10 Awesome Indie Movies Coming Your Way This Year

Historically speaking, January is a wasteland at the cineplex. Its the time of year reserved for titles studios seem to not have much faith in. For example: Did you know Michael Keaton recently played the founder of McDonalds in a movie conveniently called, yes, The Founder? How about A Dogs Purpose, a live-action drama in which Josh Gad voices a dog that dies and then is reborn across five decades? There is also a new Underworld flick. Each of these films are playing at a theater near you. Right now. As you read these words.

But youre not sprinting out to a theater to catch Josh Gad voicing a labrador, right? Not even Josh Gad is leaving the house to watch that. Thankfully, better films are on the horizon, and each year the Sundance Film Festival, which wrapped this weekend, gives cinephiles a glimpse of what’s coming in the year ahead. From sweeping period dramas to gritty genre flicks to inventive indies, 2017 holds more than a few cinematic treasures. Here are 10 of them.

I Dont Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, I Dont Feel at Home in This World Anymore proves to be as intriguing as its nearly double-digit title. Melanie Lynskey plays a dejected woman who comes home one afternoon to discover shes been burglarized. Uninterested in remaining passive, she decides to launch an internal investigation with the assistance of her oddball neighbor (Elijah Wood). Bloodshed and chase sequences aside, Macon Blairs directorial debut is ultimately aPSA for human decency.
Release Date: February 24 on Netflix

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, I Dont Feel at Home in This World Anymore proves to be as intriguing as its nearly double-digit title. Melanie Lynskey plays a dejected woman who comes home one afternoon to discover shes been burglarized. Uninterested in remaining passive, she decides to launch an internal investigation with the assistance of her oddball neighbor (Elijah Wood). Bloodshed and chase sequences aside, Macon Blairs directorial debut is ultimately aPSA for human decency.
Release Date: February 24 on Netflix

Lemon

Fleabag star Brett Gelman’s efforts are on full-display in Lemon, Janicza Bravos groundbreaking seriocomedy about an actor (Gelman) whose life is falling apart. His increasingly absent (and blind) girlfriend (Judy Greer) wants out, his on-screen career is plummeting, and his students (he teaches an acting class) are uncertain of why they signed up for this course. On paper, the film is an unrelenting bummera one-note story about a middle-aged sad sack destined for failure. The finished product is something wildly different. Bravo and company consistently (and creatively) find a way to laugh at the paineven when despondency seems like the only option.
Release Date: TBD

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

Fleabag star Brett Gelman’s efforts are on full-display in Lemon, Janicza Bravos groundbreaking seriocomedy about an actor (Gelman) whose life is falling apart. His increasingly absent (and blind) girlfriend (Judy Greer) wants out, his on-screen career is plummeting, and his students (he teaches an acting class) are uncertain of why they signed up for this course. On paper, the film is an unrelenting bummera one-note story about a middle-aged sad sack destined for failure. The finished product is something wildly different. Bravo and company consistently (and creatively) find a way to laugh at the paineven when despondency seems like the only option.
Release Date: TBD

Kuso

Triggered by an earthquake, Flying Lotus presents a particularly unhinged version of Los Angeles in Kuso. The sordid proceedings include physical deformities, erect penises, a sliced eyeball, unimaginably disturbing images of sex, buckets of feces, and loads (sorry) of semen. Disjointed by nature, Lotus (under his real name, Steve Ellison) has put together a compendium of semi-connected short films. Their plots are unique, and mostly irrelevant. The spectacle is the spectacle here. If you can stomach images that are disturbing, grotesque, and repulsive, keep your eyes peeled for its inevitable release. Everyone else? Stay far away.
Release Date: TBD

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

Triggered by an earthquake, Flying Lotus presents a particularly unhinged version of Los Angeles in Kuso. The sordid proceedings include physical deformities, erect penises, a sliced eyeball, unimaginably disturbing images of sex, buckets of feces, and loads (sorry) of semen. Disjointed by nature, Lotus (under his real name, Steve Ellison) has put together a compendium of semi-connected short films. Their plots are unique, and mostly irrelevant. The spectacle is the spectacle here. If you can stomach images that are disturbing, grotesque, and repulsive, keep your eyes peeled for its inevitable release. Everyone else? Stay far away.
Release Date: TBD

Newness

Hit-and-miss director Drake Doremus (Like Crazy, Equals) returned to Park City this year with Newness, a potent drama about two millennials (played by Laia Costa and Nicholas Hoult) tired of 21st century romance: the dating apps, the empty hookups, the vapid relationships. Despite their surroundings, the two manage to forge a substantive connection. On-the-nose premise aside, Doremus weaves a meet-cute worth watching.
Release Date: TBD

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

Hit-and-miss director Drake Doremus (Like Crazy, Equals) returned to Park City this year with Newness, a potent drama about two millennials (played by Laia Costa and Nicholas Hoult) tired of 21st century romance: the dating apps, the empty hookups, the vapid relationships. Despite their surroundings, the two manage to forge a substantive connection. On-the-nose premise aside, Doremus weaves a meet-cute worth watching.
Release Date: TBD

The Big Sick

The Big Sick is one of those rare movies you immediately fall for. Penned by husband and wife Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the film is an autobiographical retelling of their love story. Kumail plays himself (a fledgling comedian in Chicago) while Zoe Kazan takes on the part of Emily. As Kazan and Nanjiani convincingly maneuver through the complexities of monogamy, we understand when they are hypnotized by one another. And when they are angry, we feel it. The film eschews generalities and embraces the scripts specificity. Its a beautiful, personal take on love, warts and all.
Release Date: TBD

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

The Big Sick is one of those rare movies you immediately fall for. Penned by husband and wife Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the film is an autobiographical retelling of their love story. Kumail plays himself (a fledgling comedian in Chicago) while Zoe Kazan takes on the part of Emily. As Kazan and Nanjiani convincingly maneuver through the complexities of monogamy, we understand when they are hypnotized by one another. And when they are angry, we feel it. The film eschews generalities and embraces the scripts specificity. Its a beautiful, personal take on love, warts and all.
Release Date: TBD

78/52

The man behind The People vs. George Lucas decides to boldly switch it up with 78/52an almost a clinical examination of Alfred Hitchcocks Psycho. More specifically, documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe is interested in dissecting the infamous shower scene from the 1960 masterpiece. As the doc continues, Philippe and a myriad of horror enthusiasts (directors, actors, biographers, screenwriters) cant help but contextualize Hitchcocks inimitable career from every possible perspective. Its in this illuminating conversation about the master of suspense where 78/52 finds its legsand purpose.
Release Date: TBD

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

The man behind The People vs. George Lucas decides to boldly switch it up with 78/52an almost a clinical examination of Alfred Hitchcocks Psycho. More specifically, documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe is interested in dissecting the infamous shower scene from the 1960 masterpiece. As the doc continues, Philippe and a myriad of horror enthusiasts (directors, actors, biographers, screenwriters) cant help but contextualize Hitchcocks inimitable career from every possible perspective. Its in this illuminating conversation about the master of suspense where 78/52 finds its legsand purpose.
Release Date: TBD

Person to Person

Without mimicking the milieus of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman, Person to Person announces the arrival of director Dustin Guy Defa. His film is a moving triptych about New Yorkers wading through problems of all shapes and sizes, but there are two clear standouts. The first is Bene (Bene Coopersmith), a record collector who spends most of his screen time running around town in search of a Charlie Parker album. Then theres Wendy (Tavi Gevinson), a tempestuous teenager navigating her own sexuality. Accompanied by an esteemed cast (Philip Baker Hall, Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera), each scene benefits from a soundtrack of deep-cut soul tracks that add warmth and tenderness to each interaction.
Release Date: TBD

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

Without mimicking the milieus of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman, Person to Person announces the arrival of director Dustin Guy Defa. His film is a moving triptych about New Yorkers wading through problems of all shapes and sizes, but there are two clear standouts. The first is Bene (Bene Coopersmith), a record collector who spends most of his screen time running around town in search of a Charlie Parker album. Then theres Wendy (Tavi Gevinson), a tempestuous teenager navigating her own sexuality. Accompanied by an esteemed cast (Philip Baker Hall, Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera), each scene benefits from a soundtrack of deep-cut soul tracks that add warmth and tenderness to each interaction.
Release Date: TBD

The Discovery

Three years have passed since Charlie McDowell (son of Martin McDowell) made his dazzling directorial debut, The One I Love. His follow-up, The Discovery, doesnt disappoint. The premise? Dr. Thomas Harbor (Robert Reford) has made a scientific discovery that throws the whole world for a loop. The ambiguity in the log-line is key. With a star-studded cast (Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Riley Keough), McDowell solidifies himself as a filmmaker capable of helming intellectually dense sci-fi.
Release Date: March 31 on Netflix

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

Three years have passed since Charlie McDowell (son of Martin McDowell) made his dazzling directorial debut, The One I Love. His follow-up, The Discovery, doesnt disappoint. The premise? Dr. Thomas Harbor (Robert Reford) has made a scientific discovery that throws the whole world for a loop. The ambiguity in the log-line is key. With a star-studded cast (Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Riley Keough), McDowell solidifies himself as a filmmaker capable of helming intellectually dense sci-fi.
Release Date: March 31 on Netflix

XX

Heralded as the first all-female horror anthology in cinema history, XX finds four filmmakers operating in their element. A mix of bona-fide veterans and emerging artists, the compendium includes work from Roxanne Benjamin, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Jovanka Vuckovic, and Karyn Kusama. Interspersed between each unnerving vignette is animation work from Sofia Carrillo. The primary highlights come from Benjamin and Clark (“Dont Fall” and “The Birthday Party”), both of whom exhibit distinct visions worthy of being turned into feature films.
Release Date: February 17

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

Heralded as the first all-female horror anthology in cinema history, XX finds four filmmakers operating in their element. A mix of bona-fide veterans and emerging artists, the compendium includes work from Roxanne Benjamin, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Jovanka Vuckovic, and Karyn Kusama. Interspersed between each unnerving vignette is animation work from Sofia Carrillo. The primary highlights come from Benjamin and Clark (“Dont Fall” and “The Birthday Party”), both of whom exhibit distinct visions worthy of being turned into feature films.
Release Date: February 17

The New Radical

Somehow more upsetting than the 1990s band of (nearly) the same name, The New Radical is a polemical documentary about Cody Wilson,whomost notably garnered attention as the man spearheading 3D printed guns back in 2012. The film succeeds in presenting a prismatic portrait of Wilson: brash, entertaining, highly intelligent, and comically antagonistic. Documentarian Adam Bhala Lough, though, carefully avoids articulating any political positions both he and the film may hold, and whether you leave enlightened or revolted, The New Radical is guaranteed to elicit aresponse.
Release Date: TBD

Credit: courtesy Sundance Institute

Somehow more upsetting than the 1990s band of (nearly) the same name, The New Radical is a polemical documentary about Cody Wilson,whomost notably garnered attention as the man spearheading 3D printed guns back in 2012. The film succeeds in presenting a prismatic portrait of Wilson: brash, entertaining, highly intelligent, and comically antagonistic. Documentarian Adam Bhala Lough, though, carefully avoids articulating any political positions both he and the film may hold, and whether you leave enlightened or revolted, The New Radical is guaranteed to elicit aresponse.
Release Date: TBD

Read more: https://www.wired.com/2017/01/best-of-sundance/