Summer at the movies has a reputation for big, loud, explosive and sometimes mind-numbing blockbuster films (rounded up for you here). But for those not into computer-generated robot apocalypses or Vin Diesel's biceps, there are plenty of alternatives, many of them independent films that gained momentum on the festival circuit.
Here are some of the summer's anti-blockbuster films:
The English Teacher: Julianne Moore plays a high school English teacher who helps a former student produce a play he wrote and – surprise! – she falls for him. Featured at Tribeca Film Festival, "The English Teacher" is already being reviewed as a delightful, if conventional, rom-com. (May 17)
Before Midnight: A favorite on the festival circuit, the affair between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) – first started in 1995's "Before Sunrise" and continued in 2004's "Before Sunset" – has its latest (and reportedly final) chapter in an idyllic Greek setting. (May 24)
The Kings of Summer: This coming-of-age film garnered rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. Three teenage boys escape to the woods one summer, with Nick Offerman (of "Parks and Recreation") playing a watchful father. (May 31)
Dirty Wars: This Sundance Festival documentary follows journalist Jeremy Scahill as he investigates some of the most controversial U.S. practices abroad in the global war on terror. (June 7)
Some Girl(s): Adam Brody plays a soon-to-be wed man (known only as "Man") who travels around the country seeking closure with his ex-girlfriends. This film adaptation of a Neil LaBute play premiered at the SXSW film festival and features Jennifer Morrison, Mía Maestro, Emily Watson, Zoe Kazan and Kristen Bell. (June 28)The Way Way Back: Getting mixed-to-positive reviews after its Sundance premiere, the comedy features a teenage boy stuck at the beach with his mom (Toni Collette), her new boyfriend (Steve Carell, in a less-than-likeable role) and his daughter. (July 5)
Girl Most Likely: Kristen Wiig leads this comedy about a woman rebounding from a mental breakdown. Annette Bening plays her mother, Matt Dillon her mother's new boyfriend and Darren Criss (of "Glee") her love interest. (July 19)
Fruitvale Station: This film, a star at the Sundance Film Festival, examines the real-life story of a 22-year-old African-American man shot by a police officer at an Oakland subway station. (July 26)
Lovelace: Amanda Seyfried stars as the infamous porn star Linda Lovelace of "Deep Throat" fame, in a film screened at Sundance and met with decent reviews. (Aug. 9)
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