Entertainment & Arts

Films to watch this summer if you don't like blockbusters

L to R: Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: The Last Knight Image copyright Sony/Fox/Paramount
Image caption L to R: Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: The Last Knight

If you like giant robots, costumed crime-fighters or computer-generated simians, this summer's cinematic offerings are unlikely to disappoint.

Blockbusters, though, aren't for everybody. So what is out there if you don't want to watch Transformers: The Last Knight, Spider-Man: Homecoming or War for the Planet of the Apes?

Well, we have animated sequel Cars 3, animated threequel Despicable Me 3 and Christopher Nolan's war epic Dunkirk. But whichever way you slice it, they're really just blockbusters of a different cloth.

So what's left? More than you might think. Here are a few films you might want to check out if you're after something a little bit different.

Baby Driver (28 June)

Image copyright Sony Pictures
Image caption Ansel Elgort (far right in sunglasses) plays getaway driver Baby

Director Edgar Wright is known for Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz - films that combined gross-out comedy with sly spins on familiar genre conventions.

His latest film is a relatively straight crime thriller about a baby-faced getaway driver whose skills behind the wheel ensure he's always in demand.

Equipped with a great cast, a cool soundtrack and plenty of tyre-squealing mayhem, it's a slick piece of Tarantino-esque car-nage with a little bit more substance that your average Fast and the Furious.

With the exception of Downton Abbey's Lily James, it is something of an all-male affair though.

All Eyez On Me (30 June)

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tupac, pictured left in 1994, is played in the film by Demetrius Shipp Jr

The first in a number of upcoming films about Tupac Shakur is a straightforward chronicle of the rapper's short life and career.

Yet that hasn't stopped it irking some of his friends and associates, among them fellow rapper 50 Cent and actress Jada Pinkett Smith.

However, there has been praise for Demetrius Shipp Jr's performance as Shakur, the Harlem-born performer who was shot and killed in September 1996.

The film, by the way, shares its title with the last Tupac album to be released during his lifetime.

It Comes At Night (7 July)

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Joel Edgerton plays Paul in Trey Edward Shults's film

A psychological thriller steeped in suspense and dread, this tale of two families sharing a cabin in the woods looks like it might be better released at Halloween.

Given the recent success of Get Out, though, it's perhaps not surprising It Comes At Night - another film to blend genre scares with social commentary - has been given a prominent summer berth.

Joel Edgerton stars as a father who has constructed a refuge from a deadly epidemic that is believed to have wiped out much of the human population.

Said refuge, alas, is not safe from fear and paranoia in a film that currently has an 87% rating on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

The Beguiled (14 July)

Image copyright Focus Features
Image caption Nicole Kidman plays a buttoned-down schoolmistress in Coppola's film

Sofia Coppola's latest, her first theatrical feature since 2013's The Bling Ring, is a starry affair that won her a best director prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Set in Virginia during the American Civil War, it tells of a girls' school that is thrown out of whack when it takes in a wounded Union soldier.

The soldier, played by Colin Farrell, upsets the equilibrium of this all-female enclave, drawing out tensions and resentments that had lain out of view.

Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning swell the cast of drama whose source material previously spawned a Clint Eastwood movie in 1971.

The Big Sick (28 July)

Image copyright StudioCannal
Image caption Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan play the film's mixed-race lovers

The winner of the year's least appealing title is actually a charming romantic comedy about a Muslim comedian from Pakistan who begins a relationship with a white American woman.

It's the ultimate culture clash, made even more complicated when Emily (Zoe Kazan) falls ill and her beau (Kumail Nanjiani) is called upon to offer comfort to her parents.

Inspired by Nanjiani's own romantic life, The Big Sick was a big hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival and was snapped up by Amazon for $12m (£9.5m).

Witty, heartfelt and unexpectedly sophisticated, it also comes with some highly amusing insights into Pakistan's fascination with cricket.

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