The Bad Batch

5. The Bad Batch (June 23)

A hero (Suki Waterhouse) without an arm and a leg, cannibals, and a cult leader played by Keanu Reeves, and Jim Carrey as a mute is just the kind of post-apocalyptic movie I want to see in the summertime. They’re all a part of the new film from Ana Lily Amirpour, whose debut film, A Girl Walks Alone at Night, has a hypnotic, oddball beauty to it. Her sophomore effort is larger in scope but appears to be as atmospheric and evocative. Amirpour’s vampire film has a personality of its own, and fingers crossed we’ll soon say the same about her dreamy post-apocalyptic movie.

Our former writer and editor Angie Han was underwhelmed by the end of The Bad Batch but believed it went into “new territory,” which is enough to sell me on it (Jack Giroux).

a ghost story

4. A Ghost Story (July 7)

David Lowery makes movies that aren’t afraid to pile on the feelings. The Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Pete’s Dragon director isn’t one to hold back when it comes to emotion. There’s nothing cold about his work. His next film packs a quiet but heavy punch, according to those who saw it at Sundance this year. Our own Ethan Anderton had this to say in his review:

A Ghost Story certainly isn’t for everybody, but it is audaciously about everybody. It takes a bold, intimate look at the daunting prospect of death and the inevitable fact that after a certain amount of time passes, there won’t be any evidence that we existed at all. It may not inspire you, but it’s an undeniably breathtaking piece of independent cinema that will make you feel something, and isn’t that what we’re all here for?

Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara reunited for this drama, which is a meditative ghost story about death. Playing the ghost? Affleck, covered in a white sheet, which should be enough to convince you to see it. Watch the trailer here. (Jack Giroux)

Brigsby Bear Review

3. Brigsby Bear (July 28)

Long before he became a cast member on Saturday Night Live, comedian Kyle Mooney was making his own online shorts as part of the sketch comedy group Good Neighbor (which also included SNL cast member Beck Bennett and writer/director Dave McCary). Now he’s teamed up with all of them and some other talented comedic talents to create an incredible ode to 1980s television, filmmaking and storytelling.

Kyle Mooney plays a twentysomething young man who has just been rescued from the bunker of a couple who kidnapped him and essentially brainwashed him to believe the outside world was something it’s not. Part of his education came through a fake TV show called Brigsby Bear, styled after plenty of 1980s TV shows that came from local cable access channels. What follows is Mooney’s attempt to cope with discovering that everything he knew was a lie by creating his own Brigsby Bear movie. The movie is absolutely hilarious, but it’s also moving, and it even features Mark Hamill. (Ethan Anderton)

The Big Sick Review

2. The Big Sick (June 23) 

A favorite that came out of the Sundance Film Festival, this movie should turn Kumail Nanjiani into a certified star. He’s already an accomplished comedian with a strong presence in film and television, but since he also wrote this movie with his wife Emily V. Gordon (inspired by their real life romance), this puts him on a whole new level. Michael Showalter directs this film, which I called “a sincere romantic comedy that will give you hearty laughs over and over again and then squeezes tears from your eyes moments later.” I’ve been waiting to see this movie again since catching it at Sundance, and hopefully it will be a big hit. (Ethan Anderton)

Beguiled trailer

1. The Beguiled (June 23)

Sofia Coppola tends to make very tender films. They’re more often than not gentle and heartfelt (with the exception of The Bling Ring). With her next movie, The Beguiled, she’s turning the heat up a few hundred degrees. Her remake of Don Siegel’s 1971 thriller/re-adaptation of Thomas P. Cullinan’s A Painted Devil is brand new territory for the filmmaker. She’s making her first thriller, and it looks like what we’d hope for from Coppola exploring a genre outside her wheelhouse. We usually expect beauty and grace from the director, not fear and horror, which we’ll hopefully experience with The Beguiled. Watch the trailer right here. (Jack Giroux)

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