2021 Summer Movie Preview

This time last year, it felt like the world was falling apart and as always, movies were a reflection of life. While escapism for many was within reach of their computer or TV, it was just as easy to turn off as it was to give in and with theaters going dark, it was difficult to see when the lights would be turned back on. However, beyond the pleasing sight of projectors and marquees being flipped on again, there really are brighter days ahead as a host of movies that had been waiting out the pandemic are now ready to make their way to audiences and while we enter a different moviegoing experience than the one we had before, there is not only something for everyone, but more ways to watch movies than ever, if only you know where to look.

To that end, we’ve assembled a summer preview that hopefully will help organize an increasingly disperse multiplex that ranges from theaters to streaming services and reflects a time when being a cinephile is likely to involve listening to the latest season of Karina Longworth’s “You Must Remember This” about gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, reading Michael Koresky’s “Films of Endearment: A Mother, a Son and the ‘80s Films That Defined Us” or sneaking on to Starz to see what “She’s Lost Control” director Anja Marquardt has been up to on “The Girlfriend Experience.” No matter how you enjoy movies, there’s plenty to enjoy, so dive in and start looking for some great diversions to beat the summer heat.

May / June / July / August

 

May 2

Mainstream

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Maya Hawke, Nat Wolff, Jason Schwartzman, Johnny Knoxville, Alexa Demie, Colleen Camp
Director: Gia Coppola
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: “What was really fascinating to me is that storytelling is shifting into this new platform and technology, so how are we creative in this new space?” Gia Coppola told us recently about her follow-up to “Palo Alto,” inspired by watching how the transition from radio to TV was handled in “A Face in the Crowd” to tell a likeminded story of what we’re captivated by online with Andrew Garfield as a provocateur whose videos begin to go viral and his videographer (Maya Hawke) wondering whether it’s a good thing or not. (How to Watch: In theaters and on demand)

The Boy From Medellín

Director: Matthew Heineman
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After chronicling strife in Mexico in “Cartel Land” and Syria in “City of Ghosts,” Matthew Heineman tells a story of perseverance with reggaeton superstar J Balvin, who returns to Colombia for one of the biggest concerts the country has ever seen, though the show is put in doubt by ongoing civil unrest and political protests, revealing the tightrope the artist has to walk as an ambassador to the world. (How to Watch: Amazon Prime)

The Columnist

Cast: Katja Herbers, Genio de Groot
Director: Ivo Van Aart
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer)
The Lowdown: “Evil” star Katja Herbers plays out every online journalist’s darkest fantasy in this pitch black comedy about a writer who tires of all the harassment thrown her way on social media and decides to take matters into her own hands by meeting bullies where they live, quite often with sharp objects in tow. (How to Watch: In Theaters and Virtual Cinemas)

Duty Free

Director: Sian-Pierre Regis
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer)
The Lowdown: A heartwarming hit from last fall’s DOC NYC, Sian-Pierre Regis delivers a gift to his mother with his directorial debut, highlighting her struggle to find work in her golden years after giving much of her life to the hospitality industry to pay her sons’ way through college. With Regis’ knowhow to make a film and her unexpected time off, the two take the opportunity to fulfill her dreams of travel.  (How to Watch: Opening at New York’s IFC Center on April 30th and available in virtual cinemas May 7th)

Here Today

Cast: Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish, Laura Benanti, Penn Badgley, Sharon Stone, Louisa Krause, Anna Deveare Smith, Nyambi Nyambi
Director: Billy Crystal
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: For his first turn behind the camera in 20 years, last directing the Roger Maris-Mickey Mantle home run chase “61,” Billy Crystal recruited old comedy pal Alan Zweibel to co-write this comedy for new comedy pal Tiffany Haddish, taking their generations into account for this story of a legendary comedy writer in deteriorating health who strikes up a friendship with a street troubadour whose lack of awareness of his fame endears her to him. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

The Human Factor

Director: Dror Moreh
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: If all hope seems lost of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord during our lifetime, Dror Moreh has kept the conversations going, following up his 2012 doc “The Gatekeepers” in which he gathered all the previous heads of the Israeli security unit Shin Bet to speak publicly, with this film collecting the mediators involved in all peace talks between the two countries to hash out why an agreement has never been reached. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Monster

Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., John David Washington, Jennifer Ehle, Jeffrey Wright, Tim Blake Nelson, Jharrel Jerome
Director: Anthony Mandler
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Curiously disappearing from view after touching a nerve at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, this adaptation of Walter Dean Myers’ novel about an accomplished student who is charged with murder to the shock of friends and family. The film marks the debut of celebrated music video director Anthony Mandler, who helmed clips for Rihanna and Beyonce.(How to Watch: Netflix)

Paper Spiders

Cast: Peyton List, Lili Taylor, Max Casella, David Rasche, Stefania LaVie Owen, Jennifer Cody, Ian Nelson, Tom Papa
Director: Inon Shampanier
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Timed to Mothers Day, this drama concerns a daughter (Peyton List) increasingly feeling she has to take care of her mother (Lili Taylor), whose fragile mental state is shaken by the recent loss of her husband. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on VOD)

The Paper Tigers

Cast: Alain Uy, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Matt Page, Yuji Okumoto, Ron Yuan, Jae Suh Park, Peter Adrian Sudarso
Director: Bao Tran
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A favorite at last fall’s Fantasia Fest, there’s nothing flabby about this sharp martial arts comedy, except perhaps its leads – three out-of-practice martial arts students who reunite upon learning of their teacher’s death and consider dusting off their old Taekwondo skills when it seems like foul play is involved. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on digital.)

Pink Skies Ahead

Cast: Jessica Barden, Marcia Gay Harden, Michael McKean, Odeya Rush, Rosa Salazar, Henry Winkler, Lewis Pullman, Mary J. Blige
Director: Kelly Oxford
Points of Interest: IMDb, Facebook, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A rare good thing to come from being on Twitter, bon vivant Kelly Oxford takes her rightful place in the director’s chair with this whipsmart and perceptive comedy, set in Los Angeles in 1998, about a 20-year-old (Jessica Barden) whose work filing papers at her father’s (Michael McKean) contracting firm has kept her flush enough to pay for slushies with friends, but faces the pressure to start the next phase of her life, culminating in a breakdown that reveals there’s more to the anxiety she’s feeling than being pushed out of the nest. (How to Watch: On MTV and Paramount+)

Queen Marie

Cast: Roxana Lupu, Daniel Plier, Richard Elfyn, Patrick Drury, Caroline Loncq
Director: Alexis Sweet Cahill
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: All hope for Romania rests on the shoulders of its queen in this drama, set in 1919 when the country enters peace talks in Paris following World War I with the aim of recognizing its expansion. (How to Watch: iTunes)

Silo

Cast: Jeremy Holm, Jill Paice, Jack DiFalco, Jim Parrack
Director: Marshall Burnette
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: First-time feature director Marshall Burnette worked with farm communities for years to make sure this thriller, giving a rare central role on screen for the Midwest, got the details right to tell the story of a teen who gets caught in a grain entrapment and threatened with drowning in corn if the community can’t come together to find a way out for him in time. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on digital)

Undergods

Cast: Geza Rohrig, Johann Meyers, Ned Dennehy, Hayley Carmichael, Michael Gould, Khalid Abdalla, Jan Bijvoet, Eric Godon, Tanya Reynolds, Tadhg Murphy, Katariina Unt, Sam Louwyck, Kate Dickie
Director: Chino Moya
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Red meat is at a premium in this post-apocalyptic thriller, but there’s plenty of it for audiences to chew on in the feature debut of Chino Moya, a longtime commercials director who dives into a host of various stories in a world that’s been irrevocably fractured and people grapple with losing touch with one another. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on VOD)

The Unthinkable

Cast: Christoffer Nordenrot, Lisa Henni, Jesper Barkselius, Pia Halvorsen
Director: Victor Danell
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: From that new hotbed of disaster epics such as “The Wave” and “The Quake” in Scandinavia comes this thoughtful take on the genre from the Swedish collective known as Crazy Pictures as a mysterious reign of terror ripples throughout Sweden, pitting residents against one another as memories of the past fade. (How to Watch: On Demand)

The Water Man

Cast: David Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina, Maria Bello
Director: David Oyelowo
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: While David Oyelowo was working on Ava Duvernay’s adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time,” he started thinking about trying his hand at his own fantasy epic, making his directorial debut with this coming-of-age drama starring “This is Us” star Lonnie Chavis as a boy in search of truly alternative therapy for his ailing mother (Rosario Dawson), seeking out the help of a character he’s only heard about in tall tales called the Water Man. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on Demand)

Wrath of Man

Cast: Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett, Laz Alonzo, Raúl Castillo, Deobia Oparei, Eddie Marsan, Scott Eastwood
Director: Guy Ritchie
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: In their first film together since 2005’s “Revolver,” Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham find themselves both back in the heist game, only relocating from Great Britain to Los Angeles where the “Transporter” star plays a man of mystery named H who moves cash around the city in armored security cars in this adaptation of the 2004 French film “Le Convoyeur.” (How to Watch: In Theaters)

May 14

The Killing of Two Lovers

Cast: Chris Coy, Clayne Crawford, Arri Graham, Bruce Graham
Director: Robert Machoian
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: As Robert Machoian told us shortly before his first solo feature played Sundance, his kids urged him to make a movie they could star in after they were prominently featured in his collaborations with Rodrigo Ojeda-Bec (“God Bless the Child”), but it was really his wife who inspired him. “I got into films because of my wife. I lived in a small town that had one movie theater and she introduced me to ‘Gummo’ and ‘Buffalo ’66,’ these films that were blowing my mind. Now, it’s like ten years into our marriage and I’m like, “Check out this movie,” and she’s like, “I’m not really into that anymore.” Feeling like there was a part of her he no longer knew, he started developing this searing tale of a couple (Sepideh Moafi and Clayne Crawford) trying to make their relationship work after they go their separate ways romantically for the sake of their kids. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on Demand)

Above Suspicion

Cast: Emilia Clarke, Jack Huston, Sophie Lowe, Austin Hebert, Karl Glusman, Chris Mulkey, Omar Miller, Thora Birch, Johnny Knoxville
Director: Phillip Noyce
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: With plenty of underrated gems such as “Blind Fury” and “Salt” under his belt, it’s likely that Phillip Noyce deserved better than this under-the-radar release for this adaptation of Joe Sharkey’s true crime page turner set in Kentucky, following an undercover FBI agent (Jack Huston) who falls in love with an informant (Emilia Clarke), putting both in jeopardy.  (How to Watch: On digital, VOD and Blu-ray)

The Djinn

Cast: Ezra Dewey, Rob Brownstein, Tevy Poe, John Erickson
Director: David Charbonier and Justin Powell
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: The first of a one-two punch delivered by a new dynamic duo in horror in David Charbonier and Justin Powell — their second “The Boy Behind the Door” debuts on Shudder the following month — this tale of a mute 12-year-old (Ezra Dewey) who recently lost his mother shouldn’t be watched alone in an empty house, with the young boy believing he’s stumbled upon the answers to his wish of being able to speak after finding a book of spells, but discovering it comes at a cost. (How to Watch: In Theaters, on digital and on demand)

Ferry

Cast: Frank Lammers, Elise Schaap, Huub Stapel, Raymond Thiry
Director: Cecilia Verheyden
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes
The Lowdown: A feature-length prequel to the Belgian TV series “Undercover,” this crime drama charts the rise of drug lord Ferry Bouman (Frank Lammers) when he was merely a henchman and gets caught up in the local drama when he’s sent on a mission of retribution.(How to Watch: Netflix)

Finding You

Cast: Rose Reid, Jedidiah Goodacre, Katherine McNamara, Patrick Bergin, Saoirse-Monica Jackson,  Tom Everett Scott, Vanessa Redgrave
Director: Brian Baugh
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: An American violinist (Rose Reid) gets a lot more out of her study abroad program than she expected when her travels to Ireland put her in touch with a movie star (Jedidiah Goodacre) filming his latest project in town in this romantic drama. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Georgetown

Cast: Christoph Waltz, Vanessa Redgrave, Annette Bening, Corey Hawkins, Laura de Carteret
Director: Christoph Waltz
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: The “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained” star Waltz put his ability to shape shift to use in his satirical feature directorial debut, working from a script by “Proof” writer David Auburn and taking the lead as a political animal who finds his way into the D.C. social circle through marriage to an esteemed journalist (Vanessa Redgrave), believed by her daughter (Annette Bening) that he may not have the best of intentions. (How to Watch: In Select Theaters May 14th, On Digital and On Demand May 18th)

High Ground

Cast: Simon Baker, Jacob Junior Nayinggul, Jack Thompson, Callan Mulvey
Director: Stephen Johnson
Points of Interest: IMDb, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A selection of Berlinale 2020, this period thriller stars Simon Baker as a police officer looking for redemption after his service in World War I led to the massacre of an indigenous tribe in Australia and sees an opportunity to make amends when he is paired with the last remaining survivor (Jacob Junior Nayinggul) as a tracker to locate his uncle who is thought to be attacking new settlers. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on digital)

The Man in the Hat

Cast: Ciaran Hinds, Stephen Dillane, Maïwenn, Muna Otaru
Directors: John Paul Davidson and Stephen Warbeck
Points of Interest: IMDb, Facebook, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: No names are allowed in this comic caper about the driver of a Fiat 500 (Ciaran Hinds) who is being pursued by five men and has a picture of a woman riding shotgun, with co-directors John Paul Davidson and Stephen Warbeck gradually unraveling his story as he comes into contact with an array of colorful strangers. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on VOD)

Oxygen

Cast: Mélanie Laurent, Mathieu Almaric
Director: Alexandre Aja
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After overseeing Kaya Scoloderio try to stay above water in “Crawl,” director Alexandre Aja keeps air at a premium in this claustrophobic thriller set in a cryogenic chamber where a woman (Mélanie Laurent) wakes up with no memory of who she is and only the help of a computer (voiced by Mathieu Almaric) to escape. (How to Watch: Netflix)

The Perfect Candidate

Cast: Mila Alzahrani, Dhay, Khalid Abdulrhim, Shafi Al Harthy
Director: Haifaa Al Mansour
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Marking a triumphant return to Saudi Arabia after following up her international success with “Wadjda” with American productions “Nappily Ever After” and “Mary Shelley,” Haifaa Al-Mansour delivers a charming and empowering comedy following the largely unprecedented campaign of a female doctor (Mila Al Zahrani) running for municipal council. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Profile

Cast: Valene Kane, Shazad Latif
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: “To make a horror movie or a comedy, it’s easy to produce because I can pick the right director and I can maybe give some notes. But to make a drama, it was very difficult to hire somebody else,” the director of “Wanted” told us back when “Profile” premiered at SXSW in 2018, having spearheaded the innovative production process known as Screenlife, but waiting until after producing such films as “Unfriended” and “Searching” to direct one himself. Based on real exchanges that happened between the Parisian journalist Anna Erelle and a French terrorist based in Syria in 2014, the film is an unusually effective spin on the story of a writer who gets in too deep with her subject. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Rk/RKAY

Cast: Rajat Kapoor, Mallika Sherawat, Ranvir Shorey, Chandrachoor Rai, Manu Rishi Chadha
Director: Rajat Kapoor
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A filmmaker (Rajat Kapoor) becomes overwhelmed with the movie he’s making in this playful comedy that may remind of “Day for Night” by way of Indian cinema of the 1960s as the demands of a high-maintenance star (Mallika Sherawat) and an out-of-control production take its toll and the director can no longer separate reality and fiction. (How to Watch: In Theaters, a full list is here)

Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm

Director: Hannah Berryman
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Brothers Kingsley and Charles Ward had other ideas after taking over their family farm a half-century ago, realizing their property in the Welsh countryside might be a great place to make music. As the likes of Chris Martin, Robert Plant and Liam Gallagher attest in this doc, the two were onto something. (How to Watch: Vimeo on Demand)

Spiral

Cast: Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan David Jones
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After creating a parody movie in “Top Five” that inspired Tyler Perry to make “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” Chris Rock gifted Lionsgate with another horror-themed idea, but wasn’t joking around when he came up with the premise for this attempt to reboot the “Saw” franchise with its most experienced director Darren Lynn Bousman behind the camera. Rock stars as a detective investigating a string of murders in the vein of the series’ big bad Jigsaw, coming to realize that he and his partner (Max Minghella) are being toyed with themselves. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

There is No Evil

Cast: Baran Rasoulof, Zhila Shahi, Mohammad Seddighimehr, Mohammad Valizadegan
Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After winning the Golden Bear at Berlinale in 2019, Mohammad Rasoulof received a prison sentence in his native Iran for daring to question the country’s capital punishment system with this anthology film, filmed in secret, comprised of four stories about how the death penalty has affected people’s lives. (How to Watch: Opening at Film Forum and other select theaters and available nationwide on Kino Marquee)

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Finn Little, Aiden Gillen, Tyler Perry
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: For his second turn behind the camera after 2017’s “Wind River,” the “Sicario” scribe and “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan adapts the Michael Kortya novel set in Montana where a young boy (Finn Little) takes refuge with a veteran fire warden (Angelina Jolie) after witnessing a murder and finds himself pursued by two assassins ready to burn it all down. (How to Watch: In Theaters and available for 30 days on HBO Max starting May 14th)

Us Kids

Director: Kim A. Snyder
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: “I was watching all of this and wondering underneath it all, what was I doing at 17 and 18?” Kim A. Snyder told us about how she surprised even herself by making another film about the survivors of gun violence following her 2016 film “Newtown,” following the defiant teens at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High who made it their mission to take tragedy and turn it into political will following the mass shooting in 2018. After staging special online screenings around the recent presidential election, the film, which follows students-turned-activists Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and Samantha Fuentes, is now getting a proper theatrical release. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on digital)

The Woman in the Window

Cast: Amy Adams, Anthony Mackie, Gary Oldman, Wyatt Russell, Fred Hechinger, Brian Tyree Henry Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julianne Moore
Director: Joe Wright
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Following a wave of bad buzz from its originating author Dan Mallory (A.J. Finn) being exposed as a fabulist, extensive reshoots, and perhaps the last production to have Scott Rudin’s name on it for some time, this “Rear Window”-esque mystery about an agoraphobic psychologist (Amy Adams) who believes she’s seen a murder once expected to be a fall prestige film finally arrives as a summer guilty pleasure. (How to Watch: Netflix)

May 21

Blast Beat

Cast: Mateo Arias, Moises Arias, Kevin Grossman, Bibiana Navas
Director: Esteban Arango and Erick Castrillon
Points of Interest: IMDb, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: “Erick [Castrillon] has two brothers and I have four, and we wanted to tell the story of two brothers who don’t have the best relationship, but they have to come together when the family’s at stake,” Esteban Arango told us when “Blast Beat” premiered at Sundance last year, bringing another pair of brothers — Mateo and Moises Arias — into the fold to play siblings who move from Colombia to America in the hope of a better future while their father (Wilmer Valderrama) stays behind to support them financially, leaving the two feeling less than supported emotionally as they come of age, diving deeper into the punk scene. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on Demand)

Army of the Dead

Cast: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Hiroyuki Sanada, Garrett Dillahunt, Tig Notaro, Omari Hardwick
Director: Zack Snyder
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A palette cleanser perhaps after leaving the DC Universe, Zack Snyder revisits the zombie genre of his feature debut “Dawn of the Dead” with a lot bigger budget, bringing together a collection of mercenaries seeing the outbreak of flesh eaters as a prime opportunity to rob a casino. (How to Watch: Netflix)

Bad Tales

Cast: Elio Germano, Barbara Chichiarelli, Lino Musella
Director: The D’Innocenzo Brothers
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Innocence is lost time and again in this Berlinale 2020 premiere that won a Silver Bear for best screenplay, set in a small town on the outskirts of Rome where kids discover their parents have more concern for themselves in this stylish satire that’s been compared to the work of Todd Solondz and Ulrich Seidl. (How to Watch: In Theaters, PVOD and Virtual Cinemas)

Dream Horse

Cast: Toni Collette, Damian Lewis
Director: Euros Lyn
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A bartender (Toni Collette) turns into an unexpected horse breeder in this feel-good film, based on the true story about a community that came together in Great Britain to spark a winning streak. (How to Watch: In Theaters, a full list is here.)

Drunk Bus

Cast: Charlie Tahan, Kara Hayward, Pineapple Tangaroa, Tonatiuh, Will Forte, Zach Cherry, Sarah Mezzanotte
Director: John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After helming a number of viral videos such as “Drone Boning” and Big Data’s music video “Dangerous,” John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke try their hand at a feature with this comedy about a bus driver (Charlie Tahan) pulling the late shift, driving around all the drunk college kids back to their dorms until an unexpected passenger named Pineapple (Pineapple Tangaroa) takes him off course. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on VOD)

The Dry

Cast: Eric Bana, Genevieve O’Reilly, Keir O’Donnell, John Polson
Director: Robert Connolly
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: One of the highest grossing films of all time in its native Australia, this adaptation of Jane Harper’s bestselling mystery stars Eric Bana as a federal agent who had hoped to leave his past behind until the death of a childhood friend brings him back for an investigation. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on demand)

Final Account

Director: Luke Holland
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: With fewer and fewer around to recount what occurred during the Holocaust, director Luke Holland, who died himself shortly after completing this film, collects testimony from German citizens who were complicit in the rise of the Third Reich, reckoning with their roles even if all they did was stay silent. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Into the Darkness

Cast: Jesper Christensen, Bodil Jørgensen, Mads Reuther, Gustav Dyekjær Giese, Sara Viktoria Bjerregaard
Director: Anders Refn
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: The dilemma faced by citizens of Denmark during World War II is personified with this tale about the proprietor of an electronics factory who is tempted to help the Nazi cause as a means to keep his business running while his son joins the resistance. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on Digital)

Milkwater

Cast: Molly Bernard, Patrick Breen, Robin de Jesus, Ade Otukoya, Ava Eisenson
Director: Morgan Ingari
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes
The Lowdown: “Younger” breakout Molly Bernard gets the spotlight for herself in this dramedy about a woman unsure of where she’s headed until meeting a man (Patrick Breen) at her local watering hole desperate to have a child and is inspired to become a surrogate mother. (How to Watch: On Digital)

New Order

Cast: Diego Boneta, Naian González Norvind, Samantha Yazareth Anaya, Dario Yazbek Bernal
Director: Michel Franco
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A Grand Jury Prize winner at last year’s Venice Film Festival, the incendiary new films from “Chronic” director Michel Franco employs the occasion of a high society wedding to illustrate the increasing tensions between classes when a former worker for a wealthy family shows up hoping for financial help with his upcoming heart surgery. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

The Penny Black

Director: Joe Saunders
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Instagram
The Lowdown: The son of a conman attempts to find the owner of a rare stamp collection he’s come into possession of in this stranger than fiction tale. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on iTunes)

Pink: All I Know So Far

Director: Michael Gracey
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
The Lowdown: After directing “The Greatest Showman,” Michael Gracey was well-prepared for another high-wire act in documenting Pink’s 2019 world tour in support of her album “Beautiful Trauma,” entertaining thousands in arenas while trying to tend to her family at home. (How to Watch: Amazon Prime)

The Retreat

Cast: Aaron Ashmore, Rossif Sutherland, Celina Sinden, Munro Chambers
Director: Pat Mills
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: If it’s become a trope for the gay characters to die first in horror films, one shouldn’t expect that from this thriller set at a wilderness retreat, inspired by the experience that writer Alyson Richards had with her wife when they were left alone at a cabin but felt they were being watched the entire time. That became the seed for the story of a couple (Tommie-Amber Piri and Sarah Allen) who come in from the city and find that while the friends they planned to meet are missing, a militia is hanging around. (How to Watch: In theaters and on VOD)

Riders of Justice

Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Lars Brygmann
Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: One of Denmark’s most celebrated screenwriters, known for his partnership with Susanne Bier, Anders Thomas Jensen can always be counted on to let his wild side out when he’s in the director’s chair himself, as well as bringing along friends Mads Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas, with whom he’s made four other films. This time, he casts Mikkelsen as a former soldier whose wife dies in what is thought to be an accident, but increasingly looks less so when a fellow passenger (Kaas) keeps following him. (How to Watch: In Theaters on May 14th and on VOD on May 21st)

Seance

Cast: Suki Waterhouse, Madisen Beaty, Ella-Rae Smith, Inanna Sarkis, Seamus Patterson, Marina Stephenson-Kerr
Director: Simon Barrett
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Known for his collaborations with Adam Wingard as a screenwriter on such films as “You’re Next” and “The Guest,” Simon Barrett makes his directorial debut with this chiller set at a girls’ boarding school where a playful late night summoning of a spirit of a former student gets serious the next morning when one of the living ends up dead, with the filmmaker promising a slasher film in the vein of the original “Black Christmas,” “Deep Red” and “Sorority Row.” (How to Watch: In Theaters, On Demand and on Digital)

Sound of Violence

Cast: Jasmin Savoy Brown, Lili Simmons, James Jagger, Tessa Munro
Director: Alex Noyer
Points of Interest: IMDb, Facebook, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After chronicling the history of the Roland synthesizer in “808,” leave it to director Alex Noyer to make his narrative feature debut with a horror film about a woman whose experience of surviving the murder of nearly her entire family left her with a heightened sensitivity to sound, producing particularly brutal beats as a musician. (How to Watch: On iTunes)

Spring Blossom

Cast: Suzanne Lindon, Arnaud Valois, Frédéric Pierrot, Dominique Besnehard, Rebecca Marder, Philippe Uchan, Françoise Widhoff
Director: Suzanne Lindon
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Just 20 years old, but destined to get into filmmaking as the daughter of Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlain, Suzanne Lindon wrote, directed and stars in this film about a young woman who becomes infatuated with an older actor who is rehearsing a play at a theater on her way to school, occasionally breaking into musical interludes reflecting how her own routine has been disrupted by unexpected sensations. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Two Gods

Director: Zeshawn Ali
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After a successful run on the virtual festival circuit last year with stops at Hot Docs, Camden and DOC NYC, this exquisite black-and-white doc chronicles a casket maker who aims to give opportunity to young Black men in a neighborhood in Newark where unfortunately business is unfortunately all too consistent when crime is seen as one of the only ways to get by. (How to Watch: In Theaters and Virtual Cinemas)

Two Lottery Tickets

Cast: Dorian Boguta, Dragos Bucur, Alexandru Papadopol, Andi Vasluianu
Director: Paul Negoescu
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, trailer
The Lowdown: Thanks to the exciting new distributor Dekanalog, this 2016 Romanian comedy headlined by “Police, Adjective” star Dragoș Bucur is heading to American shores after charming local audiences with the story of a trio who win the lottery against all odds but have to chase down the ticket after a pair of thieves unwittingly steal it. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on digital)

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

Cast: Riva Krymalowski, Marinus Hohmann, Carla Juri, Oliver Masucci
Director: Caroline Link
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Based on Judith Kerr’s loosely autobiographical young adult novel, this drama from “Nowhere in Africa” director Caroline Link looks at the rise of Nazism through the eyes of a young girl (Riva Krymalowski) when her family flees Germany for Switzerland and has to try to make sense of a constant sense of upheaval. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Zone 414

Cast: Guy Pearce, Travis Fimmel, Colin Salmon, Ned Dennehy
Director: Andrew Baird
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site
The Lowdown: A buddy cop movie involving only one human, this sci-fi noir stars Guy Pearce as a private detective hired by the head of robot manufacturer to locate his daughter and is helped along in his investigation with AI. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on VOD)

May 28

Swimming Out Until the Sea Turns Blue

Director: Jia Zhangke
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: The masterful director of “Mountains May Depart” and “A Touch of Sin” looks within his own family history, growing up in the Shanxi province, to examine greater cultural shifts in China from the 1950s on in this exceptional documentary that made waves at the New York Film Festival last fall. (How to Watch: In Theaters, starting with an exclusive run at Film of Lincoln Center in New York)

Apocalypse ’45

Director: Erik Nelson
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes
The Lowdown: Accessing 700 hours of footage never before released by the National Archives, “The Cold Blue” director Erik Nelson reconstructs what the final months of the War of the Pacific were like, with much of the footage captured by no less than John Ford. (How to Watch: Discovery+)

American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally

Cast: Meadow Williams, Thomas Kretschmann, Al Pacino, Mitch Pileggi, Carsten Norgaard, Lala Kent, Swen Temmel
Director: Michael Polish
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: The long, strange career of “Twin Falls Idaho” director Michael Polish continues with this follow-up to the Mel Gibson hurricane thriller “Force of Nature” going back to World War II where Mildred Gillars (Meadow Williams), an American stands accused of spreading Nazi propaganda to American troops, with Pacino serving as her lawyer. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on VOD)

Baggio: The Divine Ponytail

Cast: Andrea Arcangeli, Valentina Belle, Thomas Trabacchi
Director: Letizia Lamartire
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Italian soccer star Roberto Baggio gets a biography, charting his rise to stardom in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. (How to Watch: Netflix)

Blue Miracle

Cast: Jimmy Gonzales, Dennis Quaid, Anthony Gonzalez, Bruce McGill, Raymond Cruz, Nathan Arenas
Director: Julio Quintana
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, trailer
The Lowdown: A fishing competition becomes the lone hope for an orphanage to keep going in this inspirational drama from Julio Quintana, who last braved the waters with the Martin Sheen starrer “The Vessel.” (How to Watch: Netflix)

Cruella

Cast: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Mark Strong, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham
Director: Craig Gillespie
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After the success Warner Brothers had with “Joker,” Disney is celebrating one of their own villains, reuniting “The Favourite” writer Tony McNamara with star Emma Stone and bringing in “I, Tonya” director Craig Gillespie for punk-infused prequel to the action in “101 Dalmatians.” (How to Watch: In Theaters and for rent on Disney+ Premier Access)

Endangered Species

Cast: Rebecca Romijn, Philip Winchester, Jerry O’Connell, Isabel Bassett, Michael Johnston
Director: M.J. Bassett
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Real-life couple Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell star as a family in for a rough ride in this thriller from “Solomon Kane” and “Rogue” director M.J. Bassett, set in Africa where plans for a safari go horribly awry after their van is upended by a rhino. (How to Watch: In select theaters and on digital)

Five Years North

Director: Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes
The Lowdown: Taking a unique approach to speaking to the issue of immigration in America, the directing duo of Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple follow a 15-year-old named Luis, who makes his home in New York after fleeing Guatemala only blocks away from ICE agent named Judy, showing how their paths cross even if the two physically do not in this compelling doc. (How to Watch: In Theaters, starting with an exclusive run at Film Forum)

Funhouse

Cast: Valter Skarsgård, Khamisa Wilsher, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Christopher Gerard
Director: Jason William Lee
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes
The Lowdown: This darkly comic thriller imagines what would happen on reality series like “Big Brother” if someone was murdered midway through, inspiring a collection of low level celebrities to have greater concerns than the $5 million prize at stake. (How to Watch: In Theaters and on Demand)

Ghost Lab

Cast: Thanapob Leeratanakachorn, Paris Intarakomalysut, Nuttanicha Dungwattanawanich
Director: Paween Purijitpanya
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, trailer
The Lowdown: This Thai thriller draws on the strong cultural belief in the supernatural as a pair of scientists conduct a series of experiments to conjure ghosts. (How to Watch: Netflix)

Moby

Director: Rob Gordon Bralver
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: With the musician promising “an eventful life examined, filled with existential discussions, extraordinary concert footage, deep cuts from 30 years of Moby’s music, unconventional narrative, quirky animation, rare clips, and thoughts from Moby’s friend david lynch,” this unorthodox biography arrives in tandem with a career-spanning album “Reprise,” remixing some of his greatest hits. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

New French Shorts

Directors: Adrien Mérigeau, Lauriane Escaffre and Yvonnick Muller, Merryl Roche, Sofia Alaoui, Agnès Patron, Ilias El Faris, Ariane Labed
Points of Interest: Official Site
The Lowdown: After bundling a collection of French productions with success on the festival circuit last year, Kino Lorber is once again teaming with UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy to bring American audiences a program of shorts headlined by the animated Oscar nominee “Genius Loci” and César Award winners “And Then the Bear” and “So What if the Goats Die?” along with Lauriane Escaffre and Yvonnick Muller’s “By a Hair,” Merryl Roche’s “Haute Cuisine,” Ilias El Faris’ “Sukar” and Ariane Labed’s “Olla.” (How to Watch: In Theaters and Kino Marquee Virtual Cinemas)

Plan B

Cast: Kuhoo Verma, Victoria Moroles
Director: Natalie Morales
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, trailer
The Lowdown: While Natalie Morales’ charming “Language Lessons” was the actress’ first directorial effort to make it in front of festival audiences this year at Berlin and SXSW, this high school comedy will be her first to reach the masses, with “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” co-writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg shepherding as producers another wild night to the screen. Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles star as best friends who have to search for birth control after one’s dalliance could bring even more regret than she already has. (How to Watch: Hulu)

Port Authority

Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Leyna Bloom, McCaul Lombardi, Louisa Krause
Director: Danielle Lessovitz
Points of Interest: IMDb, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A Director’s Fortnight selection at Cannes in 2019, this romance starring Fionn Whitehead and Leyna Bloom has seen the profile of its two stars rise in stature significantly since it was made after “Dunkirk” and “Pose” put them on the map, respectively. The directorial debut of “Mobile Homes” scribe Danielle Lessovitz,” it tells of a chance encounter that leads both to reconcile the lives they lead with the face they put on for the world. (How to Watch: In Theaters, on demand and on digital)

A Quiet Place: Part 2

Cast: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy, Noah Jupe
Director: John Krasinski
Points of Interest: IMDb, Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: After surviving the scourge of the sonically-attuned monsters in the surprise horror hit, the Abbott family is forced outdoors in this sequel, which hopes to lure audiences out too as the first major release to come out with theaters opening to a reasonable capacity following the pandemic. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog

Cast: August Maturo, Ayelet Zurer, Ken Duken
Director: Lynn Roth
Points of Interest: IMDb, Facebook, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: Based on the Israeli bestselling book “The Jewish Dog” by Asher Kravitz, this 1930s-set family film recounts the story of a young boy (August Maturo) separated from his beloved German Shepherd when the Nuremberg laws, prohibiting Jews from owning pets, and his unlikely quest to get him back. (How to Watch: In Theaters)

Welcome Matt

Cast: Tahj Mowry, Deon Cole, Jazsmin Lewis-Kelley, Dorien Wilson, G.G. Townson
Director: Leon Pierce Jr.
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: For his directorial debut, Leon Pierce Jr. delivers a comedy all too many could relate to this past year about a filmmaker (Tahj Mowry) paralyzed with fear shortly before he’s expected to have his big break, deciding that he can’t leave behind his desire to make a film even if he now is too afraid to leave his own house. (How to Watch: In theaters and on demand)

Women

Cast: Anna Marie Dobbins, Anna Maiche, Adam Dorsey
Director: Anton Sigurdsson
Points of Interest: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, trailer
The Lowdown: A detective comes to believe a sociology professor is killing his students in this thriller. (How to Watch: In theaters and on demand)

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