The summer movie season is upon us, which means a seemingly endless pile-up of superheroes, reboots, and sequels will crowd the multiplexes. While a select few show some promise, we’ve set out to highlight a vast range of titles — 40 in total — that will arrive over the next four months, many of which we’ve already given our stamp of approval.
There’s bound to be more late-summer announcements in the coming months, and a number of titles will arrive on VOD day-and-date, so follow us on Twitter for the latest updates. In the meantime, see our top 40 picks for what to watch this summer below, in chronological order, and let us know what you’re looking forward to most in the comments.
Berlin Syndrome (Cate Shortland; May 5)
While the recent 10 Cloverfield Lane and Room told stories of captivity with various hooks — science-fiction and the process of healing, respectively — Cate Shortland’s approach in her latest, harrowing drama Berlin Syndrome makes room for more nuance and depth. Locked in a Berlin apartment, there is little hope for our protagonist for nearly the entire runtime. And while some of the story’s turns can feel overtly manipulative, Shortland finds a bracing humanity in depicting the perverse situation of Stockholm syndrome. – Jordan R. (full review)
Violet (Bas Devos; May 12)
After a success festival run, which included winning at Berlinale for Best Feature Film, Violet, the feature directorial debut of writer-director Bas Devos, will finally hit stateside. The drama follows a young boy (Cesar De Sutter), the sole witness to the stabbing of his friend by a BMX gang. Now, Jonas, who stood silent and passive as his friend was murdered, must process the dark journey of coping and turmoil of childhood on the cusp of adulthood. Shot by Nicolas Karakatsanis (The Drop, Bullhead) — partially with gorgeous 8-perf 65mm film — Violet looks to be a lush, harrowing portrait of trauma and youth, and a startling debut for Devos. – Mike M.
Hounds of Love (Ben Young; May 12)
Director Ben Young’s feature debut is the kind of film you wish you could un-see – except not really. Sure, its extended depictions of physical and psychological abuse will upset/offend many. At the same time, there’s no denying the level of craft and performance involved that probes human depravity so compellingly, you’re left with much more than just rattled nerves and a taste of bile. – Zhou-Ning Su (full review)
Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola; May 12)
With her last feature directorial credit being contributions to 1991’s Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, Eleanor Coppola is perhaps better known as Francis Ford Coppola’s wife than a filmmaker. Yet, she triumphantly returns this year with one of the sexiest and most joyful road movies in some time with Paris Can Wait. – Jordan R. (full review)
The Woman Who Left (Lav Diaz; May 19)
Lav Diaz’s Golden Lion winner from this year’s Venice Film Festival feels like something of a surprise because, for all its extended shots, luminous black-and-white photography, and socio-historical weight, The Woman Who Left is ultimately an unostentatious work. Compared to, say, Norte, The End of History’s remarkably grim ending, with its reaches into fantasy / metaphysics (don’t forget that Tarkovsky-esque levitation), there doesn’t seem to be quite the same need to impress or belabor the point. – Ethan V. (full review)
Alien: Covenant (Ridley Scott; May 19)
In the Alien franchise, it’s difficult not to seem old hat. That even goes for creator Ridley Scott, who managed to bungle the long-awaited and subsequently frustrating Prometheus, a not-quite return to form for a series long overdue for one. While Covenant (which follows the crew of the titular ship bound for a planet in the far side of the galaxy, only to stumble upon a dark and dangerous world) has the potential to feel like more of the same, its initial trailers are boasting some serious creep factor (shower aliens, back bursting, eww) – something that Scott has proved he can still excel at. – Conor O.
The Survivalist (Stephen Fingleton; May 19)
Post-apocalyptic thrillers don’t come much leaner or meaner than Northern Irish director Stephen Fingleton’s gripping debut feature The Survivalist. The world’s population has polluted the earth to the point of extinction – a fact snappily brokered by an opening graph comparing increasing oil production to a rapid decline in the worldwide population – with the few survivors living off the scraps that the land provide. Our rugged unnamed hero (Martin McCann) lives in a rural shack surrounded by woodland, spending his days growing crops in his garden and whiling away his time looking over photos of his past, presumably long dead, wife. – Ed F. (full review)
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (Steve James; May 19)
Steve James’ filmography has long been about finding entry into larger conversations through intimate portraits. The director’s landmark debut, Hoop Dreams, and latter-day efforts like 2014’s monument to critic Roger Ebert, Life Itself, don’t have much in common on the surface, but they both use their central characters to tell larger stories about big picture topics like structural dysfunction and the purpose of film criticism. – Michael S. (full review)
Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro; May 26)
For beginning with a dedication to Setsuko Hara, recently departed muse of Ozu and Naruse, Hermia & Helena — the new film by Viola and The Princess of France director Matías Piñeiro — perhaps aligns us to be especially attuned to the Argentinian auteur’s use of female collaborators. One to already emphasize the charisma and big-screen friendly faces of frequent stars Agustina Munoz and Maria Villar, he still seems to have an ability to make them points of representation, not fetish. – Ethan V. (full review)
War Machine (David Michôd; May 26)
Brad Pitt has gone back to World War II a handful of times in the last decade or so, but this summer he’ll be taking on a more modern battle with War Machine. David Michôd‘s follow-up to The Rover is based on Michael Hastings‘ novel The Operators, which depicts the rise and fall of General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Also starring Tilda Swinton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Anthony Michael Hall, Topher Grace, Will Poulter, Lakeith Stanfield, Emory Cohen, John Magaro, RJ Cyler, Alan Ruck, Scoot McNairy and Meg Tilly, this satirical comedy will hopefully flex a new muscle for Michôd after his previous films. – Jordan R.
Dean (Demetri Martin; June 2)
The most piercing comedy is often mined from the darker aspects of life, presenting our fears in a new, hopefully amusing light. While Demetri Martin‘s stand-up has tinges of this, represented in his lo-fi sketches and carefully constructed one-liners, his directing and writing debut Dean effectively melds, both on the page and stylistically, a dramatic backbone with his personal brand. – Jordan R. (full review)
The Hero (Brett Haley; June 9)
It’s commonplace for a fan to say of an actor or actress they like: “I would watch him or her in anything.” The Hero, written and directed by Brett Haley, makes the case that one could watch Sam Elliott do most anything and be enraptured. Mind you, this is in no way a backhanded compliment. There’s plenty to grab on to here. – Dan M. (full review)
Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta; June 9)
If you could sit face-to-face with Donald Trump, what would you say? Beatriz at Dinner doesn’t imagine exactly that, but the scenario it presents is undeniably analogous, even if the character crafted in POTUS’ likeness is far less insecure and destructive to humanity. Presenting a clash of socio-economic classes and the ensuing discourse of morals and politics, the latest dramedy from Miguel Arteta is an observant, but not entirely successful outcry for the agency of the under-represented. – Jordan R. (full review)
It Comes at Night (Trey Edward Shults; June 9)
After crafting one of the most overlooked films of last year, Krisha, writer-director Trey Edwards Shults is sticking with A24 for his next feature. His upcoming thriller It Comes at Night stars Joel Edgerton as a father who will stop at nothing to protect his wife and son from a malevolent, mysterious presence terrorizing them right outside their doorstep. With Edgerton recently impressing in two Jeff Nichols films, to see him collaborate with Shults on a horror film sounds downright incredible. – Jordan R.
In Transit (Albert Maysles, Lynn True, David Usui, Nelson Walker III, and Benjamin Wu; June 23)
Ripe with rich source material each worthy of their own feature films, In Transit provides a glance into various lives and narratives. Some intersect and interact with each other, if only for a brief moment, others are singular: they opt to tell their story to us directly as we share an aural overview of a whole life, relationships, connections, missed opportunities and narratives yet to be written, each in transit. The final film by master vérité filmmaker Albert Maysles, the filmmaker and team (including co-directors Lynn True, Nelson Walker, David Usui, and Ben Wu) spend a few days aboard the Empire Builder, Amtrak’s long-distance line carrying passengers from the Midwest to the Northwest en route to Portland. – John F. (full review)
The Ornithologist (João Pedro Rodrigues; June 23)
Publicly stated by its director to concern Saint Anthony, the Portuguese priest and friar who legend calls the most supernatural of saints, The Ornithologist luckily manages to see the profane outweigh the sacred — no white elephantine “spirituality,” but rather a progression of set-pieces. We have something of a return for João Pedro Rodrigues to his debut feature Fantasma, a nocturnal “erotic thriller” of sorts that moved by the logic of its own images, this in opposition to more character-driven films such as Two Drifters and To Die Like a Man or his most recent The Last Time I Saw Macao, a tad too much an academic exercise in mirroring post-colonialism through a deadpan “non-mystery.” – Ethan V. (full review)
The Bad Batch (Ana Lily Amirpour; June 23)
Ana Lily Amirpour’s second feature shoots for Harmony Korine meets Mad Max and would have nearly almost hit the mark were it not for the gratingly aloof attitude and the swaths of directorial license being taken. The Bad Batch — an ambitious, expansive dystopian sci-fi western which features partying, drugs, and cannibals — might come as music to the ears of diehard fans of films like Spring Breakers and Gummo (a kid doesn’t quite eat spaghetti in a bathtub, but a kid does eat spaghetti after being in a bathtub). However, beneath its dazzlingly hip surface the script and characters leave much to be desired. It’s like taking a trip to Burning Man: a pseudo-spiritual, uniquely punky experience perhaps, but one that’s full of annoying rich kids and ultimately emotionally shallow. – Rory O. (full review)
The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola; June 23)
Beyond the immensely intriguing notion of director Sofia Coppola helming a western-of-sorts, albeit a remake of a lesser-known Don Siegel / Clint Eastwood picture, The Beguiled contains a plethora of reasons to entice curious audiences. As per usual, Coppola has assembled a stellar cast, including Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, and Angourie Rice, who we recently saw as Ryan Gosling’s daughter in The Nice Guys. On the opposite side of the gender scale, Colin Farrell is taking on the Eastwood role: a wounded Union soldier imprisoned at a Confederate girls’ boarding school. This marks Coppola’s first big-scale directorial effort since The Bling Ring, unless you count A Very Murray Christmas. Thankfully, we’ve only got to wait until June to see it. – Tony H.
The Big Sick (Michael Showalter; June 23)
From start to finish, The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter, works as a lovingly-rendered, cinematic answer to the dinner party question: “So how did you two meet?” Based on comedian Kumail Nanjiani‘s real life (he co-wrote the screenplay with his wife Emily V. Gordon), we meet Kumail (Nanjiani) as he finishes a stand-up set in Chicago. He becomes fast friends with a wooting heckler named Emily (Zoe Kazan, lovely), and a relationship begins to blossom. – Dan M. (full review)
Baby Driver (Edgar Wright; June 28)
Its scenario sounds like the sort a director would invent for themselves so as to indulge their basest desires for sound and image: a getaway driver who powers his daring escapes with music gets involved in a heist that’s destined to go badly. When that director happens to be Edgar Wright, though, that likely indulgence is a gateway to our excitement and, we assume, pleasure. And if the 2003 music video that supposedly served as Baby Driver‘s springboard actually indicates what we’re getting — or, rather, even scratches its surface, since that whole work is essentially stationary — this will be one to remember. If its SXSW reaction is something to be trusted, it certainly will be. – Nick N.
Okja (Bong Joon-ho; June 28)
After providing thrills solely on a train with Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho is expanding his scope with the monster movie Okja. Starring Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Devon Bostick, Byun Hee-bong, and Shirley Henderson, we shouldn’t expect another creature a la The Host, rather something more shy. The Netflix-produced and distributed feature tracks the struggle to stop a multinational corporation from kidnapping the titular monster; it certainly has the makings of the most entertaining film of the summer. – Jordan R.
A Ghost Story (David Lowery; July 7)
The premise is a simple one. A man only credited as C (Casey Affleck) dies after a head-on car accident in front of his house, leaving behind his wife, M (Rooney Mara). After examining his corpse at the hospital, she leaves the room, and, covered by the white cloth over his body, his ghost rises up and returns home to observe the grieving widow he left behind. If one thought only a spooky, small-scale haunted house tale is to follow, David Lowery’s latest is proof that a premise is merely a foundation. Beginning with the beauty, patience, and humor of an Apichatpong Weerasethakul movie before segueing into the existential musings reminiscent of Richard Linklater dialogue, and then infinitely expanding its scope to become a stunning meditation on the passage of time, A Ghost Story is one of the most original, narratively audacious films I’ve ever seen. – Jordan R. (full review)
City of Ghosts (Matthew Heineman; July 7)
Cut together with gut-wrenching intensity and packed with footage that feels equal parts remarkable and horrifying, Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman returns to Sundance with City of Ghosts, a 90-minute documentary chronicling the lives of the head members of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS). A campaign made up of activists based in the Syrian city of Raqqa and around the world, these young men risk their lives to garner intel on and about ISIS, what they’re doing and what they plan to do. As the Arab Spring brought revolution to countries like Syria, the vacuum of potential democracy was filled by a militant group calling themselves the Islamic State (ISIS). – Dan M. (full review)
Lady Macbeth (William Oldroyd; July 13)
Before William Oldroyd‘s first foray on the silver screen with Lady Macbeth, he was an experienced theater director, which clearly has aided his adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. The gothic allure of this period piece about a woman forced into marriage and deciding to take things into her own hands is both refreshing and captivating, and make no mistake: there is nothing theatrical or stiff about the film. – Jordan R. (full review)
Landline (Gillian Robespierre; July 21)
Although it was marketed as an “abortion romantic comedy,” Obvious Child went beyond that basic moniker, using the set-up to mine humor from the fears and anxieties tied with such a personal decision. Writer-director Gillian Robespierre and star Jenny Slate have now reteamed in Landline, a 1995-set drama about the dysfunctional lives of one family in Manhattan. Refreshingly scraggly in its structure and plotting, with an enormous heart and affecting honesty permeating every scene, it marks an impressive step up for the duo. – Jordan R. (full review)
Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan; July 21)
Any new film from Christopher Nolan is a reason to celebrate. Among the top tier of Hollywood blockbuster directors, no one has a visual sense or narrative mind quite like Nolan. Almost all of his films since Insomnia have involved some fantastical element, but with Dunkirk he turns his eye to history, telling the story of the British retreat from France in the opening years of World War II. With an immense cast and a sweeping canvas, time will tell what the primary story and arc of this film is, but with the evocative trailers we’ve seen so far, it’s certain that the aesthetic pedigree of this film is unparalleled. – Brian R.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Luc Besson; July 21)
One of the bigger gambles of the summer movie slate is The Fifth Element director Luc Besson‘s return to the futuristic space epic. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, clocking in at an eye-popping $180 million budget, is full of inventive imagery and an eye-popping color palette that seems all-too-rare in Hollywood today, judging from its trailers. Starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, and John Goodman, the adaptation of Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières‘ comic series hopefully contains a portion of the gleeful madness Besson exuded in Lucy. – Jordan R.
Atomic Blonde (David Leitch; July 28)
Charlize Theron is back to kick some serious ass in Atomic Blonde. The latest feature from John Wick co-director David Leitch, the action-thriller finds Theron’s Lorraine Broughton as an undercover MI6 agent during the Cold War who is tasked with hunting down a secret agent-killer. Teamed up with another agent (James McAvoy), Lorraine must fight her way through hordes of bad guys to save the day. Penned by Kurt Johnstad (300) and lensed by Jonathan Sela (John Wick), Atomic Blonde looks to showcase Theron’s ferocious energy displayed in Mad Max: Fury Road with the now-signature stylings of John Wick. – Mike M.
Detroit (Kathryn Bigelow; August 4)
Following up her pair of Oscar-winning dramas, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow is going from international war to conflict in the heart of America with her next project. Re-teaming with Mark Boal, Detroit is set during the 5-day riots that took place there in 1967, and will explore the systemic racism of the city. The citizen uprising left 43 people dead, nearly 1,200 injured, and over 2,000 establishments destroyed. Starring John Boyega, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, Jason Mitchell, and more, this will surely be one of the highlights of the summer. – Jordan R.
Columbus (kogonada; August 4)
The path to becoming a director is one generally accompanied by a profound knowledge of film history, but that passion is rarely more public then when it comes to kogonada. After years of working on visually detailed video essays for The Criterion Collection, Sight & Sound, and more, he’s now made his directorial debut with Columbus, an impeccably composed drama of quiet humanity and curiosity. If his nickname wasn’t enough of a hint, traces of Yasujirō Ozu’s influence can be found, but this first-time director has created something distinctly his own. – Jordan R. (full review)
Ingrid Goes West (Matt Spicer; August 4)
With a generation now largely measuring their self-esteem by the amount of likes on their Instagram feed, the veneer of a perfect life is a sought-after badge of approval. Call it a cynical observation, but the rush of personal achievement via double taps is an addicting one, especially so for Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza), a mentally unstable woman filling the lonely void left by her recently deceased mother with social media stalking. Upon reading an article in Elle, she sets her sights on Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an Instagram influencer who gets paid by companies to hawk their latest fashionable products. Using the $60,000 left by her mom’s will, she sets off to Los Angeles to hopefully make a new friend and thus begins the escalating deception of Ingrid Goes West. – Jordan R. (full review)
Step (Amanda Litz; August 4)
It’s rare for a documentary to inspire applause during the feature, but there you have the power of Amanda Lipitz’s Step, an inspiring crowd-pleaser that provides a positive look at the lives of every day teens in Baltimore, living in the shadow of Freddie Gray and the subsequent unrest related to his death. Step is a universal story of triumph, following a year in the life of a dance team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women as their seniors get accepted into school, experience heartbreak, and ultimately make in-roads in step competitions, crafting an elegant and powerful dance inspired by Black Lives Matter and their neighborhoods. – John F. (full review)
The Trip to Spain (Michael Winterbottom; August 11)
Having grown up in the U.K., I have been a fan of Steve Coogan since the days of Alan Partridge, and Rob Brydon was one of those prevalent faces recognized from various programs (err, programmes). One of the great delights of the streaming era is how easy it is for movies like The Trip (which was edited into a film for U.S. audiences, but had originally been broadcast as a series in the U.K.) to find an audience abroad, and how much exposure international audiences now have to films and series like these that typically wouldn’t have made an easy transition across the pond even a decade ago via traditional distribution. The Trip to Spain will ostensibly pick up exactly where the previous two adventures left off, with the two actors (playing grossly-exaggerated versions of themselves) doing their best impressions of Michael Caine or Tom Hardy while exploring what Spain has to offer them. It is a testament to the fact that the two actors’ chemistry is so effortless and inherently funny that I’d be happy for them to continue making these every couple years for the rest of their lives. – John U.
Good Time (Josh and Ben Safdie; August 11)
It’s probably safe to say that, up until now, no lucid person had compared a Safdie brothers film to the work of Michael Mann. Indeed, it may still be a stretch, though Good Time — the New York siblings’ latest eye-popping, pill-popping, attention-deficit character study — could feasibly be described as just that. It’s in parts a heist movie (iconic masks included) and a chase movie, but not an homage in any sense — more an evolution, like a 21st-century fast-food hybrid that mixes trash television and drug culture with Day-Glo-splattered night-time cinematography and throbbing synthesizers, thanks to a standout score from Oneohtrix Point Never. – Rory O. (full review)
Whose Streets? (Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis; August 11)
Dedicated to Michael Brown Jr., Whose Streets? is an alarming and vital documentary chronicling the grassroots formation of Black Lives Matter as well as efforts in Ferguson. A narrow document of time and place, it allows the story to unfold as it did on a local level — in a clutter of confusion, tweets, and amateur video as the Ferguson Police Department show up with guns and tanks to what starts as a peaceful protest. – John F. (full review)
Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh; August 18)
When Steven Soderbergh announced his retirement from filmmaking just a few years ago, it seemed about as likely to stick as when Jay-Z claimed The Black Album was going to be his swan song. As it turns out, it took Soderbergh even less time to work on new projects than it did for Jay-Z to begin new material – he was soon directing an entire season of a premium cable series (The Knick), editing and handling cinematography on a Magic Mike sequel, editing a new version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, etc. So the fact that Logan Lucky — which depicts a heist at a NASCAR race, with a cast including Adam Driver, Channing Tatum, Seth MacFarlane, Daniel Craig, Katherine Heigl, Hilary Swank, Katherine Waterston, and Sebastian Stan — is his first film back in the director’s seat since 2013 might not exactly inspire Terrence Malick levels of hype, but it will be interesting to see what it was about this story that convinced him to abandon his quasi-retirement. – John U.
Death Note (Adam Wingard; August 25)
Regardless of what one thought of Blair Witch, it seems indisputable that director Adam Wingard knows how to orchestrate a scare, with a sharp eye for inducing fear. So when it was announced his follow-up to Blair Witch would be an adaptation of the beloved J-horror series Death Note, it was the rare instance where I felt excitement rather than skepticism. He has steadily built a catalogue of work that proves he knows how to manipulate the cinematic canvas, even if all of his efforts don’t hit the mark. – Mike M.
Beach Rats (Eliza Hittman; August 25)
Burgeoning sexuality is the basis for nearly all coming-of-age films, but with her specific eye, Eliza Hittman makes it feel like we’re watching this genre unfold for the first time. With only two features to her name, she’s captured the experience with a sensuality and intimacy nearly unprecedented in American independent filmmaking. Following 2013’s It Felt Like Love, the writer-director follows it with another look at the teenage experience in Brooklyn for this year’s Beach Rats, this time with a protagonist five years older and of a different gender. – Jordan R. (full review)
Trophy (Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau; TBD)
Somewhere in America, a man named Philip teaches his young son how to take down a trophy buck. Rifle in hand, eye peaking through the scope, the kid takes the shot. Direct hit. The father makes sure to get a couple of photos of his son, holding up the hunted, proud smile on his face. Moments later, we are in South Africa, where Rhino breeder John Hume and his team find a rhino, sedate it, and trim it’s horns as a means of protection, so poachers will ignore the lesser stumps and move along. It’s an interesting opening to Trophy, a complicated look at big-game hunting from director Shaul Schwarz. – Dan M. (full review)
Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello; TBD)
Here’s an elevator pitch: Nocturama is Robert Bresson’s The Devil, Probably in a homegrown-terrorist garb that substitutes transcendental style for the form of contemporary thrillers and music videos, all the while filtering a faux-intellectual’s anger through a consumer-culture criticism that, in its place and mood, most recalls George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. This almost sounds like an easy sell, notwithstanding the fact that this elevator ride would need to take us to a building’s higher floors. But for plumbing the depths of radicalized Parisian teens’ desires and actions less than a year after ISIL-led attacks shocked the globe, every ounce of appeal that his film might — and, I think, ultimately does — offer can’t prevent writer-director Bertrand Bonello from being a victim of poor timing. Timing is so relative, though; doubly so when his is a picture that grows (some might go the cancerous route and say metastasizes) in days and weeks after being seen, the kind that feels at once explicitly of its moment and vaguely outside of any temporal trappings. – Nick N. (full review)
Marjorie Prime and Escapes (Michael Almereyda; TBD)
Humanity’s most invaluable asset is our memory. It fuels our imagination, ignites conversations, and can unite us. It can also be distorted, reshaped, and forgotten altogether. Marjorie Prime, a micro-scale sci-fi chamber drama, fascinatingly explores the perception and dissolution of what we remember throughout our lives. Michael Almereyda’s contemplative new film, which could double as the best-written episode of Black Mirror yet, most poignantly serves as catalyst for a personal self-reflection on the part of the viewer. – Jordan R. (full review)
We’ll get another film from Almereyda this summer — specifically on July 26 — with Escapes. Tracking the career of Blade Runner scribe Hampton Fancher through archival footage, and executive produced by Wes Anderson, it promises to be another look back at memories for the director.
The Untamed (Amat Escalante; TBD)
There’s something dark and wonderful lurking in The Untamed, the brilliant, frightening, hyper-real erotic mystery from the mind of Mexican auteur Amat Escalante, whose Heli ruffled more than a few feathers in Cannes a few years back. Is the 37-year-old merely a provocateur? On the evidence of his latest film, he is clearly not. The plotline of a strange extraterrestrial being that lurks in the woods granting ultimate pleasure sounds like a schlocky drive-in science fiction flick, but the director heightens things immeasurably by expertly cultivating the visceral, aesthetic nowhere of a drug trip, as if the characters involved (and perhaps the viewer) are participating in some sort of communal high. – Rory O. (full review)
Although David Lynch insists that the new season of Twin Peaks is actually an 18-hour movie, until a theater screens it from front to back, we’ll have to leave it off this list, even if our anticipation for it might outpace all of the above films, combined.
As we move to actual films, there’s a handful of notable features we’ve either seen on the festival circuit that didn’t quite make the cut or we’re looking forward to, including The Lovers (5/5), Chuck (5/5), A Woman’s Life (5/5), Manifesto (5/10), The Wall (5/12), Folk Hero & Funny Guy (5/12), Afterimage (5/19), The Here After (5/26), Band Aid (6/2), The Little Hours (6/30), War for the Planet of the Apes (7/24), An Inconvenient Sequel (7/28), Person to Person (7/28), Menashe (7/28) Wind River (8/4), The Unknown Girl (8/25), Gook (TBD), and Dayveon (TBD).
What films are you most looking forward to this summer?