Robert Downey Jr. in 'Iron Man 2'Ah, summer. Traditionally, it's the time of big, rousing blockbusters ... and 2010 is no different, with some notable exceptions. In anticipation of the season, we've rounded up 25 films we -- and the moviegoing public in general -- are most looking forward to (in order of release date). As expected, it's a mixed bag, style-wise -- dramas, romances, straight-up action flicks, screwball comedies and, in many cases, hybrids of those genres. In other words, there's something for everyone.

And it looks like summer is already off to a good start: According to pre-sale figures, the highly anticipated 'Sex and the City 2' sequel recently outsold current releases like 'Kick-Ass.'

As for general themes, we have the expected 3-D productions, yet more adaptations of comic/graphic novel heroes (and anti-heroes), some hotly anticipated sequels/series, and several heaping servings of action. It's safe to say that budgets were not spared in the making of most of these movies, all the better to impress us. And we're ready to be impressed.

Here are 25 reasons we're psyched about summer 2010. Robert Downey Jr. in 'Iron Man 2'Ah, summer. Traditionally, it's the time of big, rousing blockbusters ... and 2010 is no different, with some notable exceptions. In anticipation of the season, we've rounded up 25 films we -- and the moviegoing public in general -- are most looking forward to (in order of release date). As expected, it's a mixed bag, style-wise -- dramas, romances, straight-up action flicks, screwball comedies and, in many cases, hybrids of those genres. In other words, there's something for everyone.

And it looks like summer is already off to a good start: According to pre-sale figures, the highly anticipated 'Sex and the City 2' sequel recently outsold current releases like 'Kick-Ass.'

As for general themes, we have the expected 3-D productions, yet more adaptations of comic/graphic novel heroes (and anti-heroes), some hotly anticipated sequels/series, and several heaping servings of action. It's safe to say that budgets were not spared in the making of most of these movies, all the better to impress us. And we're ready to be impressed. Here's why we're psyched about summer 2010:

mickey rourke in 'iron man 2'1) We can't wait to see Mickey Rourke whip it good
The prospect of Robert Downey, Jr. wisecracking and ass-kicking again is enticing enough, but the addition of a Russian-accented Mickey Rourke as supervillain Ivan Vanko/Whiplash in 'Iron Man 2' is some serious icing on the cake. Add Scarlett Johansson as undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. spy Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Don Cheadle as Lt. Colonel James 'Rhodey' Rhodes (replacing Terrence Howard), and we have one hot sequel on our hands. (May 7)


bayar in 'babies'2) We're fascinated by 'Babies'
This new doc, described as a wildlife film about human babies, is appealing on many levels: multicultural, educational, inspirational, and -- not least of all -- profoundly cute. A beautifully-filmed chronicle of the first year in the life of four infants from different parts of the world (Namibia, Tokyo, Mongolia and San Francisco), 'Babies' could be the feel-good movie of the summer. Or entire year. (May 7)


Russel Crowe3) Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe re-team for an epic action flick
The last time Crowe played a fighting machine in a Scott-directed epic ('Gladiator'), the results were excellent. Let's see if they can work the same magic in this muscled-up tale of 'Robin Hood,' the legendary archer who becomes an outlaw crusader for the downtrodden. Also on board are ubiquitous dastard (-portrayer) Mark Strong as bad King John's right-hand man and Cate Blanchett as love interest Lady Marian. We're betting (hoping!) she gets to do battle, too. (May 14)


seyfried and redgrave in 'letters to juliet'4) Amanda Seyfried perks up Vanessa Redgrave's love life
What would the season be without some major romance? Not many films are capable of engaging a wide age demographic, but 'Letters to Juliet' might do just that. While visiting Verona, Italy, Seyfried's character joins a group that answers letters written to the town's most famous fictional citizen, Juliet Capulet, seeking love advice. When she tracks down the author (Redgrave) of a 1957 missive and inspires her to pursue a long-lost love, big changes occur in both their lives. (May 14)


the a-team5) We pity the fool who's not impressed with this cast
The popular '80s TV series 'The A-Team' has been updated (the Vietnam vets turned soldiers for hire are now Iraqi vets) and bulked up for the big screen, with an notably charismatic cast: Liam Neeson as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith, Bradley Cooper as Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck, Sharlto Copley ('District 9') as Capt. "Howling Mad" Murdock, and, last but not least, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson stepping into the sizable shoes of Mr. T. (With Jessica Biel as Lt. Carissa Sosa.) For nostalgia freaks and action fans alike. (May 14)


will forte in 'macgruber'6) The first 'Saturday Night Live' skit-turned-movie since 'Wayne's World' we're actually excited about
Rumor has it that 'MacGruber' may singlehandedly redeem years of 'SNL' skits stretched painfully beyond their limits. First-time film director (and 'SNL' vet) Jorma Taccone brings us the bumbling yet intrepid title sleuth (a fully-committed Will Forte), who, along with his trusty assistant Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig), must defeat deliciously evil Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) before he destroys Washington, D.C., with a nuclear warhead. (May 21)


shrek forever after7) 'Shrek' is going out with a bang
In 'Shrek Forever After,' the latest and final installment of the animated series, everyone's favorite ogre (Mike Myers) is duped into signing a pact with wheeler-dealer Rumpelstiltskin, resulting in an alternate universe where ogres are hunted and neither Fiona (Cameron Diaz) nor Shrek's friends recognize him. And, most shockingly, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) has allowed himself to get very fat, which should be especially impressive in 3D. (May 21)


sarah jessica parker in 'sex and the city 2'8) Sex and the Desert
There are plenty of rumors floating around about possible plot developments in 'Sex and the City 2' (Carrie pregnancy? Another wedding? Liza Minnelli appearance?) -- which is already selling out and looking to top the original's $415 million box-office take, by the way -- but a couple of things are certain, unless the trailer is completely misleading: 1) the ladies of 'SATC' travel to and traipse around Abu Dhabi, where Carrie runs into ex-fiancé Aidan (John Corbett) and 2) many fabulous outfits are worn. That's enough for us. (May 27)


jake gyllenhaal in 'prince of persia'9) First-time action hero Jake Gyllenhaal sports biceps and a British accent
Gyllenhaal has played a lot of things in his career, but a swashbuckling sixth-century Persian prince is something else entirely. So it'll be interesting to see how he fares in 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,' a video game-inspired fantasy adventure about a young royal who must save the world from an evil villain (Ben Kingsley) with the help of a gorgeous, no-nonsense princess sidekick (Gemma Arterton). We'll say this: Jake may not look Persian, but his physical transformation is, um, remarkable. Mike Newell ('Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire') directs. (May 28)


'get him to the greek'10) We wanted more Snow, and we got it
Brit comedian/renaissance man Russell Brand nearly stole 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' with his hilariously arrogant (yet sensitive) rock star Aldous Snow. So 'Marshall' writer/star (Jason Segel) and director (Nick Stoller) created spinoff 'Get Him to the Greek,' starring Jonah Hill (another 'Marshall' alum) as a music label intern whose boss (Sean Combs!) assigns him to escort the out-of-control rocker to a very important gig. Let the mishaps begin! (June 4)


josh brolin in 'Jonah Hex'11) Josh Brolin and John Malkovich duke it out in the Wild, Weird West
A supernatural Western based on the '70s-era DC comic antihero of the same name, 'Jonah Hex' stars the excellent Brolin as the scarred gunslinger/bounty hunter who's asked by the U.S. military to track down notorious criminal and personal archnemesis Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich, who will no doubt be bad-ass). Megan Fox, playing Hex's love interest, offers eye candy. (June 18)


'toy story 3'12) Long time no see, Buzz and Woody
It's been over a decade since 'Toy Story 2' (1999), and Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and the gang have been sorely missed. Now, with Andy heading off to college (college!), the toys are understandably worried about their future. In the latest installment, they get ravaged by pre-schoolers at a daycare center, Buzz is reset so that he speaks Spanish and a love-struck Ken doll (Michael Keaton) joins the ensemble. Will the 3-D 'Toy Story 3' be as awesome as its 2-D predecessors? Very likely. (June 18)


'twilight eclipse'13) Why Can't We All Be Friends?
Seattle is beset by mysterious mass murders, which is bad enough -- but tensions continue to mount between Edward (Robert Pattinson), the love of Bella's (Kristen Stewart) life, and Jacob (Taylor Lautner), her extra-special friend. Must she finally choose between them, knowing that the ramifications of her decision will inflame the whole vampire vs. werewolf situation? How much can one 18-year-old take? We'll find out in 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,' the third installment of the mega-successful series. (June 30)


'the last airbender'14) M. Night Shyamalan tries on fantasy adventure
Despite his less-than-stellar recent projects, Shyamalan might be onto something really good with 'The Last Airbender,' his adaptation of the much-loved TV series. The family fantasy/adventure about a 12-year-old boy (Noah Ringer) who is the only hope for restoring balance to a world beset by chaos marks Shyamalan's first foray into this genre, but judging from the visually arresting trailer, he may have found the key to his cinematic redemption. (July 2)


Knight and Day15) Tom Cruise can be very, very funny
Say what you will about Cruise, but he has a real knack for comedy ('Tropic Thunder'). That's why we're looking forward to action-comedy 'Knight and Day,' in which he and Cameron Diaz (no slouch in the laughs department herself) play a fugitive couple who travel the globe to escape capture by a federal agent (Peter Sarsgaard, another big plus). (July 2)


annette bening and julianne moore in 'the kids are all right'16) Julianne Moore and Annette Bening, together for the first time
Most of the hype about 'The Kids are All Right' understandably surrounds the fact that Moore and Bening, two of America's most acclaimed actresses, play a romantic couple. But Lisa Cholodenko's ('High Art,' 'Laurel Canyon') movie, in which the duo's children (Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson) seek out their biological father (Mark Ruffalo), promises to be as perceptive as it is funny. The director's known to get extraordinary performances out of her actors, and this should be no exception. (July 2)


leo dicaprio in 'inception'17) We like it when Christopher Nolan messes with our minds
It's the director's first outing since 'The Dark Knight,' which is reason enough to be excited; but 'Inception,' starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page, sounds like a winner: a combination action film/psychological thriller in which DiCaprio's character leads a team of people who have the technology to enter people's minds through their dreams. (July 16)


'sorcerer's apprentice'18) Good news: New York City has a sorcerer. Better news: It's Nicolas Cage
Cage has made some questionable film choices, but he's also one of the most charismatic actors alive. The folks responsible for 'National Treasure' have returned with the comedy-adventure 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' starring Cage as modern-day sorcerer Balthazar Blake and Jay Baruchel as his reluctant protege. The duo must use magic to stop the forces of darkness and save New York City. Maybe it's the excellent setting or the insane gleam in Cage's eye, but this looks like a ton o' fun. (July 16)


steve carrell in 'dinner for schmucks'19) Enough Carell for the entire family
Rejoice, Steve Carell fans, for he appears this summer in two very different incarnations. In 3-D animated 'Despicable Me' (July 9), he voices the wicked Gru, whose plot to steal the moon is derailed by three orphans who decide that he should adopt them. In 'Dinner for Schmucks' (a remake of French farce 'The Dinner Game'), he plays a buffoonish IRS employee invited by a rising executive (Paul Rudd) to attend a dinner given by his boss. The attendee with the most idiotic guest wins. You know he'll just kill in both roles. (July 23)


'get low'20) Robert Duvall plans his own funeral with undertaker Bill Murray
Three screen veterans grace the low-key drama 'Get Low' (Sissy Spacek also stars) based on the true story of a man in Depression-era Tennessee who holds his own funeral while he's still alive. The actors give amazing performances in a movie that covers a spectrum of themes (love, guilt, forgiveness) and does it very well. (Plus we can never get enough of Murray's deadpan sarcasm.) (July 30)

Read our 'Get Low' interview with Bill Murray



'the other guys'21) Mark Wahlberg can be very, very funny
Will Ferrell re-teams with frequent collaborator Adam McKay ('Anchorman,' 'Talladega Nights') for 'The Other Guys,' in which he plays a meek detective/forensic accountant, who, along with his demoted-to-desk-work partner (Wahlberg), must step into the big shoes of the city's star cops (Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock). We're banking on some amusing chemistry between Ferrell and Wahlberg, who has great comic timing ('Date Night,' 'I Heart Huckabees'). (August 6)


stallone in 'the expendables'22) How many action heroes does it take to topple a dictator?
... Judging by the Sylvester Stallone-directed 'The Expendables,' about a dozen, give or take. The plot of this ensemble action flick -- a group of mercenaries undertake a near-impossible operation to overthrow a South American dictator -- is almost beside the point. We're figuring some of the all-star cast are probably just cameo roles, but still: Stallone himself, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, plus Bruce Willis and an appearance by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger! Enough said! (August 13)


michael cera as 'Scott Pilgrim'23) Michael Cera tackles seven sinister ex-boyfriends
The highly anticipated adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Oni Press graphic novel, 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' features Cera as the title rocker who battles a formidable assortment of his new love's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) jealous ex-boyfriends for her hand (and his life). Edgar Wright ('Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz') directs -- a very good sign. (August 13)


bardem and roberts in 'eat, pray, love'24) The Three Js could be the charm
Even those who weren't completely smitten by the best-selling memoir must be a mite curious about the film adaptation of 'Eat, Pray, Love.' For one, Julia Roberts stars as Liz Gilbert, the woman who gives up a life of domesticity to travel to Italy, India and Bali to engage in the three title verbs. That Javier Bardem and James Franco are on board bodes well for this journey of self-exploration. (August 13)


'takers'25) Chris Brown, T.I. and Hayden Christensen, notorious badasses
'Takers' features a rather unusual cast (Idris Elba, Paul Walker and Michael Ealy in addition to the above-mentioned three) playing a gang of infamous, unbeatable criminals, which makes us very curious about this stylish-looking action/crime flick. The plot concerns (yep) one last high-stakes job and a hardened detective (Matt Dillon) who tries to intercept it. (August 20)

For more, check out Indiewire's summer preview of 25 films you need to see this season.