The summer's 30 must-sees

Forget big and dumb: TONY's got you covered for warm-weather coolness.

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Jonah Hex (June 18)
Is there any movie not derived from a comic book these days? Graphic-novel adaptations ought to be expected in the summertime, but when your cast looks like they stepped off a full-color spread to begin with, your odds of success are higher. This one has Milk’s Josh Brolin doing the smoldering thing behind a bunch of scar tissue as the titular antihero—a Leone-esque bounty hunter (and possible zombie). Also, here’s kissy-face herself, Megan Fox, as his prostitute sidekick.—JR

Toy Story 3 (June 18)
We’re so happy that Buzz, Woody and the rest of Pixar’s wisecracking playthings are back for yet another go-round that we don’t even care that it’s in 3-D. (Seriously, enough with the gratuitous 3-D, people.). As the toys’ owner heads off to college, the gang gets donated to...a preschool. The horror, the horror!—DF

Dogtooth (June 25)
Families don’t come more dysfunctional than the clan at the center of Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s disturbing cringe-comedy: Mom and Dad are raising their teen brood totally cut off from the outside world, complete with their own vocabulary (flowers are “zombies”) and damaging insular rituals. Hilarious, heartbreaking, unforgettable; take your parents!—DF

Anthony Mann at Film Forum (June 25--July 15)
This journeyman director was responsible for some of the most daring Westerns ever attempted by Hollywood, films like The Far Country (1954) and The Man From Laramie (1955). Along the way, he lent James Stewart dark depth, while subtly enlarging the atmospheric dimensions of the frame. Film Forum’s 28-film retrospective will be crucial viewing for cinastes—as well as those who simply want to be reminded of the studio machine at its smartest.—JR

New York Asian Film Festival (June 25--July 8)
Craving chop-socky extravaganzas or mind-blowing cult musicals from Thailand? The festival dedicated to bringing the latest and greatest from cinema’s wild, wild East moves uptown to Lincoln Center this year, with special tributes to Simon Yam and martial arts legend Sammo Hung. If you think the new digs mean they’ve gotten all snooty, we’ve got six words for you: world premiere of Alien vs. Ninja.—DF

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (June 30)
Squeeeeeeeee! We’d love to give you all the dope on Bella, Edward, Jacob and what’s sure to be the summer’s biggest draw for tweenage girls (and the grown-ups who secretly read Stephenie Meyer on the subway). But a herd of Twihards have just grabbed away our keyboard and are now staring at Taylor Lautner’s abs.—JR

The Girl Who Played with Fire (July 2)
The wily, willful and wild hacker heroine of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling Scandi-noir novels returns in this sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, in which Lisbeth Sander (Noomi Rapace) goes on the lam after being framed for some nasty murders. But what exactly are her connections to these corpses? What’s up with that sex-trafficking ring? And will fire, in fact, get played with?—DF

The Kids Are Alright (July 7)
Bravo, Lisa Cholodenko (Laurel Canyon), for scoring the runaway hit of this year’s Sundance: a funny, funky look at a lesbian couple—played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening—whose lives are disrupted by the hunky, clueless biological pop (Mark Ruffalo) of their offspring. The usually brittle Bening, in particular, has never breezier or better.—DF

Alamar (July 14)
Familial dramas tend toward the melodramatic and the gratuitously messy; this pastoral-poetic Mexican film proves that simpler is almost always better. A Mayan father takes his ten-year-old son on one last fishing trip before divorce and relocation separate them. What emerges is a quiet, gorgeously photographed portrait of a long goodbye. Do not miss it.—DF

Inception (July 16)
The big-name Hollywood blockbuster we’re most looking forward to is Christopher “The Dark Knight” Nolan’s knotty, nutty thriller about a master thief (Leonardo DiCaprio) who steals ideas from corporate bigwigs’ dreams. Given what Nolan has accomplished with such brain teasers as Memento and The Prestige, you can expect maximum mindfuck-itude and a welcome antidote to the season’s typical big, dumb fun.—DF

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