Buy, Rent, or Wait: June 2021

Theatrical releases are still a bit of a rarity due to the impact of the pandemic, which means that it can be difficult to learn which films are coming out soon as they’re now delivered through various different platforms. So we’re casting our eyes further afield than just your traditional cinema to find five upcoming new releases for the month. Some will still find their way to the silver screen, but others will be available from the comfort of your home. Our job will be to make wild guesses based on their synopsis and trailer as to whether they’ll worth your time, separating them into one of three categories:

Buy: This film is worth multiple viewings and maybe even a purchase of a hardcopy!

Rent: A movie in this category will be worth the cost of admission, whether that’s an actual ticket or a few dollars as a video on demand.

Wait: This means the film isn’t really worth any additional effort on your part. If you happen to catch it on broadcast television or on a streaming service you’re already paying, then maybe it’ll be worth your time. Or maybe not even that!

Last Month’s Results

Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our May predictions!

1. Those Who Wish Me Dead

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 61%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 86%

IMDB Score: 6.0

Box Office

Budget: $20 million.

Worldwide: $16 million

While we weren’t expecting great things, Those Who Wish Me Dead did manage to tick a lot boxes for audiences, punching above its weight due to its leads even though some felt the overall plot was fairly generic. 

2. Army of the Dead

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 68%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 75%

IMDB Score: 5.9

Audiences were quick to lose their enthusiasm towards Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead as soon as they eyed the film’s excessive runtime (2.5 hours) on Netflix’s preview pop up. As such, it’s the most critiqued aspect of the movie with many citing it’s overblown and too long. For those that managed to fortify their patience, they were rewarded with a somewhat entertaining flick that didn’t necessarily add much to the zombie genre.

Our review!

3. The Dry

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 90%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 88%

IMDB Score: 7.0

The Dry was a breakout hit in its home country of Australia, and although many overseas viewers were also pleased by the film’s taut murder mystery, its plodding pacing came under fire from audiences that were more used to action-oriented dramas. 

4. Cruella

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 74%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 97%

IMDB Score: 7.4

Box Office
 
Budget: $100-200 million.
 
Worldwide: $44 million
 
Many called Cruella the “Disney version of The Devil Wears Prada“. While some critics found it too childish, many loved the film’s sense of energy and appreciated the studio’s originality on this live-action money-making machine. 

5. A Quiet Place Part II

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 90%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 94%

IMDB Score: 7.9

Box Office
 
Budget: $61 million.
 
Worldwide: $83 million
 
While many critics have noted this sequel is lacking the originality of the first, some have praised its enthralling storytelling that has left a number of viewers wanting more. 

And now for the films releasing this month!

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Rating: R

Release Date: June 4, 2021

Distribution: HBO Max and simultaneous theatrical release.

Synopsis: The Warrens investigate a murder that may be linked to a demonic possession. (IMDB).

Director: Michael Chaves

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O’Connor

This horror franchise has been around long enough to notch a few hits and misses. Producers have obviously cottoned on that the Warren’s paranormal investigative lifestyle is rife with potential movie ideas, though some are more tenuously linked than others. Generally speaking, the spin-off films, whilst somewhat creatively fanciful, tend to be weaker than the movies that seek to adapt the real life cases. With The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It there seems to be a nice return to franchise’s roots. The very fact that “conjuring” is in the title means there’s already a degree of faith this particular entry will be of a higher standard; more canonical if you will. The trailer also introduces more nuance to the demon subgenre, which I personally find is always welcome when audiences are asked to question about the existence of principalities of darkness considering it does go hand in hand with Christian theology. Expect to have some interesting post-movie conversations with your friends after watching this one, if you can handle the scares. For fans of this franchise, this one will be a must-see.

Prediction: Buy

Awake

Rating: Not rated

Release Date: June 9, 2021

Distribution: Netflix

Synopsis: After a devastating global event wipes out all electronics and eliminated people’s ability to sleep, a former soldier may have found a solution with her daughter. (IMDB).

Director: Mark Raso

Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt

Awake is Netflix’s next original offering which has created a fair bit of buzz on social media due to its action horror premise. In the film, a worldwide event occurs which renders humanity unable to sleep, making it a race to find a cure before everyone gets too crankypants to keep society functioning. Yes, this movie will no doubt be very gimmicky. Yes, as a person who does suffer a sleep disorder, I am looking forward to being snarky at any unrealistic portrayals of sleep deprivation. And yes, you better believe that I will be watching this film at 3am when I should be sleeping. This is one of those stories that will most likely botch the ending, but it’ll provide a fun ride along the way. It’ll at least be worth a watch, even if there’s a risk it’ll fall into the “so bad it’s good” territory.

Prediction: Rent

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

 

Rating: PG

Release Date: June 11, 2021

Distribution: Theatrical release.

Synopsis: Thomas and Bea are now married and living with Peter and his rabbit family. Bored of life in the garden, Peter goes to the big city, where he meets shady characters and ends up creating chaos for the whole family. (IMDB).

Director: Will Gluck

Starring: James Corden, Elizabeth Debicki, Lennie James, Margot Robbie, Aimee Horne, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, David Oyelowo

This film has been released overseas for a while now, so I feel like I’m cheating here since I’ve already seen this one. It’s honestly a bit of a mixed bag. There are moments when the story is merely phoning it in, but then there are times when the movie is devilishly meta and self-referential, to the point that I cannot help but admire its audacity. It’s not going to win over the critics of the first film, but if you enjoyed the original’s quirky adaptation, then you’ll like this offering as well. It’s definitely worth your consideration if you are looking for new content to entertain the kids, and there are a few jokes that land for the adults. It’s not good enough to buy (unless you later find it as a dual offering with the first), but it can be worth a look for the right demographic.

Prediction: Rent

Luca

Rating: PG

Release Date: June 18, 2021

Distribution: Disney + (Premier access)

Synopsis: On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human. (IMDB).

Director: Enrico Casarosa

Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Maya Rudolph

It’s a real shame that Pixar films are continuously being shafted to releasing behind premium paywalls on Disney+ as opposed to enjoying wider distribution on the silver screen. As a result, I can’t help but feel that Luca isn’t getting a lot of attention. Unlike Soul, which intrigued audiences due to its bold premise alone, there isn’t a great deal of chatter when it comes to Luca, leaving the film at risk of being overlooked and overshadowed by Disney’s other recent release, Cruella. It may not perform well financially, though the trailer teases a warm, heart-felt adventure that is drenched with the summer-loving atmosphere of the Italian Riviera. It oozes a certain charm, although I predict it’ll receive similar criticism to Onward; it’ll hit all the right notes for some, but for others this Pixar offering could be a little more lacklustre. Luca will be a solid film, but due to the high calibre of the studio’s previous works, it’ll be judged more harshly. If you’re not itching to see it, like all Disney+ premium offerings, there’s no real downside to simply waiting for its wider release on the platform here.

Prediction: Wait

F9

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: June 25, 2021

Distribution: Theatrical release

Synopsis: Cipher enlists the help of Jakob, Dom’s younger brother to take revenge on Dom and his team. (IMDB).

Director: Justin Lin

Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron, John Cena

Who would’ve thought this franchise would stick around for its ninth instalment in the main series? I sure didn’t, which is why I stopped watching after the second film back in the day once I heard the third movie supposedly killed it off. But it seems to just keep reinvigorating itself, cornering the “crazy car stunt” market that somehow manages to not be that niche considering the dollars these movies have generated. It’s the one current blockbuster franchise I haven’t gotten around to watching simply because now there’s a lot of homework involved, but I appreciate that a lot of people have invested in these films and are keen to watch more. If you’re a fan, then this will be considered a must-see, even though it’s quickly seeming to travel down the Transformers route in terms of silliness and bleeding a simple concept dry for the sake of making a profit. I may not follow this franchise, but I can’t imagine this sequel will achieve any level of quality. Meanwhile for others like myself, there’s no incentive to hop on board this crazy ride during its ninth outing. Just a cursory glance at the obscure title and synopsis is proof enough this entry of the franchise is not welcoming to newcomers. Only worth a look if you’re fan or wish to enjoy it on the big screen, with the latter being the only reason why it’s worth forking out the money now as opposed to waiting to enjoy the film for cheaper later.

Prediction: Rent

Thanks for joining us for Buy, Rent, or WaitLet us know your predictions in the comment section. Join us in July for our next edition!

Are you looking forward to any of these films? What are your predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in June?

Juliana Purnell

After obtaining a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts, Juliana Purnell has enjoyed a successful acting career, working within theme parks, businesses, and on film sets. She has also taken on crew roles, both in film and theatrical productions. When Juliana isn't working, she enjoys watching movies of all genres at the cinema, writing, and playing with Samson, her pomeranian.

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