5 “Must See” Summer Movies for 2011

The Summer movie season is upon us (some might say already here with the success of movies like Thor) and we here at The Retroist are very excited about some of the films that are coming out. For a few months I have been trying to come up with what I most want to see and my end result is a mix of genres, but many of them we must admit, have something retro about theme and most have some blockbuster potential. Here are my top 5…

Super 8 – June 10, 2011

In 1979, after the Air Force closes a section of Area 51, all materials are transported to a secure facility in Ohio. A train carrying some of the materials derails during an accident and something escapes from one of the cargo cars. A group of kids making movies with their Super 8 cameras accidentally capture what escapes on film.

This Spielberg-style film looks to be the film we have all been waiting for since E.T. Will it live up to the hype? What is in that train? We will all find out on June 10th. I will be first in line. This is the film I am most looking forward to seeing this summer.

X-Men: First Class – June 10, 2011

The story of X-Men: First Class centers on the teenage years of the first team of X-Men to come out of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.

I got to admit, I did not enjoy the last X-Men film all that much. It felt both rushed and ponderous and I think they made some unfortunate story choices. Then I hear that they are going to “Reboot” the franchise and I gave a big yawn. Then I saw the trailer and got a glimpse at the period style of the film and I was sold (I admit, I am a easily swayed).

Oh and the missile scene at the end of the trailer and the implication of what is about to happen gives me chills. Go Magneto!

Captain America: The First Avenger – July 22, 2011

After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals

I would lay in bed as a kid and dream of a day when we would get a blockbuster version of the Star Spangled Avenger and it almost seems unreal that it is about to happen. But as a life long Captain America fan, I find I am most nervous about Captain America: The First Avenger, since I have obviously built this up in my mind so much. I REALLY hope Chris Evans can pull this off.

If it was not for my trepidation, this would be the top of my list.

YellowBrickRoad – June 1, 2011

In the Fall of 1940, the entire population of Friar, NH abandoned their homes and walked up an ancient trail, never to be seen alive again. Their fates have remained a mystery for over 70 years, until a team of researchers discover the trailhead and attempt to track the path the doomed citizens of Friar took.

What would a summer be without a horror film to make it difficult to sleep? While I am also excited about finally getting to see Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark , YellowBrickRoad has that better summer film recipe of people in the woods getting picked off one by one. No summer is complete without seeing one film that has that at its core. Here’s to sleepless summer nights!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – August 5, 2011

An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.


I was not a fan of the Tim Burton Ape’s film, so I was cautious about my enthusiasm for this film. But so far, the hype and the trailer are spot on. A serious tone and their looks to be a bunch of sympathetic characters. I am both excited and rooting for this film since I would like nothing more than to see a reboot of the Planet of the Ape franchise. Hail Caesar!

Some other films I am excited about the Green Lantern, Cowboys and Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, Fright Night and the US release of Troll Hunter, but I limited myself to 5 on this list. Any you disagree with? Something I should have added? What is yours top 5?


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12 thoughts on “5 “Must See” Summer Movies for 2011

  1. Doug says:

    Saw Troll Hunter. Was really looking forward to it and was mildly disappointed (it is actually a comedy and stars well-known Norwegian comics). Looking forward to these five. In the Super 8 trailer, they pull out a map and you can see where I was born and where my family still lives. I hope the monster leaves them alone.

  2. My only problem with this summer’s movie line-up is way too many comic book films. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some superheroes, but we’re reaching burn out point and someone is going to lose. Thor did well. I suspect and hope Capt America will do well. Green Lantern and X-Men…I think they’ll get buried.

    I know there’s a need to get to the super duper Avengers movie but lets face it, classic comic books stories all share a lot of story and plot points, which can make you tired after seeing one film, let alone four.

    However, I didn’t realize Super 8 was a little historical fiction so that alone I think keeps me interested. I’m on the fence with Apes because of all the reasons you talk about.

  3. vinvectrex says:

    Good list. Personally, I might’ve elevated Cowboys & Aliens. I’m very curious what movie that has totally escaped my notice will really captivate me this summer. I’m sure there’s some sleeper hit that will be fantastic – but only the presumed blockbusters are on my radar now.

  4. mwentworth says:

    Super 8 looks great and I am excited to finish off Harry Potter, but my two favorite main line superheroes (Cap and GL) finally getting major features is the highlight of the year for me!

  5. mwentworth says:

    Oh my, I forgot about the Smurfs; I was skeptical, but the cast looks great! Then later, the Muppets. And Tintin.

  6. Jason K. says:

    I’m actually looking forward to “The Tree of Life” too….I’m a sucker for deep, artsy coming of age movies. Plus I heard that the cinematography is incredible throughout the movie. Super 8 is at the top of my list (well, that and The Hangover 2) – I agree that I’m getting sick of the Superhero movies….after a while they get to be a little much. That and 3-D movies……not everything needs to be in 3D. It’s getting to the point where it’s becoming “If you can’t write a good movie, just make it in 3D and it makes up for it.” I just read they are re-releasing “Titanic” next year, completely remastered in 3D. And while I am amazed that they can take a movie from years ago and make it into 3D (How long until all the great 80’s flicks get a 3D makeover?), I don’t think it needs to be done. Unless they make it 4D and splash water on you in the theatre while the boat is sinking, count me out.

  7. Badwolf says:

    I’m looking forward to Tintin – I was a HUGE Tintin fan as a kid, and now we have an up-to-date film which has Steven Moffat (The current “Doctor Who” show-runner and writer of some of the best episodes in the past 6 years) as a writer. For me, it won’t get much better than that.

  8. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Yeah the talent behind Tintin is more impressive than I expected upon first hearing about the project. The books were a big part of our franco kidhood culture (along with Asterix and Lucky Luke), so I dare not compare but rather choose to see it as an homage.

    My top choice goes to both Super 8 (for that long-lost Spielberg vibe that thrilled my teen years) and Cowboys And Aliens (which just…wow).

    The superhero movies are a given cinema trip for me, but I expect nothing so no let-downs.
    But since those are based on lost historied storylines and just plain coolness ingrained in comic book fans’ minds for years and years, there’s no way to do them justice.
    Even Spider-Man, for all its impressive debut, mussed up the Mary Jane dramatic story in favor of feel-good family entertainment.
    Yeah, I love a big spectacle. But if it’s an original story, it makes it all that much better.

    It’s gonna be a good summer at the movies, I bet.

  9. Great picks, Retroist!

    I’m going to have to remove Yellowbrickroad from my list, not that it isn’t fantastic but since I’ve seen it…it’s got to go. Ha,ha.

    1) Super 8
    2) Captain America
    3) X-Men: First Class
    4) Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    5) Green Lantern/Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

    I know it’s a bit of a cheat…but my excitement level for GL and Guillermo’s next produced horror flick is the same. :)

    @Doug I’m kind of sorry to hear about Trollhunter, friend. I was really looking forward to it. Knowing it’s a full comedy though…do you think my impression will be a bit different than yours?

  10. vinvectrex says:

    Okay, somehow I had missed hearing about Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark so far. Looks excellent!

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