Seriously Good Summer Films

Noted film critic Bill Newcott, creator of AARP’s “Movies for Grownups,” offers his picks.

Actor Christopher Plummer wearing a yellow ball cap
(Sony Pictures Classics)

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If superhero flicks leave you defeated and sequels seem stale, Bill Newcott has a few recommendations that will perk up your summer screen time.

Boundaries (June 22)

Actor Christopher Plummer wearing a yellow ball cap
(Sony Pictures Classics)

Christopher Plummer continues his string of superb late-career performances, this time as the cranky ne’er-do-well father of a single mom (Vera Farmiga) on a road trip from Washington State to L.A. Plummer has mastered the role of the charming rascal, and the pair are surrounded by a top-notch supporting cast that includes Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Fonda, and the always wondrous Christopher Lloyd.

Woman Walks Ahead (June 29)

Actors Jessica Hastain and Michael Greyeyes on horseback.

The Wild West is no place for a woman — or so they tell Brooklyn painter Caroline Weldon (Jessica Chastain), who ignores everyone’s warnings and heads to Dakota Territory, determined to get Chief Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes) to sit for a portrait. Sparks fly, of course, and not just from the campfire. Sam Rockwell is perfect as a racist but conflicted officer, and Bill Camp is infuriatingly charming as a duplicitous Army bigwig.

Yellow Submarine (July 8)

The Beatles walk through a psychedelic cartoon landscape
(United Artists)

For two generations, the Beatles’ hallucinogenic toon trip has been confined to home screens. Now, for the film’s 50th anniversary, the animated lads are setting sail in theaters nationwide. Disney was the only big-screen cartoon game in town in 1968, so absolutely nobody was prepared for the mind-blowing impact of this Peter Max-inspired kaleidoscope of Blue Meanies, Apple Bonkers, and acid-laced imagery. If you don’t see it on as large a screen as possible, you’re nowhere, man.

For biweekly video reviews of the latest films, go to or check out Bill Newcott’s website,

This article is featured in the July/August 2018 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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  1. All of these films sound great Bill. ‘Boundaries’ and ‘Woman Walks Ahead’. These look like great stories (obviously) intended for intelligent people who steer clear of nearly anything not in limited release.

    I didn’t know ‘Yellow Submarine’ was being re-released again for the big screen. I saw it at the time in 1968, at 11, and LOVED it. I will again next month—even more!

    Peter Max has always been a particular favorite artist, and I’d love to see an avant garde new cover for the POST by Mr. Max, very much. It would be a first for him, and the magazine. One heck of a match up? I’ll say!


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