Inside Out 2 to Kevin Costner’s New Western: 12 of the Best Films to Watch in June

Benjamin Lee
Benjamin Lee
13 Min Read

1. Kinds of Kindness

Just a few months after releasing Poor Things, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has already completed another film – or rather, three films. Kinds of Kindness is a triptych of darkly comedic short stories, each set in an uncanny version of present-day USA, and each featuring the same actors in different roles: Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Plemons, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, and Mamoudou Athie. Co-written by Efthimis Filippou, who scripted Lanthimos’s early films, it marks a return to his starkly creepy but often hilarious roots. “It’s a quizzical concoction bound to baffle and delight in equal measure, structured so it feels like binge-watching three episodes of a nihilist Twilight Zone knock-off,” says Peter DeBruge in Variety. “This long, scaldingly original film enthralls even as it frustrates, defying conventional logic while presenting an absurdist riff on modern society.”
Released on 21 June in the US and Canada, and 28 June in the UK, Ireland, and Sweden.

2. I Am: Céline Dion

Anyone who remembers the release of Titanic in 1997 will remember its theme song, My Heart Will Go On by Céline Dion. The power ballad was an Oscar and Grammy winner that became the biggest-selling single of 1998. Recently, however, Dion has been living with a rare neurological disorder, Stiff-Person Syndrome, which causes muscle stiffness and spasms, preventing her from performing. Irene Taylor’s documentary shows how she has coped. “This last couple of years has been such a challenge for me,” Dion said in a statement. “The journey from discovering my condition to learning how to live with and manage it, but not to let it define me. As the road to resuming my performing career continues… I decided I wanted to document this part of my life to help others who share this diagnosis.”
Released on 15 June on Amazon Prime.

3. Inside Out 2

In 2015, Inside Out introduced us to a young girl, Riley, who was upset about moving house, and then showed us all the emotions inside her mind: Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. The sequel, Inside Out 2, sees the gang joined by new emotions: Embarrassment, Ennui, Envy, and, most importantly, Anxiety (voiced by Maya Hawke). The film’s director, Kelsey Mann, told Jackson Murphy at Animation Scoop that the new story is about how we deal with that feeling. “It’s about staying in the present and worrying less about the future – just worrying about, ‘Okay. What’s happening right now?’ That’s in part learning to manage anxiety, which is what we tried to put in this movie.”
On general release from 14 June.

4. The Exorcism

The Exorcism is a horror movie with two big postmodern twists. It tells the story of an actor named Anthony Miller, played by Russell Crowe, who loses his mind while shooting a film similar to The Exorcist, raising the question of whether he is being possessed by a demon or whether the pressures of the shoot are pushing him back into his old addictions. The first twist is that Crowe starred in The Pope’s Exorcist last year, making him an actor in an exorcism film playing an actor in an exorcism film. The second twist is that The Exorcism is directed and co-written by Joshua John Miller, whose father, Jason Miller, played Father Damien in The Exorcist in 1973. “If that wasn’t haunting enough on its own,” the director said, “my dad never shied away from telling me stories of how ‘cursed’ the movie was: the mysterious fires, the strange deaths, the lifelong injuries – the list went on and on. The lore of any ‘cursed film’ has captivated me ever since.”
Released on 21 June in the US and the UK.

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5. Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1

Kevin Costner has already directed two Westerns, Open Range and the Oscar-winning Dances with Wolves. Now that number has gone up to three… or maybe four. Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 is just the first installment of Costner’s new Western, which he co-wrote, produced, and self-financed. Chapter 2 will be released in August, and he plans to make two more. A sprawling account of frontier life in the mid-19th Century, the film features Costner as a roving gunslinger alongside Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, and many more. While some, like Rory O’Connor at The Film Stage, praise it as “a classic Western,” others, like the BBC’s reviewer, were less impressed.
On general release from 28 June.

6. Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Will Smith returns to the big screen in Bad Boys: Ride or Die, the fourth installment in the Miami cop franchise. It’s been 29 years since Smith and Martin Lawrence starred in the first Bad Boys. Smith claims that the latest caper has a deeper purpose than just keeping the franchise alive or rehabilitating his image. “It has to feel like it earned its right to be a movie today,” Smith told Empire magazine. “I always hate when you see sequels that are victory laps. In Ride or Die we’re taking some really aggressive creative shots… We wanted to push the envelope of how much life experience and age specificity you can put into these movies… There’s a spiritual aspect to it.”
On general release from 5 June.

7. Treasure

The first film to address the Holocaust since The Zone of Interest, Julia von Heinz’s road-trip drama takes a different approach. Treasure “uses whimsy and anecdote instead of shock tactics,” says Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent, “[but] it still provides probing insight into everything from casual antisemitism to the plague of historical forgetfulness.” Adapted from Lily Brett’s 1999 autobiographical novel, Too Many Men, the film features Lena Dunham as a music journalist from New York touring Poland in 1990 with her father, an Auschwitz survivor played by Stephen Fry. But this jovial old man would rather crack jokes than talk about his past. “Treasure is likely to be far more accessible to a general audience than more forbidding Holocaust movies,” says Macnab.
Released on 14 June in the US.

8. The Watchers

Dakota Fanning stars in this supernatural mystery thriller as an artist who gets lost in a forest in Ireland. When a monster chases her, she finds refuge in a bunker with three other people, only to learn that none of them can leave and that they must stand by a glass screen every night to be inspected by unseen alien “watchers.” Adapted from the novel by AM Shine, The Watchers sounds a lot like an M Night Shyamalan film – fitting since it was written and directed by his daughter, Ishana Night Shyamalan. “The training from him has existed my whole life,” Shyamalan Jr told Collider. “I’ve had this time of quiet observation for the first 22 years of my life, to watch and see how [he] did it and to watch [his] emotions throughout the process. I reference that knowledge as much as I can, as I’m going about it.”
On general release from 7 June.

9. The Bikeriders

The Bikeriders boasts one of the coolest casts of the year, including Tom Hardy, Austin Butler (Elvis), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), and Mike Faist (Challengers). Hardy plays Johnny, the founder of the Vandals MC, a motorcycle club in 1960s Chicago. This denim-and-leather-clad gang spends as much time getting into fights as they do revving up their Harley Davidsons, and when the Vandals delve into organized crime, the wife (Comer) of one member (Butler) hopes he will find a new hobby before it’s too late. Jeff Nichols’ film is “an absorbing drama with echoes of great mob pictures such as Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas,” says Brian Viner at the Daily Mail.
Released on 21 June in the US, the UK, Canada, and Ireland.

10. A Quiet Place: Day One

John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place was about a family hiding in a farmhouse from ravenous aliens. In the sequel, the family ventures out into the countryside. But in this prequel, written and directed by Michael Sarnoski (Pig), we see the chaos caused by the monsters when they first fall from space and land in New York City. Lupita Nyong’o stars alongside Djimon Hounsou, reprising his character from A Quiet Place: Part Two. “It came back to something I loved about the first two films,” Sarnoski told Entertainment Weekly. “Yes, these are monster films, they’re horror-thriller movies that have these exciting, scary moments, but at their core, they’re stories about people dealing with something that they don’t know how to deal with. I wanted to focus on that but in its own unique way.”
On general release from 27 June.

11. Firebrand

There have been many films about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, but few about his sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr. Firebrand changes that. Adapted from Elizabeth Fremantle’s 2013 novel Queen’s Gambit, this stylish costume drama stars Alicia Vikander as Catherine and Jude Law as a heartily repulsive Henry. As courtiers plot against her and the king’s health declines, how can she ensure her survival? Firebrand is “a taut historical thriller, bathed in muted, Rembrandt-esque lighting and filled with viperish conspiracies and courtly color,” writes Phil de Semlyen in Time Out.
Released on 14 June in the US.

12. Banel & Adama

Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s magical and mysterious debut film tells the story of star-crossed lovers. Adama (Mamadou Diallo) is a teenage boy destined to become the chief of his remote Senegalese village. Banel (Khady Mane) is a teenage girl meant to bear Adama’s children. But they defy tradition and choose to live in the desert outside the village. When a severe drought hits, the villagers see it as divine punishment for the lovers’ behavior. “Banel & Adama is a striking debut that puts Sy on the map as a purveyor of deceptively gorgeous visions,” writes Sophie Monks Kaufman at IndieWire. “The combination of ethereal voiceover with nature at its most breathtaking evokes our cinema’s philosophical high priest, Terrence Malick.”
Released in the US on 7 June.

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I'm Benjamin Lee, a music enthusiast, tech geek, and avid traveler. Music pulses through my veins, igniting my soul with every beat. As a tech geek, I thrive on the latest innovations, diving deep into the digital realm to explore endless possibilities. But my spirit truly soars when I'm on the road, embarking on adventures to far-flung destinations, soaking in the sights and sounds of new cultures. Whether I'm grooving to the rhythm, tinkering with gadgets, or traversing the globe, I'm always fueled by a boundless curiosity and a passion for discovery. Join me on this exhilarating journey through life!
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