The eyes of moviegoers will be on Texas talent as several filmmakers and one megawatt star with Austin ties see their movies hit theaters in 2011.

In her first directorial effort since "Twilight," University of Texas graduate Catherine Hardwicke updates a classic fairy tale with "Red Riding Hood" (March 11). Fellow Longhorn Matthew McConaughey goes back into the courtroom as an unscrupulous defense attorney who enters a world of peril in "The Lincoln Lawyer" (March 18).

Austinite Kyle Killen received wide acclaim in Hollywood in 2008 for his script for "The Beaver" and, after several setbacks tied to the behavior of lead Mel Gibson, will finally see his Jodie Foster-directed film hit theaters on March 23.

After years of speculation and anticipation, enigmatic and elusive writer-director Terrence Malick will unveil his locally shot "The Tree of Life" (May 27), which stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

Another UT alumnus, Robert Rodriguez, gets back to family fare after last year's "Machete" when he rolls out "Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World" (Aug 19).

Hollywood cannot, however, rely solely on Austin for its talent, so expect an abundance of sequels — "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (May 20), "The Hangover 2" (May 27) — and comic-book movies — "Thor" (May 6), "Green Lantern" (June 17) — at multiplexes this year.

Below, we take a look at 25 of the biggest films coming to theaters in the first half of 2011. (All release dates are subject to change.)

January

"Biutiful" (Friday)

Oscar nominee Javier Bardem won the best actor award at last year's Cannes Film Festival for his role in this tragic tale. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu is responsible for the darkly disturbing and visceral films "21 Grams" and "Amores Perros," so expect more of the same here.

February

"Another Year" (Feb. 4)

The sometimes difficult truth of growing old is examined by British director Mike Leigh, who relies on heartfelt performances by Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen and Lesley Manville.

"Sanctum" (Feb. 4)

In this movie based on a true story, executive producer James Cameron combines the two things that made him famous — movies about water and 3D technology — to inspire claustrophobia in "the last unexplored territory in the world." But this time there are Australian accents.

"The Illusionist" ("L'illusionniste") (Feb. 11)

This Oscar-nominated animation from the director of "The Triplets of Belleville" has already been winning over critics with both its visuals and storytelling.

"Just Go With It" (Feb. 11)

Adam Sandler plays a mischievous man-child who goes to great lengths to win the heart of a woman. Sounds like one of any number of Sandler films, right? Maybe, but none of those movies had Brooklyn Decker in a bikini. Bam!

"Barney's Version" (Feb. 18)

Paul Giamatti dials back some of his trademark neuroses in a touching performance that won him a Golden Globe.

"Unknown" (Feb. 18)

Following a horrific car accident, one man (Liam Neeson) battles lost memories and disbelieving authorities to uncover the truth about his identity. The mystery surrounding whether co-star January Jones actually can act might also be revealed.

"Hall Pass" (Feb. 25)

Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis play two married dogs whose wives let them off the leash for a week of consequence-free skirt chasing. Maybe this intriguing comedic duo can help revitalize the Farrelly brothers, who spent most of the last decade swinging and missing.

March

"The Adjustment Bureau" (March 4)

Ballerinas are hot right now, as are mind-bending thrillers that wrap around a love story, so this film starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt that takes a bit of "Inception" and mixes it with a dash of "The Matrix" should have no trouble finding an audience.

"Jane Eyre" (March 11)

Mia Wasikowska ("Alice in Wonderland," "The Kids Are All Right") continues her rise to stardom in the titular role of this umpteenth adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's haunting classic. British actresses Judi Dench and Sally Hawkins help round out a solid supporting cast.

"Red Riding Hood" (March 11)

Amanda Seyfried and Red Riding Hood both do some growing up in this sexy thriller from Catherine Hardwicke, who goes behind the camera for the first time since helping launch the "Twilight" juggernaut into the stratosphere.

"Limitless" (March 18)

A struggling writer (Bradley Cooper) finds that the answer to all of his material dreams resides inside a tiny little pill. He also finds that if something seems too good to be true, it likely is. It looks to be more pap than parable, but director Neil Burger still has a little goodwill left in the bank following 2006's "The Illusionist," so maybe it can exceed expectations.

"The Lincoln Lawyer" (March 18)

Longhorns superfan Matthew Mc-Conaughey stars as a sleazy, swaggering attorney who is more interested in cash than the truth. But when he takes a case defending a Beverly Hills playboy (Ryan Phillippe) accused of assault, he enters a high-stakes game of cloak and dagger that might cost him his life.

"Paul" (March 18)

British comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost ("Hot Fuzz") team up again as sci-fi geeks who encounter an alien lifeform (voiced by Seth Rogen) while on a pilgrimage to Area 51. Austinites will get an early look at "Superbad" director Greg Mottola's film when it bows at South by Southwest.

"The Beaver" (March 23)

A man loses his family and his business and slides into a depression that has him communicating with the outside world through use of a beaver hand-puppet. And if that isn't enough to make you sit up and take notice, the man happens to be played by Mel Gibson, in his first role since making countless scandalous headlines. Austinites will get an early look at the film directed by Jodie Foster and written by Austinite Kyle Killen when the movie makes its world premiere at South by Southwest earlier in the month.

April

"Source Code" (April 1)

After wowing critics with his 2008 debut "Moon," British director Duncan Jones returns with this sci-fi thriller staring Jake Gyllenhall. It opens the South by Southwest Film Festival.

"Your Highness" (April 8)

It's hard to believe that the two leads in this goofball stoner adventure — Natalie Portman and James Franco — are the same two who will grace the stage at the Academy Awards in February.

May

"Thor" (May 6)

The hammer-wielding god is cast from Asgard to Earth, where he does battle and (bonus!) gets to make out with Natalie Portman in director Kenneth Branagh's take on the Marvel Comics tale.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (May 20)

Johnny Depp's swashbuckling homage to Keith Richards returns to the high seas and the big screen for the first time in four years. The franchise gets an injection of sexy from Penélope Cruz.

"The Hangover 2" (May 27)

Don't expect much deviation from the formula that made "The Hangover" almost half a billion dollars worldwide – that would be boozy high jinks with bros, in case you missed the original.

"The Tree of Life" (May 27)

The surreal and magical trailer for Austinite Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" offers hope that movie lovers' collective patience will be well rewarded and their expectations exceeded.

June

"X-Men: First Class" (June 3)

2010 breakout star Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone") co-stars in this prequel that examines the origins of the relationship between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) before they became Professor X and Magneto.

"Bad Teacher" (June 17)

Justin Timberlake continues his foray into the movie world as a teacher who is the object of affection for a duplicitous, foul-mouthed colleague played by Cameron Diaz in this film from director Jake Kasdan ("Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story").

"Green Lantern" (June 17)

After bolstering his indie bona fides with 2010's "Buried," Ryan Reynolds is back on familiar comic-book ground as the DC Comics superhero.

"Cars 2" (June 24)

Five years after they first captured the imagination of a generation of tykes, Lightning McQueen and his ol' buddy Mater are growing up with their audience, as they head overseas and find themselves tangled in a web of international espionage.

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Calendar of openings

Here's a tentative lineup of Austin movie releases, provided by various studio representatives. Opening dates are subject to change.

Friday

"Biutiful," "The Rite," "The Mechanic."

February

4: "Another Year," "Sanctum." 11: "The Eagle," "Gnomeo and Juliet," "The Illusionist," "Just Go With It." 18: "Barney's Version," "Big Mamma's: Like Father, Like Son," "Cedar Rapids," "Unknown," "I Am Number Four." 25: "Drive Angry," "Hall Pass," "Shelter."

March

4: "The Adjustment Bureau," "Take Me Home Tonight." 11: "Jane Eyre," "Mars Needs Moms," "Red Riding Hood," "The Last Lions." 18: "Limitless," "The Lincoln Lawyer," "Paul." 23: "The Beaver." 25: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules," "Sucker Punch," "Win Win."

April

1: "Hop," "Source Code," "Of Gods and Men." 8: "Hanna," "Your Highness." 15: "Rio," "Scream 4." 22: "African Cats," "Apollo 18," "Crazy Stupid Love," "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family," "Water for Elephants." 29: "Fast Five," "Prom," "Winter in Wartime."

May

6: "Thor." 13: "Priest." 20: "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." 27: "The Hangover 2," "Kung Fu Panda 2," "The Tree of Life."

June

3: "X-Men: First Class." 10: "Something Borrowed." 17: "Bad Teacher," "Green Lantern," "Mr. Penguin's Poppers." 24: "Cars 2," Undated: "Beginners."

July

1: "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." 8: "One Day," "One for the Money." 15: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," "Winnie the Pooh." 22: "Captain America: The First Avenger." 29: "Cowboys and Aliens," "Horrible Bosses."

August

5: "The Darkest Hour," "The Help," "The Sitter." 12: "Monte Carlo." 19: "Conan the Barbarian," "Fright Night," "Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World." 26: "5nal Destination."

September

9: "The Apparition," "The Warrior." 16: "Piranha 3D," "Straw Dogs." 30: "What's Your Number?"

October

7: "A Dolphin Tale," "Real Steel." 14: "Footloose," "The Big Year," "The Three Musketeers," "The Thing." 21: "Contagion," "Paranormal Activity 3." 28: "Now."

November

4: "Puss in Boots," "Tower Heist." 11: "Immortals." 18: "Happy Feet 2," "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1." 23: "The Muppets," "Rise of the Apes."

December

9: "Hugo Cabret." 16: "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked." "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," "Sherlock Holmes 2." 28: "War Horse."