This month's notable theatrical releases
Below, our editors have selected 10 interesting films debuting this month, listed in alphabetical order.
Amy Watch trailer(s)
NR Documentary/Music | July 3 | Directed by Asif Kapadia
Senna director Asif Kapadia’s latest documentary is another impressive look at a tragic popular figure. This time, the subject is Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 at the age of 27. Kapadia delves into Winehouse’s home movie footage, interviews, and performances, giving the film an intimate feel. Interviews with her family and friends, and especially her husband, Blake Fielder Civil, add to the sad tapestry of a talent gone too early.
Ant-Man Watch trailer(s)
(Rating pending) Action/Sci-fi | July 17 | Directed by Peyton Reed
Also by this director:
After Edgar Wright departed as director, fans feared the worse for Ant-Man. But early buzz has been fairly solid for this final installment of Marvel’s Phase Two (though official reviews have not yet come in). Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, a con man asked by Michael Douglas’ Dr. Hank Pym to protect the secrets of the Ant-Man suit from a new threat led by Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket. Directed by Peyton Reed (whose fairly unimpressive filmography is topped by Bring It On) and scripted by Adam McKay (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and Rudd after Wright and Joe Cornish took a first crack at it, the film has a more comedic tone than other Marvel offerings. Also unusual is that its superhero has a family: Judy Greer plays Rudd’s ex-wife, with whom he has a 6-year-old daughter. Evangeline Lilly’s role was expanded in the re-writes, and rumors are that she will take on the role of Wasp. Look for multiple surprises during the end credits as Ant-Man will appear again in Captain America: Civil War.
The End of the Tour Watch trailer(s)
R Drama | July 31 | Directed by James Ponsoldt
Following 2012’s Smashed and 2013’s The Spectacular Now, director James Ponsoldt returned to Sundance again this year with this adaptation of David Lipsky’s memoir Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, about Lipsky’s five days with David Foster Wallace during the author’s 1996 book tour for Infinite Jest. Jesse Eisenberg plays Lipsky, and Jason Segel stars as Wallace in a film that focuses on the relationship between two writers of varying talents and fame. Both actors earned praise from critics for their performances in a cast that also includes Anna Chlumsky, Ron Livingston, Mamie Gummer, Mickey Sumner, and Joan Cusack.
Listen to Me Marlon Watch trailer(s)
NR Documentary | July 29 | Directed by Stevan Riley
Also by this director:
69 Fire in Babylon (2011)
Much like Walt Whitman, Marlon Brando contained multitudes. With Listen to Me Marlon, director Stevan Riley has tried to fully explore all of Brando’s complexities with the help of 200 hours of recordings made by Brando himself. This personal archive reveals a funny, conflicted, troubled yet brilliant acting icon in his own voice. Charting his life from his youth, to his up and down career, his activism, and the tragic deaths of his children, it is an intimate portrait that should be of interest to anyone, not just fans of Brando’s work.
The Look of Silence Watch trailer(s)
PG-13 Documentary | July 17 | Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
Also by this director:
89 The Act of Killing (2013)
Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to the award-winning The Act of Killing is a companion piece to that documentary about mass killings in Indonesia, and once again critics have been almost unanimously impressed. The winner of the Grand Jury prize at the 71st Venice International Film Festival focuses on a family of survivors whose youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by confronting the men who killed his brother.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Watch trailer(s)
PG-13 Action/Thriller | July 31 | Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
The fifth film in the Mission: Impossible franchise must follow in the footsteps of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, the most critically acclaimed and financially successful film (worldwide) in the series. Those are pretty big shoes to fill, but by the looks of it, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation will succeed or die trying. Screenwriter-turned-director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) becomes the fifth director in five films, working from a script by Drew Pearce and Will Staples that pits the IMF against the Syndicate—an international rogue organization as highly skilled as they are. Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames all return, and they are joined by Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon McBurney. Early buzz has focused on Cruise once again doing many of his own stunts, which include strapping himself to the outside of an airplane and holding his breath underwater for six minutes.
Phoenix Watch trailer
PG-13 Foreign/Drama | July 24 | Directed by Christian Petzold
The director of Barbara, Christian Petzold, reunites with the lead actress of that film (and others by the director), Nina Hoss, for this tale of a concentration-camp survivor, Nelly (Hoss), who searches postwar Berlin for her husband (Ronald Zehrfield). The trauma of the Holocaust is expressed both physically (Nelly undergoes reconstructive surgery for a facial wound) and emotionally (her husband doesn’t recognize her) as Nelly is pulled into a scheme by the man who may have betrayed her to the Nazis. With echoes of Hitchcock and a great central performance by Hoss, the film earned excellent reviews when it debuted in Toronto last year. RogerEbert.com’s Brian Tallerico called it an “amazing piece of work that transcends historical document to become art,” and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club declared it “one of the best new movies” he’d seen all year.
The Stanford Prison Experiment Watch trailer(s)
R Drama/Thriller | July 17 | Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
The latest film from director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G., Easier with Practice) is a dramatization of psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s (Billy Crudup) 1971 experiment that recruited 24 students and split them up into the roles of guards and prisoners, resulting in an increasingly out-of-control situation. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the film won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for “outstanding feature films focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character,” and screenwriter Tim Talbott took home the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic. The young cast includes Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Michael Angarano, Keir Gilchrist, Jack Kilmer, Logan Miller and Olivia Thirlby.
Tangerine Watch trailer(s)
NR Drama/Comedy | July 10 | Directed by Sean Baker
Not to be confused with recent foreign language Oscar nominee Tangerines, writer-director Sean Baker’s follow-up to 2012’s Starlet follows Sin-Dee (Kiki Kitana Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), two transgender prostitutes, and an Armenian cabbie (Karren Karagulian) on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. Sin-Dee, just out of prison, is searching for her pimp/boyfriend (James Ransone) with a furious energy infused with even more immediacy by being shot on the streets of L.A. using an iPhone 5S outfitted with an anamorphic lens adapter. The film earned excellent reviews when it premiered at Sundance, with Wesley Morris of Grantland writing, “After four days, Sean Baker’s Tangerine is already my favorite movie. It’s trashy, lurid, and hilariously profane — exploitation in the best, most cinematic sense — but without ever losing the thread of human ache that connects the handful of characters.”
Trainwreck Watch trailer(s)
R Comedy | July 17 | Directed by Judd Apatow
Also by this director:
Amy Schumer makes the jump from Comedy Central to the big screen with this comedy about a magazine writer who carries a long-held belief that monogamy isn’t realistic (thanks to her dad, played by Colin Quinn). But when she’s assigned to write an article about a sports doctor (Bill Hader), a first date followed by a call the next day challenges her expectations. Written by Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, Trainwreck received great reviews when it premiered at SXSW this spring. The film’s strong supporting performances include an almost unrecognizable Tilda Swinton as Schumer’s boss, a surprisingly good LeBron James as Hader’s best friend, and turns by Brie Larson and Vanessa Bayer as Schumer’s sister and best friend. If Inside Amy Schumer’s irreverent, funny, and incisive social commentary is any clue, this will not be your typical rom-com.
What do you think?
Which films are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments section below. For a complete, updated listing of all upcoming film releases by date, including films arriving later in 2015, visit our Movie Calendar.