2008 spring movie preview | EW.com

Movies

2008 spring movie preview

2008 spring movie preview -- Your guide to this season's upcoming movie releases

The Other Boleyn Girl
2.29.08
Starring
Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana
Directed By
Justin Chadwick
In this period potboiler, Portman and Johansson star as history’s famous Boleyn sisters, who vie for the courtly favor (and royally hot bod) of Eric Bana’s King Henry VIII. Adapted by Peter Morgan (The Queen) from the best-selling novel, Boleyn has a pedigree worthy of its inspiration. As if the mere thought of a corseted catfight between these two weren’t enough to make some lose their heads.

Semi-Pro
2.29.08
Starring
Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson
Directed By
Kent Alterman
You won’t hear ”Stay classy, Flint, Michigan,” but the 1970s mojo of Ron Burgundy lubricates the hardwood of this basketball period piece. Ferrell plays the crooning player/coach/owner of the moribund Flint Tropics, who are struggling to survive the imminent merger between the NBA and ABA. Will Arnett, Rob Corddry, and Jackie Earle Haley all show Up — alongside Afros, short shorts, and, yes, actual ball-playing.

10,000 BC
3.7.08
Starring
Camilla Belle, Steven Strait
Directed By
Roland Emmerich
If you like your historical epics to be, you know, historically accurate, this isn’t for you. Instead, think of 10,000 BC as a kind of goofy What If, as in, What if an English-speaking, buffed-up woolly-mammoth hunter with great teeth (Strait) took on an Egypt-like civilization that kidnapped his beloved (Belle) — who also has great teeth? We’re thinking the answer may have something to do with floss.

Married Life
3.7.08
Starring
Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams
Directed By
Ira Sachs
Based on a ’50s pulp novel, Married Life takes us back to a time when men were men and marriages were built to last — unless the men were trying to poison their wives so they could run off with their mistresses. Cooper and Brosnan star as chums battling for the love of a younger woman (McAdams); Clarkson slips back into Far From Heaven-era housewife mode as the poisonee in question. ‘Til death!

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
3.7.08
Starring
Frances McDormand, Amy Adams
Directed By
Bharat Nalluri
Adams plays a bubbly American actress who takes on the frumpy ex-governess Miss Pettigrew (McDormand) as her social secretary, then drags her new hire along on a whirlwind London day during which the ingenue bounces between three different men. Let’s just hope the film — based on the 1938 novel by Winifred Watson — doesn’t take that title too literally.

Funny Games
3.14.08
Starring
Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt
Directed By
Michael Haneke
A married couple (Roth and Watts) and their young son (Devon Gearhart) are the victims of a home invasion by two blond sociopaths. The psychos bet the family that they cannot survive the pair’s sadistic games until the next morning. Those who saw Haneke’s 1997 German-language original will know what happens. Those who didn’t…ouch. Prepare to be implicated in a wickedly self-aware exploration of cinematic sadism.

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!
3.14.08
Starring
Jim Carrey, Steve Carell
Directed By
Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
Remember the timid mien of Hans Conried as the voice of Horton in the 1970 TV-‘toon version of Dr. Seuss’ book? Well, forget about that: Carrey takes a typically hyperactive tack in this CG feature from the Ice Age team. Carell is the teeny Who mayor trying to convince the citizenry that their dust-speck world is in ecosystemic peril. Yes, that means a lot of allusions to global warming.

Drillbit Taylor
3.21.08
Starring
Owen Wilson, Leslie Mann
Directed By
Steven Brill
A fantasy about three dorks who hire a bodyguard (Wilson) to protect them from bullies at school. Produced by Judd ”Comedy Gold” Apatow and co-written by Knocked Up star Seth Rogen, this latest addition to the geeks-make-good canon (and to the ever-expanding Apatow empire) will probably strike home with anyone who has ever found themselves on the business end of a locker-stuffing.

Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns
3.21.08
Starring
Angela Bassett, Rick Fox, Jenifer Lewis
Written and Directed By
Tyler Perry
Perry again adapts material from his own theatrical oeuvre, this time tapping Bassett as a single mom who attempts to bond with eccentric relatives, led by the scene-stealing, loud-dressing Mr. Brown (David Mann) — a recurring Perry character who rivals Madea as a fan favorite. Laughs and tears ensue, as does a Madea cameo. MARCH 21

The Grand
3.21.08
Starring
Woody Harrelson, David Cross
Directed By
Zak Penn
A Best in Show-style comedy set in the world of pro poker, The Grand stars Harrelson, Cross, Cheryl Hines…and Rescue Dawn/Grizzly Man director Werner Herzog, who plays a gambler. How’d the art-house auteur end up doing improv comedy? Most likely as a favor to Penn (they worked together on 2004’s Incident at Loch Ness). Either way, it’s gotta be funnier than watching a guy get eaten by a bear.

Chapter 27
3.28.08
Starring
Jared Leto, Lindsay Lohan
Written and Directed By
J.P. Schaefer
Last month’s The Killing of John Lennon traced the lead-up to Mark David Chapman assassinating the Beatles legend. This biopic — which premiered at last year’s Sundance — takes on the same topic, but with plus-size star power: Leto gained so much weight for the role that he came down with gout. Lohan costars as a pixie who keeps the big guy company as he waits outside the Dakota.

Stop-Loss
3.28.08
Starring
Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish, Channing Tatum
Directed By
Kimberly Peirce
Nine years after directing Boys Don’t Cry, Peirce is back with a gritty drama about the Iraq war. Phillippe stars as a sergeant who returns home, only to learn the Army is threatening to send him back to Iraq against his wishes. Stop’s subject matter is sure to stir up controversy. We’ll see if it can become the first current Iraq-war movie to stir up any real business.

My Blueberry Nights
4.4.08
Starring
Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz
Directed By
Wong Kar-Wai
The Hong Kong director’s first English-language film hopes to do for Norah Jones what Ang Lee could not with Jewel (in 1999’s largely ignored Ride With the Devil): turn a demure singer into a serious actress. Jones stars as a waitress on a road trip that leads to adventures with a bad girl (Portman) in Nevada, while Law plays a cafe owner whose berry pie gives the film its fruity title.

Superhero Movie
3.28.08
Starring
Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Leslie Nielsen
Directed By
Craig Mazin
Hard to believe they’re only now getting around to this: Producers of Scary Movie and Airplane! set their spoof sights on comic-book blockbusters, tapping Bell (Drake & Josh) to star as Rick Riker, a high schooler who gets bitten by a genetically altered dragonfly and becomes, um, Dragonfly. As Rick’s uncle Albert, expect Nielsen to once again prove himself this genre’s king.

21
3.28.08
Starring
Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey
Directed By
Robert Luketic
Based on Ben Mezrich’s 2002 nonfiction best-seller Bringing Down the House, 21 is the tale of an MIT whiz (Sturgess) who, with the help of a math prof (Spacey), learns to cheat at blackjack by counting cards. Naturally, he heads to Vegas to make some cash. Bosworth is one of the math nerds in his card crew, and Fishburne plays the casino heavy who catches on to the kid’s shenanigans.

Leatherheads
4.4.08
Starring
George Clooney, John Krasinski, Renée Zellweger
Directed By
George Clooney
Leave it to the eclectic Clooney to find inspiration for his 1920s football film in a screwball romantic comedy like The Philadelphia Story. The actor plays a charming rogue who recruits a Princeton star (Krasinski) to clean up his team’s image. When a reporter (Zellweger) chases a story into their huddle, the teammates go toe-to-toe for her attention.

Nim’s Island
4.4.08
Starring
Jodie Foster, Abigail Breslin, Gerard Butler
Directed By
Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
An adventure-novel fan (Breslin) calls on her favorite author (Foster) for help when her island paradise is threatened by invaders. Equal parts Romancing the Stone and Home Alone, Island promises kidventure thrills and some unexpected slapstick from Foster, who plays a klutz who gets licked by the likes of a tree, a treadmill, and an affectionate seal (and that’s just in the trailer).

The Ruins
4.4.08
Starring
Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore
Directed By
Carter Smith
Former fashion photographer Smith exchanges beauties for a beast — in this case, a nefarious…something (no spoilers here!) that lurks deep in the jungles of Mexico, methodically picking off a clutch of unfortunate American tourists that includes actors Malone (Into the Wild) and Ashmore (X-Men). Based on a seriously scary best-selling book by Scott Smith (who also penned the novel-turned-film A Simple Plan).

Smart People
4.11.08
Starring
Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page, Thomas Haden Church
Directed By
Noam Murro
Amazing what a bump on the head can do for a widowed professor’s sex life. Quaid stars in this dramedy as a grumpy professor who, while recuperating from a concussion, starts dating a former student (Parker). This doesn’t sit well with his teen daughter (Page), so she rebels as anyone would: by getting drunk with her ne’er-do-well uncle (Church).

Shine a Light
4.4.08
Starring
The Rolling Stones
Directed By
Martin Scorsese
When a Stones riff uncoils on the soundtrack of a Scorsese movie — say, in Mean Streets or The Departed — it’s always a moment of audiovisual perfection. That bodes well for this concert film, shot in fall 2006 in New York City. Christina Aguilera, Buddy Guy, and Jack White join in on a few songs, and there’s some brief archival and backstage footage, but mostly it’s Mick muggery captured in huge, craggy close-ups.

Prom Night
4.11.08
Starring
Brittany Snow, Scott Porter
Directed By
Nelson McCormick
When Hollywood throws a prom, you can often count on attractive teens, a loud soundtrack, and buckets of blood. Snow (Hairspray) plays a high schooler whose big night is ruined when a psycho from her past shows up with the goal of murdering her and all of her horny teenage friends. And they don’t even get to dance to that nifty remake of Cyndi Lauper’s ”Time After Time” like they do in the trailer! Evil marketers — er, serial killers!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
4.18.08
Starring
Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis
Directed By
Nicholas Stoller
Hawaii’s a perfect place to mend a broken heart — unless your ex is vacationing there at the same time with her new love. Such is the dilemma that faces poor Peter (Segel, who also wrote the script) as he tries to get over Sarah (Bell). It’s a comedy filled with raunch — hello, full-frontal male nudity! — that stars a Freaks and Geeks alum, which can mean only one thing: Judd Apatow produced it.

Street Kings
4.11.08
Starring
Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker
Directed By
David Ayer
Fourteen years ago, Reeves played a Los Angeles cop in Speed. Now he’s back in uniform in the latest L.A.-streets thriller from Training Day writer David Ayer, playing a police officer who’s gotta fight the cops (and everybody else) to prove that he didn’t ice a fellow officer. Famous L.A. crime novelist James Ellroy co-wrote the script, and famous rappers (Common, The Game) round out the cast.

Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
4.25.08
Starring
Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris
Directed By
Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Like stoners craving Doritos, fans of 2004’s Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle have been jonesing for more from the duo. For the sequel, this modern-day Cheech and Chong are accused of terrorism after smuggling a bong onto a flight. And fear not: Harris appears in another self-skewering cameo, continuing his reinvention.

Baby Mama
4.25.08
Starring
Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Sigourney Weaver
Directed By
Michael McCullers
Yet another bun-in-the-oven comedy? Yes, but this one’s got Tina Fey in it! She stars as a 37-year-old single exec at a Whole Foods-like company who enlists a coarse South Philly woman (Amy Poehler) as a surrogate mother. A bonus: Greg Kinnear shows up as the local grocer who catches Fey’s eye, and he’s definitely no Seth Rogen.

The Tourist
4.25.08
Starring
Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams
Directed By
Marcel Langenegger
Don’t be fooled by the innocent-sounding title: There are a whole lot more fannies than fanny packs in this steamy morality tale from first-time director Langenegger. McGregor stars as a naive accountant who ventures into the dark under-world of New York City sex clubs under the guidance of a devilish co-worker (Jackman) and a mysterious lover (Williams).

Written and Reported by: Jenny Boeth, Jason Clark, Steve Daly, Leah Greenblatt, Jeff Jensen, Vanessa Juarez, Gregory Kirshling, Jeff Labrecuque, Adam Markovitz, Whitney Pastorek, Missy Schwartz, Nick Spagnoli, Tim Stack, Adam B. Vary, and Kate Ward