Summer 2014 is officially here, and as the kids prepare for three-odd months of freedom, the question of what to do with your free time arises. Temperatures start to soar and the air conditioned movie theater becomes your oasis. There’s quite a bit worth seeking out this month with a spate of big-budget blockbusters and smaller indie fare. Time to get a summer job, if you don’t have one already, to pay for these ten movies worth seeking out in June!
Synopsis: A vagrant (Jan Bijvoet) becomes enmeshed in the life of a wealthy family, drawing everyone into his world in order for him to take over theirs.
What You Need to Know: One of the weirder entries into this list is Dutch director Alex van Warmerdam’s “Borgman,” the story of a transient and the family whose life he infiltrates and corrupts. When our own Jessica Kiang saw it last year at Cannes, she compared van Warmerdam to other surrealistic directors like Ben Wheatley (“A Field in England”) and Yorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”) with a little Michael Haneke (“Amour”) thrown in. All of these names situate “Borgman” as a wildly caustic film with humor as black as night, and the trailer presents a twisted story without giving too much away. Kiang gave the film an “A-” back at Cannes, calling it a “modern adult fairytale (Grimm Brothers rather than Hans Christian Andersen).” The buzz has stuck around as “Borgman” also secured the number 22 spot on our 40 Most Anticipated Movies of the Summer list. If you’re sick of family comedies or bombastic summer fare and want something messing with your mind, “Borgman” is for you.
Release Date: June 6th in limited release
“Edge of Tomorrow”
Synopsis: When an alien race invades Earth, Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) is tasked with a suicide mission in order to defeat the enemy. Within minutes he’s killed and forced into a time loop where he reenacts combat and death, over and over again.
What You Need to Know: The easiest comparison to make regarding “Edge of Tomorrow” is the similarities to Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day,” one of the more iconic movies about time loops. Time loops also reared their ugly head in Duncan Jones’ 2011 thriller “Source Code.” If anything, those two movies are worthy beginnings for Cruise’s big-screen adaptation of the Hiroshi Sakurazaka “light novel,” “All You Need Is Kill.” Cruise’s best work of late has been in the action genre, and last year’s sci-fi actioner “Oblivion” secured Cruise his best North American opening outside of the “Mission: Impossible” series. (And there are several similarities between “Oblivion” and “Edge of Tomorrow.“) Cruise seems to be sticking to what works in light of his failures outside the action genre (“Rock of Ages,” “Valkyrie”). The trailers are certainly jammed with action, even if you start to wonder whether Cruise is rehashing “Oblivion.” Look for reviews to be highly divisive as evidenced by our Point/Counterpoint review of the film. Our own Drew Taylor gave it an “A-,” calling it an “outrageously fun thriller that sees the biggest actor of our age come back to vibrant life.” Unfortunately, Gabe Toro wasn’t feeling the same sentiments, giving the movie a “D,” for its “anti-movie” tone, “just another day at work for one of the world’s biggest stars…” Cruise’s name is deeply associated with “Edge of Tomorrow,” and the film’s success or failure is going to determine his own. Either way, this is a movie you’ll want to watch in order to debate its merits or flaws at the water cooler.
Release Date: June 6th
Synopsis: Aspiring comedian Donna (Jenny Slate) is confronted with serious life decisions after losing her job, getting dumped, and discovering she’s pregnant.
What You Need to Know: Director Gillian Robespierre’s debut feature, based on her short film of the same name, “Obvious Child” was a breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The story of a comedian and her decision to have an abortion is being touted as one of the more realistic depictions of pregnancy with massive amounts of comedy providing levity. Our own James Rocchi found the film “tough and funny, true and snappy…well made and wickedly bold” in his “B-” review. Star Jenny Slate also garnered a spot on the Playlist’s 20 Breakout Actors, Directors & Talents From the 2014 Sundance Film Festival list. The trailer displays a movie with a healthy dose of humor and heart, and “Obvious Child” is prepped to be one of several fantastic offerings from the burgeoning A24 studio in 2014.
Release Date: June 6th