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15 Films to See in July

Written by on July 2, 2018 

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After looking at the first half of 2018 and highlighting the best films of the year so far, it’s time to enter the back half of the year. July brings our most-anticipated blockbuster of the entire year, more festival favorites, a few essential documentaries, and a handful of curiosities.

Matinees: Fireworks (7/4), The First Purge (7/4), White Fang (7/6), The Night Eats the World (7/13), Whitney (7/6), McQueen (7/20), Generation Wealth (7/20), Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (7/27), Hot Summer Nights (7/27)

15. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (Gus Van Sant; July 13)

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Synopsis: On the rocky path to sobriety after a life-changing accident, John Callahan discovers the healing power of art, willing his injured hands into drawing hilarious, often controversial cartoons, which bring him a new lease on life.

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Why You Should See It: If you’ve read my review from Sundance, you’ll know I was mixed on Gus Van Sant’s rather shapeless biopic, yet for Joaquin Phoenix completists, it is still worth seeking out for another worthwhile performance. And you’ll also get a strong turn from Jack Black and a delightful brief role from Jonah Hall.

14. The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter (Jody Hill; July 6)

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Synopsis: The great hunter Buck Ferguson and his trusted cameraman Don set out for an epic weekend adventure to reconnect with Buck’s young son.

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Why You Should See It: By most all accounts based on its SXSW reactions (including our own), The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter was a disappointment. However, I’ll eagerly watch anything from the director of Observe & Report and creator of Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals. And with Jody Hill’s comedy starring Josh Brolin and Danny McBride arriving straight to Netflix this week, it’s accessibility makes it that much easier a decision.

13. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed; July 6)

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Synopsis: As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

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Why You Should See It: A lighthearted breather for the MCU, Ant-Man and the Wasp is the ideal summer diversion. I said in my review, “Peyton Reed doubles down on the comedic charms of his cast, playing up Rudd’s aloofness and winning reactions to the quantum-related craziness going on around him, while also providing inventive new perspectives into their size-adjusting quarrels.”

12. What Will People Say? (Iram Haq; July 13)

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Synopsis: The life of a Norwegian teenager of Pakistani descent collapses when her traditional parents kidnap her and send her to Pakistan.

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Why You Should See It: One of our TIFF favorites makes its way to theaters this month. Jared Mobarak said in his review, “This is a film about oppression wielded behind closed doors. It’s about hypocrisy, mistrust, and the struggle felt by second-generation immigrants everywhere. And Haq pulls no punches in depicting just how devastatingly bad things can get when a child’s mind is torn between a community built on archaic ideals and another entrenched in a present where such stringent rules prove impossible to uphold.”

11. Blindspotting (Carlos Lopez Estrada; July 20)

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Synopsis: Lifelong friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about the intersection of race and class, set against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland.

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Why You Should See It: Uneven, but no less impactful the Sundance opener Blindspotting will arrive this month. Daniel Schindel said in his review, “Blindspotting is a mess that is likely to lessen in your mind as soon as it’s over, even if you may be utterly absorbed in it in the moment (which I often was). A lot of it is provocation which belies a lack of a real message, or story turns that feel unearned even in the heightened context the movie establishes. But there is undeniable craft here, and an impossible-to-ignore signal that everyone involved in the project deserves attention going forward. What does work is strong, sometimes powerful.”

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