This summer, fans of independent cinema will be treated to tales about a hobo with a shotgun, a chimp raised as a human child, and troll hunters -- as well as a whole bunch of stuff about teenage angst. Check out our list of the summer's most interesting indie offerings.

'Passion Play'
Opening: In Theaters Now (Limited Release)

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray, Rhys Ifans, Megan Fox

What It's About: Rourke and Fox do the May-December thing in this film noir. He's a down-on-his-luck trumpet player, she's a mysterious circus sideshow attraction. Bill Murray plays the mob boss who could tear them apart, which should be fun. Quite frankly, this film got pretty bad reviews during the festival circuit, and Rourke was recently overheard saying that it's "terrible." It should still get some interest on its cast alone.



'Hobo With a Shotgun'
Opening: In Theaters Now (Limited Release)

Starring: Rutger Hauer, Brian Downey , Gregory Smith

What It's About: Like 'Snakes on a Plane,' or 'Hot Tub Time Machine,' before it, 'Hobo With a Shotguns''s mere title makes it a contender. Canadian director Jason Eisener initially conceived of the movie as part of the fake-trailer contest to promote 'Grindhouse,' which Eisener won. Rutger Hauer plays the title character, and he uses his aforementioned weapon to clean up a town with an unprintable name that has fallen under the control of a family of sadistic thugs.




'Daydream Nation'
Opening: In Theaters Now (Limited Release)

Starring: Kat Dennings, Andie McDowelll, Josh Lucas, Reece Thompson

What It's About: Sophisticated 17-year-old's (Dennings) widowed father moves her from a big city to a small town where she seduces her attractive young teacher (Josh Lucas). High school stoner (Thompson) is also interested in a relationship with the new girl in town. Oh, and there's a serial killer on the loose. While 'Daydream Nation' features an eclectic indie-rock soundtrack, oddly none of the songs are from Sonic Youth, the band that inspired the film's title.




'Skateland'
Opening: Friday, May 13 (Limited Release)

Starring: Shilo Fernandez, Ashley Greene, James LeGros

What It's About: Ah, the eighties. No text messages, no Internet, no PS2, so the kids were forced to spend their free time mindlessly mulling about the roller rink. So what happens when the roller rink closes? That's the dilemma for a group of unmotivated small town Texas teens in this coming of age offering from first time director Anthony Burns, who also wrote the script, which is based on his own East Texas childhood.




'Hesher'
Opening: Friday, May 13 (Limited Release)

Starring: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Natalie Portman, Devin Brochu, Rainn Wilson

What It's About: Gordon-Levitt is Hesher, a substance-abusing, tattooed metalhead who forms an improbable friendship with a younger boy (Devin Brochu) who is mourning the death of his mother. Wilson plays the father and widower, catatonic in his grief. Natalie Portman, in a pair of homely glasses, portrays a supermarket checkout girl with no self-esteem. Despite his blunt, unconventional ways and rough exterior, Hesher somehow touches the lives of them all.



'The Tree of Life'
Opening: Friday, May 27 (Limited Release)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain

What It's About: Growing up, Jack absorbs the lessons of both his mother, who stresses love and mercy, and his father, who preaches toughness and self-reliance. These conflicted messages eat at Jack into his adulthood, and he struggles to reconcile them and find beauty and purpose in the world. Terrence Malick wrote and directed, so expect big themes and stunning cinematography.


Click here for Part 2 of our Summer Independent Movie Preview --
featuring Ewan McGregor, Norwegian trolls and a hard-partying chimpanzee.