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15 Films to See in July (what are you watching?)

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Expendable.

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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)



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.

Trailer

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.

Trailer

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)



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.

Trailer

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.

Trailer

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)



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.

Trailer

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."

10. Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin; July 22nd)



Synopsis: The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: After breathing life into the Fast and Furious franchise, director Justin Lin will attempt to do the same thing with Captain Kirk and company with Star Trek Beyond. The third film in the J.J. Abrams-launched franchise looks to be another rollicking adventure with this time Idris Elba taking on a villain role. Sadly, it'll hopefully be a fitting send-off for Anton Yelchin in a role that he's best known for.

9. Microbe and Gasoline (Michel Gondry; July 1st)



Synopsis: Two young friends embark on a road trip across France in a vehicle they built themselves.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: Yes, you heard that right. A new film from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry will arrive in theaters this week. While it unfortunately hasn't been as publicized as much as it should, the coming-of-age buddy comedy of sorts has been well-recieved since its debut in France last summer and we're looking forward to checking it out.

8. The Innocents (Anne Fontaine; July 1st)



Synopsis: In 1945 Poland, a young French Red Cross doctor who is sent to assist the survivors of the German camps discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy during a visit to a nearby convent.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: Captured on cinema since it commenced, if a filmmaker doesn't find a new angle in which tell the horrors of World War II, then it can perhaps seem like a futile effort. The Innocents, the latest film from Coco Before Chanel director Anne Fontaine, digs up such an example of a compelling, true story from Philippe Maynial. Its title, translated as Lamb of God from its Latin origin, most commonly refers to the sacrificial giving that Jesus offers. However, specifically in the Old Testament, it can refer to a person who succumbs to the punishment of sins without willing to do so, which is clearly where Fontaine more specifically draws from. See my full review.

7. Life, Animated (Roger Ross Williams; July 1st)



Synopsis: A coming of age story about a boy and his family who overcame great challenges by turning Disney animated movies into a language to express love, loss, kinship and brotherhood.

Trailer

Why You Should See It:  For many of us, we can name more than a few Disney classics that left an imprint on our childhood in remarkable ways. However, for one family they were more significant than even the animators would have imagined. Life, Animated, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival this year and won the Best Directing award, follows the story of a a boy who used Aladdin, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, and more to cope with autism. We said in our review, "An optimistic portrait of a family and personal struggle with autism and adulthood, Life, Animated is a unique exploration of themes we’ve seen in several other documentaries on the subject."

6. Jason Bourne (Paul Greengrass; July 29th)



Synopsis: Jason Bourne, now remembering who he truly is, tries to uncover hidden truths about his past.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: As much as I didn't need to see where Jason Bourne went after their last collaboration, a new Paul Greengrass movie is enough reason to look forward to a return to the spy franchise. With Matt Damon back, bringing along a few promising newcomers, including Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, and Vincent Cassel, the first trailer sold some enticing action and just enough mystery to have us intrigued.

5. Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross; July 8th)



Synopsis: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: Viggo Mortensen further proves he's one of the best actors working today with his latest role. We said in our review, "A common trope at Sundance is the star-led indie, painted top-to-toe with eccentricities that are meant to represent/replace both story and character development. Relatively straightforward narratives that stand out thanks to shock-and-awe details that usually fade not too long after the well-regarded premiere. Captain Fantastic, written and directed by Matt Ross (28 Hotel Rooms), threatens to reinforce the expectation, before rising above and standing on its own."

4. Phantom Boy (Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli; July 15th)



Synopsis: A super-powered boy helps a wheelchair-bound policeman in his attempt to bring down a mob kingpin.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: After earning an Oscar nomination a few years back for their animated feature A Cat in Paris, directors Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol are back with Phantom Boy. Following its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, we named it one of our favorites of the festival and thankfully GKIDS have picked it up for a summer release.

3. Don't Think Twice (Mike Birbiglia; July 22nd)



Synopsis: When a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group - all best friends - start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: For his first feature Sleepwalk with Me, comedian-turned-director Mike Birbiglia adapted his semi-autobiographical one-man show, picking apart his anxieties and fears when it comes to the most personal aspects of his life. His follow-up, Don't Think Twice, presents a perhaps even more insular world, that of the New York improv comedy scene and more specifically, the shifting dynamics of a single group. Check out my full review.

2. The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet; July 22nd)



Synopsis: A look at the childhood life of a a post-World War I leader.

Trailer

Why You Should See It:  He can be seen in films from Michael Haneke, Lars von Trier, Olivier Assayas, Mia Hansen-Løve, Noah Baumbach, Bertrand Bonello, Ruben Östlund, and more, but Brady Corbet finally got on the other side of the camera for his feature debut, The Childhood of a Leader. With a top-notch cast featuring Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, Yolande Moreau, Robert Pattinson, and Tom Sweet, we said in our review, "The film is a huge psychological and tonal balancing act that could crumble at each turn, and yet never does."

1. Indignation (James Schamus; July 29th)



Synopsis: In 1951, Marcus, a working-class Jewish student from New Jersey, attends a small Ohio college, where he struggles with sexual repression and cultural disaffection, amid the ongoing Korean War.

Trailer

Why You Should See It: After helping filmmakers such as Todd Haynes, Ang Lee, and Todd Solondz shape their careers, James Schamus has finally made the leap from producer to director with an adaptation of Philip Roth's 2008 novel Indignation. I said in my review, "Indignation is a thoughtful examination of romantic courtship and educational routines that's best when its writer-director prioritizes characters over plot. As punctuated by a dark, transcendent ending, Schamus captures many wistful echoes of an era long past."

Full list of releases:

• The BFG (BV) - 7/1
• The Innocents (MBox) - 7/1
• The Legend of Tarzan (WB) - 7/1
• Life, Animated (Orch.) - 7/1
• Our Kind of Traitor (RAtt.) - 7/1
• The Purge: Election Year (Uni.) - 7/1
• Satanic (Magn.) - 7/1
• Sultan (Yash) - 7/7
• Captain Fantastic (BST) - 7/8
• Cell (Saban) - 7/8
• Cold War 2 (WGUSA) - 7/8
• The Dog Lover (ESX) - 7/8
• Fathers and Daughters (INDEP) - 7/8
• Indian Point (FRun) - 7/8
• Men Go To Battle (FM) - 7/8
• Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (Fox) - 7/8
• Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (MBox) - 7/8
• Our Little Sister (SPC) - 7/8
• The Secret Life of Pets (Uni.) - 7/8
• Zero Days (Magn.) - 7/8
• La Favorita (Abr.) - 7/12
• The Infiltrator (BG) - 7/13
• Cafe Society (LGF) - 7/15
• Garnet's Gold (Argo.) - 7/15
• Ghostbusters (2016) (Sony) - 7/15
• Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (QF) - 7/15
• Phantom Boy (GK) - 7/15
• Tulip Fever (Wein.) - 7/15
• Undrafted (INDEP) - 7/15
• Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (FoxS) - 7/22
• Don't Think Twice (TFA) - 7/22
• Ice Age: Collision Course (Fox) - 7/22
• Lights Out (WB) - 7/22
• Star Trek Beyond (Par.) - 7/22
• Summertime (2016) (Strand) - 7/22
• Nerve (LGF) - 7/27
• Bad Moms (STX) - 7/29
• Equity (SPC) - 7/29
• Gleason (ORF) - 7/29
• Indignation (RAtt.) - 7/29
• Jason Bourne (Uni.) - 7/29
• The Land (IFC) - 7/29

What are you looking forward to this month?
 

Blader

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Jason Bourne, Star Trek Beyond, and Cafe Society in theaters.

Zero Days, The BFG, maybe Ghostbusters later on. I should check out Life Animated too, I think one of my friends actually worked on it.
 

Smokey_Run

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Just Jason Bourne.

I haven't been out to the theater much this year. I've seen three films up to this point. Usually I would have seen that many in the past month or so with it being the middle of summer.
 

ViewtifulJC

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A good cinematic adaptation of a Phillip Roth novel? JLawOk.gif

Besides that, the hope is Jason Bourne is that Great Summer Blockbuster that has utterly failed to materialize this summer so far. And while Star Trek Beyond's marketing has been questionable and buzz approaching X-Men Apocalypse level of non-existent-to-negative, I sure hope its a good time.
 

User 479360

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There are a few movies on that list that I wouldn't mind seeing, but none of them will likely play close to me. I may check them out on TMN or when I can.

I'll be going to see Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, because it looks hilarious and hopefully isn't bad like some others in that genre. I've been wanting to see it for some time.

Maybe I'll go see something else. I'm not sure.
 

PillarEN

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I see Our Little Sister is only LA and NYC. That really sucks. Entitled Coastal-GAF. Why don't you share with Midwest-GAF?
 

Gobias

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The Land is a pretty entertaining and stylish movie if not a little cliche. Plus #Believeland. Did you not like it has much?
 
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I'll see Bourne and Mike and Dave. Probably end up seeing that Secret Life of Pets movie too.
Don't Think Twice sounds interesting. That cast is awesome. If it plays near me I'll definitely check it out.
 

styl3s

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Captain Fantastic if my local indie/foreign theater gets it and Purge because it's a huge guilty pleasure series of mine.

Everything else i will probably wait for redbox/netflix.
 

ViewtifulJC

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Probably the only person excited about this, but the best Merchant Ivory film "Howards End" is getting a 4K restoration. It's from the original film negative, overseen by the original director and cinematographer. At the very least I'd like to get the blu-ray since the Criterion is like $60, used. Great film, wonderful performances, beautiful to look at between its all its British paranomic shots and fancy costumes.
 

Raxus

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Lots this month though I feel like I am going to hit a lot of brick walls.

Ghostbusters
Phantom Boy (assuming I can find it)
Jason Bourne
Purge: Election Day (depending on reviews)
Star Trek
Life, Animated
 

LucidMomentum

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I'm in for Hillary's America.

When she's in office.

• The Purge: Election Year (Uni.) - 7/1 (Maybe? I dunnow. More Frank Grillo though.)
• Captain Fantastic (BST) - 7/8 (Seems interesting. Mortensen is the best.)• Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (Fox) - 7/8 (Huge crushes on the gals in this film. Maybe.)• Ghostbusters (2016) (Sony) - 7/15 (Nerd Salt is delicious)
• Star Trek Beyond (Par.) - 7/22 (Gimme that Lin directed Trek)
• Jason Bourne (Uni.) - 7/29 (Love the Bourne series)

For me.
 

Violence Jack

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Yeah, this seems like a pretty weak month to me. I'm sure I'll get dragged to see Star Trek, I'm probably in for the new Bourne flick (which reminds me that I still need to watch Bourne Ultimatum), and Ghostbusters is starting to look like it'll be rental-tier. Nothing about the film looks good to me outside of Helmsworth, McKinnon, and a few of the ghost designs.
 

Dog Problems

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I'm interested in seeing The BFG and The Secret Life of Pets but I don't know if I'll actually go to the theater to see them. Might just wait and stream them.
 

eFKac

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Ehh probably Ghostbusters.

Might catch some of the smaller profile movies depending on reviews.
 

Already Torn

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I might see Star Trek in a few months, other than hat nothing for me. I'll see it sooner if the reviews are good!
 
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Well, even if Star Trek sucks it has zero competition in terms of blockbusters apparently, so.... That.

Edit: And yes, I believe Bourne wont be competing with Trek.
 

geestack

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saw the purge last night and it was decent. i feel like these movies are kinda like fast food in that it looks and sounds good but ultimately ends up unsatisfying as you were hoping for more.

the film feels like it's trying to do too much: a social commentary on contemporary american society, an over the top dystopian 80s movie, and a straight out action/thriller. it never quite strikes the right balance, which just makes me feel like i should keep coming back to the series to see if they get it right the next time.
 
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