Tentpole Fatigue? 10 Art House Films to Watch This Summer

8:00 AM 6/3/2018

by THR Staff

THR film critics pick the best indie, foreign and doc releases to relieve summer multiplex bloat.

From left: 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?,' 'Eighth Grade' and 'Leave No Trace'
From left: 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?,' 'Eighth Grade' and 'Leave No Trace'
Courtesy of Focus Features; Courtesy of A24; Courtesy of Bleecker Street
  • American Animals

    June 1 (The Orchard)

    An art theft from a Kentucky college is dazzlingly recounted in this thriller. While bowing to heavies like Michael Mann, director Bart Layton employs his own tricks, and the cast (including Barry Keoghan and Blake Jenner) delivers. — Todd McCarthy 

  • Eighth Grade

    July 13 (A24)

    Newcomer Elsie Fisher offers a breakout performance as a shy adolescent with a miniscule number of subscribers for her peppy YouTube channel in this winning coming-of-age comedy, written and directed by comedian Bo Burnham. — Leslie Felperin 

  • En El Septimo Dia

    June 8 (Cinema Guild)

    Our Song director Jim McKay's first feature in a dozen years is a Brooklyn-set comedy about a group of Mexican immigrants, their jobs and, not least, their soccer team. It's a neorealist marvel and proof that McKay's gifts are as vital as ever. — Sheri Linden 

  • Leave No Trace

    June 29 (Bleecker Street)

    Directed by Debra Granik (Winter's Bone), this drama about the widening rift between a woods-dwelling vet and his teen daughter (Ben Foster and Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie) is a model of unshowy intelligence and emotion. — Jon Frosch 

  • Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

    July 27 (Greenwich)

    Much more than a sensationalistic exposé, Matt Tyrnauer's doc is an engaging, layered, frequently fascinating look at Hollywood legend Scotty Bowers, who spent decades catering to the sexual desires of stars both male and female. — T.M.

  • Support the Girls

    Aug. 24 (Magnolia Pictures)

    Courtesy of Ryan Green/SXSW

    Mumblecore mainstay Andrew Bujalski's very fine comedy focuses on the solidarity of the all-female waitstaff at a sleazy Texas sports bar. The whole ensemble is top-notch, with highest honors going to lead Regina Hall. — John Defore 

  • The Third Murder

    July 20 (Film Movement)

    A confessed murderer changes his story (several times) in Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's complex, engrossing and elegant courtroom drama — the film he made before 2018 Palme d'Or winner Shoplifters. — Deborah Young 

  • Three Identical Strangers

    June 29 (Neon)

    Tim Wardle tackles a fascinating true story in his documentary chronicle of triplets separated at birth who grew up oblivious to one another's existence. The film starts out like a sitcom, then becomes a mystery freighted with disturbing implications. — David Rooney 

  • We the Animals

    Aug. 17 (The Orchard)

    Courtesy of Sundance

    Doc filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar moves into narrative features with this lovely, dreamlike adaptation of Justin Torres' novel about a mixed-race family with three young sons in upstate New York. Raul Castillo (HBO's Looking) plays the magnetic but abusive father. — D.R.

  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    June 8 (Focus Features)

    Morgan Neville's deeply affecting look at the worldview and legacy of beloved American television personality Fred Rogers is full of both lovely Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood clips and words from the man himself. It's a documentary you want to hug. — Daniel J. Fienberg 

    This story first appeared in the May 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.