“The Art Of Self Defense” And “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”: Films To See In July


Ladies and gentlemen, July is nearly upon us! With only a few days left in June, we turn our focus to, as you might have gathered by now, the second half of the year. Monday will bring a look at the best and worst of the first half of 2019, but for the moment, we’re focused in on what next month will bring. One of the biggest films of the year is hitting during the month, as well as three of the best (take it from me). It’s not the heaviest month of the year, quantity wise, but the quality of the movies is certainly there. You’ll see below…

Here now are what I think are the ten best bets for July:

10. Skin – A full length spinoff of the Oscar winning short of the same name, this drama has been successfully playing the film festival circuit all year. Jamie Bell has been getting raves for this one. I hopefully see it soon, so stay tuned for a reaction then!

9. Stuber – I see this action comedy on Tuesday and am very hopeful that the buzz out of South by Southwest is on point. Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani as buddies? Count me in, obviously. SXSW was right about Long Shot, so perhaps they were right about Stuber as well?

8. Sword of Trust – Marc Maron is an unlikely star in a Lynn Shelton comedy, but all year long, he’s been getting feted as being a riot. I oddly keep missing screenings of this one, but I’ll see it soon and report back once I do.

7. Crawl – This creature feature of sorts mixes a natural disaster film with a giant animal on the loose. There’s tons of potential here, as a gator chomping down on someone during a storm is deliciously clever, no pun intended. Could be fun stuff, for sure.

6. The Farewell – I also keep missing screenings for this Sundance drama, which could wind up an early awards player here in 2019. Awkwafina should break through with a baity performance here. Perhaps an under the radar Oscar contender in Best Original Screenplay? We shall see.

5. The Lion King – Disney remakes their classic animated tale, and likely will see a billion dollars come their way. Jon Favreau had great success with The Jungle Book, so this should be more of the same, or even better, frankly. For families, this is definitely the biggest July release to circle on the calendar!

4. Spider-Man: Far From Home – Look for a full review on Tuesday , but I saw this Marvel outing earlier in the week and loved it. The embargo is up, but just stay tuned. Not only will I report in on this incredibly fun adventure, I’ll also be updating how it fares among the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sit tight…

3. Midsommar – Speaking of things I saw last week and will be reviewing early next week, we have this horror flick. Ari Aster underwhelmed me with Hereditary last year, but his sophomore film is a revelation. Unsettling and beautiful in equal measure, it’s one of the more compelling works of the year. Stay tuned for more, likely on Wednesday!

2. The Art of Self Defense – One of 2019’s best films so far, this black comedy from Riley Stearns is a tremendous second feature. Jesse Eisenberg and Alessandro Nivola are at their oddball best, really having a quirky blast. It’s a special work, one not to be missed. Trust me.

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – The movie is finally coming. Quentin Tarantino’s ninth outing was met with strong reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival, so anticipation is rightly high for this one. We’ll have lots more on this one when it opens at the end of the month, so it’s just a waiting game now…

Honorable Mentions: A Faithful Man, Honeyland, and Phil

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

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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