Movie theaters in the U.S. may be tentatively opening back up, but as the coronavirus pandemic continues to push back movie releases, streaming services remain your best bet for entertainment during the hot summer months. This July, a few films that were intended for theatrical release are dropping straight to streaming, in addition to some great films of the last several decades worth rewatching
Here’s our full roster of picks — including My Cousin Vinny, one of the best courtroom procedurals ever made — for what’s worth watching this July.
Director Kitty Green’s striking feature about an assistant working for a predatory film producer notably never shows the unnamed boss, an obvious stand-in for Harvey Weinstein. It makes his presence all the more looming, and illustrates the banality of the kind of abuse that the #MeToo movement highlighted. From our review:
Green doesn’t need to embellish Jane’s experiences to get across how soul-crushing they are, especially as it becomes clear there’s no good outcome for her. If she does nothing, the cycle of abuse will continue. If she speaks up, the only job on the line will be her own. And there’s no one she can turn to, because everyone around her has already accepted that this is just the way things are. Green’s approach to stories — finding larger truths rather than focusing on the most sensational aspects — vaults The Assistant into extraordinary territory, as it sheds light not only on the actions of abusers in power, but on the people around them, who can’t or won’t do anything to change the status quo.
The Assistant will be streaming on Hulu on July 20.
LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
No offense to Neil Patrick Harris, who turns in an admiral performance as Count Olaf in Netflix’s excellent adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, but there’s just no topping Jim Carrey’s manic, sinister portrayal in the 2004 film. Spanning the first three novels, the movie adaptation is like a mashup of Tim Burton and Roald Dahl. The film takes some liberties with the plot while the Netflix series is a bit more true to the source material, but now that the movie is back on Netflix, you can decide for yourself which version you prefer.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is streaming on Netflix.