Culture

The Must-See New Movies To Add To Your Watch List

Daisy Edgar-Jones leads the Where the Crawdads Sing cast as orphan Kya

From the big-screen adaptation of a chart-topping novel to a glittering biopic of the original star of rock ’n’ roll, here are the films to have on your radar this summer…

Lifestyle

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens’ novel gripped the world when it came out in 2018 and the big-screen adaption is finally here, courtesy of Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine. Set in the darkest marshlands of North Carolina, the story follows mysterious orphan Kya (Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones), who is left to fend for herself in the Southern swamps. A heartbreaking story of resilience and retribution, it has garnered a loyal fanbase. In cinemas from July 15

Jessica Chastain and Ralph Fiennes star in The Forgiven, a dark, moral-dilemma-driven drama set in Marrakech

The Forgiven

Jessica Chastain and Ralph Fiennes play an unhappily married couple in this dark drama about the repercussions of a fatal accident that happens, at their hands, in Marrakech. Written by James Michael McDonagh (brother of director Martin McDonagh), the script is peppered with moments of black humor and a few moral dilemmas to chew on. Plus, look out for brilliant supporting stints from Rebecca Hall and Matt Smith to boot. In cinemas from June 17

Austin Butler takes center stage as Baz Luhrmann’s rhinestone-clad Elvis

Elvis

No one does razzle dazzle better than Baz Luhrmann, and his new biopic about Elvis Presley’s astronomic rise to fame does not disappoint. Austin Butler takes on the legend himself, gyrating and lip-curling his way through the singer’s greatest hits in what is set to be a suitably iconic performance, while Tom Hanks plays a troublesome manager. Expect rhinestones and power ballads in this sure-fire award-winner. In cinemas from June 24

Keke Palmer navigates Jordan Peele’s new paranormal flick, Nope

Nope

In a desolate ranching town, a sinister, otherworldly force looms large – indeed, Jordan Peele’s latest masterpiece has all the hallmarks of a truly terrifying tale. Watch through your fingers as Daniel Kaluuya navigates the paranormal force slashing through this community – with some help from Hollywood’s brightest new talents Keke Palmer (Alice; see below), Steven Yeun (Minari) and Barbie Ferreira (Euphoria). In cinemas from July 22

The Gray Man

This new Russo Brothers’ movie currently holds the record for the most expensive film ever made by Netflix ($200 million, to be precise), and with a cast that includes some of Hollywood’s most bankable stars – cue Ana de Armas, Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and Jessica Henwick – you can see why. From the directors behind The Avengers series, this high-adrenaline cat-and-mouse chase between an undercover CIA operative and his nemesis (based on the bestseller by Mark Greaney) is set to break even more box-office records. On Netflix in July

Newcomer Laura Haddock stars as Myrna Dalgleish, and Michael Fox as Andy, in Downton Abbey: A New Era

Downton Abbey: A New Era

Not content with six TV series and a feature film, the Downton Abbey cohort is back for a sequel, eking out the scandals of the rich and gentrified in a stately home in Yorkshire. Expect to see all the usual faces – Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael and more – putting the drama back into period drama. In cinemas now

Thor: Love and Thunder

Chris Hemsworth is reprising his sword and breastplate for the latest Taika Waititi-directed instalment of the Thor franchise. This offering sees Thor reckon with Gorr the God Butcher, played by a snarling Christian Bale, as well as chronicling the reign of Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and the return of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, who starts acquiring superpowers eerily similar to Thor’s. A must-watch for any Marvel devotee. In cinemas from July 8

Robert Pattinson (right) as Batman, alongside Jeffrey Wright’s Commissioner Jim Gordon, in The Batman

The Batman

In what looks like the best instalment yet, Robert Pattinson will be donning that famous cape and transforming into Gotham’s very own Dark Knight. Better yet, his sidekick comes in the form of Zoë Kravitz as the fierce and fearless Catwoman. Together, they unravel a crime ring run by the mysterious Riddler, played by an unnerving Paul Dano, in this stylishly noir take on the classic comic – directed by JJ Abrams collaborator Matt Reeves (who also directed Cloverfield). In cinemas now

Colin Farrell stars as Jake, a father who buys a robot sibling for his daughter, in After Yang

After Yang

A24, the production company behind many cult hits, including Room, Lady Bird and Midsommar, has become known for its boundary-pushing projects – and After Yang is no exception. Set in a futuristic world where humans can purchase robot-children for their families, young couple Jake and Kyra, played by Jodie Turner-Smith and Colin Farrell, buy a robot sibling named Yang for their daughter, Mika. As Yang malfunctions, Jake (Farrell) must restore him back to life by untangling his past memories and traumas. This film is a haunting look at identity and ownership, and one that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled. In cinemas now

Keke Palmer (left) stars alongside rapper-turned-actor Common, in Krystin Ver Linden's Alice

Alice

This thriller from debutante director Krystin Ver Linden is the talk of the Sundance Film Festival, with critics praising it as a visceral morality tale for our time. Keke Palmer gives the performance of a lifetime as Alice, an enslaved woman who escapes her master and tormentor (Jonny Lee Miller), only to wake up in a different decade. This is a time-bending tale of revenge – with a twist – and a future classic. In cinemas now

Daisy Edgar-Jones stars in Fresh, a quirky directorial debut from Mimi Cave

Fresh

Calling all Daisy Edgar-Jones fans: the queen of the alternative romcom is back in this quirky debut from director Mimi Cave. All is not what it seems in Fresh, which kicks off as a cutesy romance, when Noa (Edgar-Jones) – continually burned by the online dating world – finally meets her ‘prince charming’ in Steve (Sebastian Stan). However, half an hour in, the opening credits roll and the film transforms into something else entirely, as Steve harbors a sinister secret. Definitely one for fans of Promising Young Woman. On Hulu now

Alana Haim (left) and Cooper Hoffman in Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza

Paul Thomas Anderson productions are always a highlight on the film calendar – and this coming-of-age tale is completely irresistible, straight-up nostalgia. Set against the backdrop of a hazy 1970s Los Angeles, this feel-good, boy-meets-girl tale follows the misadventures of its two main characters as they unfold. The cast is headed up by two Gen-Z icons: Alana Haim, of rock band Haim (in her film debut), and Cooper Hoffman, son of Anderson’s former muse, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman – with cameos from familiar faces including Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn. In cinemas now

Frances McDormand as the troubled Lady Macbeth in The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Joel Coen, one half of the Coen brothers, has set his sights on Shakespeare, no less, in this stylish retelling of the most prolific cautionary tale of power and greed there is. There’s a suitably legendary cast in attendance, including Denzel Washington as Macbeth, and Frances McDormand taking on troubled wife Lady Macbeth. Watch out for sublime performances from newcomers Moses Ingram and Harry Melling, in their first major roles since starring in The Queen’s Gambit. In cinemas and on Apple TV now

Being the Ricardos

One of Hollywood’s most iconic comedy duos, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, are being brought back to life in this long-awaited drama from The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin. Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem are electric in the lead roles, as the film delves into their roller-coaster romance and tumultuous working relationship on the set of their classic sitcom, I Love Lucy. If the sneak-peak stills are anything to go by, both actors have completely transformed into their characters – a sure-fire precursor to an Oscar win. In cinemas and on Prime Video now

Daniel Ranieri (left) and Ben Affleck star in The Tender Bar

The Tender Bar

George Clooney is a man of many hats, but these days he is most likely to be found behind the camera, directing our new favorite films. The Tender Bar is Clooney’s latest gig – a heartfelt tale of a young boy who, seeking solace from his messy home life, immerses himself in the books he discovers in his uncle’s bar. This really is the life-affirming film we need right now – and, with Ben Affleck and The Undoing’s Lily Rabe starring, it is sure to attract plenty of awards buzz. On Prime Video now

Deep Water

Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1957 erotic thriller about a marriage in turmoil, this movie has all the makings of a big-screen classic thanks to Adrian Lyne, the Oscar-nominated director of Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal, and a screenplay by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson (Euphoria, Malcolm & Marie) – not to mention Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas in the leading roles. In cinemas now

Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star in black comedy Don’t Look Up

Don’t Look Up

Oscar-winning director Adam McKay, who brought us The Big Short and Vice, is behind this new black comedy, which blends politics and punchlines in the way only he does best. This time around, not only has McKay reunited Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, but he has also cast Meryl Streep as the president and recruited Cate Blanchett as a glossy news anchor. Prepare to belly-laugh your way through this end-of-the-world story about two amateur scientists (DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) trying to stave off a global disaster. On Netflix now

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons star in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog

This devastating tale marks the long-awaited return of director Jane Campion and is her first feature film since 2009’s Bright Star. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons take the leads as two sparring brothers, Phil and George Burbank, who are ranchers in a desolate part of Montana. The arrival of George’s new wife, Rose (Kirsten Dunst), triggers a chain of relentless brutality by Phil (Cumberbatch). Inspired by Thomas Savage’s novel of the same name, this is one for fans of There Will Be Blood and, similarly, features a score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. On Netflix now

Olivia Colman stars in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s bestselling novel The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter

Maggie Gyllenhaal has stepped behind the camera for the very first time to adapt Elena Ferrante’s bestselling 2008 novel. Olivia Colman plays Leda, a divorcee consumed by regretful memories triggered by the arrival of a young family on the island where she is vacationing. Accompanying Colman is Normal People sensation Paul Mescal, as well as Dakota Johnson and Jessie Buckley. If the four-minute standing ovation at Venice Film Festival is anything to go by, Gyllenhaal’s debut is set to become a future classic. On Netflix now

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