Too Many Tentpoles? 23 Summer Movies for Grown-Ups

2:00 PM 4/26/2016

by Ashley Lee

Summer is serving plenty of specialty movies and Oscar bait with Michael Keaton, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Anna Gunn and Michael Fassbender.

'Money Monster', 'Free State of Jones', 'The Infiltrator', 'Florence Foster Jenkins' and 'The Founder' hit theaters this summer

  • 'A Bigger Splash'

    May 3

    Fox Searchlight's Mediterranean-set drama stars Tilda Swinton as a rock legend who is recuperating on the volcanic island of Pantelleria with her partner Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) when record producer and old flame Harry (Ralph Fiennes) unexpectedly arrives with his daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). Luca Guadagnino directs the film, which features a script by David Kajganich.

    Read the review

  • 'Money Monster'

    May 13

    The Sony thriller stars George Clooney as Lee Gates, the Wall Street newsman who offers stock advice on his hit show and gets held hostage onscreen by an irate investor (Unbroken's Jack O'Connell) after one of his tips turns out badly. Directed by Jodie Foster, the Cannes-premiering film unfolds in real time as Gates and his producer (Julia Roberts) must figure out how to deal with their captor and Wall Street's lies.

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  • 'High-Rise'

    May 13

    Ben Wheatley's adaption of J.G. Ballard's 1975 dystopian thriller stars Tom Hiddleston as a respectable doctor who lives in a luxurious, yet isolated tall building in London beset by a class divide and threatening violence. The Magnolia dystopian thriller also stars Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller.

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  • 'Last Days in the Desert'

    May 13

    The Broad Green Pictures drama sees Jesus wandering the desert for 40 days and finds himself in a conflict with the Devil over the fate of a family. Ewan McGregor stars as both Jesus and the Devil in Rodrigo Garcia's religious film, which also features Tye Sheridan, Ciaran Hinds and Ayelet Zurer.

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  • 'The Lobster'

    May 13

    The surreal parable from Yorgos Lanthimos is set in a dystopian near-future in which single people who fail to find a proper mate are transformed into the animal of their choice. Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Lea Seydoux and Ben Whishaw star in one of last year's buzziest Cannes titles, originally acquired by Alchemy but then picked up by A24.

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  • 'Love & Friendship'

    May 13

    The Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios release stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny in the cheeky adaptation of a relatively unfamiliar early Jane Austen novella, "Lady Susan." The actresses reunite with Whit Stillman, who directed them on The Last Days of Disco in 1998.

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  • 'Maggie's Plan'

    May 20

    Rebecca Miller's love-triangle comedy stars Greta Gerwig as the titular character, who plans to have a baby through artificial insemination when she meets a charismatic academic (Ethan Hawke) who is married to an overbearing Danish critical theorist (Julianne Moore). The Sony Classics release also features Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph.

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  • 'Genius'

    June 10

    Directed by Michael Grandage, the Lionsgate release is an adaptation of A. Scott Berg's biography about renowned book editor Max Perkins, who worked with Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Colin Firth stars as Perkins and Jude Law plays Wolfe alongside Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney, Guy Pearce and Dominic West.

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  • 'Free State of Jones'

    June 24

    Based on a true story, the Civil War drama stars Matthew McConaughey as Newt Knight, a farmer and one-time Confederate soldier who ultimately deserts and leads a rebellion consisting of other farmers and slaves against the Confederacy in Jones County, Miss. Written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross, the STX release also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali.

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  • 'Swiss Army Man'

    June 24

    The A24 release first made a stir at Sundance when it became known as the Daniel Radcliffe-Paul Dano "farting corpse" movie. Written and directed by the music video-directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as "the Daniels"), the absurd R-rated dramedy follows Hank (Dano), a suicidal castaway who is stranded on a tiny deserted island. One day a dead body (Radcliffe) washes ashore, and Hank realizes it may be his last opportunity to escape certain death, so the duo go on an epic adventure to bring Hank back to the woman of his dreams. The survivalist tale nabbed the Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance.

    Read the review

  • 'Our Kind of Traitor'

    July 1

    Susanna White's spy thriller, adapted from a John le Carre novel, stars Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, Stellan Skarsgard and Naomie Harris. The plot centers on an English couple vacationing in Antigua who become entangled in the dealings of a Russian mobster desperate to defect. Soon enough, the British Secret Service get involved.

  • 'Captain Fantastic'

    July 8

    Writer-director Matt Ross’ dramedy stars Viggo Mortensen as a father who has been raising his six kids in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, but is forced to enter the real world after his wife commits suicide. The Bleecker Street release also features Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Missi Pyle, Frank Langella and Ann Dowd, among others.

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  • 'The Infiltrator'

    July 13

    Brad Furman directs Bryan Cranston as a U.S. Customs official who uncovers a money-laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The Broad Green release, based on Robert Mazur’s autobiography, also stars John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger and Amy Ryan.

  • 'Cafe Society'

    July 15

    Woody Allen's star-studded film sees Jesse Eisenberg as a young man who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s hoping to work in the film industry and then finds himself swept up in the vibrant cafe society that defined the spirit of the age. Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Parker Posey and Steve Carell are also featured. Lionsgate is teaming with Amazon Studios to release the Cannes-opening title.

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  • 'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie'

    July 22

    After years of rumors, Edina and Patsy are hitting the big screen, with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reprising the roles they made famous on the original hit BBC '90s TV series. The comedy from BBC Films and Fox Searchlight sees the pair forced to flee to the French Riviera after being blamed major incident at a fashionable launch party. The rest of the original cast — includes Julia Sawalha as Saffy, Jane Horrocks as Bubble and June Whitfield as Mother — returns, with Mandie Fletcher directing.

  • 'Equity'

    July 29

    Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

    Anna Gunn stars in Meera Menon’s corporate thriller as a senior investment banker whose buzzy tech IPO deal gets complicated by politics and deception. Featuring James Purefoy, Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas (the latter two also produced), the Sony Pictures Classics release is touted as the first Wall Street drama to center on a female protagonist.

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  • 'Indignation'

    July 29

    James Schamus' directorial debut stars Logan Lerman as a young Jewish student in the 1950s who moves from New Jersey to Ohio to attend a small college and struggles with anti-Semitism, sexual repression, and the ongoing Korean War. Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Ben Rosenfield and Linda Emond round out the cast of the Summit release, based on the 2008 Philip Roth novel.

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  • 'The Founder'

    Aug. 5

    Michael Keaton portrays top McDonald's executive Ray Kroc in the John Lee Hancock drama, which details the rise of the fast-food empire. Laura Dern, B.J. Novak and Nick Offerman are also featured in the Weinstein Co. film telling the true story of how Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to wrest the company away from the brothers and created a billion-dollar empire.

  • 'Florence Foster Jenkins'

    Aug. 12

    Meryl Streep portrays the titular New York heiress who dreams of becoming a famous opera singer. She is helped by her husband/manager (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor who hides his opinions of his wife's talent (or lack thereof), and a teacher (Simon Helberg) who helps to train her all the way to a concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944. Rebecca Ferguson and Nina Arianda also star in the Paramount tragicomedy from Stephen Frears.

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  • 'The Hollars'

    Aug. 12

    John Krasinski directs and stars as an aspiring New York City artist who returns to his Middle America hometown on the eve of his mother's brain surgery, with his pregnant girlfriend in tow. Margo Martindale, Josh Groban, Richard Jenkins, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick and Sharlto Copley round out the cast of the Sony Classics family dramedy.

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  • 'Hands of Stone'

    Aug. 26

    The Weinstein Co. drama stars Edgar Ramirez as real-life boxer Roberto Duran — a Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50 — and Robert De Niro as his mentor and trainer. In June 1980, Duran defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (played by Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words “no mas” ("no more"). Ana de Armas, Ellen Barkin and John Turturro also star in the drama, directed by Venezuelan helmer Jonathan Jakubowicz.

     

  • 'Southside With You'

    Aug. 19

    The Miramax and Roadside Attractions release chronicles the first date of future President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Robinson (played by Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter, respectively). Based on true events, the film sees Obama, a then-Harvard Law summer associate, ask out an attorney from the prestigious corporate law firm where they both work. On the historic date, the two talk about politics and activism. The love story also marks the feature debut for writer-director Richard Tanne.

    Read the review

  • 'The Light Between Oceans'

    Sept. 2

    Real-life couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in Derek Cianfrance's adaptation of M.L. Stedman's best-selling debut novel. Set on a remote island off the coast of Western Australia just after World War I, the wrenching drama follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife who are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a baby who is alive. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating. Disney's Dreamworks release also stars Rachel Weisz.

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