The Boys, Season 1 (Amazon Original series) (available 7/26)
Seth Rogen teamed up with longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Preacher) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural) to create a dark comedy based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis. It's about what the world might be like if superheroes but were treated like pampered celebrities and abused their power and status. Really makes you think. Enter the self-righteous and not-so-precious group of vigilantes, The Boys, who try to take down corrupt superheroes and the massive corporation who manages them. Karl Urban, Chace Crawford, Jack Quaid, Jennifer Esposito, and more star in the adaptation.
Peterloo (Amazon Original movie) (available 7/3)
One of the best movies of the year, Peterloo is Mike Leigh's politically daring and immensely moving historical drama about the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, and a film that takes the nitty-gritty process of coalition-building seriously. Equally concerned with tactics and rhetoric, Leigh's movie is the rare cinematic portrayal of the past that refuses to focus on a single "great" individual; instead, it shows how radical change can be effected by groups coming together in pursuit of common goals. Climbing on a soapbox, potentially exposing yourself as a blabbering fool or as a galvanizing leader, requires its own type of bravery. Peterloo's brilliance lies in its ability to examine that courage and the quieter moments in between.
Under the Silver Lake (available 7/1)
Full disclosure: You may not like David Robert Mitchell’s follow up to It Follows, Under the Silver Lake, even after spending nearly two and a half hours in its company. But you will be hooked. Andrew Garfield plays a creep named Sam, living in an LA compound and ogling the women in his vicinity. He's particularly fixated on his neighbor Sarah (Riley Keough), and when she mysteriously disappears one night after they hang out, he becomes obsessed with figuring out where she went. This takes him down some strange holes -- some metaphorical and some literal -- throughout the city, as he investigates the cryptic world of the rich and powerful. Garfield crafts a protagonist that's as watchable as he is thoroughly unappealing, and the film seems designed to inspire obsession among at least some of its viewers. You may think it's all nonsense -- and maybe it is -- but it's a trip worth taking.