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The Best New Films to See at the Cinema this Summer

Westerns, love-letters to journalism, and an epic sci-fi adventure, there's something for everyone at the box office right now.

The French Dispatch
The French Dispatch

The last two years have put many things on pause, and the release of fantastic new films is one of them. Luckily for us, many of these movies have made it to the big screen just in time for the summer holidays (and the arrival of La Nina).

Whether you're watching with friends, a date, the kids, or your family, there's an exciting and eclectic mix of new releases to cater to literally any taste. Think epic sci-fi thrillers best viewed at the IMAX, a poetic ode to journalism from Wes Anderson, a dreamy coming of age film, and Gaga in a dramatic flick about the fascinating luxury fashion house Gucci. Here are our top picks for the best new films to see at the cinema.

House of Gucci
House of Gucci
House of Gucci

Arguably one of the most hotly anticipated films of the summer season, House of Gucci takes audiences behind the doors of the glamorous (and badass) world of Gucci. Expect ridiculously gorgeous outfits, high stakes drama, sex, revenge and ultimately murder. Every bit the Italian mafia story, with the right dose of fashion and flare, this story is so shocking it sounds like it's made up.

If the themes don't compel you enough, the cast features some of the film and pop industry's most exciting names, from Lady Gaga, to Adam Driver and Al Pacino. Gather your friends and book tickets to this stat.

The French Dispatch
The French Dispatch
The French Dispatch

From the brilliant mind of auteur Wes Anderson, comes this adorable new film described as a "love letter to journalism". Taking inspiration from the format of the fictional newspaper from which the film derives its name, The French Dispatch is broken up into a series of mini stories each bringing to life a different segment of the paper.

The three hero stories in the anthology cover everything from food to art and politics and feature many of Anderson's regular names – Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Owen Wilson, as well as handsome newcomer Timothée Chalamet. With beautiful costumes, whimsy sets, and just the right amount of quirk, this is the perfect film for being whisked away to another world (and we all need a bit of that, right now).

Zola
Zola
Zola

Based on a wild viral Twitter thread (yes, you heard that right), Zola tells the story of a broke waitress from Detroit who tries her hand at stripping for a weekend. The 48 hours that follow bring jaw-dropping twists and turns that'll have you laughing, crying and spinning around in circles as you try to keep up with the chaos. 

A film for millennials through and through, Zola feels like a smarter, female-centric version of Spring Breakers with its dazzling glitter, dreamy hyper-realism, and unfiltered dialogue. This is truly a movie you will never forget. 

Dune
Dune
Dune

Many filmmakers have failed in their attempts to bring Dune to the big screen so the anticipation for this new adaptation of the book has been higher than ever. Directed by French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who is known for the latest Blade Runner remake, the epic sci-fi has been praised for its striking cinematography, sound design and character development.

After being deprived from seeing films at the cinema for so long, you'll fall in love with the magic of the movies all over again. Find the biggest screen you can (we suggest IMAX), gather your friends, stock up on snacks, and be prepared to have your mind blown.

Licorice Pizza
Licorice Pizza
Licorice Pizza 

There's a reason why coming of age films are so widely popular. The nostalgia of looking back on simple times — stumbling through romance, breaking the rules, and self discovery — are themes all audiences can relate to.

From the brains of master storyteller Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza follows Alana Kane (played by Alana Haim of the pop band HAIM) and Gary Valentine (played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman's son Cooper) as they fall in and out of love in 1970s California. Joyful, witty, and delightfully honest, this feels like the film we all need to salvage our souls this summer.

The Power of the Dog
The Power of the Dog
The Power of the Dog

Internationally acclaimed kiwi director Jane Campion wowed the world with her powerful period drama The Piano in the early 1990s. And now she's back, with lots of Oscar buzz surrounding her new western thriller The Power of the Dog.

Set in Outback Montana in 1925, the film follows two wealthy rangers exploring complex interpersonal relationships in a rugged setting. The slow, thought-provoking story demands patience of its audience, but its striking setting and interesting themes make it worth the wait. As does Benedict Cumberbatch's performance, which is quite the deviation from the witty, intellectual British characters he typically plays.

Whether you're a cinephile or are simply looking for a fun, wholesome way to fill your time, we hope you've added some of the best new films to see at the cinema this summer to your list. If staying home is more your cup of tea, check out these amazing Aussie tv shows, these movies for when you can't work out what to watch, or these great podcasts.