The best movies to see this month

These films are topping our must list this month

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Tammy

Why we’re excited
We're not sure if Melissa McCarthy is big enough to open a comedy on 4th of July weekend all on her own, but we're sure anxious to see her try. That Tammy was co-written by McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone, who's making his directorial debut, only has us more intrigued.

What could wrong?
The marketing for the film has been a little strange, failing to convey much about the film's plot, in favor of focusing on McCarthy's broad physical comedy. Does the average filmgoer even know what this movie is about?

  1. Opens July 2

Life Itself

Why we’re excited
This portrait of the late Roger Ebert will be an incredibly personal journey for many Chicago film fans who are still mourning his loss.

What could wrong?
With Hoop Dreams director Steve James at the helm, it's hard to imagine anything going wrong here.

  1. Opens July 4

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Why we’re excited
We were shocked at how impressive the 2011 prequel Rise of the Planet Apes was, thanks to its brilliant cast of motion-captured simians, lead by Andy Serkis. The follow-up has wisely replaced its under-utilized human ensemble with the likes Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell, who will hopefully do a better job of facing off against Caesar than James Franco did.

What could wrong?
Hopefully the humans aren't as disposable as they were in Rise. The war between the two species will be much more compelling if we care about both sides.

  1. Opens July 11

Boyhood

Why we’re excited
Richard Linklater's latest ambitious effort was filmed for more than a decade, tracking the growth of its young actor from the age of 5 to 18, which means we've been waiting to see it for at least that long.

What could wrong?
None. After depicted the evolution of a relationship over three decades in the Before series, this seems like it's well within Linklater's skill set.

  1. Opens in limited release July 11

I Origins

Why we’re excited
In his debut film Another Earth, Mike Cahill deftly combined thought-provoking sci-fi concepts with a compelling human story and his follow-up looks to do the same.

What could wrong?
We're a little bummed Cahill collaborator Brit Marling is only playing a supporting role in this one, but Michael Pitt is an extremely satisfying substitute.

Mood Indigo

Why we’re excited
The last time Michel Gondry tackled a bittersweet romance we got the brilliant Eternal Sunshine Sunshine of the Spotless.

What could wrong?
Gondry's unique visual style doesn't always translate into the most coherent storytelling.

  1. Opens in limited release July 18

Lucy

Why we’re excited
Scarlett Johansson may play one of the non-superpowered heroes in The Avengers but in Luc Besson's new film, she finally whips out some impressive abilities.

What could wrong?
Dear Mr. Besson, please refrain from putting your badass, superpowered heroine in unnecessarily skimpy clothing. It shouldn't have happened with Leeloo, so don't do it to Lucy.

  1. Opens July 25

A Most Wanted Man

Why we’re excited
We loved the subtle beauty of Anton Corbijn's The American and his new international thriller boasts an impressive cast, including the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman donning a German accent.

What could wrong?
The American languid pacing left a lot of viewers cold, will Corbijn take a different tactic with his latest effort?

  1. Opens in limited release July 25

Happy Christmas

Why we’re excited
Chicago filmmaker Joe Swanberg is re-teaming with Drinking Buddies star and everybody's BFF crush Anna Kendrick for his latest local-set film. If it's as funny and insightful as Buddies, we'll be more than just happy.

What could wrong?
Swanberg's improv style filmmaking can be extremely hit or miss, stradling the line between boldly authentic and crushingly boring.

  1. Opens in limited release July 25


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