Hello fellow queer cinephiles! As we enter the long, hot days of summer, everyone wants to cool off in a theater and watch other people try to save the world. The summer tends to be a pretty testosterone-soaked season for movies, so I’m here to help you sort the films you want to be in the front row for from those you just use as an excuse to cuddle in the back.
Editor’s note: * denotes a film that includes openly lesbian/bi actresses or lesbian/bi characters.
Venus and Serena
You’re there to see: Venus and Serena Williams, obviously.
In a nutshell: Who doesn’t want to know more about the two sisters who changed tennis forever? This one’s a must-see for any lesbian with a pair of athletic shoes.
You’ll like it if: Sporty is your favorite Spice Girl.
The Great Gatsby
You’re there to see: Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, the return of Tobey Maguire
In a nutshell: Director Baz Luhrmann is a master of high intensity spectacles like Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, and Strictly Ballroom. Think of it as Fitzgerald after a 4Loko.
You’ll like it if: You have an eye for costumes and an ear for a great soundtrack.
You’re there to see: Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch
In a nutshell: If it’s half as fun as its predecessor, this sure-fire blockbuster is going to be a great ride.
You’ll like it if: You boldly go where no man has gone before.
You’re there to see: Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in the roles they just can’t stop playing.
In a nutshell: The third installment of Richard Linklater’s series finds Jesse and Celine trying to navigate their mature relationship. Expect gorgeous photography and brilliant, if painful chemistry.
You’ll like it if: You’re a weather-beaten romantic.
You’re there to see: Michelle Rodriguez, because your attraction is stronger than your grudge.
In a nutshell: A profound philosophical meditation on the car as phallic symbol. Just kidding.
You’ll like it if: You’re curious about the complex, evolving relationships in this group of criminals.
You’re there to see: Barbara Sukowa in an Oscar-bait role.
In a nutshell: Arendt was one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, and this film follows her controversial efforts to understand the causes of the Holocaust. See this one if you’re looking to do some heavy contemplating.
You’ll like it if: You went to grad school.
Now You See Me
You’re there to see: Isla Fisher, Mélanie Laurent, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo
In a nutshell: This high-concept action flick follows a group of magicians who use their skills (and some crazy technology) to perform heists. The special effects look amazing, although nothing holds a candle to Mélanie Laurent’s exquisite face.
You’ll like it if: You’re a fan of flashes and bangs, and Jesse Eisenberg doesn’t get on your nerves.
You’re there to see: Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, Julia Ormond
In a nutshell: A young woman infiltrates an environmental group that straddles the line between activism and terrorism, and makes the horrible error of falling in love with Alexander Skarsgård instead of Ellen Page.
You’ll like it if: You’re a guilty meat-eater.