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2011 looking forward: An overview of new films

What's in store for 2011 movies? Here's our look at highlights from the upcoming year in cinema (release dates subject to change). JORDAN BARTEL, B

COMEDY

"No Strings Attached" (Jan. 21); "Friends With Benefits" (July 22)
Yes, two films about f--- buddies. "NSA" has Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. "FWB" offers Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. Choose wisely. Or don't.

"Crazy, Stupid, Love" (July 29)

Steve Carell and Julianne Moore star as a couple in crisis, attending therapy with a marriage counselor (Ryan Gosling). Oh, and it's brought to you by the team behind "Bad Santa." We're in. (left)

"Your Highness" (April 8)
Danny McBride gets a much-deserved shot at leading-man glory in this fantasy-comedy about a prince (before you scoff, he's a prince who smokes pot) who has to save his father's kingdom.

"Arthur" (April 8)
Russell Brand takes on the Dudley Moore role in this remake about a drunken playboy. A stretch for Brand.

"Bridesmaids" (May 13)
Before you say, "'Bride Wars," this has a great cast (Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm) and Judd Apatow producing.

DRAMA

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"The Adjustment Bureau" (March 4)

This thriller stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as a couple torn apart by a mysterious group of men who control the world.

(right)

"Water for Elephants" (April 22)

Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson headline this adaptation of the popular Sara Gruen novel of the same name, about a traveling circus in the 1930s.

"The Tree of Life" (May 27)

Director Terrence Malick wrote and directed this story of a family in the 1950s, centered on the trials of the eldest son, played as an adult by Sean Penn. Brad Pitt stars as the complex patriarch.

"Contagion" (Oct. 21)

A deadly disease breaks out across the world in this action-thriller from Steven Soderbergh. The sprawling cast is beyond ridiculous, with Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne, to name a few.

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (Dec. 21)

If we have to explain what this is to you, you’ve been living in the Outback for two years.

SUMMER POPCORN

"Thor" (May 6)

Chris Hemsworth plays the powerful God/warrior sent down to Earth ... to still be powerful and war-like. And yes, he has a hammer — and it’s huge.

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"Green Lantern" (July 17)

A newly single Ryan Reynolds dons the tighty-tight green suit as the titular superhero. Blake Lively is his love interest.

"Captain America: The First Avenger" (July 22)

Apparently, all other avengers were second. Star Chris Evans will clear things up for us.

"Cowboys & Aliens" (July 29)

A spaceship lands in 1873 Arizona. We missed this chapter of 11th-grade U.S. history. But Harrison Ford plays someone named Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde, so that’s kinda cool, right?


"Conan the Barbarian" (Aug. 19)

Newcomer Jason Momoa takes over for Arnold and goes on a quest to avenge his father’s death. Also, on a quest to wear the hell out of some loincloth. We’re guessing.



SEQUELS

You’ll either run to these or stay far away. So here’s when they’ll come out.

“Scream 4” (April 15); “Fast Five” (the latest “Fast and the Furious”; April 29); “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (May 20);

"The Hangover Part II" (May 27);

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (July 1); “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (July 15); “Final Destination 5” (Aug. 26);  “Paranormal Activity 3” (Oct. 21); “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” (Nov. 18); “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” (Dec. 16); “Sherlock Holmes 2” (Dec. 16)

Jordan Bartel is assistant editor at b. Contact him at jordan@bthesite.com or follow him on Twitter, @jordanbartel.

Photo credits: Warner Bros. ("Crazy, Stupid, Love" and "The Hangover II"); Universal ("The Adjustment Bureau)

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