The 12 Movies Worth the Haul to the Multiplex in July

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From Esquire

Independence Day: Resurgence may not have blown up at the box-office, but the forthcoming July 4th holiday weekend is arguably the summer movie season's biggest – and marks the start to one of Hollywood's most hotly contested months of the year. In 2016, that means works from Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen, new entries in a number of fan-favorite franchises, and a controversial reboot of a beloved '80s comedy classic. Everyone will be talking about the following movies this month – and if you follow our multiplex-centric guide, you'll be ably prepped to participate in the cultural conversation.

The Legend of Tarzan (July 1)

While buzz has been muted for this latest reimagining of the legendary jungle-dwelling hero, this adventure film's impressive pedigree-it stars Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson, and is directed by Peter Yates (who handled the final four Harry Potter films, as well as this fall's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)-makes it one to catch.

The BFG (July 1)

For his first film for Disney, Steven Spielberg adapts Roald Dahl's 1982 children's novel (via a script by his E.T. screenwriter, the late Melissa Mathison) about a young orphan girl (Ruby Barnhill) who goes on an epic quest alongside a big friendly giant (Bridge of Spies Oscar-winner Mark Rylance).

The Purge: Election Year (July 1)

It's an annual tradition to experience the Purge, and in this third installment from writer/director James DeMonaco, Frank Grillo's police sergeant must protect a presidential candidate when the two wind up on the streets during the government-sponsored night of anything-goes chaos.

Equals (July 1)

In a dystopian future where human emotion has been eliminated, two individuals (Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart) find themselves falling in love with each other–thanks to a disease that allows them to feel–in this sci-fi romance.

The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

Following in the paw-steps of Toy Story, this latest animated comedy from Despicable Me creators Illumination Entertainment reveals the insane life led by household animals when their owners are away.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (July 8)

Based on a crazy true story, this ribald comedy concerns troublemaking brothers (Zac Efron and Adam DeVine) who get more than they bargained for when they agree to take two seemingly nice–but, in reality, out-of-control–dates (Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick) to a family wedding.

Captain Fantastic (July 8)

Viggo Mortensen is a reclusive father who, after decades raising his kids in the Pacific Northwest wild, slowly reintegrates himself and his brood into society in this progressives-courting indie drama.

Ghostbusters (July 15)

Paul Feig enlists Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones to don proton packs and battle undead specters in this reboot of the 1984 hit, which has already elicited heated backlash from some quarters of the online community.

Café Society (July 15; expanding wide on July 29)

Like clockwork, Woody Allen releases a new star-studded comedy each year. This July, that effort concerns a young man (Jesse Eisenberg) who moves to L.A. and falls in love with the secretary (Kristen Stewart) of his uncle (Steve Carell).

Star Trek Beyond (July 22)

Fast & Furious director Justin Lin takes over for J.J. Abrams for this third installment of the rebooted sci-fi series, which this time around focuses on the Enterprise crew's battle against a mysterious race of ruthless aliens.

Jason Bourne (July 29)

Nine years after The Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne in this self-titled sequel, which will find the spy again battling evil government forces while unraveling mysteries related to his own shadowy past.

Gleason (July 29)

The feel-good film of the summer may be this documentary about former New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason, who's spent the past five years of his post-NFL career battling ALS.