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Trumbo

10 Great Films Available to Stream This June

We’ve selected ten quality films for summer coming this month to some of the most popular film streaming sites.

Summer is officially here. As busy schedules make way for warm weather and lounging by the pool, it’s the perfect time to catch up on the extensive catalogues of your favorite streaming services. Because it can be a little daunting choosing where to begin, we’ve selected ten quality films coming this month to some of the most popular streaming platforms. From Golden Age Hollywood to epic blockbusters, the diverse picks on this list are the perfect way to get summer movie watching underway.

 

1. High Fidelity – Stephen Frears, 2000

High Fidelity is a quintessential John Cusack comedy, with the affable loafer starring as record store owner Rob Gordon. Wasting away while bickering with quirky employees Barry (Jack Black) and Jack (Todd Louiso), the scorned lover recounts his romantic history in a direct address to the audience, inviting us to help him examine exactly what went wrong. Backed by an all-star cast of Lisa Bonet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Tim Robbins, High Fidelitydeftly balances bitterness and closet romanticism, while a soundtrack consisting of the Jam, the Kinks, and the Velvet Underground only serve to enhance Rob’s association of old flames with classic rock. Clever enough to concede that most love stories are doomed, the film’s unshaken spark of hope remains all the more effective as a result. (HBO NOW, June 1st)

 

2. Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola, 1979

Entrenched in existential musings and weather that makes most American summers seem downright chilly, Apocalypse Now (1979) remains a quintessential meditation on human warfare. As the film that nearly drove director Francis Ford Coppola insane, this lengthy epic follows Willard (Martin Sheen) on his mission to murder Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a man torn between primal urges to murder and the psychological repercussions that accompany them. Consequently, the film transcends its wartime facade and enables a vision of madness that, whether one wishes to admit it or not, most everyone is capable of. Supported by legendary performers Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, and Frederic Forrest, this controversial classic is now available to stream in both its original 153 minute theatrical cut, and the 202-minute ‘Redux’ edition. (Amazon Prime, June 1st)

 

3. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen, 2011

A modern take on the magic of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Midnight in Paris finds director Woody Allen knee deep in nostalgic fantasy. Owen Wilson stars as Gil, an aspiring author on vacation in Paris, where a late night stroll improbably drops him into the bustling scene of the city’s 1920s nightlife. Legends like F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) come to life before the writer’s very eyes, and Allen uses this alluring premise to explore the perks and pitfalls of romanticizing the past. Part comedy, part drama, and overall delight, this snappy homage to the Jazz Age poses real questions about legacy and love that can only be answered in the realm of the unreal. (Hulu, June 1st)

 

4. Carrie – Brian de Palma, 1976

Opening with laughter and ending with screams, Stephen King’s Carrie is still the ultimate high school horror story. Starring Sissy Spacek in the role that made her famous, this 1976 shocker details the descent of Carrie White, a local freak and desperate loner with a dangerous secret. Stylishly delivered by director Brian De Palma, Carrie’s secret is repressed until the final, bloody jolt that forever changed the way we perceived senior proms. Several of the film’s iconic tricks (split screen, surprise ending) have since become conventional, but it’s impossible to replicate the ways in which De Palma conveys his phantasmagorical nightmare – from the fetishized treatment of red tones to the deceptively safe campus atmosphere. Flush with familiar faces Nancy Allen, William Katt, and John Travolta, this inspired adaptation still taps into chills that won’t soon go forgotten. (Hulu, June 1st)

 

5. Love & Mercy – Bill Pohlad, 2015

Unfairly ignored in 2015, Love & Mercy is a tender ode to the life of Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson. The film spans decades of the musician’s troubled existence, capturing his victories, defeats, and psychological struggles amidst a shifting backdrop of unsupportive friends and overbearing mentors. While director Bill Pohland does an admirable job capturing Wilson’s creativity and melancholia, the true success of the film lies with performers Paul Dano and John Cusack. Portraying Wilson at radically different points in his career, the marvelous duo do the musical icon justice, while the harmonious sounds of the Beach Boys serve as both signs of current success and remnants of former glory. A film as unconventional as the man who inspired it, Love & Mercy tackles greatness with great delicacy. (Hulu, June 4th)

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6. The Seven Samurai – Akira Kurosawa, 1954

Considered by many to be the greatest action film ever made, The Seven Samurai tells the tale of a sixteenth century village who hire Ronin warriors to protect their crops. This simplified story provides the perfect canvas for Akira Kurosawa’s kinetic camerawork, offering a display of choreographed fights, unconventional plot structure, and innovative angling to create a world that had previously been unseen by both Asian and American audiences. The Japanese filmmaker elevates action-packed violence to an art form, allowing the film’s three hour runtime to slide by with the ease of a samurai sword to the solar plexus. Aided by the ferocity of lead performer Toshiro Mifune, this 1954 stunner inspired a legion of imitators, one of which (The Magnificent Seven) arrives in theaters this September. Given the convenient timing, revisiting the film that started it all seems more appropriate than ever. (Fandor, June 5th)

 

7. The Great Dictator – Charlie Chaplin, 1940

Controversial from the moment it hit theaters in 1940, The Great Dictator is a terrific take on political satire. Putting his iconic mustache and comedic chops to noble use, writer/director Charlie Chaplin plays a Jewish barber mistaken for the dictator of the fictional nation of Tomainia. An overt critique of Adolf Hitler and Nazism, this occasionally side-splitting affair often finds itself bleeding into unforeseen areas of idealism and tender reflection. Expanding upon the emotional balance that made his Tramp character an international icon, Chaplin doesn’t shy away from his somber source material, and the results, particularly in the final act speech, are still utterly inspiring. Taking his powerful position and projecting a future of goodwill towards all men, the rarely talkative comedian bestowed cinema with one of its greatest moral—and verbal—triumphs. (Fandor, June 7th)

 

8. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller, 2015

After three decades, director George Miller triumphantly returns with Fury Road, the fourth installment in his Mad Max franchise. This time, passing the eponymous hero’s mantle to newcomer Tom Hardy, the grizzled loner is forced to team up with Furiosa (Charlize Theron) in order to thwart an entire squadron of Warlords and psychotic soldiers. All the while, Miller’s violent arrangement of exploding cars and staggering set pieces drive the film’s pace to a frenetic speed that rarely lets up. Nominated for ten Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, Fury Road is both a modern masterpiece and one of the finest adrenaline fixes this summer of streaming has to offer. (HBO NOW, June 16th)

 

9. Trumbo – Jay Roach, 2015

A biopic with throwback style to spare, Trumbo is a delightful tour through the gates of golden age Hollywood. Centered upon screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, one of ten studio workers convicted of Communism and blacklisted in 1947, the film’s tone provides a foundation for the “good guy” era ideal it seeks to portray. As such, director Jay Roach skillfully blends ambiguous content with clear-cut structure, making good on the opportunity to recreate icons like John Wayne, Edward G. Robinson, and Kirk Douglas complete with their respective fabled personality flaws. Regarged the titular role of Trumbo, Academy Award nominee Bryan Cranston inhabits the role with pleasant panache, a burly turn that elevates the project from TV movie to acclaimed crowd-pleaser. Fleshed out further by the performances of Diane Lane, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Elle Fanning, Trumbo is a riveting history lesson come to life on the big screen. (Amazon Prime, June 16th)

 

10. Mala Noche – Gus Van Sant, 1985

As the debut film of indie auteur Gus Van Sant, Mala Noche is a poignant introduction to the director’s two favorite themes: sadness and irony. Based on the novel by Walt Curtis, this low-budget dramedy follows gay store clerk Walt (Tim Streeter) and his Mexican pals as they make their way through the seedy streets of Van Sant’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. In portraying what was when a niche audience with vitality and dimension, the rookie filmmaker spearheaded the ’90s film movement of New Queer Cinema, which opened the doors for the portrayal of 21st century queer identities onscreen. This acclaimed movement is getting particular shine this month through various LGBTQ selections available on Fandor meant to mark Gay Pride Month. (Fandor, June 28th)

Danilo Castro is a freelance writer and culture critic. He is editor-and-chief of the Film Noir Archive blog, while regularly contributing essays and reviews to Screen Rant, Tastes of Cinema, and national e-mag Noir City. Follow him on Twitter @DaniloSCastro

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