part one

When Valley temps soar, nothing beats cooling off in an air-conditioned movie theater. The month of July offers a dozen diverse films that feature either high-octane action, socially-aware comedy or heart-tugging nostalgia.


The Met’s posh annual gala is under attack in Gary Ross’s all-female answer to the same-name male-dominated heist trilogy. A crew of incredibly beautiful thieves, led by Sandra Bullock’s Debbie, (sister of Clooney’s Danny), are after the Cartier showstopper around Anne Hathaway’s neck. Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter are Bullock’s accomplices. Now in Theaters


Not to be confused with the other Whitney Houston documentary released last year and now streaming on Showtime, Kevin Macdonald’s deep dive into the late singer’s legacies and miseries promises to drop a bomb in its final half hour, hurtling the film from fluff piece into exposé territory. Release date: July 6


The complexities of the father/daughter relationship are explored with nuance in director Iram Haq’s latest. When a Pakistani father learns that his daughter, raised in Norway, has adopted Western ways, he ships her off to his homeland to learn about their culture. As harrowing as it is inspiring, this one’s full of surprises. Release date: July 13


No one said anything about Academy Award-worthy recognition. We’re just in for a solid two hours of Abba tunes and sun-drenched azure paradise. In the sequel to the musical that proved Colin Firth can do everything, we catch up with Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried), now pregnant but still curious about her mother’s past. Release date: July 20


Lovable, endearing characters that you can’t help but shed a tear over, Lyn and Iona are a mother/daughter duo who are super tight—that is, until Iona gains entrance into the in-crowd. A heart-tugging British drama about the effects of mean-girl syndrome, Deborah Haywood’s debut is one you’ll want to hunt down. Release date: July 20


Prepare for more death-defying stunts by Tom Cruise as he takes on the role of super-spy Ethan Hunt once again, along with franchise regulars  Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Michelle Monaghan. This time around, an IMF mission goes sideways and Ethan is forced to flee the authorities as he attempts to set things right and prevent a large-scale catastrophe. In other words, standard stuff for the gang. Release date: July 27


This socially aware sci-fi/fantasy comedy stars Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Get Out) as a telemarketer who discovers he can use a white voice to become the most successful man in his company. Ready yourself for one of the most singular experiences you’ll ever have in a movie theater. In what we imagine to feel like an acid trip without the psychotropic substan


Hey, being a teen is hard enough, but middle school is especially horrible. Writer and newbie director Bo Burnham makes this all too real with this coming of age story. Get ready to fall in love with Kayla (portrayed by Elsie Fisher), a totally awkward, super-shy teenager just trying to fit in. Sounds simple, but make no mistake: this one hits with force. Release date: July 13


If you haven’t seen The Queen of Versailles, do it now as you wait for award-winning Lauren Greenfield’s latest head-shaking glimpse into the effects of excess greed. This film is an investigation into our obsession with money, money, money and redefines the American dream. Release date: July 20


From rags to riches, Alexander McQueen rose from humble beginnings to fashion king in the late ’90s and aughts. A haunting and at times disturbing peek into the world of a man whose darkness manifested into garments on the runway, this documentary offers a glimpse into the same darkness that would eventually have him take his own life. Release date: July 20


Jigsaw puzzles: not just for Grandma’s entertainment. Something forgotten housewife Agnes (played by Kelly Macdonald) pieces together in Marc Turtletaub’s drama. A woman whose life has become an autopilot bore, Agnes finds excitement, raw talent and self-discovery in the world of jigsaw puzzling. Release date: July 27


Four words: pimp to the stars. So goes the nickname for Scotty Bowers, who’s spilling secrets about coordinating sexcapades for Old Hollywood’s heavy hitters like Kathryn Hepburn and Cary Grant in this documentary. And though it sounds salacious, it’s all in an effort to reveal Hollywood’s elite as real-life humans. Release date: July 27