July 2023 must be a very crucial month for movie lovers because it has at least 3 movies coming out in theatres that must have made it to many people’s most anticipated movies of the year list. Even though these lists that I put out every month feature many obscure indie movies that need more attention, I can’t help but be excited for the theatrical bonanza that is up in the air this July 2023.

I must confess that, like everyone else, I am looking for to the clash between Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, but I am also equally excited for the return of Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible: Dead Recockinig, Part One. So, without further ado, let’s look at the movies getting released in theatres in July 2023 and why you should watch them. 

10. The Unknown Country

Movies to Watch in Theatres July 2023 - The Unknown Country

Due to starring in Martin Scorses’s upcoming epic Killers of the Flower Moon, Lily Gladstone has become the town’s talk. 2023 alone has half a dozen projects that she is working on, and there seems to be no stopping her. 

In The Unknown Country, Tana (Lily Gladstone), in the wake of a shattering personal tragedy,  finds herself adrift, longing for purpose and healing. Unexpectedly, an invitation to her cousin’s wedding beckons her from the depths of despair. Determined to seize this opportunity, she embarks on a transformative journey, setting off from her Minnesota home in the cherished Cadillac inherited from her late grandmother.

The open road stretches before Tana as she crosses state lines into South Dakota, guided by the promise of reuniting with her Oglala Lakota family. Reconnecting with her roots brings solace and strength, empowering her to embark on a quest to recreate a surreal odyssey that her grandmother undertook decades ago. Captivated by a mysterious photograph from the family archives, Tana understands that this elusive image holds the key to a hidden location, an enigma Tana is determined to unravel.

Venturing forth into the vast and awe-inspiring landscape, Tana encounters a tapestry of lives lived on the fringes, far removed from the beaten path. Each encounter weaves a connection, threading together the stories of ordinary people who have found solace and purpose in their unconventional lives. Amidst these captivating narratives, Tana finds glimpses of her own journey, an echo of her grandmother’s footsteps leading her closer to understanding and closure.

Genre: Drama
Runtime: 1h 25m
Release Date: Jul 28, 2023, Limited

9. Susie Searches

After the premiere at TIFF 2022, Susies Searches is set to hit theatres in July 2023. The film introduces us to Susie (Clemons), a college student with a penchant for all things true crime. However, her once-promising podcast is on the verge of fading into obscurity. Determined to make her mark and skyrocket to popularity, Susie seizes a golden opportunity—the baffling vanishing of Jesse (Wolff), a charismatic heartthrob from their very own campus.

As Susie delves deeper into the disappearance, her investigative instincts take center stage. Armed with her microphone and a relentless drive for truth, she navigates the twists and turns of the case, leaving no stone unturned. With each step closer to unraveling the mystery, Susie’s own star begins to rise, captivating listeners and online followers alike.

However, the journey into Jesse’s disappearance takes an unexpectedly dark turn. The more Susie uncovers, the murkier and more treacherous the path becomes. Secrets, lies, and hidden agendas lurk beneath the surface, threatening to engulf Susie in a dangerous web of intrigue.

Genre: Comedy, Mystery & Thriller, Drama
Runtime: 1h 45m
Release Date: Jul 28, 2023, Limited

8. Talk to Me

Talk to Me really teased everyone who saw it at Sundance, including yours truly, but I never expected this little indie to rattle the marketplace with A24 getting onboard as a distributor. Directed by YouTubers Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou, who made most of this supernatural thriller with practical effects, Talk to Me follows teenager Mia (Sophie Wilde), who, in search of a diversion from the pain of losing her mother a year ago, joins her friends in a daring endeavor—the latest local party trend of conjuring spirits.

Eager to connect with the otherworldly, they engage in a reckless séance, using an enigmatic embalmed hand that promises direct communication with the supernatural. However, the group soon realizes they have underestimated the consequences of their actions. Ignoring the warnings and rules surrounding the embalmed hand, they unwittingly blur the boundary between worlds. As Mia becomes more entangled in the supernatural, eerie visions and haunting apparitions, begin to plague her existence.

Haunted by disturbing encounters, Mia races against time to undo the devastating damage caused by their recklessness. With each passing moment, the line between reality and the supernatural grows thinner, leaving Mia in a desperate struggle to restore order before the irreversible becomes her new reality.

Genre: Horror, Mystery & thriller
Runtime: 1h 35m
Release Date: Jul 28, 2023, Limited

7. Theatre Camp

Another spot and another Sundance premiere. After winning hearts at the fest earlier this year, Searchlight Pictures has picked Theatre Camp for a limited release this July across the US. First-time filmmakers Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman have made a heartfelt tribute to the brilliant and wonderfully offbeat educators who create magical spaces for young souls to discover themselves and cultivate confidence.

The film takes place at a vibrant gathering of young talents congregates at AdirondACTS, an unconventional theater camp nestled in upstate New York—a haven for aspiring performers. However, when the camp’s fearless founder, Joan (Amy Sedaris), unexpectedly falls into a coma, the responsibility of keeping this thespian paradise afloat falls upon her clueless and unconventional son, Troy (Jimmy Tatro).

Challenged with the task of preserving AdirondACTS despite the looming threat of financial ruin, Troy finds himself in uncharted territory. With the camp’s future hanging in the balance, he must rally a band of eccentric teachers, including Amos (Ben Platt) and Rebecca-Diane (Molly Gordon), to concoct a solution before the grand opening night arrives.

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 1h 34m
Release Date: Jul 14, 2023, Limited

6. Earth Mama

Movies to Watch in Theatres July 2023 - Earth Mama

Another A24-backed Sundance project on the list is the late festival entry, Earth Mama. The story follows Gia – a determined young mother who finds herself locked in a relentless battle to reclaim her children. With her son and daughter placed in foster care and the looming threat of losing her unborn child as well, Gia’s world hangs in the balance. Juggling court-mandated classes and a struggle to make ends meet, she fights against overwhelming odds to provide her children with the future they deserve.

In this poignant directorial debut by Savanah Leaf, audiences are invited into the intimate journey of a mother’s unwavering love and paralyzing fear. Leaf’s masterful storytelling is woven with elegant visual imagery, juxtaposing lush visions of hope with raw manifestations of Gia’s deepest anxieties, blurring the line between reality and her inner world.

Within the backdrop of Gia’s counseling classes and her job at a portrait studio, Leaf deftly crafts a narrative that challenges societal perspectives and compels us to bear witness to the vulnerabilities and longing for connection that define the human experience.

Genre: Drama
Runtime: 1h 37m
Release Date: Jul 7, 2023, Limited

5. Joyride

A side-splitting and refreshingly candid journey of self-discovery and identity as we follow the uproarious escapades of four unlikely friends on an unforgettable international adventure. 

This hilarious tale unravels as Audrey (Ashley Park), a businesswoman whose Asia trip takes an unexpected turn, calls upon the assistance of her irreverent childhood best friend, Lolo (Sherry Cola), known for her charmingly chaotic nature. Joining them are Kat (Stephanie Hsu), Audrey’s college friend turned Chinese soap star, and Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), Lolo’s eccentric cousin.

A no-holds-barred and larger-than-life experience unfolds, an odyssey of bonding, friendship, and unadulterated revelry that transcends borders and cultures. Amidst the uproarious debauchery, these four unique souls navigate the universal quest for self-acceptance and the unwavering pursuit of authenticity.

Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 1h 32m
Release Date: Jul 7, 2023, Wide

4. Afire

Movies to Watch in Theatres July 2023 - Afire

Afire follows the world of writer Leon (Thomas Schubert) and photographer Felix (Langston Uibel) as they embark on a peaceful vacation by the enchanting Baltic Sea. Their idyllic getaway takes an unexpected turn when they encounter the enigmatic Nadja (Paula Beer), a mysterious young woman who becomes a guest at Felix’s family’s holiday home.

As Nadja enters their lives, Leon finds himself irresistibly drawn to her presence, his focus on completing his latest novel waning in her presence. With her uncompromising honesty, Nadja becomes a catalyst, forcing Leon to confront his caustic temperament and self-absorption. 

As their connection deepens, the group faces an impending forest fire, intensifying the already mounting tensions. The arrival of a handsome lifeguard and Leon’s secretive book editor further complicates matters, adding layers of intrigue and complexity to their intertwined lives. Winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the esteemed Berlin International Film Festival, Afire immerses viewers in a tale that deftly balances passion, tension, love, and self-reflection.

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 1h 43m
Release Date: Jul 14, 2023, Limited

3. Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning, Part One

Strap in your seatbelts for Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his elite IMF team return in the adrenaline-fueled blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. This time, they face their most perilous mission yet: the relentless pursuit of a terrifying new weapon that could unleash global devastation if it falls into the wrong hands.

With the future of humanity hanging in the balance, Ethan and his team find themselves in a high-stakes race against time. As they traverse the globe, they must outsmart and outmaneuver dark forces from Ethan’s past that threaten to unravel everything he holds dear. Amidst the chaos, a formidable and enigmatic enemy emerges, wielding unimaginable power that puts Ethan’s skills and resolve to the ultimate test.

As the mission intensifies, Ethan is confronted with an agonizing choice: to prioritize the greater good and the safety of the world or the lives of his closest allies. Loyalties will be tested, sacrifices will be made, and the line between friend and foe will blur in this heart-pounding race against impending doom.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery & thriller
Runtime: 2h 43m
Release Date: Jul 12, 2023, Wide

2. Barbie

While much of Greta Gwerwig’s Barbie’s plot is kept under wraps, it seems to follow Barbie and Ken, who find themselves expelled from the seemingly flawless utopia of Barbie Land due to their imperfections. Determined to uncover their true selves, they embark on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery in the real world.

As Barbie and Ken venture beyond the boundaries of their manufactured existence, they are confronted with the complexities and challenges of the human world. In their quest for authenticity, they encounter diverse characters, each on their own unique path of self-acceptance and self-expression. Together, they navigate the uncharted territories of personal growth, breaking free from the constraints of societal expectations.

Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 1h 54m
Release Date: Jul 21, 2023, Wide

1. Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated thriller, Oppenheimer, delves into the enigmatic life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant theoretical physicist who played a pivotal role in the development of the first nuclear weapons. 

Drawing inspiration from the acclaimed 2005 biography “American Prometheus” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, Nolan takes audiences on a gripping journey into the mind of a complex genius. As the narrative structure and plot threads remain shrouded in mystery, viewers can expect an intricately woven storyline that challenges perceptions, raises ethical questions, and ignites introspection.

In a departure from his previous works, “Oppenheimer” marks Nolan’s first collaboration outside the Warner Bros. studio, showcasing his creative versatility and commitment to pushing artistic boundaries. With the freedom to explore new horizons, Nolan’s vision for this film promises to be truly immersive, blending his signature style with a fresh perspective. Furthermore, Oppenheimer represents a return to the R-rated realm for Nolan since his critically acclaimed 2002 remake of Insomnia.

Genre: History, Drama, Biography
Runtime: 3h 0m
Release Date: Jul 21, 2023, Wide

Also, Read – 8 Best Movies to Watch on Streaming in July 2023

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