Catch it in theaters: 'Annette'
French filmmaker Leos Carax, the mastermind behind such oddball triumphs as Holy Motors and The Lovers on the Bridge, makes his English-language debut with a bizarre rock opera starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. A standout at Cannes’ opening night, the surreal musical charts the unlikely romance of lowbrow comedian Henry McHenry (Driver) and opera singer Ann Defrasnoux (Cotillard), whose relationship is tested when their very unusual baby is born. Almost every line is sung, or at least chanted, and the score comes courtesy of Ron and Russell Mael—otherwise known as the legendary Sparks Brothers. Full of Carax’s trademark visual ingenuity, this would be a great one to see in theaters, although it will also be available on Amazon Prime starting Aug. 20.
ALSO: Our official A.frame list of some of our favorite musicals ever.
In theaters or streaming on HBO Max: 'The Suicide Squad'
The quasi-sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad sees Oscar nominee Margot Robbie reprise her role as Harley Quinn and join a sea of new faces making up a terrific cast, including Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney and Peter Capaldi. This time out the Squad is tasked with destroying a Nazi prison, but it’s easier said than done, especially after Quinn gets herself kidnapped in the process. The Suicide Squad looks like yet another worthy installment in the ever-expanding DC universe, and a major contender to catch on the big screen this weekend.
Sing along on Netflix or in select theaters: 'Vivo'
Lin-Manuel Miranda lends his voice to the title role—as well as his songwriting talents to the spirited soundtrack—in this first-ever animated musical from Sony Pictures Animation. Miranda plays a kinkajou (sort of a tropical raccoon-looking thing) who spends his days busking on the streets of Havana, until tragedy befalls his musical partner (played by Cuban bandleader Juan de Marcos González, a member of the Buena Vista Social Club). This one features some pretty impressive CGI and, again, a lively set of songs—on Netflix now.
See it in theaters: 'John and the Hole'
First-time feature director Pascual Sisto, with some help from Oscar-winning Birdman screenwriter Nicolás Giacobone, tackles an eerie psychological thriller in John and the Hole, about a 13-year-old kid who traps his family in—yep—a hole in the ground. The film’s adolescent antihero is played by Charlie Shotwell, with Jennifer Ehle, Taissa Farmiga and Michael C. Hall rounding out his familial captives. Sisto’s incoming bona fides as a visual artist pay big dividends here—it’s a visually haunting film that dovetails quite chillingly with the claustrophobic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the film was finished well before the outbreak.
Stream it on Amazon Prime or in select theaters: 'Val'
This bittersweet doc, produced and directed by Leo Scott and Ting Poo, takes a look at the life and career—and the very different career that could have been—of the talented and perhaps underutilized Val Kilmer. Kilmer, who wrote the film, is now battling throat cancer, his voice gravely affected, but he’s never been more vocal about his life as an actor or his place in the film industry. Val is fortified by over 800 hours of home video footage that Kilmer has amassed since childhood, the existence of which is further testament to Kilmer’s artistic spirit.