New movies to watch in June

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis epic, Ethan Hawke in the serial killer thriller The Black Phone, Montreal-centred Jackie Robinson doc Dear Jackie and more.

Jurassic Park: Dominion (June 10) closes off the new saga, finally bringing back all your favourite actors from the original film. Dominion takes place four years after the Isla Nublar was destroyed, and now dinosaurs roam the earth alongside humans. The other big-name movie of the month is Toy Story spinoff Lightyear (June 17). The film looks into the inspiration behind the Buzz Lightyear toy, an astronaut on an ambitious intergalactic journey. Lightyear will be voiced by Captain America himself, aka Chris Evans. 

Lightyear new movies June
Lightyear (New movies to watch in June)

Are you ready to embrace the new flesh? David Cronenberg having a new film is always an event, and his latest Crimes of the Future (June 3) is well worth celebrating. It’s also darkly funny and not for the faint of heart. Canada’s filmmaking maestro takes the audience on a strange futuristic journey in a world where human beings no longer experience pain, and a select few can spontaneously grow new organs. We follow two performance artists (Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen) who make art from live surgical performances. (Read our review of Crimes of the Future.)

If you’re not so into surgery but are still looking to be spooked, The Black Phone (June 24) might be what you’re looking for. Set in 1978, the film focuses on a serial killer on the loose and young boys who keep going missing. Finney Shaw becomes the potential next victim when he’s kidnapped and wakes up in a soundproof basement. Ethan Hawke reunites with Scott Derickson, director of Sinister, in an adaptation of a short story by Joe Hill. 

The Black Phone New movies to watch in June
The Black Phone (New movies to watch in June)

It’s hard to say if the latest film by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge), Elvis (June 24), will be a disaster or a masterpiece. Austin Butler stars as Elvis Presley, the king of Rock, and the film covers his life story through the relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker (a creepy-looking Tom Hanks). Don’t expect a traditional bio-pic, though, as reviews out of Cannes hint that this is pure Luhrmann maximalism, and the movie never lets up for a second. 

It’s been three years since Monia Chokri made a splash with her directorial debut La femme de mon frère, and she’s back with her sophomore film, Babysitter (June 3), an adaptation of a play by Catherine Léger. It is a surreal comedy about Cédric (Patrick Hivon), who goes viral for kissing an unwilling TV journalist on live tv. At the same time, his wife, Nadine (Monia Chokri), suffers from post-partum depression as hiring a new babysitter disrupts both their lives. (Read our review of Babysitter.)

Dear Jackie New movies to watch in June
Dear Jackie (New movies to watch in June)

Another local production bringing together Patrick Stewart and Katie Holmes, Coda (June 3), hit the screen in early June. Stewart plays a famous concert pianist struggling to perform in the film, and Holmes, the music journalist, covers his life. Coda investigates the importance of art and the sublime; it’s a classically made film that ponders timeliness. It’s a movie where Montreal does not play itself, so have fun spotting a gorilla in Westmount Park. (Read our review of Coda.)

With Dear Jackie (June 17), director Henri Pardo takes a fresh look at Jackie Robinson’s life and work by focusing on the baseball player’s arrival in Montreal, particularly in the Little Burgundy neighbourhood. A documentary that will be great for baseball fans and Montreal residents alike. 

Another worthwhile documentary hitting the big screen this month, Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story (June 10), will be a perfect companion to the Montreal Jazz Fest at the end of the month. Part concert movie and part history of the festival that has been going on 50 years strong, this documentary is perfect for a hot summer’s night. ■

This article was originally published in the June issue of Cult MTL.

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