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Summer Movie Preview 2009: Peter Travers Ranks the Best and Worst

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The current issue of Rolling Stone features Peter Travers' Summer Movie Preview, a look at the "money season" where studios dredge up stale sequels and prequels for desperate moviegoers trying to beat the heat. His prediction: despite the recession, this will be the biggest summer ever in box office receipts. Pick up the magazine for his full reports, and click above to watch his special edition of At the Movies, where he breaks down the five must-sees, and five flicks with a bad vibe.

Plus, get a look at his quick take on 24 of the season's biggest flicks — from Harry Potter to Taking Woodstock — plus shots from the films in our Summer Movie Preview 2009 gallery.

The Good:

Public Enemies: Michael Mann's July 1st film in which Johnny Depp portrays 1930s gangster John Dillinger. One of Travers' favorite directors teams with the red-hot Depp and Christian Bale.

Bruno: How could Sacha Baron Cohen top Borat? Who's crazy enough to not watch him play a gay Austrian designer?

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3: Denzel Washington plays a NYC subway worker; John Travolta is a subway hijacker. It sounds like a B movie plot, but it really works.

Funny People: Judd Apatow's directorial follow-up to Knocked Up, where Adam Sandler plays an asshole comic and Seth Rogen is his up-and-coming writer.

Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino casts Brad Pitt as a hillbilly sergeant who wants to kill Nazis. That's pretty much the whole plot right there.

The Bad:

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: What more can Michael Bay do with robots that target other robots? Its $200 million price tag in a bad economy doesn't help.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: Ben Stiller should have made Tropic Thunder 2.

Imagine That: Eddie Murphy's annual summer stinker — this time he plays the father of a little girl who gets stock tips from the netherworld.

G-Force: A flick that combines live action and 3D animation ... about a guinea pig who becomes a secret agent.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the villain in the big-screen story about the military doll. Two words: bad vibe.

For more on these films and the rest of the summer's buzz, visit our Summer Movie Preview 2009 gallery.

And check out all of Peter Travers' movie reviews.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Peter Travers

Rolling Stone senior writer Peter Travers has reviewed movies for the magazine for more than 20 years. Send your comments and questions to him here.

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