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15 Films to See in June

Written by on June 3, 2015 


As we approach the halfway point of the year, this month was so particularly strong that we’ve opted to extend our normal selection of ten. The fifteen recommended films this month range from an iconic classic to festival favorites to a welcome return to form, but that’s not even the half of it. Check out what we’re looking forward to below and, in the comments, let us know what you’re seeing.

Matinees to See: An Open Secret (6/5), Spy (6/5), Testament of Youth (6/5), Madame Bovary (6/12), Set Fire to the Stars (6/12), Infinitely Polar Bear (6/19), Burying the Ex (6/19) and A Little Chaos (6/26)

15. The Third Man (Carol Reed; June 26th)


Synopsis: Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime.


Why You Should See It: While this one is certainly a better film than anything on the rest of the list, considering it’s a restoration, we’ll make a note of it at the top. After going through a remastering from a fine-grain master positive struck from the original negative — in which release prints were used as a reference for the grading — this 4K restoration will actually be getting a fairly nice release across the country.

14. Manglehorn (David Gordon Green; June 19th)


Synopsis: Left heartbroken by the woman he loved and lost many years ago, Manglehorn, an eccentric small-town locksmith, tries to start his life over again with the help of a new friend.


Why You Should See It:  Currently enjoying a comeback of sorts with leading roles in The Humbling, Danny Collins, and the forthcoming Harmony Korine-directed The TrapAl Pacino here finds him working with one of the more adaptive directors in the business, David Gordon Green. While we were far from fans after viewing it at Venice last year (review), we do note that “it’s one of the better performances in the last few years for the legendary actor – restrained, pissed-off and spaced-out at the same time.”

13. Dope (Rick Famuyiwa; June 19th)


Synopsis: A coming of age comedy/drama for the post hip hop generation. Malcolm is a geek, carefully surviving life in The Bottoms, a tough neighborhood in Inglewood, CA filled gangsters and drugs dealers, while juggling his senior year of college applications, interviews and the SAT. His dream is to attend Harvard. A chance invitation to a big underground party leads Malcolm and his friends into a, only in Los Angeles, gritty adventure filed with offbeat characters and bad choices. If Malcolm can persevere, he’ll go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.


Why You Should See It: As I said in my review, “Dope opens with a sense of energy proclaiming that writer-director Rick Famuyiwa has something to say, and he’s going to do it in his own particular way. Difficult to quantify, the Sundance drama is many things: a love letter to the 1990’s era of style and hip-hop, a coming-of-age story, a crime drama, a romance, an examination of social media, and an offbeat comedy. While some of these strands don’t entirely excel, Dope is often a refreshingly lively and passionate work of filmmaking.”

12. Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow; June 12th)


Synopsis: Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly.


Why You Should See It: With a release coming in less than 10 days and barely any advance word, we remain hesitant if Jurassic World will be a worthwhile entry into the franchise. Despite a mostly unproven director at the helm, hopefully it’s a return to the original’s form, and without relying too heavily on the nostalgia factor. Regardless, if all the dinosaur action fails to live up, we imagine the charms of Chris Pratt will get one by.

11. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon; June 12th)


Synopsis: A teenage filmmaker befriends a classmate with cancer.


Why You Should See It: Any film earning multiple top awards at Sundance arrives with some hesitation, at least with regard to its lasting impact, and while it’s not one of the year’s best films, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is still worth a watch. I said in my review, “With the glut of shapeless and uninspired teenage dramas hitting the marketplace, a breath of fresh air arrives with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon with remarkable control, creativity and fervor, the film is equal parts a homage to classic cinema and a heart-wrenching romantic comedy with earned emotion.”

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