Five must-see movies to watch this summer

With summer upon us, if you can't take the heat, get out of the sun and into the cinema. Depending on what type of movie gets you going, we've compiled a must-see guide to the season's biggest and best.

For the romantics

Call Me By Your Name

If you only see one movie this summer, make it this one. Moonlight kicked off the year winning Best Picture at the Oscars and it concludes with director Luca Guadagnino's similarly queer romance, adapted from André Aciman's best-selling novel about an unlikely romance that blossoms over a hot, lazy Italian summer in 1983. Featuring the dashing Armie Hammer and a breakout performance by Timothée Chalamet (both nominated for Golden Globes), it's a truly beautiful cinema experience.

Release Date: Dec 26

Also see: Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck, Dec 14.

For the geeks

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The world lost their mind waiting for J.J. Abrams to bring back old friends Han, Leia and Luke in 2015's The Force Awakens, but they also feared they'd be as rubbish as Lucas' prequels. Thankfully it was a nostalgic blast, also introducing a next generation of heroes in Daisy Ridley's Rey, John Boyega's Finn and Oscar Isaac's Poe. Geeks are rightfully frothing for Looper director Rian Johnson's follow up and the fall-out of villainous Kylo Ren's (Adam Driver) daddy issues.

Release date: Dec 15

Also see: Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, Feb 15.


For the Oscar contender

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Scoring the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival, there's huge buzz around Frances McDormand's star turn in In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh's blackly comic drama. She plays a furiously grieving mother who takes on a police force she accuses of being too busy persecuting African Americans to investigate the brutal murder of her daughter. Packed with Oscar-baiting issues, McDonagh and McDormand make you laugh uncomfortably too.

Release Date: Jan 1

Also see: Steven Spielberg's The Post, Jan 11.

For the home team

Sweet Country

Samson and Delilah director Warwick Thornton took home awards at both Toronto and the Venice Film festival for his startling 1920s outback Western tackling fraught racial tension in the Northern Territory. Indigenous actor Hamilton Morris has been lauded for his role as a cattle station farmhand under the care of Sam Neill's Christian pioneer who fights back against the injustices of Ewen Leslie's brutal landowner.  

Release Date: Jan 25

Also see: Stephan Elliot's Swinging Safari, Jan 11.

For big laughs

Lady Bird

Hipster comedy queen Greta Gerwig steps behind the camera for her California-set directorial debut starring Saoirse Ronan as the self-renamed Lady Bird, a bored suburban teen stuck in her final year of Catholic high school, dreaming of escape. With the excellent Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts on board as her frustrated parents and the up-and-coming Chalamet as a love interest, this should be a fun comedy of errors with an independent spirit.

Release Date: Feb 15

Also see: Alexander Payne's Downsizing, Dec 26.