Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man”: Ten Films to look forward to in July

Irrational Man joaquin Phoenix Emma Stone
Folks, we’re about to enter the second half of the year. Yes, that’s the month of July, which is only days away. Later this week I’ll run down the best of the first half, but right now I wanted to highlight what you should make a point to see over the next month. I’ve seen most of the titles that I’m highlighting below, which just means that I can personally vouch for July easily being the best month for film so far in 2015. Take it from me…you won’t want to miss these flicks. Part Two of 2015 is going to be getting off to quite the start, I can assure you of that much.

Here now are the ten films to anticipate most over the course of July:

10. The Look of Silence – I saw this documentary last year at the New York Film Festival and I’m with all of my colleagues in finding it to be disturbing and powerful. Director Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow up to The Act of Killing is just as good and makes for an essential double feature in the making. Look for this to contend in the Best Documentary Feature and perhaps also in the Best Foreign Language Feature category as well.

9. Southpaw – I see this boxing drama in just a few short days and expect Jake Gyllenhaal to again leave an impact with his performance. The early word is that he’s a highlight, which is no surprise. The story appears a bit on the generic side, but if Gyllenhaal is as good as he can be, he’ll be in contention for another Academy Award nomination with this sports flick.

8. Paper Towns – At this point, anything that writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber decide to do has my attention. As such, their second John Green adaptation is no exception. Starring up and comer Nat Wolff, it appears like a charming high school set romantic mystery. Green’s work seems to want to make you cry as well, so we’ll see if that’s a side effect here or not.

7. Ant-Man – One of Marvel’s riskier bets, reviews so far have been mostly solid for this superhero flick. I see it next week and hope to have it more in line with Guardians of the Galaxy than some of the other outings from the studio that began characters, such as Thor. I like all of Marvel’s slate, but their offbeat properties usually shine brightest. Here’s hoping that Paul Rudd gets to have fun here, not to mention Michael Douglas as well.

6. Paper Towns – At this point, anything that writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber decide to do has my attention. As such, their second John Green adaptation is no exception. Starring up and comer Nat Wolff, it appears like a charming high school set romantic mystery. Green’s work seems to want to make you cry as well, so we’ll see if that’s a side effect here or not.

5. Magic Mike XXL – Inexplicably, this has become one of my favorite franchises. The first one was a surprise hit, while this one is just as good. I only saw the flick last night, but I absolutely adored it. A top notch sequel and road trip movie, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun. Channing Tatum’s franchise gets lighter but doesn’t miss a beat. A convenience store set sequence is actually one of the best things I’ve seen all year long.

4. Irrational Man – Woody Allen’s latest isn’t likely to be a big awards player, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not quality work. I really enjoyed this darker dramedy of his, one that gives Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone some unique characters to play. Allen is trafficking in something closer to Crimes and Misdemeanors or Match Point (or even Cassandra’s Dream) than his lighter comedies of late, so it’s something different, if nothing else.

3. The Stanford Prison Experiment – One of my favorite films of the year so far is this dramatization of the famous psychological study of the same name. Every single up and coming young actor is in this one, with Michael Angarano and Ezra Miller really being highlights, while Billy Crudup is aces as the man who put this study into motion. I’m being vague on purpose, in case you haven’t heard of the case study, but rest assured that I’ll have more to say on this one before the month of July is out.

2. Trainwreck – I’ve written about Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer’s romantic comedy a few times already, but the buzz is building again. As such, I’ll only just reiterate that this seems like a perfect blend of the sensibilities of Apatow and Schumer, making for a modern romantic comedy that could equally appeal to both women and men. It’s likely going to be a huge hit (perhaps making a star of LeBron James in the process), and rightly so if the movie is as good as has been rumored over the last few months.

1. The End of the Tour – Jason Segel gives a stunning performance in this unexpected triumph. I loved it, with few other titles all year matching its quiet power and ability to stay with you after the credits roll. Segel is Oscar worthy as author David Foster Wallace, while Jesse Eisenberg is excellent as well in James Ponsoldt’s latest triumph. It’s a near masterpiece, so stay tuned for me to rave more about this one in a few short weeks. It’s worth raving about too, trust me there.

Be sure to check all of these out next month!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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