It's hot outside. Theaters, they're cold.
Therein lies the draw of the summer movie -- two hours of air-conditioned comfort and, if you choose wisely, entertainment for about $10. It's not a bad deal.
But oh, choosing wisely. Trailers, commercials and movie posters can make everything seem like a tour-de-force, can't miss, must-see work of cinematic brilliance. We know that's not the case.
So we've broken down 2010's slate of summer movies into seven essential categories. Consider it your menu for what's going to be on the marquee during the warm months. Order right and come September, you'll be full of the fun stuff and ready for more serious fare -- hello, Oscar movie season!
Summer's prime time for Hollywood's aging heartthrobs to get ripped, grab some guns (or whatever the period-appropriate weapon may be) and get back on the big screen. Enter Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe. In "Knight and Day," Cruise plays a secret agent who corrals Cameron Diaz's character into a whirlwind, worldwide, somewhat incomprehensible journey to protect a battery that could unlock an infinite power source. There's a lot of gun shooting, car chasing, motorcycle straddling and high-pitched shrieking (on the part of Diaz). Crowe's "Robin Hood" puts him back in "Gladiator" territory, only now he's wielding a bow and arrow instead of a sword and sandals.
"Knight and Day" opens June 25.
"Robin Hood" opened May 14.
Craving a summer escape to an otherworldly realm? Sink your teeth into "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" and "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." The first has Jake Gyllenhaal in an armor-accessorized muscle shirt fighting to stop the evil Ben Kingsley from unleashing an epic sandstorm. It's abs of steel versus Ghandi gone bad. As for the latest installment of the uber-successful "Twilight" franchise, if you're a fan, you know you're going to be in line for that first midnight screening. For the uninitiated, three words: vampire love triangle.
"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" opened May 28.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opens June 30.
Break out the Manolos, shake up the cosmos: The gals of "Sex and the City" are back, and they're taking on a new metropolis: Abu Dhabi. Many questions surround the highly anticipated Middle East adventures of Carrie and co.: Will Carrie's marriage emerge as a mirage? Will Charlotte's digestive track stay intact? Will their stilettos sink into the sand? When the high-pitched chatter over all that dies down, it'll be time for "Eat Pray Love" in which a newly divorced woman (Julia Roberts) circumnavigates the globe and finds ... herself. Aw.
"Sex and the City 2" opened May 27. "Eat Pray Love" opens Aug. 13.