#436 July 5, 2022

Matt writes: From Juneteenth 2022 through Sunday, June 26th, RogerEbert.com presented its second annual installment of Black Writers Week, featuring essential work from our guest editors Danielle Scruggs, Robert Daniels and Sergio Mims, as well as writers Mack Bates, Bijan Bayne, Shawn Edwards, André Hammel, Esq., Odie Henderson, Jewel Ifeguni, Craig D. Lindsey, David Moses, Shelli Nicole, Sherin Nicole, Ife Olatunji, Eric Pierson, Reginald Ponder, Taj Rani, Carla Renata, Peyton Robinson, Niani Scott, Jourdain Searles, Kaiya Shunyata, Aramide Tinubu, Brandon Towns and Brandon David Wilson. You can find all of their reviews, interviews and essays published during Black Writers Week 2022 in our official table of contents, and you can find the complete list of their bios and headshots here. 


Clara Sola (2022). Directed by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén. Written by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén and Maria Camila Arias. Starring Wendy Chinchilla Araya, Ana Julia Porras Espinoza, Daniel Castañeda Rincón. Synopsis: In a remote village in Costa Rica, Clara, a withdrawn 40-year-old woman, experiences a sexual and mystical awakening as she begins a journey to free herself from the repressive religious and social conventions which have dominated her life. Now available in the US.

Not Okay (2022). Written and directed by Quinn Shephard. Starring Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien, Embeth Davidtz. Synopsis: A misguided young woman, desperate for friends and fame, fakes a trip to Paris to update her social media presence. A terrifying incident takes place in the real world which becomes a part of the imaginary trip and offers all she wanted. Debuts in the US on July 29th, 2022.

Beauty (2022). Directed by Andrew Dosunmu. Written by Lena Waithe. Starring Gracie Marie Bradley, Aleyse Shannon, Niecy Nash. Synopsis: A gifted young Black woman struggles to maintain her voice and identity after she’s offered a lucrative recording contract. Now available on Netflix.

Persuasion (2022). Directed by Carrie Cracknell. Written by Alice Victoria Winslow and Ron Bass (based on the novel by Jane Austen). Starring Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Richard E. Grant. Synopsis: Eight years after Anne Elliot was persuaded not to marry a dashing man of humble origins, they meet again. Will she seize her second chance at true love? Debuts on Netflix on July 15th, 2022.

Smile (2022). Written and directed by Parker Finn. Starring Sosie Bacon, Rob Morgan, Kal Penn. Synopsis: After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality. Debuts in the US on September 30th, 2022.

Both Sides of the Blade (2022). Directed by Claire Denis. Written by Claire Denis and Christine Angot. Starring Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, Mati Diop. Synopsis: A love triangle story about a woman caught between two men, her long-time partner and his best friend, her former lover. Debuts in the US on August 31st, 2022.

Gone in the Night (2022). Directed by Eli Horowitz. Written by Eli Horowitz and Matthew Derby. Starring Winona Ryder, John Gallagher Jr., Dermot Mulroney. Synopsis: When Kath and her boyfriend arrive at a remote cabin in the redwoods, they find a mysterious younger couple already there. Her boyfriend disappears with the young woman, and Kath becomes obsessed with finding an explanation. US release date is TBA.

My Policeman (2022). Directed by Michael Grandage. Written by Ron Nyswaner (based on the novel by Bethan Roberts). Starring Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, Rupert Everett. Synopsis: The arrival of Patrick into Marion and Tom’s home triggers the exploration of seismic events from 40 years previously. Debuts on Prime Video on November 4th, 2022.

Anonymous Club (2022). Directed by . Synopsis: An intimate access to the private life of Courtney Barnett, an anti-influencer who is a powerful voice for our times. US release date is TBA.

They/Them (2022). Written and directed by John Logan. Starring Kevin Bacon, Anna Chlumsky, Theo Germaine. Synopsis: LGBTQIA+ empowerment tale set at a gay conversion camp. Debuts in the US on August 5th, 2022.

I Love My Dad (2022). Written and directed by James Morosini. Starring Patton Oswalt, James Morosini, Lil Rel Howery. Synopsis: A hopelessly estranged father catfishes his son in an attempt to reconnect. Debuts in the US on August 5th, 2022.

In Her Name (2022). Written and directed by Sarah Carter. Starring Erin Hammond, Sarah Carter, Ciera Danielle. Synopsis: A sisterhood separated by their father’s devotion to art above all else is reconciled in the same spirit. US release date is TBA.

Menudo: Forever Young (2022). Directed by Angel Manuel Soto and Kristofer Ríos. Synopsis: A riveting four-part docuseries chronicling the untold story behind the rise and fall of Menudo, the most iconic Latin American boy band in history. Now available on HBO Max.

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (2022). Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck. Written by Will Davies (based on the book by Bernard Waber). Starring Javier Bardem, Shawn Mendes, Brett Gelman. Synopsis: Feature film based on the children’s book about a crocodile that lives in New York City. Debuts in the US on October 7th, 2022.

Machine Gun Kelly‘s Life in Pink (2022). Directed by Sam Cahill. Synopsis: Pain, passion, and love, get a look into the mind of Machine Gun Kelly. US release date is TBA.

D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! (2022). Directed by . Synopsis: It follows the 50-year quest to find Cooper, the man who hijacked a Northwest Airlines passenger jet in November 1971 and escaped with $200,000. Debuts on Netflix on July 13th, 2022.

This Much I Know To Be True (2022). Directed by . Synopsis: Explores the creative relationship and songs from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ last two studio albums, “Ghosteen” and “Carnage“. Now available in the US.

Blonde (2022). Written and directed by (based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates). Starring Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Garret Dillahunt. Synopsis: A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn MonroeDebuts in the US on September 23rd, 2022.

Olivia DeJonge on “Elvis” 

Matt writes: I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Olivia DeJonge, the acclaimed star of HBO’s “The Staircase,” about portraying Priscilla Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s new biopic, “Elvis.” You can read our complete conversation here.

Highlights of Tribeca 2022

Matt writesHighlights of Tribeca 2022 in both the narrative and documentary categories were recently discussed by Peter Sobczynski. I am particularly excited for Alexandre O. Philippe’s latest visual essay, “Lynch/Oz,” which draws provocative connections between “The Wizard of Oz” and the surrealist work of director David Lynch.

Free Movies

The Light of Western Stars (1940). Directed by Lesley Selander. Written by Norman Houston (based on the novel by Zane Grey). Starring Alan Ladd, Esther Estrella, Tom Tyler. Synopsis: Cowhand Ladd dances with cantina girl Estrella and has a part in shooting Sheriff Tyler.

Watch “The Light of Western Stars”

Remedy for Riches (1940). Directed by Erle C. Kenton. Written by Lee Loeb. Starring Jean Hersholt, Dorothy Lovett, Edgar Kennedy. Synopsis: A college friend of the local soda-jerk comes to town and lets it be known that he’s looking for property on which to build a resort. When he buys some land and suddenly “discovers” there’s oil underneath it–and generously offers to sell the townspeople shares in his newly found oil reserves–Dr. Christian suspects a swindle and sets out to prove it.

Watch “Remedy for Riches”

One Body Too Many (1944). Directed by Frank McDonald. Written by Winston Miller and Maxwell Shane. Starring Bela Lugosi, Jack Haley, Jean Parker. Synopsis: An insurance investigator arrives at a creepy mansion to protect a millionaire who has had death threats made against him.

Watch “One Body Too Many”

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