The Watch List: 9 Must-See July Movies

Beat the heat with John Semley’s grab bag of cool summer flicks. 

1 / 6

The Dark Knight Rises 

Christopher Nolan's Batman movies-the best in a line of caped crusader fare-wrap up with a little help from some friends (Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox) and foes (Catwoman, Bane). In theatres July 20.

2 / 6

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (DVD and Blu-ray)

This stellar entry to the food-doc genre looks at master sushi chef Jiro Ono and his legacy. Working out of a ten-seat restaurant in a Tokyo subway station, 85-year-old Ono may well be the world's oldest Michelin three-star chef. Twenty-eight-year-old director David Gelb succeeds by focusing on the aesthetics and asceticism of sushi, not just as a cuisine but as a philosophy.

3 / 6

The Samurai Trilogy (DVD and Blu-ray)

The Criterion Collection has bundled Hiroshi Inagaki's three samurai classics in an extras-loaded box set. Starring Toshiro Mifune-the John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and James Dean of Japanese cinema-the trilogy traces the path of an impudent young soldier as he matures into a wizened warrior.

4 / 6

The Turin Horse (DVD and Blu-ray)

The latest and allegedly last film by Hungarian master Béla Tarr follows a father and daughter as they (and their horse) weather a ruthless windstorm on their farm. Beautifully shot and unrelentingly bleak.

5 / 6

The web-slinging reboot
The Amazing Spider-man by Mark Webb

It's been only ten years since Sam Raimi brought one of Marvel Comics' hottest properties to the big screen. Seems a bit early for a remake, but actor Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) is a great fit as the high-school dweeb turned arachnoid superhero, Peter Parker. In theatres July 3.

The electrifying romance
Hysteria by Tanya Wexler

Set in Victorian England, this British romantic comedy approaches the invention of the vibrator-first used to treat female "hysteria"-with a light, mischievous touch. Uptown Theatre, Barrie, Ont., July 4.

6 / 6

The bad-mouth bear
Ted by Seth MacFarlane

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane makes his big-screen debut with this comedy about a lovestruck man-child (Mark Wahlberg) and his crass, foul-mouthed (and somehow animate) teddy bear. In theatres July 13.

The not-so-jolly Jolie
In the Land of Blood and Honey by Angelina Jolie

Among her other assets, Angelina Jolie can now count herself as a real-deal filmmaker. Her first feature stages a star-crossed love story across ethnic borders during the Bosnian War. Lebovic Centre for the Arts, Stouffville, Ont., July 25.

The Catholic comedy
We Have a Pope by Nanni Moretti

The latest by Italian director Nanni Moretti melds comedy and drama with a behind-the-pulpit look at life at the Vatican after an unsuspecting Cardinal finds himself elected pope. Regent Theatre, Picton, Ont., July 30.