D film documents Perry's journey during her California Dreams tour and also explores her religious childhood and recent split from Russell Brand. The film is directed by Magical Elves' Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, the producing team behind Justin Bieber's successful Never Say Never concert movie.
15 of 21 Warner Bros. Pictures

The Dark Knight Rises

Premieres: July 20 Batman is back for one (final?) attempt to save Gotham from total annihilation. The film's tagline promises "the legend ends," which is likely at least true as it relates to director Christopher Nolan's darkly realistic trilogy. Eight years have passed since Batman (Christian Bale) was forced to go on the run in The Dark Knight, but Gotham may again warm to its shadow-dwelling hero once they get a look at Bane (Tom Hardy), a villain bent on destroying everything in his path. The wildcard here is Anne Hathaway's Catwoman. In the great Batman tradition, we, like Bruce Wayne, haven't quite figured out if she is a friend or a sexy foe.
16 of 21 Summit Entertainment

Step Up Revolution

Premieres: July 27 Insanely choreographed dance routines? Check. Passionate romance? Check. Attractive cast members (and minimal clothing)? Double check. The fourth installment of the Step Up film series has all the crucial elements of a summer blockbuster, plus a brand new director (Scott Speer) who knows a thing or two about music and film — he's best known for his work directing music videos. Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman and Adam G. Sevani star.
17 of 21 Universal Pictures

The Bourne Legacy

Premieres: August 3 Sorry, kids, no Jason Bourne this time around. But this film is no reboot. Rather, it explores another part of the Bourne universe with Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), another one of the government's mysterious assassins who is trying to deal with the ramifications of the Treadstone conspiracy. Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton co-star as Cross' friend and enemy, respectively, while Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Albert Finney and Scott Glenn all reprise their roles as the conspirators.
18 of 21 Columbia Pictures

Total Recall

Premieres: August 3 This remake of the 1990 sci-fi action flick finds Colin Farrell stepping into Arnold Schwarzenegger's role as Douglas Quaid, a Regular Joe who eventually learns that his memories aren't real. Rather, they've been artificially implanted to cover up the fact that Douglas is actually a freedom fighter. This time around he's battling Bryan Cranston's Vilos Cohaagen, a ruthless corporate leader. Jessica Biel joins Quaid in the battle, while Kate Beckinsale plays his wife.
19 of 21 Warner Bros. Pictures

The Campaign

Premieres: August 10 The kings of comedy take on politics in a perfectly-timed film, in which rival politicians (Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis) vie to represent their small North Carolina district in the House of Representatives. The film is written by Eastbound and Down's Shawn Harwell and Chris Henchy, and directed by Jay Roach. Saturday Night Live's Jason Sudekis also stars.
20 of 21 Lionsgate

The Expendables 2

Premieres: August 17 How do you improve on a blockbuster that team upped the biggest action stars of the past three decades? Add the two martial arts badasses you left out the first time around. Chuck Norris joins Sylvester Stallone's team of mercenaries that also includes Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and Arnold Schwarzenegger — this time in a beefed up role. The team squares off against the Muscles from Brussels himself, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Warning: Exposure to so much testosterone could have side effects.
21 of 21 TriStar Pictures

Sparkle

Premieres: August 17 This film, which marked Whitney Houston's first return to the big screen since 1996's The Preacher's Wife, will also serve as a fitting tribute to the powerhouse vocalist. Houston, who executive-produced the film — a remake of the 1976 original — stars as the mother to musical prodigy Sparkle (American Idol alum Jordin Sparks), who tries to achieve her dreams while her family is being torn apart. Derek Luke, Mike Epps and The Voice's Cee Lo Green also star.