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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Dennis Hopper received an Oscar nomination for his performance in <em><em><em><em><em><em>Hoos<em>iers<em> and<em> for the <em>Easy Rider screenplay, which he co-wrote with Peter Fonda. Charley Gallay/Getty hide caption

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Character-Building Experience: "It's a kind of alchemical process," says actor John Lithgow about the process of creating a role. "Some of it is you, and some of it is pure calculation." WVIZ/PBS ideastream hide caption

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Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Kristen Davis all return for the sequel. The four leave New York and head to Abu Dhabi. Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Productions hide caption

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Chanson d'une sirene: Veronique (Sandrine Kiberlain) and her violin strike at the heart of a married man in Stephane Brize's marvelously restrained romance. Lorber Films hide caption

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Mars, Bringer Of War: Bazil (Dany Boon) has a chip on his shoulder and a stray bullet in his brain. The chip is from a land mine that killed his father, the bullet from the factory of a local weapons manufacturer — and he plans to do something about both. Bruno Calvo/Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Desert Fowers: Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis return for another round -- and a junket to Abu Dhabi -- in Sex and the City 2. hide caption

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Cannes-do duo: Former CIA agent Valerie Plame (left) walks the red carpet with Naomi Watts, who plays Plame in the drama Fair Game, at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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