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“The Big Sick” and “The Hero”: Movies to see in June

The summer is here. With that, the movies will once again be changing. A deluge of blockbusters are ahead, but also some very strong independent counter programming. In fact, two of the very best films of the year so far are hitting screens this month, including my as of now favorite title of 2017. Mixed in will hopefully be some higher quality big budget flicks than we’ve got so far. We’re off to a good start with Wonder Woman (which is included below), so fingers crossed that becomes a streak. We shall see what happens, but this month, there’s definitely something for everyone…

Here now are June’s very best cinematic bets:

10. Rough Night – The concept of Scarlett Johansson anchoring a raunchy R rated comedy is a big selling point. This film is clearly hoping to pick up where Bad Moms left off (and killing time until that one’s sequel). It looks silly enough, so while it likely won’t set the world on fire, it should be good for a laugh or two.

9. Okja – I’ve already spoken about this new work from filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, which recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s a weird yet charming right turn for the director, one that should develop a following when it opens in theaters and concurrently on Netflix. Don’t look at it as an awards vehicle and the diverse cast/wacky concept should easily pull you in.

8. The Mummy – Tom Cruise launches Universal’s monster movie cinematic universe (known as the Dark Universe) with this pseudo remake. Honestly, it looks like Cruise doing his normal thing, just with a supernatural element at play this time. That could be good, it could be bad. I actually see this on Tuesday, so I’ll report in before the week is out on if it’s a worthy start to this new universe or not.

7. The Beguiled – Also at Cannes, Sofia Coppola received solid reviews and a Best Director prize for her upcoming remake. I see this one in a few days, so obviously anticipation on my part is high. Whether Coppola, Nicole Kidman, or any aspect of the film is Oscar worthy remains to be seen, but there’s a chance, which is always nice to see early on in the month of June, right?

6. It Comes At Night – Another hotly speculated about title that I’m about to see is this sort of horror film. Everything about it suggests a very human yet unsettling tale, with early screenings creating a strong buzz. Could this be 2017’s big indie horror hit? We shall see in short order…

5. Wonder Woman – As stated earlier on this week, DC finally has an across the board success in this origin story. Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot have launched the title character as a true equal to Batman and Superman. Believe it or not, this movie could actually end up as the best reviewed superhero tale ever. Warner Brothers and DC are certainly breathing a big sigh of relief!

4. Baby Driver – Edger Wright fuses music with car centric action in this ever so slight change of pace for the auteur. I’ll confess to the trailers not blowing me away, but those who have already seen it have nothing but love to share, so that’s very promising. Wright is a master of playing with genre, so if he’s just holding back, something special might be coming before the end of the month.

3. Dean – Just yesterday, I raved about Demetri Martin’s directorial debut. As such, I’ll keep it brief. Just know that this is well worth seeking out, as it’s clever, funny, and very moving. Martin deserves to have a very long career behind the camera ahead of him. He’s got the goods.

2. The Big Sick – I’ve mentioned how fond I am of this dramedy already, but it’s easily one of 2017’s best to date. A Judd Apatow produced project, it’s a slightly fictionalized account of Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani’s relationship, with Zoe Kazan stepping in to play Gordon. The less you know going in, the better, but it’s really tremendous. Cross Apatow comedy stylings with something potentially tragic and you have an idea what to expect. Sold you, right?

1. The Hero – The best movie of the year so far, this character study gives us what may actually be Sam Elliott’s crowning achievement on screen. His performance is awards worthy, no doubt about it. Teaming up with Brett Haley again after stealing the show in I’ll See You In My Dreams, this is arguably Elliott’s best ever performance. Playing an actor at a crossroad in his life, it may break your heart as much as it makes you smile. More on this in a few days, but don’t you dare miss it…

Honorable Mentions: 47 Meters Down, The Bad Batch, Band Aid, Beatriz At Dinner, The Book of Henry, Cars 3, Despicable Me 3, The House, I, Daniel Blake, The Journey, The Little Hours, Megan Leavey, My Cousin Rachel, Transformers: The Last Knight, and Vincent-N-Roxxy

Be sure to check out all of these movies throughout the month of 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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