Summer is the season of the big budget blockbuster, the kinds of movies that wow your eyeballs and gently pat your brain and whisper “shh.” And while this summer has its fair share of them that will be entertaining—Jurassic World, Ant-Man, another Mission Impossible—there are other movies that should be on your radar. Here are some of the movies you should see that you haven’t heard of yet.
Documentaries don’t come more heart-pounding than Sunshine Superman. The film, about Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE jumping movement, takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey as it recaps Boenish’s daring stunts. The documentary makes use of Carl’s old footage along with re-enactments that take viewers right up to the jump that took his life. (May 22)
Love & Mercy
The film, which stars Paul Dano and John Cusak, is a fun but harrowing look into the life of Brian Wilson, the co-founder of The Beach Boys. Dano plays young Wilson while Cusak plays the singer/songwriter in midlife. Catchy Beach Boys pop streams throughout the movie, and Wilson’s turbulent life keeps the tale interesting. (June 5)
Live From New York!
For 40 years, Saturday Night Live has delivered sketches that get talked about at work on Monday morning. But before all the zany skits and memorable characters, there was just a bold idea that seemed destined to fail. This is the story of SNL. (June 12)
Prepare yourself for one of the craziest, most unbelievable documentaries you’ll ever see. The Wolfpack is the story of the Angulo brothers, a group of siblings who spent almost all of their lives inside a New York City apartment. They became extremely creative in entertaining themselves, but when one brother gets out, fitting in in the world proves challenging at best. (June 12)
The Stanford Prison Experiment
Based on the true story of Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s unique psychological experiment conducted in 1971 of the same name, The Stanford Prison Experiment holds nothing back. When 24 students get selected to assume roles as prisoners and guards in a fake prison, surprising and haunting things transpire. (July 17) Link
The Tribe is unlike any movie you’ve ever seen. It’s in sign language… without subtitles. But before you dismiss it as something too artsy for your liking, consider the fact that it’s full of gangs, robberies, prostitution, a more of the like. Hauntingly quiet and totally unique. (July 17)
The Look of Silence
If you haven’t seen Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, you should make it a priority, and you really should make it a priority before seeing The Look of Silence. The new documentary is a companion film to the extraordinary 2012 one. Following an Indonesian family who discover the people that killed their son live right down the road, The Look of Silence is incredibly compelling, brutal, and as shocking as the first film. (July 17)
A LEGO Brickumentary
Everyone’s favorite toy block and bare foot destroyer is finally getting the documentary it deserves. A LEGO Brickumentary, narrated by Jason Bateman, charts the brands success, highlights obsessive adult fans, and digs into how a tiny brick became a worldwide phenomenon. (July 31)
The End of Tour
Whether you made it all the way through Infinite Jest or not, this summer you should see this film about the man who wrote it. Specifically, The End of Tour is about an incredible 5-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and David Foster Wallace for a piece in the magazine. The story never ran. The film is based on the book Lipsky wrote about the interview after Wallace’s suicide in 2008. (July 31) Link