#461 June 27, 2023

Matt writes: Last week, RogerEbert.com held its third annual Black Writers Week in honor of Juneteenth, featuring essential work from contributors Mack Bates, Al Chambles, Robert Daniels, Shawn Edwards, André Hammel, Jewel Ifeguni, Rendy Jones, Charles Kirkland Jr., Craig D. Lindsey, Sherin Nicole, Reginald Ponder, Carla Renata, Peyton Robinson, Niani Scott, Jourdain Searles, Kaiya Shunyata, Sonia Smith-Evans, Brandon Towns, Lance R. Williams, Brandon Wilson and the late great Sergio Mims. You can find all of the writers’ bios and headshots here, the complete table of contents for Black Writers Week here and RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert’s intro here.


Challengers(2023). Directed by Luca Guadagnino. Written by Justin Kuritzkes. Starring Zendaya, Mike Faist, Josh O’Connor. Synopsis: Follows three players who knew each other when they were teenagers as they compete in a tennis tournament to be the world-famous grand slam winner, and reignite old rivalries on and off the court. Debuts in the US on September 15th, 2023.

Crossings(2023). Directed by Ira Sachs. Written by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias. Starring Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw, Adele Exarchopoulos. Synopsis: About two men who’ve been together for fifteen years and what happens when one of them has an affair with a woman. Debuts in the US on June 28th, 2023.

Shortcomings(2023). Directed by Randall Park. Written by Adrian Tomine. Starring Justin H. Min, Sherry Cola, Ally Maki. Synopsis: A trio of young Bay Area urbanites–Ben Tanaka, Miko Hayashi, and Alice Kim–as they navigate a range of interpersonal relationships, traversing the country in search of the ideal connection.US release date is TBA.

Drive Away Dolls(2023). Directed by Ethan Coen. Written by Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke. Starring Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein. Synopsis: Jamie regrets her breakup with her girlfriend, while Marian needs to relax. In search of a fresh start, they begin on an unexpected road trip to Tallahassee, but things quickly go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals. Debuts in the US on September 22nd, 2023.

Nimona(2023). Directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane. Written by Robert L. Baird and Lloyd Taylor (based on the graphic novel by Nate Stevenson). Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, RuPaul. Synopsis: When a knight in a futuristic medieval world is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the only one who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona — a mischievous teen who happens to be a shapeshifting creature he’s sworn to destroy.Debut on Netflix on June 30th, 2023.

Brother (2023). Written and directed by Clement Virgo (based on the novel by David Chariandy). Starring Lamar Johnson, Aaron Stone, Marsha Stephanie Blake. Synopsis: Sons of Caribbean immigrants, Francis and Michael face questions of masculinity, identity and family amid the pulsing beat of Toronto’s early hip-hop scene. Debuts in the US on September 22nd, 2023.

Afire (2023). Written and directed by Christian Petzold. Starring Thomas Schubert, Paula Beer, Enno Trebs. Synopsis: A group of friends in a holiday home by the Baltic Sea where emotions run high as the parched forest around them catches fire. US release date is TBA.

cobweb(2023). Directed by Samuel Bodin. Written by Chris Thomas Devlin. Starring Lizzy Caplan, Anthony Starr, Cleopatra Coleman. Synopsis: Horror strikes when an eight-year-old boy named Peter tries to investigate the mysterious knocking noises that are coming from inside the walls of his house and a dark secret that his sinister parents kept hidden from him. Debuts in theUS on July 21st, 2023.

The Miracle Club(2023). Directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan. Written by Joshua D. Maurer, Timothy Prager and Jimmy Smallhorne. Starring Laura Linney, Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates. Synopsis: There’s just one dream for the women of Ballygar to taste freedom: to win a pilgrimage to the sacred French town of Lourdes.Debuts in the US on July 14th, 2023.

The Eternal Memory (2023). Directed by Maite Alberdi. Synopsis: Augusto and Paulina have been together for 25 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Both fear the day he no longer recognizes her. US release date is TBA.

Dumb Money(2023). Directed by Craig Gillespie. Written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo (based on the book by Ben Mezrich). Starring Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Pete Davidson. Synopsis: The ultimate David vs. Goliath tale, based on the insane true story of everyday people who flipped the script on Wall Street and got rich by turning GameStop (yes, the mall videogame store) into the world’s hottest company.Debuts in the US on September 22nd, 2023.

Kraven the Hunter(2023). Directed by JC Chandor. Written by Matt Holloway, Art Marcum and Richard Wenk (based on characters created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko). Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Russell Crowe, Ariana DeBose. Synopsis: Russian immigrant Sergei Kravinoff is on a mission to prove that he is the greatest hunter in the world.Debuts in the US on October 6th, 2023.

Heart of Stone(2023). Directed by Tom Harper. Written by Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder. Starring Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Sophie Okonedo. Synopsis: An intelligence operative for a shadowy global peacekeeping agency races to stop a hacker from stealing its most valuable and dangerous weapon. Debuts in the US on August 11th, 2023.

The Beanie Bubble(2023). Directed by Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash. Written by Kristin Gore (based on the book by Zac Bissonnette). Starring Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Snook, Elizabeth Banks. Synopsis: Ty Warner was a frustrated toy salesman until his collaboration with three women grew his idea into the biggest toy craze in history.Debuts on Apple TV+ on July 28th, 2023.

The Deepest Breath(2023). Directed by Laura McGann. Synopsis: Champion and expert safety diver seemed destined for one another despite different paths they took to meet at pinnacle of the free-diving world. The thrilling rewards and inescapable risks of chasing dreams through the depths of the ocean.Debuts in the US on July 19th, 2023.

Stephen Curry: Underrated(2023). Directed by Peter Nicks. Synopsis: A documentary about Golden State Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry.Debuts on Apple TV+ on July 21st, 2023.

Kokomo City(2023). Directed by D. Smith. Synopsis: A raw depiction of the lives of four black trans sex workers as they confront the dichotomy between the black community and themselves.US release date is TBA.

Priscilla(2023). Written and directed by Sofia Coppola (based on the memoir by Priscilla Presley). Starring Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Jorja Cadence. Synopsis: Sofia Coppola’s take on the relationship between Priscilla and Elvis Presley.US release date is TBA.

Tribeca 2023

Matt writes:You can find all of the festival dispatches filed by Brian Tallerico and Matt Zoller Seitz at Tribeca 2023 in this table of contents, including a review of Joshua and Rebecca Harrell Tickell’s urgent and hopeful documentary, “Common Ground,” which received the festival’s Human/ Nature Award.

Treat Williams (1951-2023)

Matt writes: RIP Treat Williams, the beloved star of such classics as “Hair,” “Prince of the City” and “Smooth Talk,” who suddenly passed away this month at age 71, following a motorcycle accident. You can read Peter Sobczynski’s insightful tribute here.

Free Movies

Becky Sharp(1935). Directed by Rouben Mamoulian. Written by Francis Edward Faragoh (based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray and the play by Langdon Mitchell). Starring Miriam Hopkins, Frances Dee, Cedric Hardwicke. Synopsis: Against the backdrop of Napoleon’s Waterloo campaign, an ambitious woman from a family of entertainers begins a destructive climb up the social ladder.

Watch “Becky Sharp”

Mr Arkadin(1955). Written and directed by Orson Welles. Starring Orson Welles, Michael Redgrave, Patricia Medina. Synopsis: An elusive billionaire hires an American smuggler to investigate his past, leading to a dizzying descent into a cold-war European landscape.

Watch “Mr. Arkadin”

Nothing But a Man(1964). Directed by Michael Roemer. Written by Michael Roemer and Robert M. Young. Starring Ivan Dixon, Abbey Lincoln, Julius Harris. Synopsis: A Black man and his school-teacher wife face discriminatory challenges in 1960s America.

Watch “Nothing But a Man”