1. Persuasion (July 15 on Netflix)
Dakota Johnson and theater director Carrie Cracknell gave Jane Austen’s “Persuasion,” the illustrious author’s final published work, a modern and humorous twist. After being convinced by family friend Lady Russell, Anne Elliot (played by Johnson in the movie), a reclusive 27-year-old who is struggling to move on from her broken-off engagement to Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis), is at the center of the plot (Nikki Amuka-Bird). When his sister and her husband move into the property owned by Anne’s family after seven years, the two find themselves back in each other’s sphere of influence. A love triangle between Anne’s ex-fiance and her cousin William Elliot (Henry Golding), who will inherit her father Walter’s (Richard E. Grant) land, swiftly develops.
2. Umma (July 16 on Netflix)
It’s a perennial worry of middle age: “I feel like I’m becoming more like my mother.” In “Umma,” a supernatural horror film directed by Iris K. Shim, Sandra Oh plays a rural beekeeper who is haunted by the vengeful spirit of her estranged mother. Although that premise may seem like the basis for a lighthearted body-swap fright fest, “Umma” is actually dealing with much more serious topics as it tries to balance its gory set pieces with the deeper themes of generational trauma.
3. Sin City Unrated (July 1 on HBO Max)
When Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez set out to remake “Sin City” as a neo-noir anthology film, they drew heavily on the black-and-white comic books for inspiration. The movie, which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, took home the technical gold award for its “visual shape,” which converted the majority of the footage into black and white while maintaining and adding color for specific items. “Rodriguez’s guild-bolting collaboration with graphic artist Frank Miller is a Mickey Spillane fever dream, with a gallery of tough customers doing horrible things to one other on a dazzling monochrome canvas,” according to Variety’s assessment. The admission fee is a one-way ticket to hard-boiled heaven for nerds, action junkies, and sensation-seeking teenage lads of all ages.
4. Mad Max: Fury Road (July 9 HBO Max)
There has never been a better time to view “Mad Max: Fury Road” than right now, with George Miller’s “Furiosa” prequel currently in development. The 2015 film, which received six Oscar nominations out of a possible ten, is regarded as one of the best action films ever created. Tom Hardy plays the title character, a road warrior who joins forces with a war captain (Charlize Theron) to save a group of women from an evil tyrant. From Variety’s review: “George Miller’s powerful reworking of his classic “Mad Max” trilogy makes even the “Fast and Furious” films seem like Autopia test drives… Tom Hardy’s tersely alluring performance ends up being less of a revelation than his grimacing co-star Charlize Theron, who resolutely asserts her position as the most enduring female presence in this gas-guzzling, testosterone-fueled universe (with apologies to Tina Turner).
5. The Princess (July 1 on Hulu)
What transpires when John Wick and Rapunzel meet? The solution can be found in “The Princess,” directed by Le-Van Kiet and stars Joey King as a stunning, independent princess who rejects her betrothal to a vicious sociopath. The princess is consequently taken captive and imprisoned in a far-off tower of her father’s castle. The princess needs to escape captivity in order to save her family and safeguard her realm from a scorned, vengeful suitor who wants to ascend to her father’s throne. In fact, there is no need for a brave prince. The 20th Century Studios production is making its Hulu debut exclusively, and given King’s streaming credentials owing to Netflix’s well-liked “Kissing Booth” trilogy, it should be a smash.