Good heavens, here we go again. Since there are so many pieces of big-screen product vying for your attention, we’re going to play the popular party game of Ticket, Torrent, Stream It to help you decide which films on a given weekend you should pay to see in a theater, watch on the streaming service of your choice in a few months, or download via SF Weekly’s preferred BitTorrent client, µTorrent.
Disclaimer: If you’re worried about the future of creativity and think that even joking about piracy in a disreputable newsweekly will somehow result in a quantifiable and statistically significant decrease in the number people of who equate piracy to stealing, you could just borrow the movie from the library. Though you know they want to, film industry lobbyists don’t quite have the spine to accuse librarians of facilitating theft by allowing the public free access to copyrighted content, so everybody wins!
A Kid Like Jake
Director: Silas Howard
Cast: Claire Danes, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra, Jim Parsons
Ticket: The latest by former Tribe 8 guitarist and frequent Transparent episode director Howard, about a couple whose child doesn’t conform to strict gender lines.
Director: Tim Kirkby
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Susan Yeagley, Eleanor Worthington-Cox
Torrent: Speaking of strict gender lines, take the nostalgia of Wet Hot American Summer, remove the sweetness, and replace it with Jackass-style testicular trauma. For some people, that’s how you make lemonade.
Director: Leigh Whannell
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Rosco Campbell, Richard Cawthorne, Michael M. Foster
Stream It: Also speaking of strict gender lines, in this one a man gets a computer chip that makes him great at beating people up, because that’s evidently what passes for self-improvement in boys.
Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson
Ticket: An Ocean’s 11 sequel with an all-female cast? Not since Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters: Answer the Call have so many childhoods been ruined.
Director: Ari Aster
Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro
Torrent: After its extra-spooky midnight premiere at Sundance, this indie horror film has been compared to The Babadook and It Follows, which is a hard lineage to live up to.
Director: Tony Zierra
Cast: Leon Vitali, Ryan O’Neal, Danny Lloyd
Stream It: A real documentary about the madness witnessed by Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man from the 1970s onward, Leon Vitali, who was last heard from in the meta Director’s Commentary: Terror of Frankenstein.
The Incredibles 2
Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Bush, Holly Hunter, Jonathan Banks
Ticket: After nobody went to see his wonderful live-action Tomorrowland — and shame on all you for that — Brad Bird gets out of movie jail by returning to Pixar for a sequel. At least it isn’t Cars 4.
Director: Jeff Tomsic
Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Leslie Bibb
Torrent: A group of grownups re-create their childhood. The Incredibles 2 isn’t Cars 4, but this may well turn out to be Grown Ups 3.
SuperFly [opening Wednesday, June 13]
Director: Director X
Cast: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Lex Scott Davis
Stream It: A remake of the Gordon Parks Jr. blaxploitation classic by the director of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video. Yep, that checks out.
Director: David Zellner and Nathan Zellner
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Forster
Ticket: The new movie from the directors of 2015’s best film (Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter) and starring the lead of 2012’s best film (Cosmopolis).
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Director: J.A. Bayona
Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, James Cromwell
Torrent: The tagline is “Life Finds a Way,” but if they’re going to quote memorable lines from the original Jurassic Park, a more appropriate choice would be “A Huge Pile of Shit.”
Westworld: Punk, Icon, Activist
Director: Lorna Tucker
Cast: Vivienne Westworld
Stream It: It’s a sign of the times that there’s already a spinoff to the HBO series Westworld, this one involving punks. [Shame on you for this joke, Connelly. Shame on you. — PLK]
Director: Charles Stone III
Cast: Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, Shaquille O’Neal, LilRel Howery
Ticket: Sure, it’s based on a Pepsi commercial, but you love the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and that only exists because Quaker Oats wanted to sell candy bars — look it up — so don’t even front.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Director: Stefano Sollima
Cast: Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Isabela Moner, Catherine Keener
Torrent: Spoiler alert: POW POW POW BLAM BLAM BLAM PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH SWEAT SWEAT GLARE GLARE POW POW POW!
Director: Chris Addison
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Tim Blake Nelson
Stream It: As if Ocean’s 8 weren’t bad enough, even more childhoods will be ruined by this all-female remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Leave boys’ fragile memories alone, Hollywood!
The First Purge
Director: Gerard McMurray
Cast: Marisa Tomei, Lex Scott Davis, Luna Lauren Velez, Melonie Diaz
Ticket: The prequel to the most relevant horror film series of the past decade. (Not Annabelle, believe it or not.)
Sorry to Bother You
Director: Boots Riley
Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer
Ticket: Produced and set in Oakland, this dark and very funny comedy starring the great Lakeith Stanfield about the high cost of selling out is already one of the best films of 2018.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hannah John-Kamen, Evangeline Lilly,
Torrent: Not that you noticed Ant-Man wasn’t in Infinity War, but here he is anyway, and he’s still not being directed by Edgar Wright.
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Cast: Whitney Houston
Stream It: Expect things to get Requiem for a Dream-dark in the third act of this documentary about the riches-to-drugs life of Whitney Houston.
Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot
Director: Gus Van Sant
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara
Ticket: A biopic about an alcoholic quadriplegic — played by a non-quadriplegic, because Hollywood — that will probably still have more laughs than Hotel Transylvania 3.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Cast: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg
Torrent: Sure, fine, whatever. Another one of these. The movie industry is an industry, after all. Gotta keep pumping out content.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Pablo Schreiber, Neve Campbell
Stream It: This Rock actioner will no doubt be serviceable entertainment, but more important is that the director is working on a Cannonball Run remake, and that’s something we all want to see.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Director: Ol Parker
Cast: Lily James, Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried
Ticket: A 10-years-later sequel to the original ABBA-jukebox movie which also, if we’re being honest about it, has the best subtitle since Airplane II: The Sequel.
Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey
Torrent: This latest collaboration from the bros behind Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, and Patriots Day might as well be called Pete ’n’ Mark Still Have Huge, Star-Spangled Dicks.
The Equalizer 2
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Bill Pullman
Stream It: Admit it: You’d be more jazzed for this sequel to the movie version of the old television show if it were called The Equalizer: Here We Go Again.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Director: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail
Cast: Tara Strong, Hynden Walch, Khary Payton
Ticket: Based on the only superhero television series that matters, the great Teen Titans Go!, this is the only superhero movie that matters this summer. Or possibly ever.
Mission Impossible — Fallout
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg
Torrent: This series has been churning out acceptable if indistinguishable entertainment product — quick, what’s the difference between Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation? — but it isn’t Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
Director: Carlos López Estrada
Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar
Stream It: It’s co-written by and starring Daveed Diggs, it’s shot in Oakland like Sorry to Bother You, and it will almost certainly be worth seeing, but it still isn’t Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Director: Desiree Akhavan
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Jennifer Ehle, Marin Ireland
Ticket: That it’s the new film by Appropriate Behavior director Akhavan is reason enough, made more relevant by its topic of gay-conversion therapy. On an unrelated note, Mike Pence can go fuck himself.
Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Hayley Atwell, Ewan McGregor, Chris O’Dowd
Torrent: Nobody went to see last year’s Goodbye Christopher Robin, but the lack of the word Goodbye in this film’s title is sure to draw in the crowds.
The Darkest Minds
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cast: Mandy Moore, Gwendoline Christie, Amandla Stenberg
Stream It: Based on the YA novel series by Alexandra Bracken in which teens rebel against a futuristic dystopia, it sounds familiar, but familiarity needn’t always be contemptible.
Director: Spike Lee
Cast: Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Laura Harrier
Ticket: If you’re white, chances are some of your relatives will rant angrily on Facebook about how this true story of a Black policeman who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s is unfair to Trump voters.
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Cast: Ruby Rose, Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson
Torrent: Long a staple of low-budget exploitation flicks, the giant ancient shark known as the Megalodon finally graduates to a big-budget exploitation flick.
We the Animals
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Cast: Sheila Vand, Raúl Castillo, Josiah Gabriel
Stream It: Not the latest film in the ongoing humanity-versus-bestiary cinema debate, but an adaption of a memoir about three brothers in a troubled family. Also, the presence of Sheila Vand makes anything worth watching.
The Happytime Murders
Director: Brian Henson
Cast: Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Jimmy O. Yang
Ticket: Jim Henson had always bristled at the thought of making entertainment just for children — again, look it up — and his son Brian achieves that dream with this ribald story of murder among Muppets.
Director: Andrea Di Stefano
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman, Ana de Armas
Torrent: The post-Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Swedish crime-novel spree continues with this Dad movie based on the Anders Roslund and Borge Hellström book about a cop who infiltrates the mob in a maximum-security prison.
Crazy Rich Asians
Director: John M. Chu
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Jimmy O. Yang, Ken Jeong
Stream It: The underappreciated Jem and the Holograms director takes on Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel about the comedic drama surrounding a high-class wedding in Singapore.
Director: Ken Marino
Cast: Lauren Lapkus, Jessica St. Clair, Thomas Lennon
Ticket: The film is built on a false premise — that “dogs are the most adorable creatures on the planet,” which might be true if cats didn’t exist — but the cast of comedy experts more than makes up for it.
Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Cast: Alice Eve, Keanu Reeves, Thomas Middleditch
Torrent: There’s a certain poetry to the fact that this movie about a scientist obsessed with cloning his recently deceased family looks like something you’ve seen many times before. Sometimes familiarity is straight-up contemptible.
Director: Sylvain White
Cast: Joey King, Javier Botet, Annalise Basso
Stream It: A horror character who’s gone from a meme on the Something Awful forums in 2009 to the movies in August 2018, a month filled with some truly awful things.
Director: Jonathan Baker and Josh Baker
Cast: Carrie Coon, James Franco, Zoë Kravitz
Ticket: At the time of this writing, only two movies are known to be opening on the last day of August, suggesting even the film industry wants to get this month over with. But this one has Carrie Coon!
The Little Stranger
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Ruth Wilson
Stream It: Fat lot of good the critical acclaim for his previous films Room and Frank did if Abrahamson’s new movie is being released in late August. But at least it means summer is finally over, thank fuck.