Sundance 2012: The 10 Most-Anticipated Films

Spike Lee’s ‘Red Hook Summer’ and ‘Red Lights,’ starring Robert De Niro, are among the movies we can’t wait to see.
By Kevin P. Sullivan
Robert De Niro in “Red Lights”
Photo: Nostromo Pictures With so many films making their world premieres at the Sundance Film Festival, it can be a dizzying task deciding which movies to keep an eye out for later in the year and which to forget about entirely. We’ve scoured the listing of Park City, Utah, premieres, and here are the 10 films we can’t wait to check out at Sundance this year. “Smashed” Jesse Pinkman and Ron Swanson star in a movie together. If you haven’t run out to Park City to catch that incredible duo in “Smashed,” we can tell you that Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul play an alcoholic couple struggling to stay together after one of them decides to put down the bottle. Nick Offerman, his wife, Megan Mullally, and Octavia Spencer also star. “Red Hook Summer” People are calling “Red Hook Summer” a welcome return to writer/director Spike Lee’s roots. Before heading off to direct “Oldboy,” the NYC auteur will bring his latest to Sundance. The film follows a young boy during a summer in Brooklyn and features the return of Mookie, the character Lee played in “Do the Right Thing.” “Red Hook Summer” is said to be an emotional look at Lee’s hometown borough. “V/H/S” The old-school video format should make for some old-school scares in this horror collaboration from some of the genre’s most notable up-and-comers, including Ti West and Adam Wingard. The movie centers on a group of burglars who are hired by a mysterious man to break into an abandoned house to retrieve a VHS cassette. From there, things get a little creepy. “Simon Killer” The group of filmmakers from Brooklyn known as Borderline Films made a splash last year at Sundance with “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” This year, one of that film’s producers, Antonio Campos, gets to premiere his own directorial effort with “Simon Killer.” In the film, a young man travels to Paris where he meets a prostitute and a whole mess of trouble. “Celeste and Jesse Forever” Can you ever stay friends with your ex? Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg try to discover whether that is possible in this new film about modern relationships. Aside from an intriguing premise, “Celeste and Jesse Forever” sees both the leads playing new roles. Jones pulls double duty as the film’s co-writer, while this marks Samberg’s most dramatic role to date. “Black Rock” You’d think that a girls’ weekend away would be all fun and games, but this new thriller starring Kate Bosworth and Lake Bell turns out to be anything but that. Three friends travel to a remote island off the coast of Maine to have a good time, but this Sundance midnight movie quickly takes a turn toward something very dark. “Shadow Dancer” Andrea Riseborough and Clive Owen play the leads in this Irish espionage thriller from director James Marsh. Riseborough stars as a single mother and active member of the IRA who falls into the hands of a British intelligence officer (Owen). After the MI5 agent offers her an ultimatum, she must betray her family and turn mole. “Wish You Were Here” Joel Edgerton, star of “Animal Kingdom” and “Warrior,” is quickly becoming an actor that you want to see onscreen. “Wish You Were Here” follows a group of four friends on a vacation abroad. After one of their party members goes missing, the remaining three attempt to return to their normal lives, but the memory of that fateful night won’t leave them. “Red Lights” I think we can all agree that Robert De Niro is due for a dark indie hit. He seems to have all the pieces in place with “Red Lights.” Helmed by Rodrigo Cortés, breakout director of the Sundance hit “Buried,” “Red Lights” follows a psychologist who must investigate a world-renowned psychic after a series of paranormal events. “Safety Not Guaranteed” A film based solely around an Internet meme does not sound like a very promising proposition, but “Safety Not Guaranteed” just might be crazy enough to work. A group of young adults answers a classified ad looking for time-travel companions. At first they think the man behind the listing is insane, but things get complicated when one of the friends begins to fall for the would-be time traveler. For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit

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