The year is just zipping by! Who can believe it is already summer movie season? This year’s summer slate starts out with a bang with Marvel’s “Deadpool 2”, one of my fav movies of the year so far, the instant grindhouse classic “Revenge”, the very tragic “On Chesil Beach”, Ethan Hawke in his best performance to date, as a pastor, in Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” and the latest Star Wars spin off, “Solo.”
I love these sort to twisty thrillers and am looking forward to this one. Starring David Tennant, better known as “Barty Crouch Jr.” in the Harry Potter films, this is sure to be a riveting thriller.
Plot Summary: A young valet breaks into a man’s home and discovers a terrified woman who’s chained and gagged. After notifying the police, he soon becomes the target of the psychopath’s wrath as he tries to rescue the victim that he left behind.
Cast:David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Carlito Olivero, Kerry Condon
Director: Dean Devlin
Production Co: Electric Entertainment
Distributors: Vertical Entertainment
I am on the fence about this one as I am such a big fan of the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell original. I also feel it was miscast. I would have rather seen this remade as a black film. Imagine Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart in this instead of Faris and Derbez. It would have been much funnier.
Plot Summary: Kate is a single, working-class mother of three who’s hired to clean a luxury yacht that belongs to Leonardo — a selfish, spoiled and wealthy Mexican playboy. After unjustly firing Kate, Leonardo falls off the boat and wakes up with no memory of who he is. To get payback, Kate shows up at the hospital and convinces the confused amnesiac that they’re married. As Leonardo tries to get used to manual labor and his new family, Kate starts to wonder how long she can keep fooling her fake husband.
Cast: Eugenio Derbez, Anna Faris, Eva Longoria, John Hannah, Mel Rodriguez, Omar Chaparro, Adrián Uribe, Cecilia Suárez
Director: Rob Greenberg
Genres: Romantic comedy
Production Co: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, 3Pas Studios
Distributors: Pantelion Films
Because I can watch Charlize in anything and am a big fan of Jason Reitman, who I had the honor to meet when he made “Up In The Air”, I definitely recommend this wonderful film.
Plot Summary: Marlo, a mother of three, is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully.
Cast: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston, Emily Haine, Elaine Tan, Gameela Wright, Colleen Wheeler
Director: Jason Reitman
Production Co: Bron Studios, Focus Features, Right of Way Films, Denver and Delilah Productions
Distributors: Focus Features
With all the country is currently going through, Ruth Bader Ginsberg is our savior and a vital member of the Supreme Court. She is a force of nature and this film should be a must-see for very women and girl in America and the world.
Plot Summary: An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.
Cast: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem, Nina Totenberg
Director: Betsy West, Julie Cohen
Production Co: Magnolia Pictures, CNN Films
Distributors: Magnolia Pictures
One of the best films of the year to date, this is an instant cult classic. It is so kick-ass that I absolutely loved it. Gory, yet action packed, taut and thrilling, Revenge is a must-see. I wanted to jump into the film and get revenge myself for the crazy fd up things they did to this beautiful woman!
Plot Summary: Jen is enjoying a romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend — until his two sleazy friends arrive for an unannounced hunting trip. As tension mounts in the house, the situation abruptly and viciously intensifies, culminating in a shocking act that leaves Jen left for dead. Unfortunately for her assailants, she survives and soon begins a relentless quest for bloody revenge.
Cast: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Guillaume Bouchède, Vincent Colombe
Director: Coralie Fargeat
Production Co: M.E.S Productions, Nexus Factory, Monkey Pack Films, Umedia
Following in the tradition of Halle Berry in last year’s “Kidnap” and just in time for Mother’s Day, Gabrielle Union stars in this year’s “mom kicking ass to protect her children” movie.
Plot Summary: A woman takes her two children on a weekend getaway to her late father’s secluded, high-tech estate in the countryside. She soon finds herself in a desperate fight to save all of their lives when four men break into the house in search of something.
Cast: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Jason George, Seth Carr, Christa Miller
Director: James McTeigue
Production Co: Universal Pictures, Will Packer Productions, Practical Pictures
Life Of the Party
I love Melissa McCarthy and never miss her films. Her everywoman persona always strikes the right comedic chords. With Maya Rudolph, as her friend, this is going to be tons of fun.
Plot Summary: Dumped by her husband, longtime housewife Deanna turns regret into reset by going back to college. Winding up at the same school as her daughter, Deanna plunges headlong into the campus experience — embracing the fun, the freedom and the frat boys.
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Matt Walsh, Molly Gordon, Stephen Root, Jacki Weaver
Director: Ben Falcone
Production Co: New Line Cinema, Gary Sanchez Productions
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures
I felt that Margot Robbie was literally robbed this year during Awards season. Her amazing turn as Tonya Harding was totally heartbreaking. This quirky noir finds her in true femme fatale form.
Plot Summary: In the dark heart of a sprawling and anonymous city, two assassins carry out a sinister mission, a teacher battles a fatal illness, an enigmatic janitor and a curious waitress lead a dangerous double life. Murderous consequences unravel in the dead of night as their lives all intertwine at the hands of a mysterious criminal mastermind who is hell-bent on revenge.
Cast: Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Mike Myers, Max Irons, Dexter Fletcher
Director: Vaughn Stein
Distributors: RLJE Films
Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel was a star that shown bright from an early age and was gone far, far too soon. This film brings his teen years to life and will also make you long for the vibrant New York of yesteryear.
Plot Summary: Never-before-seen works, writings and photographs offer insight into the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat as a teenager in New York in the late 1970s. The times, the people and the movements of the city help Basquiat form his artistic vision.
Cast: Jim Jarmusch, James Nares, Fab 5 Freddy
Director: Sara Driver
Production Co: Magnolia Pictures, Bunny Lake Films, Le Pacte
Distributors: Magnolia Pictures
The divine casting combination of Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening, Brian Dennehy and Mare Winningham for this latest cinematic take on Chekkov’ most famous play, makes this a must-see.
Plot Summary: At a picturesque lakeside estate, a love triangle unfolds between the diva Irina, her lover Boris and the ingenue Nina.
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening, Corey Stoll, Billy Howle, Elisabeth Moss, Mare Winningham, Brian Dennehy, Michael Zegen
Director: Michael Mayer
Production Co: Sony Pictures Classics, Artina Films, Hyde Park Entertainment
Distributors: Sony Pictures Classics
I want to see this for Dominic Cooper, who I have always admired as an actor although he just broke my heart when he and Ruth Negga split!
Plot Summary: Tara is a housewife in suburban London who’s raising two young children while married to an overworked, self-absorbed husband. In desperate need of a change, Tara makes the bold decision to leave everything behind and buy a one-way ticket to Paris. Her newfound freedom and journey of self-discovery soon gives way to the realization that walking out on your life isn’t so simple.
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Dominic Cooper, Jalil Lespert, Frances Barber, Marthe Keller
Director: Dominic Savage
Production Co: IFC Films, Shoebox Films
Distributors: IFC Films
The silliest and goofiest of the Marvel superheroes Deadpool 2, is the eleventh installment in the X-Men film series. With the wisecracks flying as fast as the action, this will be the first blockbuster of the summer.
Plot Summary: Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool joins forces with three mutants — Bedlam, Shatterstar and Domino — to protect a boy from the all-powerful Cable.
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Jack Kesy
Director: David Leitch
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Production Co: 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
On Chesil Beach
Beautifully acted but heartbreakingly sad, this film struck a personal nerve for me. I was once engaged to a lovely guy, who suffered the same problem as Florence and we split like she and Edward. I also looked him up later and he was married with a little girl. Very, very sad indeed.
Plot Summary: In 1962, newlyweds Edward and Florence, both in their early 20s and also both virgins, spend their honeymoon preoccupied and terrified by the upcoming consummation of their marriage.
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson, Samuel West, Anne-Marie Duff, Bebe Cave, Adrian Scarborough, Jonjo O’Neill
Director: Dominic Cooke
Genres: Romance, Drama
Production Co: Number 9 Films, BBC Films
Distributors: Bleecker Street Media
Keaton, Fonda, Beergen and Steenburgen in an adult romantic comedy sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon after brunch. With so few roles for older legendary actresses, I am happy to see this one.
Plot Summary: Diane is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage. Vivian enjoys her men with no strings attached. Sharon is still working through her decades-old divorce. Carol’s marriage is in a slump after 35 years. The lives of these four friends are turned upside down after reading the infamous “50 Shades of Grey.” From discovering new romance to rekindling old flames, they inspire each other to make their next chapter their best chapter yet.
Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss
Director: Bill Holderman
Genres: Romantic comedy
Production Co: Paramount Pictures, June Pictures, Wildwood Enterprises
Distributors: Paramount Pictures
With an all-star cast voicing adorable dogs, this is a perfect film to take your family. If you are single, grab a niece, nephew or friend’s kid and treat them.
Plot Summary: A detective finds adventure with his unlikely partner — a canine cop who has to go under cover at the world’s most exclusive dog show.
Cast: Will Arnett, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Natasha Lyonne, Jordin Sparks, Gabriel Iglesias, Shaquille O’Neal, Alan Cumming, Stanley Tucci
Director: Raja Gosnell
Genres: Comedy, Adventure, Family
Production Co: Kintop Pictures, Riverstone Pictures
Distributors: Global Road Entertainment
Ethan Hawke gives one of the best performances of his career as a pastor dealing with a multitude of uncomfortable earthy situations. A24 has become one of my favorite film companies for their eclectic roster.
Plot Summary: A pastor of a small church in upstate New York starts to spiral out of control after a soul-shaking encounter with an unstable environmental activist and his pregnant wife.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Philip Ettinger, Cedric the Entertainer, Michael Gaston, Victoria Hill, Van Hansis, Satchel Eden Bell
Director: Paul Schrader
Genres: Thriller, Drama
Production Co: Killer Films, A24
How To Talk To Girls At Parties
Another A24 release, this film is a new kind of teen flick. Can’t wait.
Plot Summary: Young Enn and his best friends stumble upon a bizarre gathering of teenagers who are from another planet, visiting Earth to complete a mysterious rite of passage. That doesn’t stop Enn from falling madly in love with Zan, a beautiful and rebellious alien who becomes fascinated with him. Together, they embark on a delirious adventure through the kinetic, punk rock world of 1970s London, inadvertently setting off a series of events that leads to the ultimate showdown between punks and aliens.
Cast: Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Matt Lucas, Lara Peake, Eloise Smyth, Ethan Lawrence
Director: John Mitchell
Genres: Romantic comedy, Science fiction
Production Co: See-Saw Films
Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word
As a born again Christian this is definitely on my list. However, everyone will enjoy and benefit from a couple hours spent learning about the extraordinary Pope Francis, and his message of peace and love.
Plot Summary: Pope Francis embarks on a personal journey to present his work of reform and answer today’s global questions — from his deep concern for the poor and wealth inequality to his involvement in environmental issues, social justice and calls for peace.
Cast: Pope Francis
Director: Wim Wenders
Production Co: Focus Features, Neue Road Movies
Distributors: Focus Features
Solo: A Star Wars Story
The long awaited Star Wars spin-off that recounts the story of reluctant hero, Hans Solo before he joins the Rebel Alliance. Directed by Ron Howard, we find out how Hans first meets Chewbacca and also learn about his true relationship with Lando Calrissian.
Plot Summary:Through a series of daring escapades, young Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian.
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, Paul Bettany
Director: Ron Howard
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Action, Science fiction
Production Co: Lord Miller
Distributors: Walt Disney
Elle Fanning shines as Mary Shelley in this riveting film covering the story behind the creation of the horror classic “Frankenstein.” This was one of the best films of the Tribeca Film Fest.
Plot Summary: Mary Wollstonecraft’s family disapproves when she and poet Percy Shelley announce their love for each other. The family is horrified when it finds that the couple has eloped, accompanied by Mary’s half-sister, Claire. While staying in the home of Lord Byron at Lake Geneva, the guests are challenged to write a ghost story, which leads Mary to conceive her novel “Frankenstein.”
Cast: Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Tom Sturridge, Stephen Dillane, Maisie Williams, Joanne Froggatt, Ben Hardy
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Genres: Biography, Historical drama, Romance
Production Co: Parallel Films, Juliette Films, IFC Films
Distributors: IFC Films
The Gospel According To Andre
I am not a big fan of Andre’s as I find the habit of telling beautiful women what to wear while being so ginormous you can only wear tents yourself, a bit hypocritical. That said, the film is an interesting look at a life lived unusually.
Plot Summary: Filmmaker Kate Novack explores the life and career of fashion journalist André Leon Talley — from his childhood in the segregated South to his iconic, barrier-breaking work at Women’s Wear Daily, W and Vogue.
Cast: André Leon Talley, Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Whoopi Goldberg, Manolo Blahnik
Director: Kate Novack
Production Co: Magnolia Pictures
Distributors: Magnolia Pictures