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Summer’s here, and like the Mayor in Jaws, cinema managers across the land will be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of huge crowds flocking to bask in the celluloid sun of a succession of big-hitting blockbusters and sequels.

If you are standing there like Roy Scheider, anxiously scanning the cinematic horizon for signs of trouble, then perhaps the list below will help you decide if you dare venture into the water this month.

Here’s our run-down of some of the main attractions out in York in July, from the major new film by Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan to the latest instalments in several hugely popular franchises. Let’s hope none of them have jumped the shark…

Family films

Despicable Me 3

Cert PG, 90 mins

Vue York, Reel

From Fri June 30

Movie website

Everyone’s favourite reformed super-villain Gru (Steve Carrell) returns for a third helping of Minion-assisted anti-heroics.

This time round, his foe is an ‘80s-obsessed former child star (voiced by South Park co-creator Trey Parker), which should provide plenty of nostalgic in-jokes for parents while the kids enjoy the little yellow critters’ antics.

On top of that, Gru has to deal with the appearance of his more successful twin brother Dru (also voiced by Carrell).

Cars 3

Cert U, 94 mins

Vue York, Reel

From Fri June 14

Movie website

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is feeling his age in this summer’s Pixar offering.

Outperformed by the sleeker, speedier new generation (right there with you pal), he starts training with keen young technician Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) who harbours long-held racing ambitions of her own.

The Cars films have always been a big hit with kids, while often less popular with adult audiences than the more well-rounded likes of Toy Story or Ratatouille – early reviews suggest there’s a bit more heart and soul to this one.

Action/thriller

Baby Driver

Cert 15, 113 mins

Vue York, Reel, City Screen

From Weds June 28

Movie website

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is the best getaway driver in the business, using the music in his headphones to heighten his skills and reflexes.

When he meets waitress Debora (Lily James), he decides to make a break from his old life – until criminal boss Kevin Spacey forces him into taking part in one last, doomed heist.

Expectations will be high for this crime thriller from director Edgar Wright, who has form in making fun, fast-paced and stylish films such as Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Cert 12A, 133 mins

Vue York, Reel, City Screen

From Weds July 5

Movie website

Tom Holland was introduced as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, where he was enlisted by Iron Man himself, Tony Stark.

He seemed to be a largely popular choice with fans and now gets his first standalone film in the role.

Homecoming sees Peter trying to balance his normal high school life with the demands of being a superhero. Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is again on hand as his mentor as they deal with the menace of new villain Vulture (played by Michael Keaton).

War for the Planet of the Apes

Cert 12A, 140 mins

Vue York, Reel, City Screen

From Weds July 12

Movie website

The third film in the rebooted Apes franchise finds noble chimpanzee leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) forced into war against a human army led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson).

When the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts as he looks for a way to avenge his kind, culminating in an epic battle between both sides.

The previous two films in the series have been popular and critical successes, praised for their combination of action, special effects and thought-provoking storytelling.

Drama

Alone in Berlin

Cert 12A, 103 mins

Vue York, City Screen

From Fri June 30

In Berlin in 1940, working class couple Otto and Anna Quangel (Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson) receive the news that their only son has died in battle.

In a daring act of rebellion, they begin printing and circulating anti-Nazi postcards, putting their lives at risk when they come to the attention of the Gestapo.

Adapted from the best-selling novel by Hans Fallada, which was itself based on real events.

The Beguiled

Cert 15, 94 mins

Vue York, City Screen

From Fri July 14

Movie website

Director Sofia Coppola’s first feature film The Virgin Suicides focussed on a closeted group of sisters in 1970s US suburbia.

Her latest shares a similar theme and one of its stars (Kirsten Dunst), but the period setting this time is the US civil war.

The Beguiled (for which Coppola won the Best Director award at this year’s Cannes Festival) is set in a girls’ school in Virginia whose occupants take in and care for an injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell). This disrupts the young women’s sheltered existence as sexual tensions and rivalries come to the fore.

Dunkirk

Cert TBC, TBC mins

Vue York, Reel, City Screen

From Fri July 21

Movie website

The latest film from Dark Knight and Interstellar director Christopher Nolan is an account of the evacuation of 330,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk in World War II.

Nolan has stressed that it is “not a war film” but “first and foremost a suspense film” as we wait to see which of the cast – including Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy alongside unknown newcomer Fionn Whitehead and the slightly better known Harry Styles – will make it to safety.

It’s said to be low on dialogue, but the trailer suggests it will be a spectacular and intense viewing experience.

Q&As

Summer in the Forest plus Randall Wright Q&A

Cert PG, 108 mins

City Screen

Mon July 10, 8:50pm

Movie website

L’Arche is a community for people with learning disabilities at the edge of a beautiful forest in Trosly-Breuil, France.

Its founder, Jean Vanier, is a Canadian Catholic who established L’Arche in the 1960s, going on to create many further communities across the world and changing attitudes to those with learning difficulties in the process.

Vanier, now in his ‘80s, still lives at L’Arche, and this documentary focusses on him and the residents in the Trosly-Breuil and Bethlehem communities. It has been described as ‘exceptionally moving’ and ‘a beautiful, poetic appreciation of humanity’.

The film’s director, Randall Wright, will answer questions after the screening.

Seasons and one-off screenings

City Screen’s Criminal Acts season continues this month, marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

There are screenings of Nighthawks (Mon July 10th), a vivid account of the London gay scene from 1978, alongside the more recent likes of Weekend (Tues July 18th), a drama about a one-night stand that becomes something more, and My Summer of Love (Mon July 31st), a rite of passage tale of a lesbian relationship in a quiet Yorkshire village.

As ever, City Screen also have a selection of one-off screenings of modern classics as part of their Vintage Sundays strand. If, like me, you believe films are always best experienced on the big screen, it’s well worth getting along to some of these.

This month’s choices range from the original animated Disney classic Beauty and the Beast (Sun July 2nd) to the slightly less heart-warming The Silence of the Lambs (Sun July 16th).

I’ll be hoping to get down for cult fantasy adventure The Princess Bride (Sun July 23rd), which despite being an ‘80s kid I’ve somehow never seen. (Full disclosure: I’ve never seen The Goonies either. But I have seen the Dolph Lundgren Masters of the Universe cash-in movie about 50 times. I know, I know…)

Finally, you can catch Dustin Hoffman getting seduced in The Graduate at both City Screen (Sun July 9th) and Vue York (Sun July 30th). The Vue screening is part of their ongoing 4K season, showing classic films on the latest super-sharp 4K digital projectors.

South Bank Community Cinema

If you’re looking for a more relaxed, intimate cinema experience, it’s worth keeping an eye on the South Bank Community Cinema’s schedule. A local club set up by film lovers, it shows films every two weeks on Friday evenings.

All screenings take place in Clement’s Hall on Nunthorpe Road. Tickets are £3 for members or £4 for guests.

They’ll shortly be taking their summer break so there’s only one film this month – 1997 sci-fi drama Gattaca, starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, on Friday 7th July (Cert 15, 106 mins).

James Beeken

James Beeken

James Beeken is a film fan, Britpop aficionado and appalling cook. He lives in York and in fear of someone remaking Back to the Future

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