Bike messenger Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds himself carrying a package that leads to a perilous chase. Sarah Shatz/Sony Pictures hide caption

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Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, arrives to announce his choice of running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 11. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Bieber was raised in Stratford, Ontario. When he returned to the town and played at his old busking spot outside the Avon Theatre, NPR's Bob Mondello was sitting six blocks away, oblivious. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images hide caption

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Henry Hall prays to the heavens in 1934's Our Daily Bread. King Vidor's film about a farmers collective living through a drought was made during one of the country's most catastrophic dry spells. United Artists/Photofest hide caption

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The Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is the main venue for the town's annual Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The town lies on the Avon River — just like Shakespeare's British birthplace — and had schools named after Romeo and Juliet before the festival started in 1953. Richard Bain/Stratford Shakespeare Festival hide caption

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Jeremy Renner stars in The Bourne Legacy, the latest in a franchise previously fronted by Matt Damon. But when an actor departs a Hollywood cash cow, it can be less a death knell than a chance for rejuvenation. Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures hide caption

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Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. The final film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, which began with Batman Begins in 2005, deals explicitly with our contemporary political times. Ron Phillips/Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

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Ice Age: Continental Drift, which comes out July 13, is the fourth film in the animated franchise. Since Toy Story marked the beginning of the era of entirely computer-animated films, they've been a studio's safest bet for big earnings at the box office and beyond. Blue Sky Studios & 20th Century Fox hide caption

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Andrew Garfield stars in The Amazing Spider-Man, in which the nerdy, web-slinging superhero gets an overhauled origin story. Jaimie Trueblood/Sony Pictures hide caption

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Ted (voiced by writer-director Seth MacFarlane) and Johnny (Mark Wahlberg) share a laugh in Ted. The talking teddy bear got his powers when 8-year-old Johnny wished upon a falling star for Ted to speak. Universal Pictures/Tippett Studio hide caption

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Antonio the newlywed (Alessandro Tiberi, left), Uncle Paolo (Roberto Della Casa) and Anna the prostitute (Penelope Cruz) in one of To Rome With Love's four independent stories. This one features Anna attempting to teach Antonio something about love. Philippe Antonello /Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Paulette Goddard in the Tramp's (Charlie Chaplin) dream of a middle-class life in Modern Times. Chaplin/United Artists/The Kobal Collection hide caption

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When Jack (Mark Duplass) continues to act out a year after his brother's death, his best friend, Iris (Emily Blunt), who's also his late brother's ex-girlfriend, invites him to rest and recharge at her family's cabin. IFC Films hide caption

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Pixar's Brave follows the independent and courageous Merida (voice by Kelly Macdonald). Pixar hide caption

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Movies

A Selective Preview Of Summer Movies

NPR's Bob Mondello recommends which blockbusters to see and which to avoid at the multiplex this summer — and which independent and art house gems to seek out.

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