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Summer means heavy CGI and more superheroes than could fit in Stan Lee’s brain. While spandex-filled battles are great for moving popcorn, they aren’t always our speed. Luckily, summer offers plenty of films that aren’t just about insane action. Here are the best movies coming out this summer that aren’t blockbusters.

The Lobster

Out Now

The Lobster just hit theaters, so watch this trailer and then go buy some tickets. Colin Farrell stars in the odd, dystopian flick, where his character needs to find a romantic partner in 45 days or he’ll be turned into an animal and released into the forest. Got that? If you’re a fan of quirky comedies, this may be your next favorite film.


De Palma

June 10

You’ve probably seen more of Brian De Palma’s movies than you realize. Here are just a few of the flicks the filmmaker has done: ScarfaceThe UntouchablesCarlito’s WayCarrieMission Impossible. We could go on. This June, Noah Baumbach turns the camera on the iconic movie man. De Palma features a candid, lively discussion with the director who changed Hollywood. Somehow he’s just as entertaining as his films.


The Neon Demon

June 24

Nicolas Winding Refn, the man behind DriveBronson, and Only God Forgives, returns with a thriller filled with his unique, brooding feel. The Neon Demon tells the story of an aspiring model unaware of what the industry and a group of beauty-obsessed women have in store for her. Expect an epic soundtrack; sparse, haunting dialog; and something highly original, which is par for the course with Nicolas Winding Refn.


Swiss Army Man

July 1

We’re confident in saying that Swiss Army Man will be the weirdest movie you see this summer. That said, it might also be the best. Right as a man who’s alone in the wilderness decides to off himself, he discovers a dead body on the beach. He quickly finds that his lifeless friend possesses some supernatural abilities and is, in a sense, a human Swiss army knife, which could be just what he needs to get home. Just trust us on this one.


Our Kind of Traitor

July 1

We’re suckers for British spy thrillers, and this one, starring Ewan McGregor and Damian Lewis, looks to be the summer’s best. From the brilliant mind of John le Carré comes a thrilling tale of a British couple who get involved with a crooked businessman. Extra points for the scenery, as the story takes viewers to the Swiss Alps, Paris, and other aesthetically pleasing destinations.


Captain Fantastic

July 8

Ben (Viggo Mortensen) is a father who has chosen to raise his family secluded from society. He challenges his children with physical and mental tasks to better them, while they all reside in cabins in the Pacific Northwest. But when the time comes for them to venture out into the world, the kids are in for a surprise. Complete with a killer soundtrack, Captain Fantastic is both emotionally powerful and pretty damn funny.


The Infiltrator

July 13

Bryan Cranston and drugs?? Man, that sounds like a combo we already enjoy the shit out of. This July, the former Walter White stars in The Infiltrator, a film about the US government trying to bring down Pablo Escobar. In the film, Cranston plays Robert Mazur (aka “Bob Musella”), the real-life federal customs agent who wrote the book the film is based on.



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Don’t Think Twice

July 22

Mike Birbiglia, whose story-driven stand-up should convince anybody he can tell a tale, tries his hand at writing and directing in Don’t Think Twice, a story about a New York City improve troupe trying to make it in the comedy world. When one of the members gets a shot, reality sets in on the rest of the gang.


The Founder

August 5

We’re in the midst of Michael Keaton’s second act. First came Birdman and a slew of awards. Then came Spotlight, and another slew of awards. Now prepare for The Founder, Keaton’s next critically acclaimed movie. The film is about the rise of McDonald’s—yes, the McDonald’s—and Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the American businessman who joined the Golden Arches in the mid-50s. Expect another slew of awards.

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