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15 Films to See in June

Written by on June 1, 2017 


May kicked off the summer movie season, but June brings some studio tentpoles actually worth seeing (yes, we didn’t like that one everyone else did last month). Along with popcorn entertainment, there’s some of the finest independent films of the year, ranging from a long-delayed final feature from a late master to Sundance favorites and more. We should also note that, despite getting a release last year, IFC seems to be putting the Palme d’Or-winning I, Daniel Blake back in theaters this week, and we recommend seeking it out if you missed it.

Matinees to See: Past Life (6/2), Band Aid (6/2), My Cousin Rachel (6/9), Megan Leavey (6/9), SCORE: A Film Music Documentary (6/16), Maudie (6/16), Harmonium (6/16), The Journey (6/16), All Eyez on Me (6/16), Lost in Paris (6/16), Pop Aye (6/28), The House (6/30), and The Little Hours (6/30).

15. It’s Only the End of the World (Xavier Dolan; June 30)

Its Only the End of the World 7

Synopsis: It would have been a lovely family dinner. If it weren’t the last.


Why You Should See It: This pick is certainly more of a curiosity than anything else. After quickly earning cachet with films such as Laurence Anyways and Mommy, Xavier Dolan‘s drama It’s Only the End of the World picked up an award at Cannes last year despite a negative reception overall (we found some things to appreciate) and now it’ll head straight to Netflix at the end of the month. With a cast consisting of Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, and Vincent Cassel, we’re intrigued to see it nonetheless.

14. Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (June 23)


Synopsis: The trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, and raised important questions about how big money can silence media. This film is an examination of the perils and duties of the free press in an age of inequality.

Why You Should See It: One of our favorite documentaries from Sundance this year was Brian Knappenberger‘s follow-up to The Internet’s Own Boy, which looks at the trial between Hogan and Gawker, as well as the free press at large. “Knappenberger crafts a compelling and infuriating tale of big money flouting freedom of speech in an era where freedom of speech (thanks in part to social media) has become more democratized and, perhaps, more dangerous than ever,” we said in our review.

13. The Bad Batch (Ana Lily Amirpour; June 23)

The Bad Batch

Synopsis: A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.


Why You Should See It: After a debut as impressive as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, we’ll watch anything from the director, even if it didn’t arrive with quite the same response. We said in our review, “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.”

12. The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography (Errol Morris; June 30)


Synopsis: A look at the life and work of photographer Elsa Dorfman.


Why You Should See It: This month brings a new film from Errol Morris, which means essential viewing. The Thin Blue Line and Fog of War director’s latest is The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography, which depicts his own friend and neighbor. With a career beginning in the 1960s, Dorfman has mastered the large-format Polaroid Land 20×24 camera and, judging from the preview, this looks to playfully honor her craft.

11. It Comes at Night (Trey Edward Shults; June 9)


Synopsis: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.


Why You Should See It: The threat of the unknown lurks behind every door, every parcel of darkness, and every character motivation in It Comes at Night. While the world writer-director Trey Edward Shults hints at is larger than in Krisha, it’s a similarly scaled exercise in wringing out tension, one that’s more patient than his debut, even if the whole is not as great as the sum of its formally impressive parts.

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