It’s summer blockbuster season, which means massive movies are hitting theaters. But you don’t need us to tell you about those. Instead, here’s a list of awesome movies that won’t get anywhere near as much promotion. But you shouldn’t miss them.
Chef (In theaters)
Starring Jon Favreau, who also directs, Chef uses the creativity and freedom of the food-truck movement as a backdrop for a story that’s ultimately about family, albeit one with a lot of food porn. Dissatisfied with his stifling restaurant job, Favreau’s Carl takes his new truck on a cross-country road trip from Miami to Los Angeles. In the process, he rediscovers his identity as a chef and a father. Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman and Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara round out the excellent cast.
They Came Together (In theaters)
Writers David Wain and Michael Showalter, the guys who made Wet Hot American Summer, created a hilarious spoof of romantic comedies with They Came Together. Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler brilliantly subvert romcoms’ clichéd tropes and plotlines with a supporting cast full of familiar faces (including Bill Hader, Ed Helms, Keenan Thompson and Jack McBrayer).
Snowpiercer (In theaters)
Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s English-language debut takes place in a dystopian future where all human life has been confined to a train that travels the globe on a constant loop. Chris Evans (Captain America) leads a class revolution from the oppressed rear of the train against the aristocratic front. Tilda Swinton brings dramatic flair as minister Mason, one of the train’s leaders, using boldness over subtlety to hold up to the action around her character.
Life Itself (In theaters)
This documentary chronicles Roger Ebert’s rise to become one of the most influential film critics ever, as well as his battle with the cancer that took his life in 2013. Even as his health deteriorated, Ebert continued to convey his love for movies and the way they brought people together. He devoted his life to his passion, and his infectious joy never could be subdued.
Boyhood (July 11th)
If you’ve never seen a Richard Linklater movie (Before Sunrise, Dazed and Confused), now is the time. His newest film is his most expansive project to date. Filmed over 12 years, the story chronicles the life of a Texas boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from the age of six until he goes to college at eighteen in one-year installments. While the Before trilogy gave a window into modern love, Boyhood expertly captures what it means to grow from a boy to a man.
Get On Up (August 1st)
It’s about time the Godfather of Soul got a movie. Chadwick Boseman, who was excellent in last year’s baseball drama 42, stars as James Brown. With the added support of Mick Jagger as a producer, hopefully Get On Up will bring the funk and, more importantly, do justice to one of the most original and innovative performers ever.
The Trip To Italy (August 15th)
Back to where we began: Another movie with a lot of food. Here, British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reprise their roles from 2010’s The Trip to spend a week traveling Italy reviewing restaurants for The Guardian. It just so happens those roles are marginally fictionalized versions of themselves: Their characters are even named Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. What the film will undoubtedly lack in plot action, it will be made up for with constant jokes, incredible food and countless Batman impersonations.