Essays · Movies

The New Movies of July 2017, In Order of Anticipation

Keep reading for a look at our ten most anticipated movies hitting screens this month!
By  · Published on July 6th, 2017

Can you believe it’s already July? It’s one of the tougher months to choose movies over the outdoors as sunshine, beaches, and warm summer breezes call my name, but the cinema is fighting back with some attractions of its own. Some are big wannabe blockbusters while others are smaller, quirkier fare, but combined they make a somewhat compelling case for taking a breath from the fresh air and sucking in the smell of popcorn butter and unwashed moviegoer for two hours.

Keep reading for a look at our ten most anticipated movies hitting screens this month!

10. Brigsby Bear

Release date: July 28th

Pros: Kyle Mooney is an underused player on Saturday Night Live, so it could be good news seeing him take center stage in a feature that’s already received mostly positive responses out of Sundance. The supporting cast is equally appealing with the likes of Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Greg Kinnear, and Andy Samberg all working to bring what sounds like a riff on The Truman Show to life.

Cons: Criticisms of the film have mostly been centered on its sitcom-like lack of emotional weight. Some of that may come down to Mooney’s relative lack of dramatic experience compared to his sketch comedy work.

9. Girls Trip

Release date: July 21st

Pros: Jada Pinkett Smith in a rare lead role is reason enough to celebrate, but we also get Regina Hall and Queen Latifah on the same ticket in a movie about ladies out for a wild time. Malcolm D. Lee also directed light but casually entertaining fare like The Best Man and Undercover Brother.

Cons: The recent Rough Night confirmed that a raucous comedy with a female-friendly cast/focus is no guarantee against disappointment. Lee also directed Soul Men and Scary Movie 5.

8. Wish Upon

Release date: July 14th

Pros: Horror movies hold so much promise towards being good fun and casting Joey King, Sherilyn Fenn, and Ryan Phillippe is a good start. Director John R. Leonetti worked as cinematographer on The Conjuring and Insidious and directed Annabelle (which many of you disliked but I found perfectly adequate).

Cons: Leonetti also directed Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and The Butterfly Effect 2, and not to sound pessimistic, but inexpensive horror movies that open wide with zero advance buzz are typically lesser affairs aimed strictly at pocketing a solid opening weekend.

7. A Ghost Story

Release date: July 7th

Pros: The three main talents behind 2013’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints reunite for a tale of grief, loss, and love. The film was highly praised at Sundance with writer/director David Lowery and stars Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck all receiving acclaim. Affleck spends the entire film beneath a sheet.

Cons: Having seen their previous collaboration I’m leery about the film delivering on the emotional front.

6. Killing Ground

Release date: July 21st

Pros: It’s a smartly-crafted and brutal thriller set in the gorgeous wilds of Australia, and it allows time with both the killers and the victims increasing both the tension and the effect. For much of its running time, the film ratchets up the suspense and intensity with alarming grace and skill. [My review]

Cons: The third act gets more than a little frustrating.

5. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Release date: July 21st

Pros: We don’t get very many grand sci-fi adventures these days, and cast aside this looks to be one of the grandest yet. Luc Besson’s strengths have always been in the areas of visuals and energy, and judging by trailers and advance word his latest looks to be those skills turned all the way up to eleven.

Cons: Jupiter Ascending was also billed as a grand sci-fi adventure, and Besson is prone to that same kind of cheesiness.

4. Dunkirk

Release date: July 21st

Pros: Christopher Nolan has yet to make a bad film, and his tenth feature seems unlikely to break that trend with what looks to be an incredibly intense experience. It’s also his first time back in the “real” world since 2002’s Insomnia, and that’s a good thing as it lessens the chance of Nolan bungling the story’s logic.

Cons: At under two hours some folks are worried it won’t be able to capture the scope of the story it’s trying to tell.

3. War for the Planet of the Apes

Release date: July 14th

Pros: The first two films in 20th Century Fox’s Planet of the Apes reboot range from very good to great, and with director Matt Reeves returning for the third the promise of a consistently excellent trilogy seems high. Advance word has been tremendously positive with critics praising its mix of epic action, technological marvels, and high degree of emotional satisfaction. [Our review]

Cons: I’m in the minority who prefers Rise‘s cautionary tale over Dawn‘s clash of the primates, and this latest film looks to be far more of the latter.

2. Atomic Blonde

Release date: July 28th

Pros: Charlize Theron as an ass-kicking agent in a movie from the action-focused talents behind John Wick? That’s already enough, but add in James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, John Goodman, and Eddie Marsan and this becomes even more of a must-see.

Cons: We have to wait almost the entire month before it opens.

1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release date: July 7th

Pros: This movie is an absolute blast and easily the most purely fun Marvel movie yet. It’s exciting, affecting, funny as hell, and finds its greatest beats in the interactions between characters. Tom Holland channels a perfect balance between awkward earnestness and cocky ambition, and he leaves you immediately wanting more. [My review]

Cons: Minor in the grand scheme, but the Vulture’s action scenes are under-cooked and there’s entirely too much Tony Stark.

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.