Brigsby Bear pic

The summer movie season is almost upon us. Comic book movies, reboots, spin-offs, and an unwanted sequel or two – they’re all coming out these next four months. We’re looking forward to more than a few of them, but I’m more hopeful for some of the movies coming to on-demand, steaming services, and local arthouse theaters this summer. Last week, we brought you the list of our most anticipated wide releases arriving this summer. And now, here’s the companion pieces: the 15 limited releases we’re most excited to see!

A few of the titles listed in our indie-themed 2017 summer movie preview below, including Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, are set to go wide after a small launch. However, keep your eyes open – most of these movies may require you to actively seek them out…and a fair number of them will surely prove worth the effort!

Colin Trevorrow's The Book Of Henry photo

15. The Book of Henry (June 16)

After seeing the first trailer, I’m thoroughly perplexed by this movie. It feels like it’s mashing up two drastically different movies into a single story, and I’m not sure it will be able to successfully bring them together to form a cohesive film. Still, that doesn’t keep the trailer from being rather interesting, if only because it’s a lower profile movie from Jurassic World and future Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow. The filmmaker previously delivered the wonderful indie Safety Not Guaranteed, and while this looks completely different from his first feature effort, it does make us wonder what he can do with a movie like this, especially with a cast that includes Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Jaeden Lieberher and Dean Norris. Watch the trailer here. (Ethan Anderton)

Chuck photo

14. Chuck (May 5)

I know you all agree: the world could always use more boxing movies. Or at the very least, boxing movies that show us something new or at least tell a familiar story well. Based on the reviews of Philippe Falardeau‘s boxing drama, which also looks like it has a lot of humor to go along with the broken bones, the story of heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner is directed with enough heart and passion to stand out from the herd. Wepner is the boxer that inspired Rocky, but there’s more to his story than influencing Sylvester Stallone (Morgan Spector). His journey isn’t as famous as Rocky’s, but it’s one that should be told. Liev Schreiber, who’s convincing as someone you wouldn’t want to face in a ring, is apparently terrific as Chuck Wepner, too. Watch the trailer here. (Jack Giroux)

manifesto trailer

13. Manifesto (May 10)

Cate Blanchett plays 13 roles in Julian Rosefeldt‘s film. The director’s project initially began as a multi-screen art installation and years after its inception, it’s been transformed into a movie, with Blanchett delivering various “manifestos” as each character. Two of the manifestos come from Werner Herzog and Jim Jarmusch. Blanchett plays a school teacher, a news anchor, a scientist, and a punk rocker in the film, just to name a few. If someone could seamlessly pull off all these roles in one movie – it’s Blanchett. She’s blown us away before with parts that hardly look effortless, like I’m Not There. Whether the movie strikes some emotional chord or has more to offer than a great performance, we’ll see, but this looks like another performance from Blanchett that won’t be forgotten. Watch the trailer here. (Jack Giroux)

Paint It Black

12. Paint it Black (June 3)

Amber Tamblyn‘s (127 Hours) directorial doesn’t sound like an actor just testing the waters with their first go. Paint it Black, which Tamblyn co-wrote with Ed Dougherty based on Janet Fitch’s (“White Oleander“) novel, has been praised as an intense and intimate drama about grief. The story follows Josie (Alia Shawkat), whose boyfriend committed suicide. Both shocked and confused, Josie and her boyfriend’s mother, Meredith (Janet McTeer), begin a tense and messy relationship. From the positive reviews I’ve read, Paint it Black doesn’t read as an easy or indie light take on grief. Instead, it might be a challenging and rewarding drama that sounds unflinching. Tamblyn behind the camera is enticing, as is Shawkat in a leading role. (Jack Giroux)

The Survivalist

11. The Survivalist (May 19)

Here’s a sparse post-apocalyptic thriller I’ve heard nothing but effusive praise for. Set in the near future, Stephen Fingleton‘s film is about a man (Martin McCann) who’s managed to survive a starvation epidemic all alone on his farm. One day, a mother (Olwen Fouere) and daughter (Mia Goth) seek help from the stranger. Their intention is to take the farm for themselves. However, something goes wrong, and they get involved in a dangerous situation with the titular survivalist, or so it seems based on the movie’s fantastic trailer, which gets more intense with each passing second. If The Survivalist is as nail-biting as the trailer and the reviews indicate, then we’re in for one thrilling and unsettling movie. Watch the trailer here. (Jack Giroux)

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