“Finding Dory”, “Independence Day: Resurgence”, and “The Neon Demon”: Movies to see in June

Independence Day Resurgence 2016
Happy Memorial Day to you all out there! With the long holiday weekend wrapping up, we’re only a day or so away from it being June. Oddly enough, while this used to be the point where the giant summer blockbusters would begin to come out and dominate screens, we’ve basically had that happening, in some form, since February. That leads to a diluted lineup for this first real month of summer, which actually opens the door for some independent films to potentially break out. Now, the blockbusters will certainly do better than the indies, but the playing field is possibly slightly more level than usual. In any event, I’ve amassed some June titles that I think could have some interest to you all. Take a look at the movies I’ve chosen below and enjoy, both the list itself and hopefully some of these films when they hit theaters…

Here now are what I feel are the ten very best bets for June’s cinematic viewing options:

10. Central Intelligence – I’m not a huge fan of Kevin Hart’s studio comedies, but I do think that Dwayne Johnson is a talented comedian in the right situation and is an excellent foil for Hart, so this action comedy has potential. Am I expecting a critical darling? No. At the same time though, this could wind up as an unexpectedly charming blockbuster. We shall see, though it should be entertaining enough, regardless…

9. Warcraft – Frankly, I can’t say that I’m interested at all in an adaptation of this fantasy video game. That being said, I’m always interested in anything that filmmaker Duncan Jones comes up with, since he’s one of my favorite up and coming directors. As such, I’ll have to give this one a shot, putting my faith in Jones as someone who can make anything captivating. So far, Jones hasn’t done me wrong, with Moon and Source Code being excellent. My fingers are crossed!

8. Swiss Army Man – Here’s a notorious independent film that was roundly panned at the Sundance Film Festival but is getting a lot of mileage out of featuring a farting corpse as one of its main characters. That has me intrigued, plus the other star is Paul Dano, and I always love him. I’m sure it’s going to be a mess, but it might be a fun mess. I’m game, at least.

7. Genius – A possible awards player here, as Colin Firth and Laura Linney star in this drama about noted book editor Max Perkins. This one will be interesting to see for multiple reasons, including how it works in legends like Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law), Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce), and more. Keep an eye on this one folks, especially if the reviews are really strong.

6. Hunt for the Wilderpeople – A hit at Sundance, I saw this adventure comedy at the Tribeca Film Festival and enjoyed it quite a bit. Sam Neill especially turns out to be an effective comedic player here, though the quirky New Zealand set picture might be a little too odd for mainstream success. Still, if you’re looking for a potential crossover hit, this could very well be the one. It has many of the required ingredients, if nothing else.

5. The Conjuring 2 – By and large, I really like James Wan’s work as a director, while the first film in this now franchise was a really effective surprise. I’m trying to keep expectations in check here, but there’s a chance that this could be a very strong sequel. The ingredients are all in place, so it’ll just be a matter of Wan and company avoiding the pitfalls of horror sequels. I’ll have to prepare for the worst, but I’ll also be hoping for the best!

4. Me Before You – I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for movies that function as effective tearjerkers. This one, based on a hit book by Jojo Moyes, stars Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke, and could be this year’s The Fault in Our Stars. In fact, those scribes (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber) were initially adapting this one. I see it in a few days and it opens on Friday, so stay tuned for a report on it…

3. The Neon Demon – I absolutely adore Drive, easily the best flick that Nicholas Winding Refn has ever done. I even really like Only God Forgives, which was booed at the Cannes Film Festival a few years back. As such, I’m actually pretty optimistic about the similarly booed new outing from Refn, which didn’t play well last week at Cannes but has my attention in a big way, due in part to a phenomenal cast that includes Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, and Keanu Reeves. I also see it soon, so sit tight for that as well.

2. Finding Dory – Pixar has been hit or miss with some of their recent sequels, opting to make a franchise out of stories that seemed better as one offs, but this is the one that audiences seemed to be asking for. Ellen DeGeneres’ character in Finding Nemo captured our hearts, so she may very well be able to do that again here. I certainly hope so, at least. We deserve another classic from this studio!

1. Independence Day: Resurgence – Here’s a sequel I don’t expect to like very much, given Roland Emmerich’s recent track record, but honestly can’t wait to see. Independence Day is a staple of my childhood, so I can’t help but kind of need to see the continuing exploits of Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, and company (everyone except Will Smith, essentially). As an added bonus, Maika Monroe is in this one and I love her, so that’s a great extra feather in this one’s cap. It’ll make a ton of money, no doubt about that, so maybe we’ll also get a little bit lucky and have it be better than expected?

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Honorable Mentions: Clown, De Palma, The Fits, Free State of Jones, Now You See Me 2, and Weiner Dog

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Be sure to check out these various films all throughout the month that is June!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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