Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2016 by Jack Giroux
Earlier this week we covered some of the biggest major releases coming out this summer. But maybe you’re like me — with a few exceptions (The Nice Guys, The BFG, and Jason Bourne), few popcorn movies coming up have me thinking, “I gotta see that.” There are plenty of releases to look forward to, of course, it’s just that very few major titles truly pop when I look over what’s opening in theaters soon.
If you wish there were more options this summer, then luckily for you there are plenty of limited releases to seek out. If you frequent the site, then you’ve probably already read about a few of these upcoming films. But just don’t forget actually to see them when they hit theaters. If you need a breather from all of the hero’s journeys, explosions, and talking CG animals, then the arthouse cinemas have got you covered.
Below, check out our summer movie preview for some independent films you shouldn’t miss.
10. Swiss Army Man
Release date: July 1
I know, I know, how the farting corpse movie didn’t score the number one spot on this list is a mystery to me as well. Is Swiss Army Man more than a farting corpse movie, though? I hope so, but even if it’s not, how often do we see a farting corpse movie that stars Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead? According to Angie, Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert‘s film does have more to offer than its fetching concept. “There’s a pervasive sense of sadness in Swiss Army Man,” she wrote, “about the way that all the societal rules meant to keep our communities running smoothly also keep us from being truly honest with one another, from exposing the ugly parts that bind us as much as our best qualities do. ‘If my best friend won’t fart in front of me,’ Manny says at point, ‘what else is he keeping from me?'” Pretty heavy stuff for a farting corpse movie.
Release date: July 29
Logan Lerman stars in this period drama, based on Philip Roth‘s novel of the same name. At the Sundance Film Festival, Ethan gave Indignation a 9 out of 10 and called Lerman’s performance “the best of his career,” and said that “it helps that the film surrounding his stellar work is brilliant as well.” To avoid fighting in the Korean War, Marcus Messner (Lerman) goes to college, where he meets a girl (played by Sarah Gadon) with a complicated past. Gadon is one of the main draws of Indignation. The actress has done excellent work in Enemy, Antiviral, and a handful of David Cronenberg films. In addition to Lerman and Cronenberg’s frequent collaborator, James Schamus‘ adaptation also stars the great Tracy Letts (August: Osage County, Killer Joe), another reason to keep this film on your radar.
8. The Intervention
Release date: August 26
Who wouldn’t want to see a movie starring the likes of Melanie Lynskey, Clea DuVall, Cobie Smulders, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Ritter, Alia Shawkat, and Ben Schwartz? I know I do. DuVall makes her directorial debut with The Intervention, a comedic drama about four couples turning a vacation into an intervention on their marriages. DuVall — who expressed no shortage of range as an actress when she was on Carnivále — scored positive reviews and a distribution deal when the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. With this cast, she shouldn’t have trouble making an impression with her first feature film as a writer and director.
7. Maggie’s Plan
Release date: May 20
Rebecca Miller makes these gentle, compassionate dramas that aren’t ever flashy or grand, just these lovely, intimate and almost fly-on-the-wall looks at slightly lost characters. Maggie’s Plan, which stars Greta Gerwig and Ethan Hawke, is Miller’s first film in over six years, following The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. As proven by her previous effort, Miller has a particularly keen eye for performances, often capturing well-liked performers in a new light. She showed Keanu Reeves at his most vulnerable and internalized in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, and I’m excited to see what she does with a cast that features Gerwig, Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, and Wallace Shawn.
6. Don’t Think Twice
Release date: July 22
Jacob Hall was a big fan of writer-director Mike Birbiglia‘s comedy at South by Southwest, writing that Gillian Jacobs‘ performance as a struggling NY improv comic is “both hilarious and heartbreaking.” Jacobs recently did fantastic work on Netflix’s Love, and Jacob claimed her lead performance in Don’t Think Twice was one of the best he saw at SXSW. Birbiglia last directed Sleepwalk with Me, a very charming and promising debut film with an authentic voice behind it. The standup comic co-stars in Don’t Think Twice alongside Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Kate Micucci, and plenty of more talent.