There are many units of big-screen product vying for your increasingly fractured attention as the summer solstice approaches, so we’re going to play another round of the popular party game of Ticket, Torrent, Stream It to help you decide which films on a given weekend you should see in a theater, watch on a streaming service such as the SFPL’s free Kanopy platform in a few months, or download via SF Weekly’s preferred BitTorrent client, µTorrent. (They can also often be found on the Usenet, but the First Rule of the Usenet is that you don’t talk about the Usenet, so forget we brought it up.)
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Cast: Taron Egerton, Bryce Dallas Howard, Richard Madden, Stephen Graham
Ticket: Will this famously-gay-yet-not-quite-out icon of the bohemian 1970s actually get to be queer in their biopic? That would be rhapsodic!
Director: Michael Dougherty
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Charles Dance, Vera Farmiga, Bradley Whitford
Torrent: We have yet to learn our collective lesson about American-made Godzilla films, but at least Millie Bobby Brown is making a big splash with her first feature-film role.
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Octavia Spencer, Missi Pyle, Juliette Lewis, Allison Janney, Luke Evans
Stream It: Setting aside that it’s from the director of the still-problematic The Help, this is a horror movie with Octavia Spencer’s name above the title, and that’s cause for optimism.
Director: Joe Talbot
Cast: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold
Stream It: A personal story of gentrification in this very town.
[Note: The Last Black Man in San Francisco was originally scheduled to open June 14.]
Director: Simon Kinberg
Cast: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy
Torrent: This latest X-Men film is not directed by Bryan Singer for some reason, and we may never know why. (J/K, it’s totally the whole sexual assault thing.)
Director: Denys Arcand
Cast: Maxim Roy, Éric Bruneau, Maripier Morin, Alexandre Landry
Stream It: Jesus of Montreal director Denys Arcand’s new Canada-based crime caper has nothing to do with the United States, but it’s still a great title.
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez
Ticket: If you’d predicted when Stranger Than Paradise came out in 1984 that its director would make an all-star summer zombie blockbuster 35 years later, you would have been correct. But you didn’t, did you?
Director: F. Gary Gray
Cast: Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Chris Hemsworth, Emma Thompson
Torrent: More of the same from the last three forgettable films in this inexplicable franchise, except now there are more people without American accents. Sure.
Director: Nisha Ganatra
Cast: Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, Halston Sage, Amy Ryan
Ticket: Emma Thompson plays a longtime late-night talk show host who is also not a man, so it’s clearly a fantasy.
[Note: Late Night was originally scheduled to open June 7.]
Director: Lars Klevberg
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Gabriel Bateman, Tim Matheson
Ticket: As if Mark Hamill didn’t ruin enough childhoods by not being exactly what fanboys wanted him to be in The Last Jedi, he’s now the new voice of Chucky. Stop ruining childhoods, Mark Hamill!
Director: Josh Cooley
Cast: Christina Hendricks, Patricia Arquette, Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves
Torrent: This latest installment was almost written by Rashida Jones — an actual woman of color! — but she left Pixar due to its tendency to stifle the voices of women and people of color. But at least the white Republican men Tim Allen and John Ratzenberger are still getting work, so #MAGA ’n’ stuff.
Director: Oliver Murray
Cast: Bill Wyman, Mick Jagger, Bob Geldof, Charlie Watts
Stream It: A documentary about the bass player of a famous rock band, and yet it’s not about The Who’s John Entwistle, who wrote a song about himself called “The Quiet One.” Seems like an oversight.
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Himesh Patel, Kate McKinnon, Lily James, Ana De Armas
Ticket: Speaking of songs as film titles, “Carry That Weight,” “Do You Want to Know a Secret” or even “In My Life” would have been more interesting Lennon/McCartney songs to mine for this story of a man who discovers one day that nobody else remembers the Beatles, but of course they went with the most generic one.
Director: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Emily Brobst, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace
Torrent: The second demonic-toy franchise film in as many weeks. Quick quiz: How many films have there been so far involving this fucking doll? Three? Eight? None? Nobody can say!
Director: Miguel Arteta
Cast: Salma Hayek, Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Ari Graynor
Stream It: It’s a female buddy comedy written, produced, and directed by men, but let’s just focus on the first five words of this sentence.
Director: Ari Aster
Cast: William Jackson Harper, Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor
Ticket: The new film by the director of Hereditary, and featuring Chidi from The Good Place? Say no more! (Srsly, no spoilers plz.)
[Note: Midsommar was originally scheduled to open on July 5.]
Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Jon Favreau
Torrent: Speaking of The Good Place, Eleanor spoke the truth: “No more Spider-Man movies! There’s way too many Spider-Man movies! Too many dorky little twerpy Spider-Men.”
Director: Alex Holmes
Cast: Tracy Edwards
Stream It: A documentary about how Edwards, a charter-boat cook, captained the first all-female crew in the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Race. Strange but true: Men didn’t think women were good enough to participate. The more things don’t change, huh?
Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson, Morfydd Clark
Ticket: It’s by the director of the not-terrible Piranha 3D and produced by Sam Raimi — who, if we’re being honest, has been a better producer than director in recent years — so if anyone can make a horror movie about alligators work, it’s probably them.
Director: Michael Dowse
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Natalie Morales
Torrent: Early reports out of SXSW are that the chemistry between Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista is great, but nothing else is. But at least Nanjiani is getting lead roles.
Director: Lulu Wang
Cast: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen
Ticket: In which Awkwafina finally gets a dramatic lead role, and by all accounts she nails it with grace.
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Torrent: As modern Disney mega-pictures go, Mary Poppins Returns was really good. It’s a shame more of you didn’t go see it, but the lure of Aquaman was evidently too strong.
Director: A.J. Eaton
Cast: David Crosby, Cameron Crowe, Henry Dlitz, Graham Nash
Stream It: Have there been way too many boomer music docs in just 2019, let alone ever? Well, yes, but…
Director: Sameh Zoabi
Cast: Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal, Yaniv Biton, Maisa Abd Elhadi
Ticket: A comedy about a young Palestinian man in the present day working on an Israeli soap opera set just before the war in 1967. Hijinks ensue.
Torrent: Fuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshit. (Please spread the word about what we can only hope will be Tarantino’s final film using the hashtag #OnceUponATimeInHollywoodfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshit.)
Director: Avi Belkin
Cast: Mike Wallace, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Wigland, Donald Trump
Stream It: A documentary about the legendary CBS correspondent, from back when journalism actually made a difference.
Director: James Bobin
Cast: Isabela Moner, Michael Peña, Benicio Del Toro, Temuera Morrison
Ticket: Dora the Explorer is now a teenager having live-action adventures, which means adult men on the internet will attack the film as though its very existence makes their shriveled little cocks even tinier.
Director: David Leitch
Cast: Vanessa Kirby, Dwayne Johnson, Eiza González, Idris Elba
Torrent: To think, it only took 17 years for a title more nonsensical than Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever to come along.
Director: Julius Onah
Cast: Naomi Watts, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth
Stream It: A film about race and privilege that’s sure to make white liberals uncomfortable, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Director: Andrea Berloff
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Beloved Character Actress Margo Martindale
Ticket: It’s probably possible to come up with a more reductive title for a picture about gangsters’ wives kicking ass in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s, but thank goodness they didn’t try.
Director: Tom Shadyac
Cast: Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Melanie Liburd, Sherri Shepherd
Torrent: A story about systemic racism by a director whose ongoing career is due entirely to his white privilege. (Look it up.)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Ferdia Shaw, Nonso Anozie, Judi Dench, Josh Gad
Stream It: After his more personal Shakespeare and Agatha Christie pictures, Branagh is back in Disney-blockbuster mode to adapt the popular YA novel series.
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Judy Greer, Kristen Wiig, Cate Blanchett, Laurence Fishburne
Ticket: Linklater’s first film with a female protagonist since … well, ever. And before you say it, while Julie Delpy got plenty of screen time, the Before trilogy was always told from the Ethan Hawke character’s POV.
Director: Johannes Roberts
Cast: Sophie Nélisse, John Corbett, Nia Long, Brec Bassinger
Torrent: A sequel to that movie from a few years back about the sexy woman being terrorized by a shark. (No, the other movie from a few years back about the sexy woman being terrorized by a shark.)
Director: Paul Downs Colaizzo
Cast: Jillian Bell, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Michaela Watkins
Ticket: In which a 20-something New Yorker tries to get her life together via entering her city’s famous race. Bonus points for the title being a complete sentence, and not just Brittany, Run, or Marathon.
Director: Alex Kendrick
Cast: Alex Kendrick, Priscilla C. Shirer, Shari Rigby, Hannah Scott
Torrent: More faith-based twaddle from HEY STOP LAUGHING AT THE TITLE.
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Cast: Gerard Butler, Piper Perabo, Lance Reddick, Morgan Freeman
Stream It: The follow-up to the terrible Olympus Has Fallen and the somehow worse London Has Fallen falls on the sword of its naming formula.
Director: Diego Kaplan
Cast: Jaime Camil, Sandra Echeverría, Brooke Shields, Jason Alexander
Ticket: It’s appropriate that the only film confirmed to be opening on Labor Day weekend as we go to press is a comedy about a man who accidentally forgets to bring his psych meds when he goes on vacation, since by the end of this summer we’ll all feel like we’ve been off our medications for a long time.
Director: Lino DiSalvo
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Kenan Thompson, Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Lambert
Stream It: Once again, if you thought The LEGO Movie was one of the best films of 2014, you’re not allowed to so much as roll your eyes at this one.
[Note: Playmobil: The Movie was originally scheduled to open on Aug. 16.]
Director: Brian Kirk
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Taylor Kitsch, J.K. Simmons
Stream It: After having played Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall, Boseman, in his first post-Black Panther role, is a cop on the edge who doesn’t play by the rules. Progress, question mark?
[Note: 21 Bridges was originally scheduled to open on July 12.]