It’s certain that your watch-list would be filled with a whole bunch of sci-fi mumbo-jumbo movies, whether they be car-chase frenzies, superhero flicks or monster battles. These gargantuan blockbusters are sprinkled throughout 2017, and are guaranteed to make your wallet go thin. But often one might feel a need to get distanced from these apocalyptic, high-stake fantasy films and indulge into more realistic, personal stories. While they may not be of blockbuster scale, these films are sure to give you the right sense of entertainment if you are looking for a flavor that’s simply different.
We’re here exactly for the purpose of mentioning these hidden gems you don’t want to miss if you’re a fan of individual creativity. These include documentaries on cult photographers, Cuban musicians and our slowly dying coral reefs. Take a look at this year’s alt-summer movie guide:
Buena Vista Social Club: Adios (May 26th)
Members of Buena Vista Social Club discuss their musical careers and the extraordinary circumstances that brought them together.
War Machine (May 26)
A successful, charismatic four-star general, Glenn McMahon, leaps in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by a journalist’s no-holds-barred exposé.
Beatriz at Dinner (June 9)
Beatriz, an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a health practitioner in Los Angeles. She collides with her polar opposite, a self-satisfied billionaire, at a wealthy client’s dinner party.
The Hero (June 9)
Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, an aging actor (Sam Elliott) tries to reconcile with his estranged daughter (Krysten Ritter) while striking up a new relationship with a wild woman (Laura Prepon).
My Cousin Rachel (June 9)
A young Englishman (Sam Claflin) seeks revenge against his beautiful cousin (Rachel Weisz), but soon finds himself falling under the spell of her mysterious charm.
All Eyez on Me (June 16)
The true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.), from his early days in New York to his status as one of the world’s most recognized and influential voices. Against all odds, Shakur’s raw talent, powerful lyrics and revolutionary mindset establish him as a cultural icon whose legacy continues to grow long after his death.
The Book of Henry (June 16)
Single mother Susan Carpenter works as a waitress alongside her feisty family friend Sheila. Taking care of everyone and everything in his own way is Susan’s older son Henry. Protective of his brother and a tireless supporter of his often self-doubting mother, Henry blazes through the days like a comet. When Susan discovers that the family next door harbors a dark secret, she’s surprised to learn that Henry has devised a plan to help the young daughter.
The Bad Batch (June 23)
Military officials escort a young woman to a Texas wasteland where society’s outcasts all live together. Captured by a band of savage cannibals, she soon discovers that being good or bad mostly depends on who you’re standing next to.
Okja (June 28)
A girl risks everything to save a massive animal from a multi-national company.
The B Side (June 30)
A profile of celebrated portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, whose friends and subjects include Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan.
The Little Hours (June 30)
Medieval nuns Alessandra, Fernanda, and Ginevra lead a simple life in their convent. Their days are spent chafing at monastic routine, spying on one another, and berating the estate’s day laborer. After a particularly vicious insult session drives the peasant away, Father Tommasso brings on newly hired hand Massetto, a virile young servant forced into hiding by his angry lord. Introduced to the sisters as a deaf-mute to discourage temptation, Massetto struggles to maintain his cover.
City of Ghosts (July 7)
Syrian rebels who call themselves Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently risk their lives to document the atrocities committed by ISIS in their homeland.
A Ghost Story (July 7)
Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife, only to find that in his spectral state, he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life’s ineffable questions and the enormity of existence.
Chasing Coral (July 14)
Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.
Lady Macbeth (July 14)
In rural England, 1865, a woman who is trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man begins a passionate affair with a man her own age.
Landline (July 21)
After a PR executive loses a big promotion to a technology savvy college graduate, he embarks on a low-tech, old school journey to find himself. With his husband and friends in tow, he gives up his cellphone and Wi-Fi to return to a simpler time.
Menashe (July 28)
Deep in the heart of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, Menashe, a kind, hapless grocery store clerk, struggles to make ends meet and responsibly parent his young son, Rieven, following his wife Leah’s death.
Person to Person (July 28)
During a single day in New York City, different characters grapple with the mundane, the unexpected, and the larger questions permeating their lives.
Icarus (August 4)
An endurance cyclist investigates doping in sports by doping and recording changes in his performance. Eventually, he befriends Russian experts, and together, they reveal an enormous doping scheme at the Sochi Olympics.
Columbus (August 4)
A man and woman from opposite sides of the world mourn the potential loss of a parent.
Wind River (August 4)
An FBI agent teams up with a veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.
Step (August 4)
The senior year of a girls’ high school step team in inner-city Baltimore is documented, as they try to become the first in their families to attend college. The girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest.
Annabelle: Creation (August 11)
A nun (Stephanie Sigman) and a group of orphans become the target of a doll maker’s possessed creation.
Ingrid Goes West (August 11)
Following the death of her mother and a series of self-inflicted setbacks, young Ingrid Thorburn escapes a humdrum existence by moving out West to befriend her Instagram obsession, a Los Angeles socialite named Taylor Sloane. After a quick bond is forged between these unlikeliest of buddies, the facade begins to crack in both women’s lives — with comically malicious results.
The Glass Castle (August 11)
The Glass Castle is a 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls. The book recounts the unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing Walls and her siblings had at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents.
Good Time (August 11)
After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Constantine embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city’s underworld in an increasingly desperate attempt to get his brother out of jail. Over the course of one night, Constantine finds himself on a mad descent into violence and mayhem as he races against the clock to save his brother and himself, knowing their lives hang in the balance.
Nocturama (August 11)
After young radicals perpetrate terrorist attacks on Paris, a massive manhunt begins.
The Only Living Boy in New York (August 11)
In New York City, a recent college graduate is at loose ends, and his situation doesn’t improve when he’s seduced by his powerful father’s mistress.
The Trip to Spain (August 11)
Steve and Rob sample the restaurants and hotels of the Spanish coastline, trading jokes and impressions over their lunches.
Whose Streets (August 11)
An account of the Ferguson uprising as told by the people who lived it. The filmmakers look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement.
Patti Cakes (August 18)
Aspiring rapper Patricia Dombrowski, aka Patti Cake$, is fighting an unlikely quest for glory in her downtrodden hometown where her life is falling apart. Patti tries to reach the big time in the hip-hop scene with original and affecting music. Cheered on by her grandmother and only friends, Jheri and Basterd, Patti also shoulders her mother’s heartaches and misfortunes.
Beach Rats (August 25)
An aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn is having a miserable summer. With his father on his deathbed and his mother wanting him to find a girlfriend, Frankie escapes the bleakness of his life by causing trouble with his delinquent friends and flirting with older men online. When his chatting and webcamming intensifies, he finally starts hooking up with guys at a nearby cruising beach while simultaneously entering into a cautious relationship with a young woman.
Source: Rolling Stone