If you’re suffering from blockbuster fatigue and tired of seeing yet another superhero flick from Marvel or DC, the summer movie season is likely the worst time of year for you. Every other film that’s being released in theatres during that time fits fairly neatly into either category it seems.
Generally speaking, even outside of this blockbuster season, films these days are either a sequel, prequel, interquel (a story that takes place between two previous installments; e.g Rogue One) or midquel (a story that takes place during a previous installment; e.g Saw IV), a remake, a reboot, a re-imagining or an adaptation or re-adaptation (yes, that’s a thing) of a pre-existing property*. In short, there are hardly any original films.
For this list, we’re looking at those films that will premiere in theatres from the end of June to the end of September that are none of those things. That means that highly anticipated films like Atomic Blonde, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and The Dark Tower are exempt from this list since they’re based on graphic novels and a novel, respectively (I did mention adaptations).
So if you’re looking for something different and original this summer, take a peek at our list of 10 Original Films to Watch This Summer.
* There are a lot of “quels” and other terms for film franchises. Check out this comprehensive list on Empire Online – Infographic: Movie Franchise Lexicon.
#1. Baby Driver – Jun 28
Written and directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza González, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.
Synopsis: A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. – Baby Driver Official Site.
#2. Okja – Jun 28
Written by: Jon Ronson and Bong Joon-ho
Directed by: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Ahn Seo-hyun, Byun Hee-bong, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Yoon Je-moon, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Devon Bostick, Choi Woo-shik, Giancarlo Esposito and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Synopsis: A gentle giant and the girl who raised her are caught in the crossfire between animal activism, corporate greed and scientific ethics. – Netflix.
#3. Dunkirk – Jul 21
Written and directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy
Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy.
Synopsis: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. – IMDB.
#4. Girls Trip – July 21
Written by: Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver
Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee
Starring: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Larenz Tate and Mike Colter.
Synopsis: When four lifelong friends—Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. James Lopez, head of motion pictures for Will Packer Productions, and Preston Holmes, executive produce. – Girls Trip Official Site.
#5. Wind River – Aug 4
Written and directed by: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.
Synopsis: An FBI agent teams with a town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation. – IMDB.
#6. The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Aug 18
Written by: Tom O’Connor
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Élodie Yung and Salma Hayek.
Synopsis: The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time. – IMDB.
#7. Logan Lucky – Aug 18
Written by: Rebecca Blunt
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Adam Driver, Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, Hilary Swank, Katherine Waterston, Sebastian Stan, and Jesco White.
Synopsis: Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The production shot at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the actual NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America 500, as well as at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In a fun twist, six NASCAR stars pop up in non-driver cameo roles in the film. – Logan Lucky Official Site.
#8. The Life and Death of John Gotti – Aug 25
Written by: Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi.
Directed by: Kevin Connolly
Starring: John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Stacy Keach, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Spencer Lofranco and Victor Gojcaj.
Synopsis: The film will reveal the relationship of a father who lived and died by the mob code and a son who, while brought up to lead a life of crime, chose to leave that world behind and redeem himself and the Gotti name. Never before has there been such an inside look at the Gotti family and their world of danger, betrayal and redemption. – IMDB.
No trailer available.
#9. Battle of the Sexes – Sep 22
Written by: Simon Beaufoy
Directed by: Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton.
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Austin Stowell, and Sarah Silverman.
Synopsis: In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s World #1 Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. – Fox Searchlight.
#10. American Made – Sept 29
Written by: Gary Spinelli
Directed by: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones and Jayma Mays.
Synopsis: In Universal Pictures’ American Made, Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), in this international escapade based on the outrageous (and real) exploits of a hustler and pilot unexpectedly recruited by the CIA to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. history. – American Made Official Site.