Summer isn’t almost here… but summer movies are! Ah, the annual tradition of summertime beginning in the first weekend of May at the multiplex. Like every year, movie theaters will be stuffed with big-budget explosions and comic book-inspired superheroes, and some of these flicks look awesome (“The Dark Knight Rises”!) while most of them look like they might be one rung above “The Green Lantern” (um, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” anyone?). Meanwhile, the less expensive, possibly cooler indie films will quietly shuffle in and out of most theaters, earning one-tenth of the money of a movie about the Battleship board game.
How do you decide when to slap down your hard-earned cash on a tentpole action flick that’s actually well-done, and when to catch a smaller, quieter film that’s not a snore? You don’t have to, because we decided for you! Check out our breakdown of the summer blockbusters that are must-sees, and the smaller summer films that everyone will be talking about. If you stick to these 13 movies, you’ll get action, animation, comedy and dance battles without breaking the bank. ~Jason Lipshutz