A few weeks ago, I wrote a Monday Morning Poll asking which film(s) you thought would be summer's biggest disappointment. Since I wanted to prove that I'm not all about the negative, I decided it might be fun to also predict which film(s) will surprise. For me (and probably most of the country), last year's summer surprise was Little Miss Sunshine. I remember getting the call to cover the press junket for this little limited release Sundance film in July. And upon exiting the theater, I felt the need to call every one of my friends to tell them about the film. It surprised me in a way that just felt so good -- so alive -- and if this summer can bring me one film like that, then I shall be one happy boy.

As far as mainstream films go, I've surprised a lot of people in saying that New Line's Hairspray update will do pretty well with audiences once it arrives on July 20, providing folks with some much-needed relief (and some light, colorful fun) after three months full of pirates, robots, wizards and superheroes. In a summer predominantly geared toward teenage males, Hairspray is the type of film that females can grab hold of and catapult to the top. Once we move past the mainstream, there are a group of popular festival films that might also find a substantial cheering section. First up is A Mighty Heart; a film that stars Angelina Jolie as Marianne Pearl, the widow of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. Jolie's name will get people in seats, but her performance might keep the buzz alive as we head into awards season. My foreign language pick for the summer arrives on July 11 in limited release, and it's called Drama/Mex. Directed by Gerardo Naranjo, pic tells of three back-to-back stories that take place over the course of one night in Acapulco. Although I haven't seen it yet, I've heard nothing but great things. As far as docs go, I have to plug The King of Kong. Pic, which chronicles the lives of a group of guys who are out to set the new high record for Donkey Kong, doesn't yet have a release date, but I've heard it will drop at some point this August. And when it does, go see it. Trust me on this one.

So, I ask you: Which films do you think will surprise us this summer?

categories Features, Cinematical