Get Inside!

A round-up of summer's surefire hits (and definite duds)

Miami Vice
(Universal)
Starring:Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx and Gong Li
Written and directed by: Michael Mann (Ali, The Insider)
What it's about: Gee, lessee. Crockett and Tubbs. Drug dealers. Speed boats. Guns. Flashy suits. Bad accents. Expensive cars. Hot chicks. That about covers it.
Why you should see it: See above.
Why you should not: See above. And no Jan Hammer theme song. Rip. Off.

The Bridesmaid
(First Run)
Starring: Benoît Magimel (The Piano Teacher) and Laura Smet (Gilles' Wife)
Directed by: Claude Chabrol (The Flower of Evil)
Written by: Chabrol and Pierre Leccia, based on the novel by Ruth Rendell
What it's about: A hardworking, straight-arrow salesman (Magimel) falls in love with his sister's free-spirited bridesmaid (Smet), who turns out to be quite frighteningly insane.
Why you should see it: It sounds like Wedding Crashers, but scarier.
Why you should not: Fans of Bill O'Reilly may still want to boycott French things.
Brothers of the Head
(IFC)
Starring: Harry and Luke Treadaway, Will Kemp and Ken Russell
Directed by: Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (Lost in La Mancha)
Written by: Tony Grisoni (In This World), based on the novel by Brian Aldiss
What it's about: Conjoined twins (Harry and Luke Treadaway) under the control of an unscrupulous music promoter become a rock and roll success story in the '70s. Loosely based on a true story.
Why you should see it: The directors and screenwriter have worked with Terry Gilliam a fair amount, so one might imagine they've picked up a thing or two.
Why you should not: Fulton and Pepe are documentarians, and this is their first narrative feature. The transition doesn't always work (remember Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon?).

The House of Sand
(Sony Classics)
Starring: Fernanda Montenegro, Fernanda Torres and Ruy Guerra
Directed by: Andrucha Waddington (Me, You, Them)
Written by: Elena Soárez
What it's about: An early 20th-century Brazilian saga about an unhappy woman, a delirious husband and a barren landscape that proves difficult to escape.
Why you should see it: Waddington's got props back in Brazil.
Why you should not: 59 years on a dune = um pouco louco.

Little Miss Sunshine
(Fox Searchlight)
Starring:Toni Collette (Connie and Carla), Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell and Alan Arkin
Directed by: First-timers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Written by: Michael Arndt
What it's about: Kinnear's a scowling motivational speaker waiting for a book deal; Collette's his patient wife who wants to drive the family VW from Albuquerque to Los Angeles so their daughter (Abigail Breslin) can compete in what turns out to be the creepiest talent contest ever. Also in the van are suicidal uncle Carell, smack-happy Arkin and Paul Dano as the sullenest teen ever.
Why you should see it: It was a knockout hit at Sundance, where this National Lampoon's Vacation-with-a-darker-side sold for $10.5 million.
Why you should not: Dunno, unless you hate hearing Alan Arkin curse. A lot.

Quinceañera
(Sony Classics)
Starring: Emily Rios, Chalo Gonzalez and Jesse Garcia
Written and directed by: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland
What it's about: On the verge of her fifteenth birthday, pregnant Magdalena is thrown out of her house and moves in with her great-great uncle and gay cousin, but she may lose even this makeshift family to urban gentrification.
Why you should see it: Love the Latina mama-drama.
Why you should not: Wacky outsiders overcome forces of oppression!

The Ant Bully
(Warner Bros.)
Starring:The voices of Zach Tyler, Julia Roberts, Paul Giamatti and Nicolas Cage
Written and directed by: John A. Davis (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius), based on the novel by John Nickel
What it's about: When a little boy (Tyler) takes out his frustrations on the ant hills in his yard, the bugs fight back.
Why you should see it: If you ignore the creepy undertones (to ants, a stomping kid isn't a bully, he's Osama Bin Laden), the story's got promise; Cage and Giamatti are A-list voice talent.
Why you should not: Boy, that creepy undertone seems hard to ignore. If all ants have souls and celebrity voices, that means this kid really is a mass murderer.

Fearless
(Focus)
Starring:Jet Li, Nakamura Shidou and Betty Sun
Directed by:Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason)
Written by: There doesn't seem to be a credited screenwriter. But Yuen Woo-ping is the fight choreographer, which is what matters most
What it's about: Jet Li kicks some ass. Then a tragedy happens, and he doesn't want to kick any further ass, so he goes into seclusion, where he learns the true way of the warrior. The claim is that this will be Li's last martial-arts epic.
Why you should see it: Sigh. If you know your Hong Kong films, you'd have no doubt that Jet Li and Ronny Yu and Yuen Woo-ping teaming up can only be awesome.
Why you should not: Steer clear if action isn't your thing.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
(Sony)
Starring:Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Sacha Baron Cohen
Directed by: Adam McKay (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy)
Written by: Will Ferrell and Adam McKay
What it's about: NASCAR champeen Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) finds his title being usurped by a French rival played by Ali G., a'ight?
Why you should see it: Anchormanhad some brilliant moments.
Why you should not: Anchormanhad some brilliant moments only if you were really, really high.

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