'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'
Opening: Friday, July 1

Starring: Shia LeBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, John Malkovich

What It's About: Megan Fox may be out, but the high-definition EXPLOSIONS!!!! are most certainly still in this third and, according to Michael Bay, closing 'Transformers' feature. As the title suggests, some of the action will take place on Earth's orbiting buddy, and 'Dark of the Moon' will feature the final battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. With that all out of the way, maybe we'll finally get that Go-Bots movie we've been waiting for, like, forever.

'Captain America: The First Avenger'
Opening: Friday, July 22

Starring: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving

What It's About: The success of 'Iron Man' pretty much assured that every comic book hero with any type of name recognition will get a big-budget movie -- and Captain America certainly qualifies as a comic book hero with name recognition. Chris Evans signed a six-picture deal with Marvel Studios to play the 98-pound weakling-turned-Nazi-fighting super-soldier, so expect to see the 29-year-old actor wielding the iconic red, white and blue shield for quite some time -- well beyond next summer's mega Marvel team-up, 'The Avengers.'

'Cowboys & Aliens'
Opening: Friday, July 29

Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell

What It's About: With approximately 600 American films released every year, it's becoming increasingly hard to come up with original ideas. So why not cross genres, which is what's going on this wild-West-meets-alien-invasion, Jon Favreau–directed offering. In it, Daniel Craig plays Jake Lonergan, a wanted criminal with no memory and a electronic curious bracelet. Harrison's Ford's lawman must form an uneasy alliance with Lonergan so they can try to stave off an alien attack.

'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'
Opening: Friday, August 5

Starring: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow

What It's About: This movie is not really an explanation of how the apes got their damn, dirty paws on the planet; instead, it's a complete re-imagination of the series. James Franco plays a scientist working on a cure for Alzheimer's by testing on apes. When one of the apes begins rapidly mutating, things begin to go awry. One of the film's selling points is that it features special effects from Weta Digital, which also did the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy and 'Avatar.'

'Conan the Barbarian'
Opening: Friday, August 19

Starring: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan

What It's About: Conan the Cimmerian travels to a mystical world, where he gets the opportunity to avenge the death of his father and the destruction of his village. This film had been attached to Brett Ratner, the Wachowksis and Robert Rodriguez before finally being made by German director Marcus Nispel ('Friday the 13th'). Jason Momoa stars in the title role and is now a name to watch for in the 2030 California gubernatorial race.


Moviefone's Summer Movies Guide 2011