From Selena Gomez’s girly adventure in Europe to the latest Harry Potter, we’ve got a film for everybody this summer.
1. SM: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
After the last two Pirates films took a clubbing from critics, Disney is bringing in some new blood. Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom walked the plank, and the studio has welcomed Penélope Cruz aboard as Jack Sparrow’s latest lover. But Pé won’t exactly be fainting in her corsets: Her character Angélica—a rival pirate going after the same elusive fountain of youth as Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)—is the fiercest, sexiest swashbuckler the high tides have seen since…well, Depp.
2. SM: Bad Teacher
At last! Cameron Diaz trades in her signature sweet-but-clueless persona for a character so malicious and conniving, we know we’re going to love to hate her. She plays foul-mouthed, junior-high teacher Elizabeth Halsey, who, after being dumped by her sugar daddy, sets her sights on a new rich colleague (played by Justin Timberlake).
3. SM: A Better Life
A Better Life
In this tear-jerker drama that is rumored to be the year’s first awards contender, Weeds star Demián Bichir plays Carlos, a gardener and single dad from Mexico living illegally in Los Angeles and trying to keep his teenage son away from gangs and deportation. We dare you not to cry into your popcorn.
4. SM: Cars 2
They’re baaack! The gang from Radiator Springs—Lightning McQueen, Mater and, our favorite, “low-and-slow” Ramone (voiced by Cheech Marin)—head on an overseas road trip and get themselves caught up in international espionage while competing in the World Grand Prix. The sequel to 2006’s Cars is five years in the making, and as those of us with little ones know, we’ll be watching this one on repeat until Cars 3 comes out!
5. SM: Monte Carlo
Selena Gomez continues her tween streak with this girly romantic comedy about three best friends who are on the worst vacation of their lives in Paris, until one of them (Gomez) gets mistaken for a British heiress and is whisked off to glamorous Monte Carlo.
6. SM: Zookeeper
In this Night at the Museum–like comedy, Kevin James plays an unlucky-in-love zookeeper who’s taught the tricks of mating by his animal buddies so he can win the affection of his crush, Rosario Dawson.
7. SM: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Unless J.K. Rowling goes Star Wars on us, this will be the last-ever Harry Potter film to hit the big screen. Before Harry and the gang disappear into cinematic oblivion, they’ll have to return to Hogwarts to fight one final, life-changing battle against Voldemort. Keep an eye out for Spanish actress Natalia Tena as the butt-kicking, shape-shifting, mullet-sporting Tonks—one of the wizards who protect Harry.
8. SM: The Smurfs
What could be more smurftastic than Sofia Vergara as Odile, a villainous executive at a French cosmetics company looking to exploit the little blue men who have been chased out of their village by the evil Gargamel and into Manhattan? Add George Lopez as the voice of Grouchy Smurf and this is a part-animated, part–live-action comedy we definitely won’t miss!
9. SM: Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World
After his last two adult-themed films (Grindhouse, Machete) failed to find an audience, Robert Rodriguez is coming back to his cash-cow franchise with a fourth Spy Kids film—this time in 3D! All the Time in the World stars Jessica Alba (in a catsuit) as a retired spy who’s called back into action along with her stepchildren to stop bad guy Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) from taking over the world. Original spy kids Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara make an appearance.