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Critic's summer film picks

Escape the heat and check out these must-see summer movies.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. June 20, 2018
"Madeline's Madeline" opens Opens Aug. 10. Courtesy image
"Madeline's Madeline" opens Opens Aug. 10. Courtesy image
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Switch it up this summer and catch a movie in the manner in which it’s meant to be seen. Hands free, in a comfy cool theater, you can sit back and take in some quality films that look severely hot. Our top 10 picks ...



Opened June 8

Director Morgan Neville is known for his acute ability to go behind the scenes and present the stark reality of what happens there. In this feel-good documentary about the beloved TV star, Mr. Rogers, Neville exposes the compassionate philosophy held by the icon and how he made us feel better about one another. A must see. 



Opens June 22

Director Eugene Jarecki describes his film as “a cautionary tale for America.” The life of the legendary “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley, is examined in this road tour documentary about what shaped the man from his rise to fame and his fall from glory. Retracing his life in a 1963 Rolls Royce (owned by Elvis), Jarecki takes us on a ride through cities that had an impact on “The King.” Some of those who rode shotgun on the journey were Alec Baldwin, Ethan Hawke and James Carville.



Opens June 29

When a former soldier and his 13-year-old daughter are forcibly relocated after having lived off the grid for years, their lives are shattered. As social services intervene, the two are compelled to re-evaluate their priorities and evolving relationship. Performances by Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie drew raves at Sundance this year. Directed by Debra Granik.



Opens July 13

When a middle-aged woman receives a jigsaw puzzle as a birthday gift, her life is forever altered. She discovers she has an exceptional talent for this new found hobby and enters a world-jigsaw tournament. Partnering with a male pro on the circuit, the two bond and the former suburban housewife awakens a passion for life that she never knew existed. Kelly Macdonald and Irfan Khan star in this unexpected, critically acclaimed film directed by Marc Turtlebaum. 



Opens July 13

Teenage angst is at the center of this heartwarming portrait of an adolescent in transition. Kayla is a 13-year-old who copes with her loneliness by making YouTube videos that go unnoticed. In her last week of middle school, she’s just trying to fit in by faking it. Awkward moments, self-doubt and longings will trigger emotions we’ve all had due to great directing by Bo Burnham (yeah, a guy) and a breakout performance from Elsie Fisher. 



Opens July 20

Here’s another hot doc that explores the life of an iconic innovator. British designer extraordinaire Alexander McQueen was as controversial as his sometimes outrageous haute couture. Candid interviews with those who knew him best lend vast insight into his creative genius and tortured soul. This rags-to-riches saga stands as a testament to a truly gifted artist. Directed by Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui. 



Opens July 27

Starring the amazingly hot commodity, Timothee Chalamet, this coming-of-age film is about a teenage boy trying to cope but with a major twist. Sent off to Cape Cod for the summer in 1991 after his father’s death, he braves storms never anticipated which include drugs, love and a hurricane. What begins as a comedy slowly evolves into a dark, violent and bloody ride. Elijah Bynum makes an impressive debut as writer and director. 



Opens Aug. 3

Glen Close stars as the title character in this dark comedy about sacrificing one’s career to bolster her spouse’s. Just as her husband (Jonathan Pryce) is about to receive a Nobel Prize, she decides to open up about her long-held secrets. This late-life crisis blows the lid off their seemingly idyllic relationship and finally gives her a sense of purpose. Directed by Bjorn Runge. 



Opens Aug. 10

Is this a film about life imitating art? It’s said to leave audiences scratching their heads. A 16-year-old actress with a mental illness incorporates the relationship with her mother into her latest stage project. When the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, clashes ensue with all those involved. The film is described as “visually and sonically experimental.” The performance by first-time actress Helena Howard is receiving huge attention and won Special Jury Prize at this year’s Sarasota Film Festival. Directed by Josephine Decker. 



Opens Aug. 31

When an aspiring young photographer accepts an invitation to a gallery owner’s party, she does so with great expectations. After all, the host is also her friend and is known for throwing the best soirees. New York’s who’s who in the social scene are always in attendance. But all hopes are dashed when she discovers that nothing is as it seems. Starring Rachel Nichols, Laura Dreyfuss and Steve Guttenberg. Directed by Amos Posner.


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