Getting To Know You: In real life, we usually don't learn about the people who live through (and die in) natural disasters until after the disaster has unfolded. In movies like 2012, that chronology runs in reverse: Filmmakers introduce their characters (divorced dad John Cusack and daughter Morgan Lily, above), then put them through airborne escapes (below) and many other kinds of CGI hell. Columbia Pictures hide caption

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Mother Knows Best: Julianne Moore and Annette Bening star as beleaguered parents in the best-reviewed family film of the summer, The Kids Are All Right. Suzanne Tenner/Focus Features hide caption

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Burn Notice: Noomi Rapace returns as Lisbeth Salander, a gifted hacker on the run from the law. Rapace won numerous awards for her portrayal of Salander in the first installment of the trilogy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Music Box Films hide caption

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Pick Me, Pick Me! Much of the humor in Despicable Me is derived from these little corn puff-shaped creatures, and their ill-fated attempts at mischief. hide caption

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Want Your Bad Romance: Tortured lovers Bella (Kristen Stewart), still human for the moment, and Edward (Robert Pattinson), still a vampire, are at it again in the latest installment of the Twilight mega-franchise. Kimberley French/Summit Entertainment hide caption

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The Odd Couple: Filmmaker Oliver Stone (left) caused quite a stir at the Venice Film Festival when he invited Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez — and an attendant posse of security guards — to the premiere of his documentary South Of The Border. Jose Ibanez hide caption

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Mommy In The Middle: Sparks fly between Molly (Marisa Tomei) and John (John C. Reilly, right) in Cyrus. But before John can win Molly's heart, he'll have to win over her jealous son (Jonah Hill). Chuck Zlotnick/Fox Searchlight Pictures hide caption

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Ben Kingsley, Jake Gyllenhaal, Richard Coyle in Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time. Andrew Cooper, SMPSP/Walt Disney Pictures hide caption

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Peeling Away The Plastic: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work goes beneath the plastic surgery, vulgar jokes and red carpet gossip while following the comedian for a year. Seth Keal/IFC Films hide caption

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Here Comes The Boogeyman? The documentary Cropsey looks into the mysterious case of five missing Staten Island children — and asks whether Andre Rand, the man convicted of one girl's murder, was really behind them. Tony Carranante/Staten Island Advance hide caption

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Joan Rivers in A Piece of Work Seth Keal/IFC Films hide caption

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Monkey See

Finding The Summer Movies That Are (Well) Off The Beaten Path

Film critic Bob Mondello has a few suggestions if you're looking for summer films that don't primarily feature explosions, bazaars, or gross jokes.

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Love On The Run: Natasha (Barbara Mori) and J. (Hrithik Roshan) spend much of Kites on the run from her gangster fiance — and fall for each other in the process. Reliance BIG Entertainment hide caption

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