10 Politically Themed Movies You Don't Want to Miss This Summer

Summer is typically the season of mindless blockbusters, but this year's slate offers more than its fair share of political intrigue.


Here are 10 such films that are worth a closer look.

1. "Pray for Rain" (June 16)

A journalist (Jane Seymour) returns home to her drought-stricken California town, now overtaken by gangs whom she suspects killed her father. 

"He butted heads with some politicians and environmentalists, but nothing pointed to anything other than an accident," the local sheriff tells her. 

2. "The Big Sick" (June 23)

This romantic comedy explores the intersection of terrorism and health care, two subjects that will dominate the news cycle for months to come. On top of that, the main character (Kumail Nanjiani) is an Uber driver. Could this film get any more topical?

3. "The Beguiled" (June 30)

Sofia Coppola's remake, which earned her the Best Director award at this year's Cannes Film Festival, is already steeped in controversy for its white-washing of the original 1966 novel, set in the Civil War. Coppola claimed she "wasn’t really looking at the [Confederacy's] political aspects," even as a national debate rages over the removal of Confederate monuments.

4. "Dunkirk" (July 21)

This WWII epic is tells the true story of the code-named Operation Dynamo, in which 300,000 Allied troops were evacuated from Dunkirk, France, following the Battle of France in May 1940. It's director Christopher Nolan's shortest film yet, clocking in at just 107 minutes. 

5. "Menashe" (July 28) 

Due to strict religious tradition, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish widower and grocery store clerk (Menashe Lustig) has his son taken from him after the death of his wife.   

6. "The Dark Tower" (August 4)

The hybrid science-fiction/fantasy/western/horror film starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, produced and based on the book by Stephen King, features this telling nod to contemporary American life.

"Do they have guns and bullets in your world?" Elba, a protective gunslinger, asks Lucas Hanson (Nicholas Hamilton) from Mid-World, a dystopian parallel universe.

"You're gonna like Earth," Hanson says in response. "A lot."

7. "Detroit" (August 4)

Director Katherine Bigelow's heavily anticipated new film follows the 1967 Detroit riot, and the horrifying chain of events that preceded it, from the perspective of a security guard (John Boyega).

8. "Wind River" (August 4)

Rookie FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is called to investigate a murder on Wyoming's Wind River Indian Reservation after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) finds the body of a teenage runaway on a frozen lake. Wind River is one of the most remote areas of the U.S. and remains the sole reservation in the nation self-governed by two separate tribal governments

9. "The Glass Castle" (August 11)

"Rich city folk in fancy apartments," Rex Walls (Woody Harrelson) tells his children. "But their air is so polluted they can't see the stars."  

The Glass Castle is based on the 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls, which spent nearly five years on the New York Times bestseller list. The film shifts back and forth between Walls' reflections on her poverty-stricken childhood to her present-day ruminations on the wealth inequality within her own family.

10. "Bushwick" (August 25)

Texas has seceded from the United States and a new civil war has begun, yet gentrification continues apace. 

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