To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix, Now)
Lara Jean (Lana Condor) is a dreamer and romantic who has crushes on various boys for various reasons, each time writing them a letter she never sends. As we see in the trailer, somehow those letters get out there and into the hands of the boys. It’s kind of cool that the trailer leaves it there as it’s a natural stopping point, setting the rest of the movie up as a “what happens next” event. A second trailer released later on gets to that point more quickly and shows how Lara Jean is being pushed to to be more adventurous in life by her father, sister and friends.
Star Lana Condor was interviewed here about the movie and the importance of bringing more diversity to rom-coms, as was author Jenny Han, on whose book the movie is based. Han also wrote an op-ed about the movie adaptation that included mention of how Netflix was the only production house that didn’t want to “whitewash” the characters to not be Asian. The issue of race also came up in this interview with the producers. Co-star Noah Centineo also got some attention in this profile. The cast had some fun recreating classic rom-com moments as well.
Condor was featured in a Netflix-released featurette talking about representation and how she longed for more movies with people who looked like here. She also publicly declared which romantic pairing from the story she shipped. Han kept speaking about the power of the cast and the story. She and the movie’s costume designer spoke here about the main character’s fashion sense. Another fun video had the cast engaging in some bad flirting.
Another fun little feature video from Netflix, this one with the cast reading their old love letters and other with them writing their own fan fiction. Costar Noah Centineo takes you on a tour of Netflix headquarters in this little video.
Flavors of Youth (Netflix, Now)
Netflix branches into anime with this original film telling the stories of three Japanese youths connected by a cassette tape being circulated. The trailer sells it as an interesting, realistic drama that’s still filled with a fantasy feel about it.
Madeline’s Madeline (Limited Release, Now)
A young woman named Madeline (Helena Howard) is encouraged to bring the same sense of imagination and adventure to her life as she brings to her theater troupe, a move that begins to blur the lines between reality and fantasy for her and those around her. That wild sense of visual creativity is seen in the trailer, which doesn’t explain much about the story but instead just focuses on the performances and the strange behavior from Madeline and everyone else. It also heavily touts Howard as a breakout star. The cast and director also helped promote the movie when it screened at BAMcinemaFest.
Like Father (Netflix, Now)
Rachel (Kristen Bell), we learn as the trailer opens, has just been left at the altar and is out drinking with the father (Kelsey Grammer) who she barely knows and carries a lot of ill-will toward. That drinking has lead to her taking him on the cruise that was originally meant to be her honeymoon. With a lot of time together in a small space, the two begin to talk through and deal with a lifetime of anger and regrets in a movie that looks completely charming, thanks in large part to the two leads.
Netflix created a video featuring estranged fathers and daughters reuniting after years apart, all of which was very emotional. And writer/director Lauren Miller Rogen spoke about why she wanted to tell this story as well as what it was like directing her first feature and working with Netflix. Other interviews here and here with writer/director Lauren Miller Rogen on the personal experiences that inspired her to tell this story. Kristen Bell showed up on “Kimmel” to engage in her usual banter and hijinks. And Seth Rogen did a bit on “Late Night” while the cast offered their advice on karaoke.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Netflix, Now)
The trailer focuses on Juliet (Lily James) and how she seeks out the group named in the title after her life in London turns out to be less exciting and interesting than she once hoped. In traveling to meet the society, she also becomes enamored with Sidney (Matthew Goode), an attachment that is more complicated when Mark (Glen Powell) returns from the war to her life. There’s been a bit of other marketing for the movie that happened before it was acquired by Netflix and given a release date, but this is a strong trailer that highlights James’ performance. James and the rest of the cast offered their their thoughts in a featurette about the popularity of the source book and their characters.
The Bookshop (Limited Release, Now)
Emily Mortimer plays a young woman who has the nerve to open a bookshop in a very conservative English town where the locals are dead set against her operating the shop in their midst. The trailer shows how she stands up to all the powerful forces who don’t want her to succeed as well as those who champion her cause, even if they have to do so quietly in order to not rock any boats where they live. Mortimer was interviewed about this movie and her career so far.
Summer of ‘84 (Limited Release, Now)
The trailer for this movie really works hard to evoke a sense of it being pulled straight from the early 1980s. It establishes that the story will revolve around a group of teenage boys who come to believe a serial killer is responsible for a string of mysterious deaths and disappearances in their small town. Mostly, though, it’s about presenting something that looks directly inspired by the Amblin releases of 35 years ago, with the kids riding their bikes everywhere and ogling the girl next door in the days before internet access. Even the soundtrack is designed to reinforce the Reagan Era setting. The filmmakers were interviewed about the story, setting and more.
We The Animals (Limited Release Now)
The movie debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it received plenty of positive buzz and word of mouth for the story director Jeremiah Zagar has put on screen, drawing a few comparisons to Moonlight. The Orchard eventually acquired the film shortly after the festival ended. The trailer presents a movie dripping with themes of childhood escapism and fantasy while showing a family that is stronger together but which is constantly fracturing apart, leaving the boys to fend for themselves. There was also a making-of featurette released and the director spoke about the power of familial love. The Orchard has released a series of videos that introduce the audience to the child actors who are receiving such acclaim from critics.
The Package (Netflix, Now)
A group of friends – and a few girls – go into the woods on a weekend camping trip and hilarity ensues. Based on the trailer this plays out exactly as you’d expect if you’ve seen any movies with this premise that have come out since the early 1980s. A second trailer offers a bit more narrative flow. The cast participated in some inkblot tests, most of which seem to be reminiscent of a particular item from the movie.
Never Goin’ Back (Limited Release, Now)
The first red band trailer has Angela waking Jessie up to tell her something and we get a look at their friendship. The pair are planning a trip to the beach to take a break from their lives, but it’s not like they’re overly ambitious as it is. They show up high at work, don’t take care of their house and so on, all in the name of having a good time and living what they feel are their best lives.
It’s pretty clear on the poster that Angela and Jessie are high af on the poster, their eyes closed blissfully as they just sort of mellow out. The perspective of the image reinforces that, showing clouds wafting about around them. Audiences are being sold on a female stoner comedy here.
The movie was among those making their debut at the Sundance Film Festival, where Frizzell talked about the long and sometimes painful journey she took to make it. After that it was also screened at the SXSW Film Festival. A24 picked it up before that even started. Closer to release writer-director Augustine Frizzell spoke a couple times about how she wanted to upend some of the teen comedy tropes and make a movie about female friendship. The two stars also partook in a fashion shoot shared here and creating the raunchy comedy here.
Night Comes On (Limited Release, Now)
The first trailer, released in June, sells a stark and emotional movie. After Angel is released from jail she sets out to find the father who has caused her and her sister Abby so much pain. Abby insists on coming along but is soon disturbed by what Angel seems to have in mind for the moment she finds him.
The movie had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was picked up by Samuel Goldwyn Films a few months later for a planned summer release. In early August director Jordana Spiro along with a few members of the cast were interviewed about how they wanted to convey the authenticity of the story without being exploitative.
Blaze (Limited Release, Now)
The story being told in the trailer is both epic in scope and intimate in focus. Blaze, as we both see and are told, is an outsized personality of rare talent but also notable instability. He’s driven by inspiration and demons that make him both revered by those who know him and forgotten by those who don’t see the genius lurking underneath the madness. We see him performing, writing and loving his wife even as we see the self-destructive behavior that sabotages his chances at success in any pursuit.
The film was frequently named as one of the most-anticipated to debut at the Sundance Film Festival, a debut preceded by a feature interview with Hawke about his long history with the festival. Hawke kept talking while there about the spontaneity and chaos of making the movie and how he worked to make sure it came off as something he *needed* to do, not just a whim he was indulging. After that it was also screened at the SXSW Film Festival. It was acquired by Sundance Selects for limited distribution a few weeks after that.
Breaking and Exiting (Limited Release, Now)
It’s a very unique meet-cute on display in the trailer, which presents the story of a burglar who winds up sticking around for a bit when his robbery attempt brings him into contact with a suicidal woman. It looks funny and a bit tragic.
Arizona (Digital Release, Now)
The title of the film is presented on the poster as a tourism logo, set over the array of homes in a still-developing subdivision, one of which is burning as Sonny walks calmly in front of it carrying his golf club. It definitely conveys a mixed sense of humor and drama, with blood dripping from the title and the movie’s bonafides coming in the form of creator credits toward the bottom.
The first trailer sells a comedy that’s dark as all get-out. We see Sonny be a total amateur – albeit a deadly one – as he kidnaps Cassie and holds her hostage, seeking to take out his frustrations over the collapsed housing market and the skyrocketing terms of his mortgage on her. He’s not too bright but he is angry, which leads to some bad situations, especially when an equally oblivious cop becomes involved and more people start dying.
The movie screened at the Sundance Film Festival, where McBride and Olsen both talked about shooting it as well as why they’re often drawn to play such unusual characters who are out on the edge of what’s deemed socially-acceptable. Several months passed before it was finally bought by RLJE Films, which said it would be getting a summer release. McBride was interviewed about the fun he had making the movie and how that contrasted with the movie’s dark tone, something also touched on by director Jonathan Watson.
What Keeps You Alive (Limited Release, Now)
Jules is shown bloody and confused, standing in the woods on the first poster. There’s no explanation as to what’s happening or why she looks like that, just a single critic quote and the impression that someone is having an unexpectedly weird day.
There’s a lot happening in the first trailer, which shows a very twisted relationship that takes a turn for the even more surreal and dangerous. Jackie begins a strange psychological game with Jules once they arrive at the cabin for their anniversary and by the end everyone’s just out to survive. It’s dark and grim and looks appropriately psychotic.
The movie was identified by a few critics as one of their most-anticipated of those screening at SXSW in 2018. While the buzz there was pretty good it was over a month after that debut before it was acquired by IFC Midnight. Star Brittany Allen was interviewed about the terrifying shoot.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.