ByJack Mitchell, writer at
I'm a student at the University of Sussex, studying Drama and Film. I'm a huge cinephile, watching and discussing a wide variety of cinema
Jack Mitchell

If like me you are sick of big budget blockbusters, then don't fear for your sanity — there is hope! Although the best (critically speaking) films are reserved primarily for Oscar season, there are some fascinating and worthwhile art films slipping through the cracks. You needn't subject yourself to the never-ending release of sequels, prequels, reboots, superhero and action films if you don't want to. So, for those of you looking for some relief, I've compiled a list of 5 alternative summer films that I feel are worth a watch.

5. My Cousin Rachel

'My Cousin Rachel' [Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures]
'My Cousin Rachel' [Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures]

This maybe isn't poised to be quite as much of a controversial classic as Les Cousins Dangereux, but this film looks to be an absorbing flick. With a strong pair of leads in Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, and an intriguing gothic tale of love and murder based on source material by one of the greatest ever writers (Daphne du Maurier), this should be a worthwhile movie. Though slightly too early to properly gauge the consensus on this film, I think we'll be pleasantly surprised by this one.

Release date: June 9, UK and US

Metacritic: 64 Rotten Tomatoes: 77 IMDb: N/A

4. My Life As A Courgette

'My Life as a Courgette' [Credit: Gebeka Films]
'My Life as a Courgette' [Credit: Gebeka Films]

Alternative animation is having a renaissance, with movies like Anomalisa and Kubo and the Two Strings using the traditionally child-oriented genre to deliver visually and narratively striking tales. My Life as a Courgette, an Oscar-nominated movie, looks to be another example of an animated film that is superficially designed for children, but is actually full of deeper undertones. While not a long film (runtime wise), this seems to have a bucketful of emotional depth, and is bolstered by beautiful, seamless stop-motion.

Release date: In cinemas

Metacritic: 85 Rotten Tomatoes: 100 IMDb: 7.8

3. A Ghost Story

Often, filmmakers who make the leap from relative obscurity to blockbuster recognition abandon their filmmaking roots, but David Lowery seems adamant on retaining his artistic origins. Despite taking on Disney projects, Lowery has crafted a strange tale of lingering grief, in which a man lives on as a sheet with eyeholes. With huge talents Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, a talented director, and an original and unique narrative, this one looks to be well worth your time.

Release date: July 7

Metacritic: 89 Rotten Tomatoes: 93 IMDb: 7.7

2. The Beguiled

'The Beguiled' [Credit: Focus Features]
'The Beguiled' [Credit: Focus Features]

Sofia Coppola is an awesome, inspiring woman. It would've been easy to simply leech off of her father, Francis Ford Coppola — arguably the greatest ever director — but she wasn't content to do that. Instead, she has crafted her own unique brand of cinema, becoming a successful director in her own right. After becoming the second woman to win the best director award at Cannes this year, The Beguiled seems to be a continuation of Sofia's prolific filmmaking and a demonstration of her power. This Civil War-set drama piece has won acclaim and looks like being a riveting ride.

Release Date: June 23

Metacritic: 76 Rotten Tomatoes: 75 IMDb: 7.7

1. Maudie

'Maudie' [Credit: Screen Door]
'Maudie' [Credit: Screen Door]

The fantastic Ethan Hawke alone should be enough to make you want to watch this film, but when you chuck the talented Sally Hawkins into the mix, Maudie looks even better. Hawke has proved in the Before trilogy that he is the man for romantic dramas and chemistry, and this tender-looking movie will pull at the heart strings. Already touted as a film with two early Oscar-worthy performances, this tale of an arthritic housekeeper turned aspiring artist finding acceptance and love despite her shortcomings is one I'm sure will captivate audiences.

Release date: June 16

Metacritic: 60 Rotten Tomatoes: 93 IMDb: 7.7

If you can think of any other quality upcoming flicks then I'd love to hear them in the comments!


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