A preview of ten top independent films this summer

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Among summer's schedule of heavy hitters, big sequels and 3D movies, there are several independent films releasing that could break out like last year's The Hurt Locker. To avoid the competition, many indies wait for fall to enjoy long runs, but here's a list of festival favorites and alternatives to blockbusters that deserve attention:

Release date: June 4
Colin Farrell in a story about an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman (Alicja Bachleda) in his fishing net who he believes is a mermaid. Co-stars Stephan Rea who teams up with director Neil Jordan again ( The Crying Game).

Winter's Bone
Release date: June 11
The Sundance Grand Jury Prize narrative winner, the film follows a young woman's dangerous search for her drug-dealing father deep in the mountains. Directed by newcomer Debra Granik.

Wild Grass
Release date: June 25
Directed by 87-year old French master Alain Resnais, this comic drama follows a married man and lonely woman as they fall into a romantic adventure. It premiered at 2009's Cannes Film Festival, and has been described as delightful, sad and wonderful. Stars André Dussollier and Sabine Azéma.

The Killer Inside Me
Release date: June 13
Starring Casey Affleck ( Oceans Thirteen) as a homicidal sheriff, Kate Hudson ( Nine) as his wife and Jessica Alba ( Fantastic Four) as a prostitute. The adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel was well-received at the Berlinale and criticized at the Sundance festival for its violence. Directed by Michael Winterbottom ( A Mighty Heart).

I Am Love
Release date: June 18
A tragic love story starring Tilda Swinton as the Russia-born matriarch of a wealthy Italian family caught between tradition and passion. Directed by Luca Guadagnino. A festival hit and critical favorite.

Releases July 2
The Sundance Grand Jury Prize documentary winner by Sebastian Junger ( A Perfect Storm) and Tim Hetherington, this documentary follows soldiers in the US Army in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, a stronghold of al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The Kids Are All Right
Release date: July 7
A strong cast and warm funny family portrait distinguish this film with Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a couple whose daughter, played by Mia Wasikowska ( Alice in Wonderland) who seeks out her birth father (Mark Ruffalo of Shutter Island). Director Lisa Cholodenko ( Laurel Canyon).

Release date: July 9
A dark comedy starring John C. Reilly ( Walk Hard, Step Brothers), Marisa Tomei ( The Wrestler) and Jonah Hill ( The Invention of Lying) about a romance, complicated by a 21-year-old son. By directors Mark and Jay Duplass, known for "mumblecore" films, noted for improvisational style, The Puffy Chair and Baghead.

Life During Wartime
Release date: July 23
A quasi-sequel to the 1998 film Happiness (with Philip Seymour Hoffman) finds Todd Solondz ( Welcome to the Dollhouse), creating a story about friends, family, and lovers struggling to find love, forgiveness, and meaning. The cast includes Paul Reubens ( Pee Wee's Big Adventure), Ciaran Hinds ( In Bruges), Allison Janney ( Away We Go), and Charlotte Rampling ( Swimming Pool).

Get Low
Release date: July 30
A hit at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, newcomer Aaron Schneider's film stars Robert Duvall ( Crazy Heart), Bill Murray ( Get Smart) and Sissy Spacek ( North Country) about a mysterious, 1930 Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own funeral party.