Between the cold, icy grip of a seemingly interminable winter and the endless barrage of frightening economic news, it's no wonder Americans flocked to their neighborhood cineplexes in record numbers this winter and spring -- even though what greeted them there was often no more entertaining than "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." Yes, the cinematic pickings have been somewhat slim up 'til now, but summer's here at last, and you know what that means: blockbuster season!
Summer is traditionally a time for two things -- sequels and big-budget action flicks -- and this year's offerings won't disappoint on either front. In fact, some of the season's most anticipated releases fall under both categories, including "Terminator Salvation," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" -- and if we're counting prequels and reboots, you've got "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek," too.
But that isn't all -- far from it, in fact. Whether it's comedies ("Brüno"), stylish thrillers ("Public Enemies"), tearjerkers ("The Time Traveler's Wife"), dramedies ("Funny People"), or kid-friendly fare ("Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs") you're after, your local theater will give you plenty of reasons to fork over your hard-earned cash between now and the end of August. So many reasons, in fact, that we've taken it upon ourselves to narrow the list down to our 25 picks for the season's safest bets. Let's get started!