Happy June! Blockbuster season is just around the corner, and these four brand-new releases are the bellwether: They’re all high-key, unnuanced, and, each in their own unique way, totally over-the-top. And that’s not a bad thing! Leave the complex plotlines and moral ambiguities for the cooler months—we’re trying to have a blast, while we enjoy a blast of A/C! Whether you’re into thrills, spills, chills, or some artisanal blend thereof, at least one of these movies is bound to hit the spot.
Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water and sail across four thousand miles of open ocean with the love of our life! The sea is a harsh mistress. Way harsh. Not since The Perfect Storm has the sight of a wave made our blood pressure skyrocket like this. And just who did the sound design? They are really strumming our pain. In the role of Tami Oldham, who is a real person who lived through all of this, except worse, we can’t think of a better casting choice than Shailene Woodley. She has tried her hand at love stories, tragedies, and survivalist stories alike, and with her turn in Big Little Lies she’s proven more than ready to graduate from the young adult fare. This nightmare fuel pairs best with the largest bottle of water you can find. Maybe see if the theater will let you bring one of those water cooler jugs in with you?
It’s been such a delight to watch Johnny Knoxville “grow up” right in front of our eyes over the years! While John Waters’ A Dirty Shame will always be our favorite version of this “jackass,” this is…something. We thought it might be a fun mix of Empire Records and Adventureland. We were wrong. We’d also like to say that no testicles were harmed in the making of this motion picture, but sadly, we’d also be wrong. And maybe we’re a bunch of millennial snowflakes who love pink and hate danger, but the idea of getting drunk and hurting ourselves “like the good old days” just doesn’t tug at our heartstrings like this trailer assumes it does. But if you want to take a break from watching literally hundreds of thousands of videos of folks doing just that on YouTube, Action Point is as good an excuse as any to leave the house.
If it’s half as well-crafted as the trailer, it’s more than worth the ticket price. Whet your appetite for daring heists before next week’s much-anticipated Ocean’s 8, a movie about fictional women who really know what they’re doing, with this thriller-cum-true-crime-documentary about real young men with no idea what they’re doing, and the unfortunate hijinks that ensue. Despite the overall levity of tone, we’re still mildly terrified of Barry Keoghan—and if you happened to see The Killing of a Sacred Deer, you should be, too. Unlike me, Tonya, which also riffs on the dramatized documentary format, the actual people involved in the original heist will appear onscreen. Will American Animals be all slick and no substance, or will the shine on the apple, so to speak, match the crispness of its bite? There’s only one way to find out.
The Ringer thinks Upgrade “is like Taken mixed with RoboCop mixed with Ex Machina,” but we respectfully offer this recipe as an alternative: Take one part Idle Hands, one part Knight Rider, and two parts Death Wish, combine with a splash of The Terminator and shake well. Pour into a lowball glass while staring at a poster for Limitless. No ice, just salt. This is the green band trailer, by the way—technically, Upgrade is classified as a “science fiction body horror movie”, but it’s no Videodrome or Tokyo Gore Police, that’s for sure. It’s not exactly Black Mirror, either, but it does seem pretty fun, depending on your threshold for movie violence. Logan Marshall-Green strikes a perfect and not-so-easy-to-reach note as protagonist Grey Trace, whose name may or may not be a play on ray tracing (probably not). And although she’s not in the trailer much, we’re very excited to see more from Betty Gabriel, who was last seen as Georgina is getting Out.