The summer movie season is officially here, and we've selected five films featuring some of our favorite Character Approved directors, screenwriters, and talents. Covering the gamut of comedy, period drama, action, crime thriller, and animation, these picks will bring a little extra excitement to your season at the cinema. Check them out in the slide show below!
The Dark Knight Rises is the third Batman film under the direction of Christopher Nolan. It's been generating buzz since winter 2011 when footage leaked out from the production in Pennsylvania, showing off the Batwing. The Dark Knight Rises stars Tom Hardy as Bane and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman; Christian Bale reprises his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Liam Neeson returns as Ra's Al Ghul. Fans are hoping for another spectacular crime thriller and will be interested to see how screenwriter Jonathan Nolan captures the legendary DC Comics “Knightfall” saga, which featured the epic showdown between Batman and Bane. [Image: Warner Bros]
Directed by The Road's John Hillcoat and starring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, and Guy Pearce, Lawless focuses on Virginia outlaws during the Depression. Since the first trailer hit the web last month, audiences have been excited for the film. Also, this recently released still (pictured above) of Oldman as a Depression-era gangster has got web fans (including this guy) clamoring for more. [Image: The Weinstein Company]
Woody Allen delivers another comedy set against the timeless backdrop of Europe in To Rome with Love. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penélope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, and Allen himself. Following the success of Midnight in Paris, To Rome with Love explores how several people of distinct backgrounds interact in the immutable city of Rome. [Image: Sony Pictures Classics]
When Pixar makes a movie one thing is certain: It will be in contention for best animated feature of the year. Drawing on the Robin Hood mythos, Pixar’s latest film Brave gives us a new arrow-toting heroine, named Princess Merida (voiced by Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald). This is a family-friendly movie that also has smart humor for adults. Similar to live-action films, the director manages the vision from the top down, giving viewers a cohesive story that's as memorable as it is delightful. [Image: Disney Pixar]
Recently starring as Hawkeye in Marvel’s The Avengers and appearing in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Jeremy Renner is making a name for himself as an action hero. The Bourne Legacy will be his first leading role as the solo hero in the genre. After seeing Matt Damon in the role of Jason Bourne for three films, fans are looking forward to seeing how Renner takes to the role of Aaron Cross, a new CIA operative in the Bourne universe. [Image: Universal Studios]
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