The summer's usual reboots (The Mummy, Spider-Man), second sequels (Despicable Me, Cars) and franchise-continuing (Planet of the Apes, Transformers) remain in full effect, but you can still piece together a worthy alternative moviegoing experience in amongst the tentpoles. As always, Halifax dates can vary.
OUTeast Queer Film Fest
Now in its sixth year, OUTeast makes the Museum of Natural History its home base for the second time, featuring a slate of dramas, docs and shorts from around the world. The opening film, David France's The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson, about a beloved queer activist in New York, will screen at the Central Library. The festival closes with a quote-along Romy and Michele's High School Reunion at Good Robot. Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street; Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road and Good Robot Brewing Company, 2736 Robie Street, $12-$15 (festival pass $65), outeastfilm.com
All Eyez On Me
Straight Outta Compton set the summer hip hop movie bar high back in 2015—this year the long-awaited Tupac biopic arrives with near-doppelganger Demetrius Shipp Jr. in the starring role.
The Book of Henry
Jacob Tremblay follows up Room with another harrowing tale, as the son of Naomi Watts trying to rescue his abused next-door neighbour, his 11-year-old classmate.
A stellar cast—Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer and Zoë Kravitz—hosts the bachelorette party from hell for Scarlett Johansson.
Sofia Coppola assembles her usual cast of blondes—Kiki Dunst, Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman—and drops Colin Farrell into the middle of them to make all kinds of mess.
You could stop at "Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell are married" but then you'd miss the part where they run an underground casino in order to pay their daughter's college tuition.
June 30-August 12
The Outdoor Film Experience
The Atlantic Film Festival's free summer screening series continues roving around town this year, including three nights at the Public Gardens (Strange Brew, June 30, The Grand Seduction, July 21 and Meatballs, August 11), its original stomping grounds at Tall Ships Quay (The Pirates—Band of Misfits, July 28) and the Pondside Ampitheatre in Dartmouth Crossing (Moana, July 15 and The Lego Batman Movie, August 12).
The Big Sick
Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon bring the true story of their courtship to the screen (Zoe Kazan stands in for Gordon), and how it was tested by a major illness. The supporting cast—Holly Hunter, Ray Romano and Aidy Bryant—is top-notch.
The second awesome cast of women Having a Time this season includes Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Kate Walsh as old friends partying in New Orleans.
Gillian Robespierre and Jenny Slate follow up their successful summer '14 outing Obvious Child with this family drama starring Slate as an engaged woman having a quarter-life crisis. Her parents are Edie Falco and John Turturro.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Al Gore returns a decade after An Inconvenient Truth with even more terrible facts about climate change.
Five years after Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow returns with the story of a citizen uprising in 1967 Detroit, one of those historical pieces with depressing contemporary parallels.
Ingrid Goes West
Aubrey Plaza, who proved she could sardonically carry a movie with 2012's Safety Not Guaranteed, plays an Instagram-obsessed woman who moves to LA to befriend her aspirational figure Elizabeth Olsen in this dark indie comedy.
The Glass Castle
Brie Larson finally follows up Room with something that appears worthy of her (sorry Kong: Skull Island), reuniting with Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed her breakthrough Short Term 12, for a long-awaited adaptation of Jeannette Walls' memoir.
This Ring-like horror film—if you are photographed by this haunted camera, you will die—was shot in Halifax this year and stars Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files), Madelaine Petsch (Riverdale) and Grace Zabriskie (Twin Peaks).