2012 Super Bowl movie trailers

The first weekend of May is roundly recognized as the official start of the summer movie season. In a way, though, it really begins on the first Sunday in February, when the studios shell out top dollar to air short blockbuster promos during the Super Bowl. Let's take a closer look at this year's teased tent poles, in order of least enticing to most.

Act of Valor


Release date February 24
The skinny Real active-duty Navy SEALS star in a recruitment video, er, movie about the war on terrorism.
Who it's for
Impressionable Call of Duty players looking for a new life direction
Best trailer moment The skydiving money shot in the last few seconds is reasonably nifty.
Why we're excited for it It's been a couple of years since the major theater chains stopped running those "Citizen Soldier" music videos. Where else can we turn for rock-scored, unintentionally hilarious military propaganda?



Release date May 18
The skinny Naval officers Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) and Rihanna fend off an extraterrestrial invasion from Pearl Harbor.
Who it's for Those who thought the Milton Bradley board game needed more alien robots
Best trailer moment That careening pinwheel-of-doom gets our hearts racing, but not as much as Liam Neeson looking sternly out onto the water and growling, "I want everything loaded."
Why we're excited for it At some point, one of the actors has to say some variation of "You sunk my battleship," right?

John Carter


Release date March 9
The skinny Battleship's Taylor Kitsch pulls double event-movie duty, starring first in this Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation about a Confederate soldier teleported to a battle-ravaged Mars.
Who it's for Undiscriminating Avatar fans and those who can't wait two more months for a Kitsch fix
Best trailer moment There's a glimpse of some frenzied red-planet wildlife action at about the 11-second mark, in the central "H" quadrant of the screen.
Why we're excited for it It's the first live-action feature from Andrew Stanton, who made Pixar's crowning achievement WALL-E.

The Lorax


Release date March 2
The skinny Dr. Seuss's industrialization parable gets a lavish, computer-animated adaptation.
Who it's for Environmental activists, tired parents and Dr. Seuss fans not scared off by the awfulness of Universal's other two Theodor Geisel adaptations, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat
Best trailer moment At the 5-second mark, our hero opens the front door to a sparkling Seussian kingdom.
Why we're excited for it Danny DeVito is an inspired casting choice to voice the titular character, the author's second grumpiest creation.

The Hunger Games


Release date March 23
The skinny Suzanne Collins's dsytopian adventure franchise comes to the big screen, with Winter's Bone star Jennifer Lawrence as a 16-year-old competing in a televised death tournament.
Who it's for Anyone looking for a more proactive teen-lit heroine than Twilight's damsel-in-distress, Bella
Best trailer moment A burning tree collapses in front of Lawrence. Look, it's not the most eventful preview, okay?
Why we're excited for it Battle Royale as a multiplex entertainment? Yeah, our curiosity is piqued.

G.I. Joe Retaliation


Release date June 29
The skinny Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Bruce Willis join the G.I. Joe team. Shit blows up.
Who it's for Adolescent boys of all ages. Toy-store owners.
Best trailer moment Hard to pick just one, though the rock-climbing ninja fight is a serious contender.
Why we're excited for it 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was riotous dumb fun. The sequel looks even dumber and even more fun.

The Dictator


Release date
May 11
The skinny Professional prankster Sacha Baron Cohen adopts his most controversial disguise yet: a fascist dictator from a fictional Middle Eastern country.
Who it's for The not-easily-offended
Best trailer moment Slim pickings here, as most of the best gags are probably not safe for a Super Bowl–size demographic. Cohen firing a pistol at other racers during a track-and-field event is good for a chuckle.
Why we're excited for it Brüno was daring and undervalued. This has the potential to ruffle even more feathers.

The Avengers


Release date May 4
The skinny A new global threat unites the headlining heroes of Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and the Iron Man movies. Joss Whedon is writing and directing.
Who it's for Marvel's true believers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans and ab oglers looking to compare the pectoral merits of Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner
Best trailer moment The Hulk takes down a helicopter midair.
Why we're excited for it Nobody does team dynamics quite like Whedon. Even if the action fizzles, the banter between Robert Downey Jr. and company probably won't.

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