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15 Films to See in June

Written by on June 1, 2016 

The Shallows_2

A corpse farts, a director gets his due, tickling conspiracies are unearthed, pop culture gets skewered, a shark attacks, a fitting swan song arrives, and more this month. Check out our top 15 picks below and let us know what you are looking forward to most.

Matinees to See: The Witness (6/3), Approaching the Unknown (6/3), Len and Company (6/10), King Jack (6/10), Diary of a Chambermaid (6/10), Genius (6/10), Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (6/17), Free State of Jones (6/24), The Duel (6/24), and Les cowboys (6/24)

15. The Neon Demon (Nicolas Winding Refn; June 24th)

The Neon Demon 2

Synopsis: When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: Save for Sean Penn’s belly flopNicolas Winding Refn‘s The Neon Demon was far and away the worst film we saw at Cannes, yet that doesn’t make me any less curious to see what the director has in store. With a wide range of reactions following its premiere, Winding Refn’s return to Los Angeles following Drive looks to be a deliciously bloody, deranged dive into the world of beauty — and as with any of his films, it sounds like you’ll either love it or hate it.

14. Finding Dory (Andrew Stanton; June 17th)

Finding Dory

Synopsis: The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: While the creative brilliance of Inside Out signaled a return to form for Pixar, The Good Dinosaur seemed like a missed opportunity and now four out of their next five films are a step back into sequel territory. The first out of the gate is Finding Dory, a follow-up to Andrew Stanton’s 2003 hit. While the trailers thus far haven’t really sold us on it being a must-see, hopefully this one swims close to the route of the Toy Story franchise than that of their Cars and Monsters follow-ups.

13. Swiss Army Man (Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan; June 24th)

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Synopsis: A hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

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Why You Should See It: It’s rare we’d offer a recommendation of a film we didn’t love, but the mere fact that you won’t witness any other film like Swiss Army Man in this calendar year — or any other, for that matter — makes it worth a watch. Affectionally dubbed the “farting corpse drama” at Sundance this year, it finds Hank (Paul Dano) on a remote island by himself after a boating trip stranded him. Seconds away from ending this desolate existence by hanging himself, he spots a washed up body on the beach, “played” by Daniel Radcliffe. I said in my review, “This set-up could easily make for one of the silliest, off-putting films that has ever graced Sundance — in U.S. Dramatic competition, no less — yet the directing duo bring an unexpected layer of emotion to the story, even if it ends up getting eventually repetitively muddled. As Hank and “Manny,” as Radcliffe’s corpse is later dubbed, progress on their journey, themes of loneliness, isolation, true love, and more emerge.”

12. Tickled (David Farrier, Dylan Reeve; June 17th)

Tickled

Synopsis: Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn’t stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.

Trailer

Why You Should See It:  One may have to soon redefine what constitutes a sports movie. At Sundance earlier this year, New Zealand entertainment reporter David Farrier (and co-director Dylan Reeve) premiered Tickled, a film that dives into the “competitive endurance tickling.” However strange that may sound, they go on to unravel a web of conspiracy and intrigue in this underground world. We said in our review, “Tickled gradually turns out to be about how even the most random phenomenon can become an instrument of extortion and manipulation.”

11. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer; June 3rd)

Popstar

Synopsis: When it becomes clear that his solo album is a failure, a former boy band member does everything in his power to maintain his celebrity status.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: For what’s technically their first official movie, The Lonely Island look to be staying true to their absurdist, bite-sized form. We said in our review, “Samberg and company are keen observers of pop culture and every facet of its insanity, doing their very best to out-size that which already feels larger than logic. They don’t always succeed, but when they do, it’s more than worth it.”

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