The Little Hours Trailer

10. The Little Hours (June 30)

Jeff Baena‘s Life After Beth is a charming first feature. The co-writer of I Heart Huckabees‘ debut has a lot of laughs and shows plenty of signs of promise. Some jokes land better than others, but the metaphor and overall experience came together enough that it left me looking forward to what Baena would write and direct next. The story he chose as his follow-up is about three nuns – played by Aubrey PlazaAlison Brie, and Kate Micucci – who prefer their rules over the Church’s.

“It is trash. Pure trash,” the Catholic League called it, and that immediately raised my expectations for the raunchy R-rated comedy. The Little Hours also stars Dave FrancoNick OffermanMolly Shannon, and Fred Armisen. They look every bit as funny as the film’s three leads do. There aren’t many promising R-rated comedies coming out this summer, but The Little Hours is one of them. Watch the trailer here. (Jack Giroux)

Wind River Review

9. Wind River (August 4)

After writing Hell or High Water, plenty of viewers are interested to see what Taylor Sheridan can do behind the camera as a director. Wind River was being touted as his directorial debut at Sundance (though he was at the helm of a movie called Vile back in 2011), and though it attempts to bring forth the same isolated thriller style that made Hell or High Water so great, it doesn’t quite measure up to the Best Picture nominee. Still, it packs plenty of excitement and suspense, especially in the third act, even if it feels like a big budget episode of Law & Order: Indian Reservation Unit from time to time. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen definitely elevate it, with the former turning in one of the best performances of his career, along with some emotional moments from Native American actors like Gil Birmingham. (Ethan Anderton)

Band Aid

8. Band Aid (June 2)

You might know Zoe Lister-Jones from her stints on shows like Life in Pieces, New Girl, Whitney or Friends with Better Lives, but she really breaks through as a leading lady and director in the indie comedy Band-Aid. Paired with Adam Pally as a married couple trying to deal with the struggles of maintaining a relationship, the two turn to forming a makeshift band as a way of confronting their problems with each other, and they just might have found a fledgling music career along with it. Fred Armisen adds the right amount of silliness, but there’s also some authentic heart at the center of the Sundance-selected film that makes it stand out among this summer’s indie fare. (Ethan Anderton)

Nobody Speak Hulk Hogan, Gawker and the Trials of a Free Press

7. Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press (June 23)

The lawsuit that Hulk Hogan filed against Gawker Media for posting a sex tape featuring the former wrestler resulted in a battle that put privacy up against the rights of the First Amendment. Hogan not only won, but received a huge settlement that bankrupted Gawker and its founder. But there are some more disturbing details about the case that may have an impact on the free press, making this documentary more relevant than ever.

Nobody Speak is a documentary from Brian Knappenberger that reveals some of the more troubling issues with what’s happening at some of the nation’s most respected news outlets involving corruption from corporations and their billionaires trying to stop the free press from being the free press. It will infuriate and enlighten you. If you’d like to know more, read Peter Sciretta’s review from Sundance. (Ethan Anderton)

Ingrid Goes West

6. Ingrid Goes West (August 4)

Another Sundance-selected comedy, Ingrid Goes West takes aim at the Instagram-obsessed culture of today’s younger generation and crafts the story of a stalker that is somehow charming and funny as it offers some relevant social commentary. Aubrey Plaza turns in one of the best performances of her career as the title stalker, who takes solace in living life vicariously through someone else’s Instagram posts, until she decides to create a life for herself in the spitting image of her prey, played by Elizabeth Olsen. The movie has something to say about the Instagram generation without sounding holier than thou, and it’s also extremely funny, especially when O’Shea Jackson Jr.‘s character is involved. Watch the trailer here. (Ethan Anderton)

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