By The Playlist | The Playlist July 2, 2014 at 3:46PM
So we've passed the midway mark of the year and we only have technically eight weeks left of summer with July 4th right around the corner. Depending on what kind of moviegoer you are, this is either a godsend, or a melancholy reminder that blockbuster season is almost over (and if it’s the former here’s our wishlist for the Fall Film Festival season).
But in the here and now, we have the month of July to look forward to and there’s lots of choices. Of course you could go see “Transformers: Age Of Extinction” if you haven’t already, or “Tammy” if you want laughs (or not), you parents may want to go see "And So It Goes" and your lunkhead brother may want to see "Hercules." And that’s all well and good and their prerogative, but we believe these might be some better choices for your head, heart and soul. Here’s 10 films to see in July because you certainly could do a lot worse.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
Synopsis: 10 years after the virus outbreak at the end of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” humanity is mostly wiped out and the apes are on the brink of war with a band of human survivors.
What You Need To Know: ‘Rise’ was the surprise hit of summer 2011; a film no one expected to be good, let alone great. It was a blockbuster with heart and intelligence that everyone grossly underestimated and it was a huge hit. Almost none of the principal team is back aside from Andy Serkis doing his motion-capture masterwork, but the film is in good hands with director Matt Reeves, who actually improved upon the original with his remake of "Let The Right One In." And by all accounts he's done it again. Reviews of ‘Dawn’ are glowing and the already-advanced, photorealistic and emotionally convincing VFX are said to be even better. Starring the terrific cast of Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and more, in a summer without Nolan, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” might be the intelligent blockbuster to beat.
Release Date: July 11th
Synopsis: The life of a boy is chronicled over the course of 12 years, from a child leading up to leaving for college.
What You Need To Know: Director Richard Linklater's pulled off a feat that no other filmmaker has ever done, a sprawling experiment that shot once a year, for 12 years over the course of a few days in Austin and other locales in Southwest Texas. Starring Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Linklater's daughter Lorelei and the titular “boy,” Ellar Coltrane (who you watch grow into a man before your very eyes), "Boyhood" tracks a family in the midst of divorce all the while seeing the world through the eyes of Ellar’s character. And "Boyhood" is almost purposefully anticlimactic, eschewing the main beats of adolescence (losing one’s virginity, etc.) for a looser, more organic approach that even focuses on the mundane moments in life. But its snowballing power is awe-inspiring. "I bet the whole farm on that property of storytelling, that you would become invested and this would be a building up of time unfolding" Linklater told us in an interview from Berlin.Our Sundance review wrote, "the cumulative result of 'Boyhood' is rather touching and stunning and while Linklater is seemingly interested in the slighter, less trafficked moments of life, he uncovers a lot of sublimity overall." The epic, almost 3-hour movie also has an epic soundtrack too. Expect this one to be near the top of many a top 10 lists at the end of the year.
Release Date: July 11th
“Magic In The Moonlight”
Synopsis: An Englishman is brought in to help unmask a possible charlatan spiritualist. Personal and professional complications ensue when he begins to fall for her.
What You Need To Know: Woody Allen's back, right? Or is he? Well, yes and no. He's had a mixed run of late with highlights like "Midnight In Paris" and "Blue Jasmine" (which won Cate Blanchett an Oscar), but there's also been the forgettable fare like "To Rome With Love." Still, this one stars a new team for Allen, with Colin Firth and Emma Stone leading the movie, and that combo alone has us excited. You kinda never know what Woody Allen will show up in theaters these days, but the recent streak is pretty strong and the trailers for this one look enchanting, romantic and funny in the same way that “Midnight In Paris” besotted us all. We’ll take the gamble, frankly (and early word seems to be positive) The film also co-stars Hamish Linklater, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver and Simon McBurney.
Release Date: July 26th