Summer’s here and while the living ain’t easy, there’s plenty of entertainment to keep you out of the heat. To help navigate the excess of options that come from streaming, VOD, and theaters everywhere, here’s a short list of sixteen films that’ll help you beat the summer heat.
The First Purge
Director: Gerard McMurray
Cast: Marisa Tomei, Melonie Diaz, Lex Scott Davis, Luna Lauren Velez, Patch Darragh, and Y’lan Noel.
To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the marginalized, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Universal Pictures YouTube channel.)
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Director: Peyton Reed.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins, Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Abby Ryder-Fortson, Randall Park, and Hannah John-Kamen.
In the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Marvel website.)
Director: Kevin Macdonald.
Cast: Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Cissy Houston, Robyn Crawford, Clive Davis, L.A. Reid, and Gary Houston.
Whitney Houston broke more music industry records than any other female singer in history. With over 200 million album sales worldwide, she was the only artist to chart seven consecutive U.S. No. 1 singles. She also starred in several blockbuster movies before her brilliant career gave way to erratic behavior, scandals and death at age 48. The documentary feature “Whitney” is an intimate, unflinching portrait of Houston and her family that probes beyond familiar tabloid headlines and sheds new light on the spellbinding trajectory of Houston’s life. Using never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances, audio archives and original interviews with the people who knew her best, Oscar®-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald unravels the mystery behind “The Voice,” who thrilled millions even as she struggled to make peace with her own troubled past. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Roadside Attractions YouTube channel.)
Sorry to Bother You (Limited)
Director: Boots Riley.
Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Terry Crews, Steven Yeun, Omari Hardwick, Jermaine Fowler, and Danny Glover.
In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Annapurna Pictures YouTube channel.)
The King (Limited)
Director: Eugene Jarecki.
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, James Carville, Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Lana Del Rey, Emisunshine and the Rain, Peter Guralnick, The Handsome Family, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, John Hiatt, Billie Holiday, Immortal Technique, Van Jones, Ashton Kutcher, Lindy Vision, Greil Marcus, Mike Myers, Dan Rather, Luc Sante, Sigur Rós, David Simon, Stax Academy All Stars, Big Mama Thornton, M. Ward, Kat Wright & Maggie Clifford, and more.
Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, two-time Sundance Grand Jury winner Eugene Jarecki’s new film takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. In this groundbreaking film, Jarecki paints a visionary portrait of the state of the American Dream and a penetrating look at how the hell we got here. A diverse cast of Americans, both famous and non, join the journey. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Oscilloscope Laboratories YouTube channel.)
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, and Mel Brooks.
In Sony Pictures Animation’s “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Sony Pictures Entertainment YouTube channel.)
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber.
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Noah Taylor, Roland Møller, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, and Hannah Quinlivan.
Global icon Dwayne Johnson leads the cast of Legendary’s “Skyscraper” as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who is trapped inside the building…above the fire line. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Universal Pictures YouTube channel.)
Director: Corin Hardy.
Cast: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, Ingrid Bisu, and Bonnie Aarons.
When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel.)
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
Director: Gus Van Sant.
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Carrie Brownstein, Beth Ditto, and Kim Gordon.
The last day Portland slacker John Callahan is able to walk, he wakes up without a hangover — because he’s still drunk from the night before. That night at a wild party he meets a wisecracking drinking buddy, who insists they leave for an even better party he knows about. But when his new friend dozes off at the wheel, John wakes up confined to a wheelchair with only partial use of his arms. Though he initially has no intention of getting sober, he reluctantly attends a 12-step meeting run by a charismatic and dedicated sponsor named Donnie and reconnects with Annu, a therapist he met at the hospital. With their encouragement, John finds that love is not beyond his reach and discovers a hidden talent for drawing, channeling his playful personality into crude, politically incorrect — and often hilarious — cartoons, which develop a national following. Based on a true story, this poignant, insightful, funny drama about redemption, forgiveness and the healing power of art is adapted from Callahan’s autobiography. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Amazon Studios YouTube channel.)
Director: Bo Burnham.
Cast: Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton.
Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school—the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year—before she begins high school. (Official synopsis courtesy of the A24 website.)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Director: Ol Parker.
Cast: Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Alexa Davies, Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner, Jessica Keenan Wynn, with Cher and Meryl Streep.
Get ready to sing and dance, laugh and love all over again. Ten years after Mamma Mia! The Movie grossed more than $600 million, you’re invited to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi in an all-new original musical based on the songs of ABBA. With the film’s original cast returning and new additions including Lily James, Andy Garcia and Oscar® winner Cher. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Universal Pictures YouTube channel.)
The Equalizer 2
Director: Antoine Fuqua.
Cast: Denzel Washington Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, with Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo.
Denzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed – but how far will he go when that is someone he loves? (Official synopsis courtesy of the Sony Pictures Entertainment YouTube channel.)
Director: Lauren Greenfield.
Cast: Florian Homm, Tiffany Masters, and Jaqueline Siegel.
For the past 25 years acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield (“The Queen of Versailles”, “Thin”, “kids+money”, “#likeagirl”) has travelled the world, documenting with ethnographic precision and an artist’s sensitivity a vast range of cultural movements and moments. Yet, after so much seeking and searching, she realized that much of her work pointed at one uniting phenomenon: wealth culture. With her new film, “Generation Wealth”, she puts the pieces of her life’s work together for in an incendiary investigation into the pathologies that have created the richest society the world has ever seen. Spanning consumerism, beauty, gender, body commodification, aging and more, Greenfield has created a comprehensive cautionary tale about a culture heading straight for the cliff’s edge. “Generation Wealth”, simultaneously a deeply personal journey, rigorous historical essay, and raucously entertaining expose, bears witness to the global boom-bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of capitalism, narcissism and greed. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Amazon Studios YouTube channel.)
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Director: Christopher McQuarrie.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin, Wes Bentley, and Frederick Schmidt.
The best intentions often come back to haunt you. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” finds Ethan Hunt and his IMF team along with some familiar allies in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Paramount Pictures YouTube channel.)
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies
Director: Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail.
Cast: Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Greg Cipes, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Will Arnett, Halsey, Jimmy Kimmel, Lil Yachty, Dana Snyder, Kristen Bell, and Nicolas Cage.
When the Teen Titans go to the big screen, they go big! “Teen Titans GO! to the Movies” finds our egocentric, wildly satirical Super Heroes in their first feature film extravaganza—a fresh, gleefully clever, kid-appropriately crass and tongue-in-cheek play on the super hero genre, complete with musical numbers.
It seems to the Teens that all the major super heroes out there are starring in their own movies—everyone but the Teen Titans, that is! But de facto leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation, and be seen as a star instead of a sidekick. If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them. With a few madcap ideas and a song in their heart, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, certain to pull off their dream. But when the group is radically misdirected by a seriously Super-Villain and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things really go awry. The team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans themselves on the line! (Official synopsis courtesy of the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel.)
Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada.
Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Ethan Embry, and Tisha Campbell-Martin.
Collin must make it through his final three days of probation for a chance at a new beginning. He and his troublemaking childhood best friend, Miles, work as movers, and when Collin witnesses a police shooting, the two men’s friendship is tested as they grapple with identity and their changed realities in the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood they grew up in. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Lionsgate Movies YouTube channel.)