For many, summer is a time to relax, forget their worries and have some fun in the sun. But while some love to spend all of their time outside, many would rather spend their summer surrounded by friends in the comfort of a movie theater. Each summer brings an onslaught of big-budget blockbusters with all-star casts, and this year was no exception. From superhero epics like “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Suicide Squad” to CGI-heavy remakes of classics such as “Ghostbusters” and “Ben-Hur,” the better-financed films dominated the main screens. Now that summer has come to a close, it’s time to sit back and bring attention to some of the smaller summer films that were overshadowed by their behemoth brethren. These films may not have big budgets or celebrities attached to them, but they’re well worth watching in your spare time.
Director: John Carney
“Sing Street” follows 15-year-old Conor, who, after transferring to a new school due to his family’s financial struggles, decides to start a band to impress a mysterious girl he likes.
Hilarious, but surprisingly deep, “Sing Street” is a film that touches your heart and will have you cheering by the end. With relatable characters, witty writing and a rocking soundtrack, “Sing Street” is a movie that can’t be missed.
Swiss Army Man
Directors: Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
When all hope seems lost for Hank, who’s been stranded on a deserted island for who knows how long, help comes in the unlikely form of Manny, a farting, talking corpse that washes ashore.
Don’t be fooled by the bizarre plot though, “Swiss Army Man” is a heartwarming tale of friendship, love and life. It features excellent performances from Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe as Hank and Manny, respectively. For anyone wanting to see something completely different from the norm, “Swiss Army Man” is a must-see movie.
The Neon Demon
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
“The Neon Demon” follows aspiring model Jesse as she moves to Los Angeles and quickly catches the attention of a well-known fashion photographer. This doesn’t go unnoticed, and she becomes the target of three jealous women who crave her newfound fame and will stop at nothing to obtain her beauty.
What makes “The Neon Demon” work so well is its reliance on visual storytelling; the film uses abstract imagery to portray both the characters’ thoughts and feelings. With beautiful cinematography alongside a haunting and mesmerizing score, director Nicolas Winding Refn takes what could be a standard thriller and turns it into a surreal experience that you won’t soon forget.
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Set in a dystopian future, “The Lobster” follows David as he’s forced to check himself into a hotel for single people. There he is given 45 days to meet a romantic partner to spend the rest of his life with, or he’ll be turned into a lobster.
Dark and brooding, yet hilarious and absurd, this biting satire of love and relationships is a breath of fresh of air in a landscape oversaturated with generic romantic comedies. The dreary look of the film and deadpan performances of the actors mixed with the oddball subject matter makes “The Lobster” a riot.
Hell Or High Water
Director: David Mackenzie
Two brothers, Toby and Tanner, hatch a desperate plan to save their family’s ranch by robbing banks. Their actions quickly catch the attention of an aging sheriff named Marcus who starts a manhunt in order to stop them.
This slow-burn crime drama makes you truly care for every character. A combination of excellent writing and phenomenal performances makes the explosive last act even more impactful.