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Summer's hottest blockbusters

A scene from "The Hangover Part II"

A scene from "The Hangover Part II" Credit: Handout

The final "Harry Potter" film! The new J.J. Abrams movie! A cowboys-and-aliens mashup! Three comic book movies (four, if you include "Thor")! Summer is the season for event movies in Hollywood.

If superheroes and aliens are not your cup of tea, though, there are plenty of comedies ("The Hangover: Part II," "Horrible Bosses") and documentaries ("Page One," "Beats, Rhymes & Life") to satisfy your appetite.

Here are 30 movies on our radar.


Kung Fu Panda 2

Po, the fierce and tubby panda warrior, is back with his kung-fu mates defending China from evil forces. Forget the plot - we can't wait to see the stunning animation again. (May 26)

The Hangover: Part II

The three wild amigos (Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis) reunite for Stu's wedding — and this time the action takes place in Bangkok, land of ladyboys and tuk-tuks. Let's hope the high jinks are as funny the second time around. (May 26)

The Tree of Life

Director Terrence Malick explores the thorny relationship between a father and son over the course of many years. Brad Pitt plays the domineering dad and Sean Penn plays the son when he's grown-up - and damaged. (May 27)


X-Men: First Class

This "X-Men" prequel offers fans a glimpse at the good old Cold War days, when Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) still had hair and functional legs and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) was his pal, not his nemesis. (June 3)

Super 8

In J.J. Abrams' third feature film, a group of nerdy teens witnesses a train crash - and the escape of a creature of mysterious, terrifying origins. It's science-fiction with a large dose of coming-of-age. (June 10)

The Trip

Michael Winterbottom directs this comedy about a food critic (Steve Coogan) who traverses the English countryside with a friend, reviewing restaurants along the way. The script is largely improvised. (June 10)

Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds crosses over from rom-com hunk to superhero in this DC Comics adaptation. The Green Lantern, named after the color of his skin-tight garb, is an intergalactic cop who defends the universe from an enemy called Parallax. Blake Lively plays his sweetie-pie. (June 17)

Page One: Inside The New York Times

This absorbing documentary goes behind the scenes at The New York Times, where the newsroom staff discusses everything from Julian Assange to a pay wall. Reporter David Carr emerges as a charismatic defender of newspapers in a digital age. (June 17)

The Art of Getting By

Smart slacker teen boy meets pretty yet complicated teen girl. Sparks fly. Starring Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts. (June 17)

Cars 2

Pixar takes the four-wheeled characters of the first "Cars" film and sends them abroad to Tokyo, London and Italy for the World Grand Prix. Foreign road rules create all sorts of havoc. (June 24)

Bad Teacher

Cameron Diaz stars as the female equivalent of Billy Bob Thornton's bad Santa: Playing a seventh-grade teacher, she swears, drinks and smokes pot - all on school premises. Co-starring Justin Timberlake as a hot substitute teacher. (June 24)

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop NY

If you missed Conan O'Brien during his post-NBC music-and-comedy tour last year, you can catch him in this intimate documentary, which follows Coco both onstage and off. (June 24)


Larry Crowne

When his lack of a college degree earns him a pink slip, Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) enrolls in junior college. Along the way, he makes new friends and falls for his public-speaking professor (Julia Roberts). (July 1)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Shia LaBeouf is still on the run from the Decepticons, with lots of metal-on-metal clashes. It's much the same as the first two installments, minus Megan Fox. (July 1)

Horrible Bosses

Three employees (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) decide to exact revenge on their above-described bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston) by killing them. We're already sold by the cast. (July 8)

Beats, Rhymes & Life

Michael Rapaport puts on his documentary filmmaker cap to memorialize A Tribe Called Quest more than a decade after they broke up. He follows the band members and captures the behind-the-scenes drama. (July 8)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

It's the event Potterphiles have been anticipating as well as dreading - the end of the "Harry Potter" movies. Tears will be shed as Harry and company gear up for the final showdown with Voldemort. (July 15)

Captain America: The First Avenger

If you haven't overdosed on superhero movies by this point, check out Chris Evans as runt-turned-hunk Captain America. The shield-wielding hero is secretly conjured by the U.S. Army to help fight the Nazis. (July 22)

Friends With Benefits

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis play friends who decide to have sex with no emotional strings attached. Surprise, surprise - it's not so easy. (July 22)

Another Earth

This Sundance hit imagines a world where a second Earth exists, and one girl - who's atoning for a fatal drunk-driving accident - is desperate to visit the twin planet. This sci-fi flick is driven by character, not budget. (July 22)

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

While coping with a cuckolding wife, Cal (Steve Carell) takes on a smooth-talking wingman (Ryan Gosling) to help him navigate the modern dating world. Lessons are learned. Also starring Emma Stone and Julianne Moore. (July 29)

The Guard

A small-town Irish cop (Brendan Gleeson) is forced to work with an uptight FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to bust an international drug ring in Ireland. It's a buddy-cop movie with a dark-comedy vein. (July 29)

The Devil's Double

In Baghdad circa 1987, an Iraqi Army lieutenant is tasked with the job of being Uday Hussein's body double. Life isn't easy when you work for a psychotic party boy. (July 29)

Cowboys & Aliens

Sci-fi meets western in Jon Favreau's latest. When malevolent aliens invade a small desert town, a gunslinger (Daniel Craig) steps up to the plate with his gritty posse (Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde). (July 29)


The Change-Up

Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman star in this David Dobkin ("Wedding Crashers") comedy about a hard-working family man who switches bodies with his single man-child friend. (Aug. 5)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

If you can't get enough of "Planet of the Apes" or James Franco, you're in luck. Franco stars in this "Apes" reboot, playing a scientist whose test ape mutates into a ruckus-raising CGI primate (played by - hurray! - Andy Serkis). (Aug. 5)

30 Minutes or Less

The director of "Zombieland" reunites with Jesse Eisenberg, casting him as a pizza deliveryman coerced into robbing a bank - lest some thugs trigger a bomb they've strapped to his body. Aziz Ansari and Danny McBridge also star. (Aug. 12)

The Help

Emma Stone stars in this adaptation of the beloved Kathryn Stockett novel as a young writer who interviews African-American maids about their experience working for white families. Her civil rights project causes a scandal (this is set in Mississippi circa the 1960s). (Aug. 12)

One Day

Director Lone Scherfig ("An Education") tracks the evolution of a friendship over the course of 20 years. The twist: All of the  scenes take place on July 15 of each successive year. Starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. (Aug. 19)

Our Idiot Brother

When a happy-go-lucky organic farmer (Paul Rudd) gets kicked off the farm by his girlfriend, his three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer) take turns hosting him. Funny feuds ensue. (Aug. 26)

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