Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected
LAist needs your help: Why we're asking everyone who values our journalism to donate today

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

The Most Anticipated Summer 2017 Movies For Adults Who Don't Want CGI Blockbusters

We need to hear from you.
Today during our spring member drive, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Millions of people will crowd into cinemas this summer to see loud, CGI-filled, franchise-starting blockbusters that can keep you happily complacent in an air conditioned cocoon. But maybe you're the type of freak who likes slightly more challenging, slightly more adult, and slightly less superhero-y movies. You'll be happy to learn there are movies being released this summer that don't have budgets of $100 million!

If you're looking for an antidote to the summer spectacle fare, these are the 10 auteur-driven horror movies, indie flicks, romantic-comedies, artsy experiments, and musical mash-ups you'll want to check out.

IT COMES AT NIGHT (June 9th): It's slim pickings for horror movie fans this summer, but there is at least one diamond in the rough: Trey Edward Shults will release the followup to his unforgettable 2015 debut, Krisha. Joel Edgerton stars as a father whose family has holed up in a safe house as "an unnatural threat terrorizes the world." Of course, other people eventually coming knocking, and all hell, we imagine, breaks loose.

Support for LAist comes from

BEATRIZ AT DINNER (June 9th): The writer behind HBO's incredible Enlightenment teams up with frequent collaborator/director Miguel Arteta for a film about a healer who attends a fancy dinner party only for tensions to spill over with a brusque real-estate magnate. It features an all-star cast (Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Chloë Sevigny, Jay Duplass), and also has the distinction of being the "first dramatic comedy that’s an explicit — and provocative — allegory of the Age of Trump."

THE BIG SICK (June 23rd): You probably know Kumail Nanjiani as Dinesh from Silicon Valley (or if you're really hardcore, Pindar from Franklin & Bash), but he's about to make the same leap with this film that Amy Schumer made when she released Trainwreck. The Judd Apatow-produced film was co-written by Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon, and is based on their own courtship, which included his early comedy career struggles and her unexpected illness. The movie also continues the unlikely but very welcome Ray Romanossance.

THE BEGUILED (June 23rd): Sofia Coppola's first new film since 2013's The Bling Ring (no, A Very Murray Christmas does not count) is a remake of the 1971 Don Siegel Civill War drama (starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page). It's been described as a "hilariously fraught feminist psychodrama," and the Southern gothic film has garnered some rave reviews since it premiered at Cannes this week.

BABY DRIVER (June 28th): I wouldn't need to know anything about this movie other than the fact it is directed by Edgar Wright, and I would buy tickets for opening night (and then probably go again a week later). This is my personal most anticipated film of the summer, the first new movie in four years from one of our greatest living directors (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim). Ansel Elgort stars as a getaway driver with tinnitus whose soundtrack powers every action sequence in the movie (and these aren't CGI race scenes, but the real deal). Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey and more fill out the cast of the film, which looks like a really fun variation on Drive. Most of all, no one mixes comedy, genre-experiments, and visually inventive shots like Wright.

OKJA (June 28th): Snowpiercer was one of my favorite movies of the last decade, so anything director Bong Joon Ho comes up with is automatically on my must-see list. It's just icing on the cake that his latest film also has Jake Gyllenhaal dressed like a really bad Hunter S. Thompson impersonator, Tilda Swinton glazed in silver as a menacing corporate baddie, and a pro-animal message wedded to what appears to be another fast-moving thriller.

Support for LAist comes from

A GHOST STORY (July 7th): Director David Lowery reunites with his Ain't Them Bodies Saints stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara for this poetic movie about grief and memory. Come for the challenging psychological ghost story that had critics drooling all over themselves when it premiered, stay for the fact that Affleck acts the hell out of a white sheet (which he wears over his head for the entire film).

WIND RIVER (August 4th): After stints on Veronica Mars and Sons Of Anarchy, actor Taylor Sheridan turned to writing full-time and produced two Academy Award-nominated screenplays for Sicario and Hell Or High Water. He wrote and directed his latest film, which stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olson as a veteran game tracker and FBI agent who investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.

THE TRIP TO SPAIN (August 11th): Best frenemies Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite for the third time for a culinary expedition across an exotic European country that's more about their own warring egos than anything else. Based on the excellent first two films in the series, expect lots of food porn, lots of accents, and lots of competing impressions from the comedians, between shaggy, semi-improvised scenes.

LOGAN LUCKY (August 18th): After less than three years, the great Steven Soderbergh has come out of his own self-imposed movie retirement early (he was plenty busy with various TV projects in the intervening years). Not a huge amount is known about his big return, which is a heist film set around the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig. But Soderbergh has described it as "the anti-glam version of an Oceans movie," which is more than enough to ensure we'll buy tickets.

Lucky Logan (Courtesy photo)

Most Read