LONDON. — Taika Waititi’s Thor is back, Jordan Peele is directing a new film with Daniel Kaluuya and Where the Crawdads Sing is adapted for the big screen — here are this July’s unmissable releases.
◆ 1. Nope
A politically-charged sci-fi horror mystery with a very short title? Yes, Nope is the third film from Jordan Peele, the brilliant writer-director of Get Out and Us. For his alien-abduction movie, Peele reunites with the star of Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya, who plays a horse rancher in the US West. After a strange object falls from the sky and kills their father, he and his sister (Keke Palmer) suspect that there is a flying saucer hovering in the clouds above their ranch. The jaw-dropping revelations that follow, insists Peele, are best experienced in a crowded cinema.
Released on July 22, in the US, Canada, Ireland and Spain and on August 12, in the UK and Sweden
◆ 2. McEnroe
John McEnroe is one of the greatest players in the history of men’s tennis. He is also one of the most fascinating: a notorious hothead who has matured into a genial commentator and family man. In Barney Douglas’s intimate documentary, the erstwhile Superbrat wanders around his beloved hometown of New York City, and muses on his ferocious perfectionism, his tempestuous marriage to Tatum O’Neal, his relationship with his alcoholic father and his habit of yelling at any umpire who dared to rule against him.
Released on July 15, in the UK and Ireland, and will be released in September in the US
◆ 3. Where the Crawdads Sing
Where the Crawdads Sing is a phenomenon. Delia Owens’s debut novel, a mystery-drama set in 50s and 60s North Carolina, topped the New York Times list of fiction best-sellers in both 2019 and 2020, and has now sold 12 million copies worldwide. One of its biggest fans, Reese Witherspoon, has produced the inevitable film.
“The way that Delia Owens wrote this book with such authenticity, you could just tell she really grew up in this place,” Witherspoon told Caitlin Brody and Vanity Fair.
Released on July 15, in the US and Canada and on July 22, in the UK and Ireland
◆ 4. Minions: The Rise of Gru
Depending on how you look at it, this is either a sequel to the first Minions film or a prequel to the first Despicable Me film. Either way, it’s set in 1970s San Francisco when Gru (Steve Carell) was a 12-year-old boy with a full head of hair. Having set his black heart on becoming a supervillain, he must prove himself worthy of joining a gang called the Vicious Six. The bumbling Minions, meanwhile, must prove themselves worthy of being his assistants. Kudos to whoever came up with the baddies’ names, because Minions: The Rise of Gru features Taraji P Henson as Belle Bottom, Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, a nun who uses nunchucks, and Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean Clawed, who has a lobster claw for a hand.
Released internationally on 1 July
◆ 5. Thor: Love and Thunder
Thor: Ragnarok was probably the most fun of all of Marvel’s superhero blockbusters, but its writer-director, Taika Waititi, has upped the ante for its follow-up, Thor: Love & Thunder. “It’s so over the top now in the very best way,” he said during an online ‘live-watch’ of Ragnarok in 2020.
Released internationally on 8 July — BBC.