Our top 5 film picks for July

Tom Browne

We've selected five of the latest films out this month for you to watch. From the evocative Maggie's Plan, to Spielberg's breathtaking Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG, here are the films worth hitting the cinema for in July. 

Maggie’s Plan

This low-key project from writer-director Rebecca Miller stars Greta Gerwig as the title character, an independent woman who wants to become a single mother by self-insemination.

This “plan” is derailed when she meets John (Ethan Hawke), a writer whose marriage to overbearing academic Georgette (Julianne Moore) is apparently falling apart.

The street-level focus on characters recalls the work of Noah Baumbach—with whom Gerwig has frequently collaborated—and there’s more than a hint of Woody Allen too, particularly the New York milieu of bookish intellectuals struggling with life.

This is obviously not to everyone’s taste, but there’s more than enough wit and charm to sustain it, and the interplay between Gerwig, Hawke and Moore never gets boring.



Roald Dahl’s books for children have attracted a number of big-name directors over the years—and now the biggest name of all, Steven Spielberg, has got involved.

This is by far the most visually impressive movie released this month, combining live action with up-to-date motion-capture technology, expanding Mark Rylance’s “friendly giant” so he fills up the screen and towers over Sophie, played by newcomer Ruby Barnhill.


Born to be Blue

There’s been a glut of music biopics recently, but this take on the life of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker (Ethan Hawke again) is more original than most.

The focus is mainly on 1966, in particular covering Chet’s early experiences with heroin, the drug that dominated his life. It abounds with elliptical flashbacks, black-and-white scenes and composite characters (not least an effective turn from Carmen Ejogo as Chet’s girlfriend), but the film as a whole casts a hazy spell.


Adult Life Skills

The transition from childhood to adulthood and the all-consuming power of grief are the twin pillars of  this charming movie, which stars Jodie Whittaker as 29-year-old Anna, a woman struggling to cope with her own self-confidence and the recent death of her twin brother.

Although the themes are heavy, the film has a real lightness of touch, and Whittaker has never been better.



A second sequel to the eighties supernatural comedy has long been anticipated, but this reboot is more radical than anyone expected.

Reuniting director Paul Feig with Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy, this reimagines the plot of the first film with a largely female cast and far broader humour. Going by reactions to the trailer, fans will be divided, to say the least.


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