The Conjuring

Opens July 19th

James Wan is really developing as a filmmaker. It seems that with each film he advances in one way or another. As a result, The Conjuring feels like his most accomplished picture yet, where all his strengths come together in the right way.

There’s a reason why Warner Bros. moved this film to the summer, and that decision is going to payoff. Wan’s movie is eerie as hell, almost relentlessly so at times. He lets each scare play out, with a nice emotional backbone to make those scares more frightening.

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Only God Forgives

Opens July 19th in theaters and on VOD

Nicolas Winding Refn unquestionably divided audiences at this year’s Cannes film festival. Drive saw its share of criticism there as well, but not to the extent Only God Forgives did. Based on the previews, that’s understandable. Refn looks to have made a movie that is very much doing its own thing.

His second collaboration with Ryan Gosling will likely see more panning coming its way, but gain a vocal devoted fanship as well. Any movie that achieves that level of love and hate is certainly a must-see, especially one with Gosling and Refn involved.

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Broken

Opens July 19th in theaters and on VOD

Cillian Murphy and Tim Roth is a terrific pairing. Both actors can make sparks fly even when they’re in small roles, so seeing the two of them in the same film is rather exciting.

They star in Broken, a coming-of-age drama about family with strong performances all around.

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The Wolverine

Opens July 26th

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was garbage. A condescending, safe, and moronic blockbuster, and all those adjectives simply don’t suit the character. The Wolverine may make up for the many mistakes made my its predecessor. With James Mangold at the helm, that’s a genuine possibility.

Mangold is a reliable director who can do horror, action, and drama. From Identity to 3:10 to Yuma, he knows how to serve the material at hand. For The Wolverine, he has the best piece of material ever written for the veiny mutant.

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Blue Jasmine

Opens July 26th

The trailer for Woody Allen‘s latest reeks of Allen charm. Whether it’ll be one of Allen’s standouts or, as some critics are so fond of saying, “Allen light,” that doesn’t matter so much. Even a less than stellar Woody Allen movie is better than most filmmakers’ best efforts.

It probably helps him that he continues to attract casts on par with the one we’ll see in Blue JasmineCate BlanchettAlec BaldwinMichael StuhlbargSally HawkinsPeter SarsgaardLouis C.K., and more. Seeing them all together through Woody Allen’s prism should be a real treat.

Honorable Mentions: Despicable Me 2, The Act of Killing, Girl Most Likely, and Blackfish 

And an important final note: Hell Baby is having a VOD release on July 25th, but will be included on the September must-see list for its theatrical release.

What are you looking forward to the most?


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