Summer movie guide

Your guide to what’s hot on the big screen this silly season. 

FAMILY/ANIMATED

At the top of the list is the Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph. Featuring the voices of John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, it's about a bad guy in an arcade game who wants to be liked. It's full of delightful nostalgia for those who remember Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros.

For a more traditionally-themed animated movie, there's Rise of the Guardians. Hugh Jackman gets laughs voicing a warrior-like version of the Easter Bunny. He, along with fellow guardians, North (voiced by Alec Baldwin), Tooth (Isla Fisher), the mute Sandman, and Jack Frost (Chris Pine), must unite to stop the evil spirit Pitch (Jude Law).

If you were a fan of Coraline, then you would love ParaNorman. Designed for older children (it will be too scary for the younger crowd), this 3D stop-motion comedy thriller stars Kodi Smit-McPhee as the voice of the main character, Norman. He must take on zombies, ghosts, witches and grown-ups to save his town from an old curse.

Parental Guidance stars Billy Crystal as Artie, who agrees to look after his three grandchildren by using old-school parenting methods. Also starring Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei.

COMEDY

For fans of Glee or comedienne Rebel Wilson, check out the funny and silly Pitch Perfect, about an all-girl a capella singing group of misfits, who compete to win a university nationals competition.

This is 40 is a kind-of sequel spin-off to Knocked Up. Set several years after, it focuses on the lives of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann, wife of writer/director Judd Apatow). An observational comedy about family life and marriage, it also stars Jason Segel, Chris O'Dowd and Megan Fox.

Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper as a former teacher who moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Aussie Jacki Weaver) after a stint in a mental institution. He meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), an intriguing girl with her own problems.

Barbra Streisand stars in The Guilt Trip as Joyce Brewster, whose son, Andy (Seth Rogen) takes her on a road trip.

ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER

Boxing Day will see the highly-anticipated release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Sir Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling sizzled onscreen in Crazy, Stupid, Love and they've been paired again in Gangster Squad, about the Los Angeles Police Department's fight to keep mafia-types away from their city during the 1940s and '50s.

Tom Cruise stars in Jack Reacher as the six-foot-five, 99-kilogram ex-military cop from Lee Child's series.

DRAMA

Oscar buzz is building with Les Miserables starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, The Impossible (set during the 2004 tsunami) starring Naomi Watts and director Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty.

Ang Lee's clever adaptation of the book Life of Pi is a gorgeous spiritual film. AAP

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