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15 Films to See in July

Written by on June 30, 2016 

Jason Bourne

Are you all caught up with the best films of 2016 so far? It’s now time to turn to the other half of the year and July kicks things off with a promising slate of festival favorites and hopefully a decent summer blockbuster or two. It should be noted that the Coens‘ debut Blood Simple, recently restored, is getting a theatrical release ahead of a Criterion bow in the fall, so make sure to seek that out if it’s playing near you.

Matinees to SeeOur Kind of Traitor (7/1), Men Go to Battle (7/8), The Infiltrator (7/13), Don’t Blink – Robert Frank (7/13), Tulip Fever (7/15), Seventh Fire (7/22), Summertime (7/22), The Land (7/29), Into the Forest (7/29), Gleason (7/29), Equity (7/29)

15. Cafe Society (Woody Allen; July 15th)

Cafe Society 5

Synopsis: Set in the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars. After returning to New York he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.


Why You Should See It: I stand by my sentiment that Woody Allen has yet to make a truly awful film, so even if he doesn’t hit out of the park, there’s always something to enjoy. His latest seems to fall in that camp as we said in our Cannes review, “Café Society is a quintessential later-period Woody Allen film. That is to say, it’s thoroughly mediocre. It’s by now a sad truism that the octogenarian auteur is more interested in maintaining his prodigious output of at least one feature per annum (he hasn’t missed a beat since 1982) than to strive for the supreme heights he reached time and again in his first three decades as a filmmaker.”

14. Ghostbusters (Paul Feig; July 15th)


Synopsis: Ghosts get busted.


Why You Should See It: At this point, I’m eager for the discussion around Ghostbusters to move beyond noxious man-children trolling the internet as much as I’m looking forward to the movie itself. Led by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, Paul Feig has gathered the ideal comedic quartet to continue the franchise. While the trailers have been a bit of a let-down, that was the case for the director’s previous films, yet they mostly all managed to deliver in their final form, and hopefully that continues here.

13. Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Koreeda; July 8th)

Our Little Sister 1

Synopsis: A story that revolves around three sisters who live in their grandmother’s home and the arrival of their thirteen-year-old half sister.


Why You Should See It: While he just debuted one of our favorites from Cannes, After the StormHirokazu Koreeda‘s previous feature will finally get a release soon in the United States thanks to Sony Pictures Classics. Adapted from Akimi Yoshida’s highly successful manga Umimachi Diary, Our Little Sister is an examination of the dynamics amongst the members of a damaged family.While we were mixed on it back at Cannes last year, there’s no way I’ll be missing out on seeing a new film from the director.

12. The BFG (Steven Spielberg; July 1st)


Synopsis: A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children.


Why You Should See ItSteven Spielberg adapting Roald Dahl sounds like an ideal match, and indeed, the director brings a level of directorial precision, wonder, and imagination missing from the rest of the summer slate thus far. While it often feels whizpoppingly flat, dramatically speaking, it’s still worth seeing. We said in our review, “CGI loses the day in Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, a partly motion-captured, eco-minded adaptation of Roald Dahl’s adored children’s book that leans so heavily on green-screen trickery that even Mark Rylance’s kind eyes — squinting out from that computer-generated abyss — can’t save it from mediocrity.”

11. Zero Days (Alex Gibney; July 8th)

Zero Days

Synopsis: Documentary detailing claims of American/Israeli jointly developed malware Stuxnet being deployed not only to destroy Iranian enrichment centrifuges but also threaten attacks against Iranian civilian infrastructure.


Why You Should See It:  With an output so rapid, we don’t blame you if you’ve missed the last few documentaries from Alex Gibney (Going Clear, Taxi to the Dark Side). His next one, however, you’ll certainly want to pay attention to. We said in our review, “With its focus on the U.S. government’s covert advances into the field of cyberwarfare, Zero Days resembles Gibney’s Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, an equally searing indictment of the U.S. military’s government-sanctioned use of torture during the Iraq War. Although his scope is much more ambitious this time around, the writer-director handles this expansive, technically complex, and ethically abstract subject matter with remarkable cogency, crafting a documentary that’s as enlightening as it is disquieting.”

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