21 Films to See in June

  • Publish Date: May 31, 2022
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This month's notable theatrical releases

Below, our editors have selected the most interesting films debuting in North American theaters this month, listed in alphabetical order.

Apples Watch trailer(s)
Drama/Comedy | June 24 | Directed by Christos Nikou

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When it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in the fall of 2020, Christos Nikou’s debut feature earned comparisons to the films of fellow Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, for whom he worked as an assistant director on Dogtooth. But this story of Aris (Aris Servetalis), a man struggling to recover his memory after being infected by a mysterious amnesia pandemic that’s sweeping through Athens, is less ironic and more sincere than the work of his countryman. Prescribed daily tasks to help him form new memories, Aris takes photos to document his progress and forms a connection with Anna (Sofia Georgovasili), who is also in recovery.

Benediction Watch trailer(s)
Drama | June 3 | Directed by Terence Davies

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The latest from English writer-director Terence Davies (Sunset Song, The Deep Blue Sea) is another look at a poet, following his Emily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion. This time he sets his exacting eye on English poet Siegfried Sassoon (played at different times by Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi), who survived the horrors of the First World War’s Western Front (earning the military cross for exceptional bravery in the process) but later became a vocal critic of the war and one of its leading poets. While Sassoon had affairs with several men, he struggled with his homosexuality, and attempted to find solace in marriage, fatherhood, and Catholicism.

Bitterbrush Watch trailer(s)
Documentary | June 17 (theaters) / June 24 (digital) | Directed by Emelie Coleman Mahdavian

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Emelie Mahdavian’s observational and intimate documentary chronicles four months in the lives of veteran ranch hands Hollyn Patterson and Colie Moline, who spend their summer herding cattle in remote Idaho. With a rustic cabin to rest their weary bodies and their dogs as their only companions, Hollyn and Colie battle the elements to do the difficult work required of range riders, while contemplating their futures and finding small pleasures and friendship in a way of life rarely seen on film.

The Black Phone Watch trailer(s)
Drama/Horror | June 24 | Directed by Scott Derrickson

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Doctor Strange writer-director Scott Derrickson left the sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, to concentrate his energies on this horror film based on Joe Hill’s short story of the same name. If reviews are any indication, he made a good decision. Adapted with his Sinister writing partner C. Robert Cargill and featuring that film’s star, Ethan Hawke, the new movie follows Finney Shaw (Mason Thames) as he tries to escape the clutches of a sadistic child abductor known as the Grabber (Hawke) with the help of his previous victims, who communicate with him through the titular black phone in the basement where he’s trapped.

Brian and Charles Watch trailer(s)
Comedy | June 17 | Directed by Jim Archer

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Jim Archer’s debut feature is delightful comedy about Brian, a lonely and not very successful inventor in rural Wales, and Charles, an artificially intelligent robot he builds in three days out of a washing machine and various spare parts. Written by stars David Earl (Brian) and Chris Hayward (Charles), the film is an adaption of the short film the three men produced in 2017. Their chemistry and time with the project is evident in this sweet indie comedy about a unique friendship.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) Watch trailer(s)
Drama | June 3 | Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

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Before his Oscar breakthrough Dallas Buyers Club and the Emmy award-winning Big Little Lies, the late Jean-Marc Vallée made this award-winning, Canadian coming-of-age smash, co-written with François Boulay about a young gay man growing up with four brothers in a conservative household in Quebec during the 1960s and ‘70s. Unreleased in the U.S. since its 2005 festival debut, it finally hits theaters this month with an extensive (and expensive) soundtrack of rock hits from that period, a tool Vallée would continue to use throughout his career.

Crimes of the Future (2022) Watch trailer(s)
Sci-fi/Drama/Horror | June 3 | Directed by David Cronenberg

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Unrelated to his 1984 film with the same title, David Cronenberg’s first feature since 2014’s Maps to the Stars is set in a future where many humans no longer feel pain and the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) is a performance artist whose show involves his partner, Caprice (Léa Seydoux), surgically removing the new organs his body creates. One of their loyal fans is Timlin (Kristin Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry who is obsessed with the couple and declares “surgery is the new sex.” For some critics at Cannes, it played more as a recombined collection of ideas from his previous films (Videodrome, Crash, Existenz) than an inspired return to form, but for others, it satisfied with a sharp welding of intellect to wholly original explorations of physiology and the art world. While there are plenty of boundary-pushing images on display, the pre-Cannes buzz of possible walkouts did play out, so seek it out feeling as comfortable as one can when confronted with a new film from David Cronenberg,

Elvis Watch trailer(s)
Drama/Music | June 24 | Directed by Baz Luhrmann

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When it premiered in Cannes, Baz Luhrmann’s maximalist take on the life of Elvis Aaron Presley (Austin Butler) was greeted with a wide range of opinions from critics, but they were mostly in agreement on one thing: “What the hell is Tom Hanks doing?”. In his attempt to capture the larger-than-life character that was Colonel Tom Parker, a Dutch immigrant and carnival worker turned notorious swindler, Hanks adopts a fat suit, a prosthetic nose, and a hard-to-place accent that is anything but subtle. Butler’s performance as Elvis was met with kinder words, but many critics felt Luhrmann’s attention-grabbing style kept pulling the focus away from the man in the title. The film had its raves as well, but love of Luhrmann’s 2001 hit Moulin Rouge! or Elvis might be a prerequisite for falling for this one.

Flux Gourmet Watch trailer(s)
Drama | June 24 | Directed by Peter Strickland

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The new film from writer-director Peter Strickland (In Fabric, The Duke of Burgundy) is set in an institute devoted to culinary sound performance where a collective (Fatma Mohamed, Asa Butterfield, Ariane Labed) find themselves embroiled in artistic and sexual affairs with each other and the institute’s director (Gwendoline Christie). Set to document their stay at the institute is Stones (Makis Papadimitriou of Suntan and Chevalier), a self-described “hack” beset by a gastrointestinal ailment that causes constant flatulence, the containment or relief of which trouble his mind in every waking hour. It’s a strange brew, but one that fans of Strickland’s previous work should be happy to gulp down.

Jurassic World Dominion Watch trailer(s)
Action-adventure/Sci-fi/Thriller | June 10 | Directed by Colin Trevorrow

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The sixth Jurassic Park film finally brings together the main players from both trilogies. After the disaster of The Book of Henry and being replaced on what would become J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX, Colin Trevorrow is back in the director’s chair for this conclusion to the trilogy he began in 2015 with Jurassic World, in which he introduced the mismatched pair of Owen Grady (Christ Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). They are joined by Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler, Sam Neill’s Alan Grant, and Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcom (glimpsed at the beginning and end of JA Boyana’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom). Picking up four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar with humans and dinosaurs battling for survival around the globe, Dominion tasks this trusted crew with identifying a solution to a problem that only seems to get bigger with each successive film.

Lightyear Watch trailer(s)
Animation/Family/Adventure/Sci-fi | June 17 | Directed by Angus MacLane

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This spin-off from Pixar’s Toy Story franchise tells the story of the fictional astronaut who inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy. (Lightyear is the movie Andy watched that made him want the Buzz Lightyear figurine.) In the new film, Captain Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans, who isn’t replacing Tim Allen because the film is the story of the fictional character and not the toy) makes a jump through space and time with is robot cat companion Sox to find himself marooned on an alien planet where he joins a ragtag team to battle the evil robot Zurg. Unlike other recent Pixar releases (Soul, Luca, Turning Red), this one will actually open in theaters before eventually making its way to Disney+.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Watch trailer(s)
Comedy | June 24 | Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp

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Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp expand their lovable shorts to feature length with this expansion of the Marcell the Shell universe. Framed as a documentary about how Marcel becomes famous when Dean (Fleischer-Camp), a filmmaker, discovers Marcel and his grandmother Nana Connie (voiced by Isabella Rossellini) in his Airbnb, this sweet, charming film finds Marcel searching for his family and getting time on his favorite show, 60 Minutes.

Neptune Frost Watch trailer(s)
Sci-fi/Musical | June 3 | Directed by Anisia Uzeyman and Saul Williams

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With this Afrofuturist musical, the multi-talented artist Saul Williams adds feature director to the list of disciplines he has tackled. Co-directed with Anisia Uzeyman (who also serves as cinematographer), the film follows the coltan miners of Burundi as they form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective in hopes of toppling the authoritarian regime exploiting the regions people and resources. When intersex runaway Neptune meets Matalusa, their connection sparks a poetic, sci-fi exploration of gender, technology, and class across dimensions. Enter with an open mind.

Official Competition Watch trailer(s)
Drama/Comedy | June 17 | Directed by Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn

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This comedy from Argentinian directors Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn wonders what it would be like if an aging billionaire tried to cement his legacy with a hit art movie instead of a phallic rocket. Penélope Cruz plays Lola Cuevas, an eccentric filmmaker committed to making a film with rival actors Félix Rivero (Antonio Banderas) and Iván Torres (Oscar Martínez). Félix is a narcissistic Hollywood star, and Iván is a self-serious theater actor. Legends in their own minds, these two are challenged by Cruz’s Cuevas to work together in increasingly strange and comedic ways.

Olga Watch trailer(s)
Drama | June 24 | Directed by Elie Grappe

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Elie Grappe’s debut feature has sadly only become more relevant since it won the Cannes Critics’ Week SACD Award in 2021. Switerzerland’s submission for this year’s Best International Feature Film follows Olga (former Ukranian National Team gymnast Anastasia Budyashkina), a talented Ukranian gymnast forced into exile in Switzerland to prepare for the European Championships when the Maidan Revolution begins. As her mother, an investigative journalist, challenges the Yanukovich regime, Olga is left powerless to help. Grappe uses documentary footage from the 2013 uprising to ground the film in reality, as it reflects on the conflict between the personal and the political. 10% of the proceeds from this film's release will go to Direct Relief Ukraine.

The Phantom of the Open Watch trailer(s)
Drama/Comedy/Sports | June 3 (LA/NY) | Directed by Craig Roberts

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This warmhearted bauble in the vain of Eddie the Eagle or The Full Monty tells the true story of Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance), a crane operator who found his way into the British Open Golf Championship in 1976 having barely finished a round at his local course. He earned notoriety and a ban for shooting the worst round of golf in the 116 years of the championship, but that didn’t stop him from donning disguises and working his way into other competitions under various aliases. Actor (Submarine, Red Oaks, Neighbors)-turned-director (Eternal Beauty) Craig Roberts, working from a script by Simon Farnaby who co-wrote the original book with Scott Murray, keeps the comedy family-friendly and backs Rylance up with a cast that includes Sally Hawkins as Flitcroft’s loving wife and Rhys Ifans as an official determined to ban Flitcroft’s tomfoolery.

Watcher Watch trailer(s)
Thriller | June 3 | Directed by Chloe Okuno

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Chloe Okuno’s debut feature (she directed the “Storm Drain” segment of V/H/S/94) follows a young woman (Maika Monroe) and her husband (Karl Glusman) to Romania where he is about to begin a new job. As he settles into his new surroundings, she notices a stranger watching her from the building across the street. Unable to speak the language, she feels more and more isolated, and her husband doesn’t help, casting doubt on her concerns. When news of a serial killer called The Spider spreads across the city, her suspicion grows, and she tries to identify the man who is stalking her.

Bonus picks: Straight to streaming

Cha Cha Real Smooth Watch trailer(s)
Comedy/Drama | June 17 (Apple TV+) | Directed by Cooper Raiff

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For the second straight year, Apple quickly snapped up the Audience Award winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Last year, it proved to be a shrewd move: The film turned out to be the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner CODA. This year, it is writer-director-actor Cooper Raif’s crowd-pleasing follow-up to 2020’s Shithouse. Here, he plays a recent college graduate whose job as a bar mitzvah hype man leads to a friendship with a mother (Dakota Johnson) and her autistic, teenage daughter (Vanessa Burghardt).

Fire Island Watch trailer(s)
Rom-com | June 3 (Hulu) | Directed by Andrew Ahn

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Writer-comedian Joel Kim Booster loosely adapts Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice into a modern-day queer rom-com directed by Andrew Ahn. (It's the latter's third straight well-reviewed film, following Spa Night and Driveways). The film follows a group of friends who head out for a summer vacation at the titular Long Island-adjacent resort destination and stars Booster alongside Bowen Yang, Torian Miller, Matt Rogers, Tomas Matos, and Margaret Cho.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande Watch trailer(s)
Drama/Comedy | June 17 (Hulu) | Directed by Sophie Hyde

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Fox Searchlight spent $7.5 million at Sundance early this year to acquire this small-scale drama from director Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays, Animals), which unfolds mostly as a conversation between two people in a single room. One reason for the interest: Excellent reviews, especially for the possibly career-best performances of its two leads, Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack, and an excellent script by Katy Brand. Thompson plays a retired schoolteacher and widow who books a hotel room and hires a sex worker (McCormack) in the hope of finally having the spectacular sexual experience she has always desired but never had.

The Janes Watch trailer(s)
Documentary | June 8 (HBO and HBO Max) | Directed by Emma Pildes and Tia Lessin

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This rather timely documentary from Emma Pildes and Tia Lessin looks at the Jane Collective, an underground Chicago-based group that provided over 11,000 illegal abortions prior to the Roe v. Wade ruling. Reviews were excellent when the film debuted at Sundance early this year. (Also debuting at Sundance to less enthusiastic reviews was a dramatized look at the same subject that should reach theaters this fall.)

More upcoming films

For a complete, updated listing of all upcoming movie releases by date, including films arriving later in 2022 and beyond, visit our Movie Calendar.

Prefer watching at home? Here's our look at the notable TV shows and streaming movies debuting in June.

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