The summer season is upon us and, per each year, we’ve dug beyond studio offerings to present an in-depth look at what should be on your radar. From festival winners of the past year to selections coming straight from Cannes to genre delights to, yes, a few blockbuster spectacles, there’s more than enough to anticipate.

Check out our picks below and return for monthly updates as more is sure to be added to the calendar. Release dates are for theatrical openings unless otherwise noted.

The Contestant (Clair Titley; May 2 on Hulu)

If some of today’s reality shows can feel out-of-hand for what they put their contestants through, nothing compares to one of the first to ever hit the air. In 1988, aspiring comedian Tomoaki Hamatsu (aka Nasubi) got the “opportunity” to take part in a game show without knowing any of the parameters, resulting in him being placed in a solitary room for almost a year; things got crazier from there. Clair Titley’s well-paced documentary examines all angles of the ordeal, with insight from both the subject and the perpetrators––aka the producers. What emerges is a tale of both resilience and loneliness as well as a moving study of picking up the pieces of one’s life when reality has been irrevocably altered and betrayed. – Jordan R.

I Saw the TV Glow (Jane Schoenbrun; May 3)

Tender yet rageful, quiet yet deafening, intimate yet expansive, Jane Schoenbrun’s I Saw the TV Glow is a towering achievement of total artistic freedom, the kind of work where certain images will be eternally burned into your mind and the feelings it exudes will linger far after the credits roll. Expanding the aura of loneliness from We’re All Going to the World’s Fair into a vastly more ambitious, layered canvas, Schoenbrun’s third feature tells the story of Owen, played early on by Ian Foreman and later by Justice Smith in a revelatory performance. Following the isolated journey of questioning his identity through childhood and adulthood, we witness his special infatuation with a late-night TV show and the ineradicable bond it creates with another lonely soul, Maddy (Brigette Lundy-Paine). The deeply expressive, imaginative ways in which Schoenbrun is able to articulate one’s struggle with identity is nothing short of staggering. This may not be a horror film in the conventional sense––in fact, every directorial decision assertively refutes convention––but I Saw the TV Glow emphatically argues nothing is more terrifying than being trapped in a body you don’t desire and having no words to properly express the feeling. – Jordan R. (full review)

Evil Does Not Exist (Ryusuke Hamaguchi; May 3)

Amongst a typically raucous lineup at this year’s Venice Film Festival comes Evil Does Not Exist, a work in which tensions rise over little more than the placement of a septic tank. It’s the latest from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi and his first since 2021’s miraculous double-punch of Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy and Drive My CarEvil concerns a clash of urban and rural sensibilities: a story about a small but hardy group of people who wish to stop the development of a glamping site. Devotees of Kelly Reichardt’s sylvan melancholies will feel perfectly at home. – Rory O. (full review)

Gasoline Rainbow (Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross; May 10 in theaters and May 31 on MUBI)

“The only difference between children and grown-ups is that the grown-ups are unsupervised.” This line, uttered in the second half of Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross’s seventh feature Gasoline Rainbow, is not particularly framed as words of wisdom. The award-winning filmmakers have explored American life through places, people, and their interconnectedness since the late 2000s in a way that’s far from linear. A multitude of voices, characters (or simply people) populate the screen, their practice exploratory before it aims at any definitive answers. The why and the why-not are irrelevant questions, yet every new offering feels as profound as life itself. Gasoline Rainbow, a premiere in this year’s Venice Orizzonti sidebar, benefits from their trademark hybrid filmmaking, placing nonprofessional teenage actors on a thrilling 513-mile journey from Wiley, Oregon, to the Pacific Ocean. – Savina P. (full review)

Power (Yance Ford; May 10 in theaters and May 17 on Netflix)

“Police power is immediate power.” These opening words from Redditt Hudson––former police officer and co-founder of the National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice, Reform, and Accountability––haunt and inform the entirety of Yance Ford’s Power. Ford actually opens the film over black, informing viewers that what they are about to see is “an analysis of police history that I’d like you to consider.” At the very least, curiosity is required to consider the facts that will come next. – Dan M. (full review)

AGGRO DR1FT (Harmony Korine; May 10)

Is it possible to leave your enfance without losing your terrible? The one-and-only Harmony Korine, now 50 years young, returns with Aggro Dr1ft, a premiere out-of-competition at the Venice Film Festival this week and, by my count, the only so far to have triggered mass walkouts and a ten-minute standing ovation. Shot entirely in infrared and using augmented reality effects and AI imaging tools, Aggro Dr1ft appears like the fever dream of a day spent drinking lean, watching music videos, and playing God of War and Grand Theft Auto. At times it’s funny, dazzling, almost beautiful; at others ugly, misogynistic, numbingly dull. Only he could have made it. – Rory O. (full review)

In Our Day (Hong Sangsoo; May 17)

Like other Hong Sang-soo films, In Our Day passes, on the surface, for simple fare. The prolific South Korean director layers weighty themes amidst naturalistic filmmaking, almost documentary-style in his willingness to let the camera sit without needing any extra flourishes. Cutting between two scenes––both playing out over a single afternoon––Hong focuses his energy on the dialogue between his characters, on the rapid intergenerational misconceptions. In doing so he muses on the pessimism of art, the somewhat meaningless nature of life, and how we interpret the actions and words of our fictional heroes. – Michael F. (full review)

Coma (Bertrand Bonello; May 17)

A contemporary cliché that weakly attempts to diagnose what ails us in modern life is the idea of being addled by technology––of our minds and attention spans swamped by screens, content, scrolling. But as the pandemic hit this notion gained a new relevance: it’s not that the virtual realm of content and media was luring us away from our reality––faced with an indefinite lockdown, it had finally become our sole one. Even though this can be poorly rendered by some, it’s the more sensitive and aware artists, such as Bertrand Bonello with his new feature Coma, that remind of the urgency to confront it.  – David K. (full review)

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (George Miller; May 24)

When it comes to large-scale spectacle across the summer blockbuster slate, it’s hard to imagine another film living up to George Miller’s latest, returning to the Mad Max world nearly a decade after Fury Road. Even if Furiosa only has a quarter of its predecessor’s thrills and creativity, we’ll be content. The only factor that gives us major pause is cinematography coming courtesy of Simon Duggan; to keep expectations high, you may want to avoid looking up his prior credits. – Jordan R.

Kidnapped (Marco Bellochio; May 24)

A story once in the hands of Steven Spielberg to adapt, 84-year-old Italian director Marco Bellocchio’s latest film follows Edgardo Mortara, a seven-year-old Jewish boy who was taken from his family in Bologna to be raised Catholic in the actual arms of Pope Pius IX. Conveyed in sweeping operatic fashion, Kidnapped is a feat of production design and compelling study of both political and religious power, even when certain stagnant passages leave something to be desired. Read Luke Hicks’ Cannes review for more. – Jordan R.

Hit Man (Richard Linklater; May 24 in theaters and June 7 on Netflix)

What Hit Man lacks in technical craft, it compensates for in allure, the most organically sexy movie you’ll see this year. Almost too sexy at times (this is not a problem). As in: there’s no way you watch this with someone you’re into and get through more than 20 minutes without pausing or abandoning it for another night (or another; it might take a few tries). That’s one of the strengths in hiring two of the hottest people on the planet. – Luke H. (full review)

Robot Dreams (Pablo Berger; May 31)

By far one of the most delightful films of the year––even when it breaks your heart––Pablo Berger’s Robot Dreams is a deceptively simple take on companionship that uses robots and animals to tell a very human story about friendship and life. Adapted from Sara Varon’s 2007 graphic novel of the same name, Berger’s lively film respects the form, telling its story without dialogue and instead relying on music and sound effects to drive the story of Dog and Robot forth. Dog spends his life in a sterile East Village apartment, circa the 1980s––eating microwaved meals, playing pong, drinking Tab, and yearning for companionship in the shadow of his YOLO poster. Flipping around the channels, Dog stumbles across an ad for a companion robot and spends the next few days assembling his new friend. – John F. (full review)

In a Violent Nature (Chris Nash; May 31)

What new perspective can one bring to the horror genre? With his directorial debut, Chris Nash gives this question its resoundingly brutal, formally fascinating answer. Primarily following a murderer’s steps and slashes through his travels terrorizing those near a remote cabin, the wonderfully Béla Tarr-esque In a Violent Nature sticks to its meticulous conceit and delivers one of the most chilling horror movies I’ve seen in years. – Jordan R.

Flipside (Chris Wilcha; May 31)

There is no surprise twist in Chris Wilcha’s Flipside, a documentary making its world premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. This is not a true-crime doc or a story of unearthed family secrets. (Although there is lots of ephemera excavated after years of quasi-hoarding.) Instead of a twist, though, there is an audience awakening, one that takes a rather standard there-are-places-I-remember doc into surprisingly resonant territory. Ultimately, Flipside is a moving, funny, inventive film that may cause viewers to follow Wilcha’s lead and ask tough questions about their own lives. That is no small feat for a documentarian. – Chris S. (full review)

Samsara (Lois Patiño; May 31)

“Did you know that we keep on hearing after we’re dead?” The question comes up early into Lois Patiño’s Samsara but haunts the film from first shot to last, doubling as a précis of the multisensory feast this extraordinary journey through bodies, time, and space packs throughout. “Watching” is too restrictive a word for the kind of experience Patiño has arranged. Here’s the rare film that invites your whole body into its universe––one whose haptic, aural, olfactive pleasures are just as vivid as its visual riches. It’s a tale that unspools as a Heraclitean river: you cannot step into it twice, for it is not the same film, and you are no longer the same person. – Leonardo G. (full review)

Ghostlight (Kelly O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson; June 14)

A masterfully crafted work with nearly no false notes, Kelly O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson’s Ghostlight is a tender drama bearing profound moments of humor and small triumphs. The smartly constructed script by O’Sullivan buries the lede, revealing new narrative information with each layer as we watch a nuclear family slowly come apart and, later, find solace in the wake of their son’s suicide. Anchored by a real-life family, the film feels as if it’s been meticulously workshopped with the same intimate collaboration that gave O’Sullivan and Thompson’s last feature, Saint Frances, its authentic nuances. – John F. (full review)

The Bikeriders (Jeff Nichols; June 21)

Nearly a year after its Telluride premiere, with a new distributor and added pedigree after Austin Butler’s recent villain turn in Dune: Part Two, Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders is finally arriving. While our review from the premiere of the biker gang drama was less-than-kind, I’ll always look forward to the latest from Nichols, perhaps even more so in a summer slate that’s a bit light on adult-focused entertainment. – Jordan R.

Green Border (Agnieszka Holland; June 21)

Before the New York Film Festival premiere of her latest opus, Green Border, legendary director Agnieszka Holland wished everyone a good screening: “I would tell you to enjoy the film, but that would not be appropriate.” It was an apt warning for the harrowing, exquisite film that unfolded. Green Border focuses on the treatment of migrants trying to cross from Belarus to Poland so they can find asylum in the European Union. As a result, Holland is now on the shit list of nearly every high-ranking Polish politician, from the president to the Minister of Science and Higher Education. What a shame they’re so blinded by their station that they can’t even appreciate magnificent works of art. Green Border is a riveting, finely crafted, deeply human accounting of the atrocities we make permissible in the name of nationalism. – Lena W. (full review)

Kinds of Kindness (Yorgos Lanthimos; June 21)

Quickly following up last year’s Poor Things, we’ll be getting Yorgos Lanthimos’ next feature sooner than expected, as Kinds of Kindness lands soon after its Cannes premiere. Featuring a reunion with Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, and Joe Alwyn, with an ensemble also including Jesse Plemons, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Mamoudou Athie, and Hunter Schafer, the anthology feature presents three short stories in which the actors play different characters across each. What intrigues me most, however, is Lanthimos’ reunion with co-writer Efthimis Filippou, with whom he collaborated on his finest works, Dogtooth and The Lobster. – Jordan R.

Janet Planet (Annie Baker; June 21)

About halfway through playwright Annie Baker’s self-assured and pitch-perfect directorial debut Janet Planet, 11-year-old Lacy (Zoe Ziegler) rolls over in bed and turns to her mother Janet (Julianne Nicholson) with an innocent prompt. “You know what’s funny?” she asks. “Every moment of my life is hell.” At such a gentle moment, in such a casual way, she delivers a melodramatic gut-punch. You can’t help choking out a laugh. – Jake K-S. (full review)

Fancy Dance (Erica Tremblay; June 21 in theaters and June 28 on Apple TV+)

The narrative feature debut of Erica Tremblay traverses much of the same ground as other films set on and around reservations, highlighting poverty, a spirit to hustle, human trafficking, and the quagmire of political relations between sovereign nations. The domain of recent films like the dark thriller Catch the Fair One as well as Tracey Deer’s Beans and Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.’s Wild IndianFancy Dance also deserves recognition as a landmark of indigenous representation. Co-written by Tremblay and Miciana Alise, their thriller is grounded in the rhythms of everyday life, a little lighter than Catch the Fair One but bearing an equally devastating conclusion. – John F. (full review)

Last Summer (Catherine Breillat; June 28)

Anne (Léa Drucker) is an esteemed lawyer: as uncompromising as she is in her line of work, she is free to enjoy her private life. In her ’40s she has it all, the job and the family she never thought would come. So begins Catherine Breillat’s newest film, Last Summer, which may be a remake of May el-Toukhy’s 2019 adulterous drama Queen of Hearts, but yields to the French filmmaker’s every wish. Even though we never get any backstory to Anne’s character, it’s hinted that her youth was not a pleasant one, as an early abortion took away the possibility to have children of her own. But now, in the summer of her life, she is a mother of two adopted girls and stepmother to an unruly teenager named Théo (Samuel Kircher), from her husband Pierre’s (Olivier Rabourdin) previous marriage. Amidst the idyllic rituals of daily life in the countryside, Anne seems composed and satiated. She is not one to look for trouble. – Savina P. (full review)

Music (Angela Schanelec; June 28)

Thirty or so minutes into Angela Schanelec’s Music, a character makes a startling discovery. We’re inside a prison on the outskirts of an unidentified Greek town, where Jon (Aliocha Schneider) is to spend a manslaughter sentence. And we’re watching him bathed in the cell’s cold light when he suddenly opens his mouth and starts to sing. It’s a moment that shatters the film, one of the loudest in a tale otherwise marked by wistful silences. Jon’s stuck a grocery list of classical composers to the wall, and he intones an aria from Vivaldi’s Il Giustino, “Vedrò con mio diletto.” It’s the first time we hear him sing and it amounts to an otherworldly revelation, both for the young man crooning and those of us who listen: a human being waking up to a superpower. – Leonardo G. (full review)

The Human Surge 3 (Eduardo Williams; June 28)

The Human Surge 3, Williams’ second feature and follow-up to his 2016 The Human Surge (the first installment of a trilogy with no second chapter), is another stupefying project designed to push the medium toward new, uncharted paths. Like the first Surge, this too unfurls in its barest terms as a hangout movie, cartwheeling across three different countries (Sri Lanka, Peru, and Taiwan) to dog a few low-income twenty-somethings as they fritter away time with friends in-between odd jobs. But where the saga’s first episode played like three shorts stitched together, traveling across distinct settings in standalone segments, The Human Surge 3 trades that for something far more elliptical and confounding. The youngsters at its center––Meera and Sharika, Livia and Abel, and Ri Ri and “BK”––aren’t confined to their respective countries but keep showing up in each other’s locales, and the film itself seems to exist in a multiverse that collapses time and space; one minute we’re roaming the rain-soaked slums of Iquitos, the next we’re strolling past Sri Lanka’s igloo-shaped, anti-tsunami houses. – Leo G. (full review)

The Devil’s Bath (Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala; June 28 on Shudder)

Early Modern times were messy: Europe was finding its footing in rationalism, seeking independence from the centuries-long spiritual yoke of Catholicism and Protestantism. Shedding the skin of the past seems, at least from our standpoint today, the best thing that could have happened to modern man. Preempting industrialization and a desire-fulfilling capitalist society, the journey towards Enlightenment positioned its preceding times as “The Dark Ages.” But the freedom to live or die was certainly a luxury for many––especially women caught in the patriarchal webs of rural life. Ewa Lizlfellner was one such woman who didn’t want to live, but to die. – Savina P. (full review)

Family Portrait (Lucy Kerr; June 28)

Texas, late summer, a family in the dozen: with only a few simple building blocks, artist-filmmaker Lucy Kerr rearranges domesticity into eeriness in her feature debut, Family Portrait. It all begins with a ritual, the yearly “model family” Christmas card photo, the taking of which is already an ordeal. Katy (Deragh Campbell) is in a hurry to get it over with so she and her boyfriend Olek (Chris Galust) can depart. But suddenly the mother goes missing, her absence putting everything on hold. Over a seemingly endless day Katy asks after her mom, combing through all the places she could be at to no result. Throughout its slim runtime at 78 minutes the film shapeshifts again and again; its tone moves from jovial to unnerving to anxiously oneiric as we follow Katy deeper into herself in the hope to, paradoxically or not, meet her mother halfway. – Savina P. (full review)

Horizon: An American Saga: Chapter 1 & 2 (Kevin Costner; June 28 and Aug. 16)

As the superhero genre takes its last gasps, the western seems back on the rise. After Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, we’ll see Viggo Mortensen and Ari Aster take on the genre, along with someone who holds it near and dear: Kevin Costner. After owning television screens for the past few years, the actor-director-writer is making his major return to the big screen with his first directorial outing in more than two decades. The first two parts of his western Horizon: An American Saga will be released in the span of just a few months this summer, followed by parts three and four as production resumes soon. Also starring Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, and Tatanka Means, the film spans four years of the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865. With a Cannes premiere set for the first part, check back for our review soon. – Jordan R.

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger (David Hinton; July 5)

Following the best movie of last year, 2024 brings a lesson in cinema history from Martin Scorsese. He’s narrated and executive-produced an exhaustively detailed documentary on two of the greatest directors of all-time, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the duo responsible for The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, A Matter of Life and Death, and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. Considering Scorsese’s close connection to their work, from being captivated at a young age and much later becoming friends with Michael Powell (who was married to Scorsese’s long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker), he’s the perfect guide through their filmography. The result is a De Palma-esque chronological structure in which Scorsese details each of their career steps with passion and history. It’s simply a cinephile’s dream. – Jordan R.

Longlegs (Oz Perkins; July 12)

After three features, including 2020’s underrated Gretel & Hansel, Oz Perkins should be a household name among horror fans. Yet it seems his films fly under the radar. With this year’s Longlegs he enlists Nicolas Cage and Maika Monroe in a thriller about the occult. Cage has been experiencing something of a renaissance recently, and Monroe hasn’t missed yet with her choices in horror, so expectations are high. Hopefully this will be the one to break Perkins into the mainstream. – Christian G. 

National Anthem (Luke Gilford; July 12)

At the beginning of National Anthem, writer-director Luke Gilford’s exquisite-looking and subversive debut feature, 21-year-old Dylan (Charlie Plummer) lives a particularly burdensome and monotonous life. Within his small, rural, isolated New Mexico community he supports his family by shoveling gravel at temporary construction gigs and returns to his one-bedroom home to feed and take care of Cassidy (Joey DeLeon), his younger brother. Most nights his alcoholic hairdresser mother goes out late and returns home with drunken flings, forcing her two sons to sleep on the couch. It’s a difficult, lonely existence, and throughout his primary caretaking Dylan sees no opportunity to escape. – Jake K-S (full review)

Sing Sing (Greg Kwedar; July 12)

We are here to become human again.” This is the mantra of the Rehabilitation Through the Arts program, founded in Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a prison just north of New York City, and the subject of Greg Kwedar’s emotionally restorative new feature. While led by a stellar Colman Domingo with an equally great supporting turn from Paul Raci, the majority of Sing Sing‘s cast knows the program all too well, either as alumni or currently going through it. That authenticity in casting carries through every frame and every line, as if Kwedar has walked these halls and been in these rooms, an observer to the intimate conversations he’s scripted alongside Clint Bentley. – Jordan R. (full review)

Dìdi (弟弟) (Sean Wang; July 26)

It wouldn’t have been Sundance without at least a handful of coming-of-age stories. Sean Wang’s audience award winner Dìdi (弟弟) proves that, with a new perspective, there are still emotions to be mined from a tried-and-true formula. Exploring the everyday life of a Taiwanese-American boy growing up in Fremont, California, wherein issues of friendship and potential crushes can seem to consume every waking moment, the film is most impressive in how it completely nails its 2008 milieu. From trading AIM messages to being obsessed with MySpace Top 8s to looking up how to kiss through YouTube tutorials, it’s remarkable how these nostalgic touches are conveyed with more fondness than cringe. – Jordan R.

La Práctica (Martín Rejtman; July TBD)

You’re plenty absolved for not knowing the deal. It’s been 30 years since Martín Rejtman’s debut feature (Rapado), almost 10 from his last (Two Shots Fired), and nearly everything he’s made is only accessible through darkweb torrent networks I wouldn’t name here for fear of losing membership. In recent years, still, a small-even-by-small’s-standards cult has emerged, a just-enough status for this master of incident, image, and interactions––hilarious as in funny-ha-ha, not the dread “arthouse humor.” If there’s anything to account for a non-pareil comedic director falling so out-of-step with means of exposure, consider what the landscapes––financing, exhibition, distribution––roundly not-great for just about anybody would do to a sui generis Argentinian. – Nick N. (full review)

Kneecap (Rich Peppiatt; Aug. 2)

While Michael Fassbender’s appearance in a brief role may garner the most headlines, Kneecap is the story of an Irish rap group of the same name, with members Liam Óg Ó hAnnaidh, Naoise Ó Cairealláin, and JJ Ó Dochartaigh playing themselves. Exploring the polticially charged time of Troubles and the identity and ownership around language, the film is a blast of infectious energy, utilizing the frenzied delivery of the group’s home-grown lyrics as an aesthetic template. – Jordan R.

Cuckoo (Tilman Singer; Aug. 2)

Hunter Schafer is a very good actress. This probably won’t be news to anyone who watched even the first episode of Euphoria, where her aching vulnerability seemed to swallow the scenery whole. Fresh from appearing in the latest Hunger Games, the actress takes her first leading role in Cuckoo, a supernatural horror that doesn’t feel pushed to explain itself, offering a fun mashup of older, less-well-heeled filmmaking tropes. There is a nicely hammy turn from Dan Stevens and one finely tuned homage, but in Schafer it holds an ace: nailing the physical comedy and stretching her emotive face to the limit, the film is all hers. – Rory O. (full review)

Trap (M. Night Shyamalan; Aug. 9)

After quite a Hitchcockian / Twilight Zone streak with the one-two punch of Old and Knock at the Cabin, expectations are high for M. Night Shyamalan to deliver once again with his upcoming thriller Trap. Featuring a much-deserved lead role for Josh Hartnett, starring alongside the filmmaker’s daughter Saleka Shyamalan, the film follows a father and daughter who realize the concert they are attending is set up as a sting operation by the police. One may want to avoid the trailer if they wish to skip the set-up, but perhaps amongst the most intriguing elements is the cinematography by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, collaborator of Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Luca Guadagnino. – Jordan R.

Good One (India Donaldson; Aug. 9)

It’s been nearly two decades since Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy showed how the wilderness can be an open canvas to explore the breaking points of male friendship and reckoning with a midlife crisis. While those emotional quandaries are evergreen, it’s appropriate timing to bring an entirely new element to this conceit. India Donaldson’s carefully observed, refreshingly patient, beautifully rendered debut feature Good One shifts the perspective, concerning a 17-year-old girl who embarks on a camping trip in the Catskills with her father and his best friend. Through an accumulation of minute details and uneasy glances, the drama becomes a portrait of increasingly crossed boundaries leading to an ultimate breaking point. – Jordan R. (full review)

Blink Twice (Zoë Kravitz; Aug. 23)

While its new title doesn’t quite have the hook of its original, Pussy Island, we’re quite curious what’s in store for the directorial debut of Zoë Kravitz. Featuring quite a cast––including Naomi Ackie, Channing Tatum, Simon Rex, Adria Arjona, Haley Joel Osment, Kyle MacLachlan, Alia Shawkat, Christian Slater, and Geena Davis––the story follows a cocktail waitress who becomes infatuated with a tech mogul and travels with him to his private island, where things begin going wrong. Featuring cinematography by Adam Newport-Berra (The Last Black Man in San Francisco) and editing from Michael Almereyda’s frequent collaborator Kathryn J. Schubert, here’s hoping for an exciting new phase in Kravitz’s career. – Jordan R.

Between the Temples (Nathan Silver; Aug. 23)

In a state of arrested development after his wife unexpectedly died from a freak accident, Ben Gottlieb (Jason Schwartzman) is suicidal, pleading to a truck to just run him over and begging that he be fired from his job as cantor at the local Jewish temple in upstate New York. While this set-up may not scream comedy, Between the Temples is in fact hilarious, packed with endless jokes and adoration for physical gags while we witness Ben find new meaning in life through an unexpected acquaintance. Above all, Nathan Silver’s feature, from a script he co-wrote with C. Mason Wells,is a thrillingly alive, nimble piece of filmmaking: shot on 16mm by Sean Price Williams with faces of its ensemble guiding every movement, and edited by John Magary with a frenetic yet defined rhythm, Between the Temples is a witty, biting portrait of finding one’s footing in both faith and friendship. – Jordan R. (full review)

Close Your Eyes (Víctor Erice; Aug. 23)

Curious, self-referential, and rich, Close Your Eyes has had a difficult passageway into the world, with its Cannes world premiere dogged by reports of conflicts over its runtime, its non-competition placement, and Erice’s own in-person boycott of the screening. Its final form also is a scarcely believable one, singular and self-possessed even amidst all the latter-day auteur work that’s screened in recent days: although it’s studded with other media, such as an unfinished film of Garay’s and trashy Spanish primetime TV, the main bulk is a pokily shot mystery “procedural,” told mainly in one-to-one dialogue scenes, shot in judicious singles with minimal coverage and muted lighting. But Erice is gradually able to accrete a rich character study of Garay and, yes, another meditation on the Grand Power of Cinema––not that we’re lacking in those at the moment––enriched by the fact that this theme, together with memory and longing, has long been the director’s modus operandi. – David K. (full review)

More Films to See

  • Dogleg (May 1)
  • The Idea of You (May 2)
  • Wildcat (May 3)
  • Slow (May 3)
  • New Life (May 3)
  • A Prince (May 10)
  • The Last Stop in Yuma County (May 10)
  • Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry (May 14)
  • Babes (May 17)
  • The Strangers: Chapter 1 (May 17)
  • Taking Venice (May 17)
  • Solo (May 24)
  • Songs of the Earth (May 24)
  • The Dead Don’t Hurt (May 31)
  • Ezra (May 31)
  • The Watchers (June 7)
  • Banel & Adama (June 7)
  • I Used to Be Funny (June 7)
  • This Closeness (June 7)
  • Tuesday (June 14)
  • Inside Out 2 (June 14)
  • Summer Solstice (June 14)
  • Treasure (June 14)
  • Fresh Kills (June 14)
  • Firebrand (June 14)
  • Thelma (June 21)
  • Copa 71 (June 21)
  • Daddio (June 28)
  • June Zero (June 28)
  • Kill (July 4)
  • MaXXXine (July 5)
  • Dandelion (July 12)
  • Twisters (July 19)
  • Widow Clicquot (July 19)
  • Skywalkers: A Love Story (July 19)
  • Crossing (July 19)
  • Starve Acre (July TBD)
  • My Old Ass (Aug. 2)
  • The Fire Inside (Aug. 9)
  • Alien: Romulus (Aug. 16)
  • Close To You (Aug. 16)
  • Slingshot (Aug. 23)
  • Bucky F*cking Dent (TBD)
  • Sleep (TBD)
  • The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat (TBD)
  • Y2K (TBD)
  • Your Monster (TBD)

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