Summer blockbuster season kicked off with real impact during May, with Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past making their mark in a big way. The season rolls on into June, which feels like a cool down period for the cinema, with some more independent, festival-friendly fare mixing with some upbeat comedies.
If truth be told, it was a bit of a challenge to come up with ten worthy films for the month and a lot of them could go either way. But here we go…
10. Belle (Jun 13)
Following the remarkable 12 Years a Slave, the racial politics of the past have become a huge talking point in cinema. Hot on the heels of that discussion comes Belle, which tells the story of an illegitimate mixed race daughter of a naval officer. She is raised in the British aristocracy, despite her ethnicity causing problems with some members of high society.
The film looks glossy and well-acted, if a little drab. It’s always good to see a proper British film getting some time in cinemas though.
9. Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie (Jun 27)
It’s the TV-film adaptation no one really wanted as studio sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys hits the big screen. If there was ever proof that executives have learnt nothing from Keith Lemon: The Film, then Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie is that proof.
Irish comedian Brendan O’Carroll dons his usual drag to play the titular matriarch. This time around, her market stall is under threat from a ruthless developer and she must mount a campaign to keep them off the land and save her livelihood.
It has some comedy potential, certainly. But there’s always the risk that it could be feckin’ awful.
8. Walking on Sunshine (Jun 27)
Beautiful, happy, noisy people will sing beautiful, happy, noisy songs in 80s-themed jukebox musical Walking on Sunshine. It’s also the feature debut of X Factor winner Leona Lewis.
The plot is something totally vapid about foreign holidays and exotic lovers, but the big attraction is obviously the songs – everything from Katrina & The Waves to Wham, via Duran Duran and Whitney Houston.
It could be an absolute mess, or it could be something silly and enjoyable like last year’s surprise stunner Sunshine on Leith.
7. 3 Days to Kill (Jun 20)
Fresh off Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, grizzled Kevin Costner is heading back to the action genre with 3 Days to Kill. Costner plays a dying CIA agent who is offered an experimental drug that could save his life and give him time to reconnect with his daughter. The catch? He has to take on that most clichéd of cinematic set-ups: one final job.
McG is in the director’s chair and Luc Besson has penned the script. This guarantees women, explosions and stupidity. Ah, it could be okay… I guess.
6. Chef (Jun 27)
Jon Favreau, director of Elf and Iron Man, steps behind the camera once again for amiable feel-good comedy Chef. He also wrote the film and stars as the chef who loses his restaurant job and starts up a food truck business.
Early reviews for the film have called it a warm and funny journey that benefits from a charming cast, even if it isn’t exactly something new and ground-breaking. With any luck, it’ll be every bit as cheery and breezy as they’ve suggested in a month full of dark thrillers.
5. Oculus (Jun 13)
Karen Gillan, known for her role as a companion in Doctor Who, takes the lead in this horror film, released a few months ago in America.
Based on the director’s own short film, it tells the story of a woman who becomes convinced that an old, antique mirror is responsible for the horrendous misfortunes that befall her family.
Oculus has been praised for prioritising subtlety over gore and jump scares, so fingers are crossed for something to break this year’s depressing glut of awful horror films.
4. Cold in July (Jun 27)
Hall’s character accidentally kills an intruder who invades his home. This puts him on a crash course with the dead man’s angry father, who happens to be a violent ex-con. With a hint of police conspiracy involved too, this looks to be a very exciting, pulpy thriller.
Kill Your Darlings already proved Hall’s big screen potential and this plot sounds like it could kick-start a solid leading man career for him.
3. Devil’s Knot (Jun 13)
Another gritty thriller from the festival circuit, Devil’s Knot tells the true story of a group of teenagers accused of killing three children in a satanic ritual. Colin Firth stars as the private investigator attempting to crack the strange case.
It looks like a dark, twisty thriller in the vein of last year’s Prisoners, with a genuinely interesting exploration of the current trend of blaming murders on video games, movies, satanism and just about everything.
2. 22 Jump Street (Jun 6)
In 2012, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller brought the relatively unknown TV series 21 Jump Street to the big screen with surprising success. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum proved to have great on-screen chemistry and the self-referential script was a real winner with audiences.
The sequel was inevitable, of course, and it seems like basically a retread. Nick Offerman’s character even tells the guys to do the same thing all over again in the trailer.
This has the potential to either be comedy of the year or a real waste of time. There’s no chance of a surprise hit this time. It has to work.
1. The Fault in Our Stars (Jun 19)
The Fault in Our Stars, one of the most acclaimed young adult stories of recent years, has finally been adapted for film.
Shailene Woodley takes on the central role as a witty girl with terminal cancer who meets fellow sufferer Gus (Ansel Egort) at a support group. They soon fall in love and, realising they don’t have long together, decide to make the most of their own personal eternity.
The book is a real rollercoaster journey and the film looks set to be equally adept at pulling the heartstrings. I just hope they don’t decide to make “Twilight with tumours”.
Let me know which of these films you have seen or plan to see in the comments section below. Are there any exciting releases I haven’t mentioned?