Over the next few months, you'll be targeted by some extremely persistent advertising agencies, backed by seven-figure budgets and hell bent on getting you into the cinema to watch The Angry Birds Movie and Independence Day: Resurgence. Their methods will range from traditional bus posters and television spots to horrendously forced attempts at 'going viral', and the world will be a much darker place for it.

Disney's marketing strategy last year surrounding the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was about as subtle as invasive surgery, the latter part of 2015 seeing Kylo Ren invade our personal space and watching intently from the label as we drank a cool and refreshing bottle of Volvic. But it worked, and these agencies got results and then some.

$935,832,841 later, Disney's licensing and marketing division could sleep well, intensely smug that their blanket coverage approach had worked and people had even gone to see the film on repeat occasions. Promotions all around, rinse and repeat for the next instalment.

Around the same time, Charlie Kaufman's majestic Anomalisa was released, and seen by about eight of you.

Both are great, albeit somewhat incomparable, but it is nonetheless evident as to which film needed the promotion and which would have done just fine without it. I wouldn't go as far as to say this is an injustice, as this is just the way 'the game' and public taste dictates, but it does mean that films deserving of your attention often get lost in a sea of endless franchises and shameless cash grabs.

The below list then, is comprised of films that I believe fit this criteria; films that you won't see plastered across buildings or public transport, and most importantly films that are not the Ghostbusters remake.


Everybody Wants Some!! (dir. Richard Linklater)

Off the back of Boyhood (2014), and perhaps his most innovative directorial work yet, Richard Linklater returns to the territory of what remains for many his most endearing film - Dazed and Confused (1993). Everybody Wants Some!! is touted as a spiritual successor to the '70s set teen comedy, shifting its focus to the '80s and to College/University as opposed to High School this time around. All the ingredients for a Linklater classic are present: the trademark charm of his comedic scripts, the insightful discussion of youth, and an expertly curated soundtrack, but it is yet to be seen how it will live up to the immense weight of simply being its prequel's sequel.

Linklater is not a director that has dulled with age, and though his career has gone on some unexpected tangents he has not made what could be considered a 'poor' film since '98 and The Newton Brothers. He's quickly establishing himself as one of America's most important active filmmakers, after largely being considered part of the indie leftfield for much of the last two decades, and is a strong reinforcement of the idea that you can still deliver universal messages through laugh out loud comedy, light-heartedness, and nostalgia.


Green Room (dir. Jeremy Saulnier)

With a crowdsourced budget of less than £300,000, Jeremy Saulnier's Blue Ruin demonstrated the power of this funding method, receiving wide critical acclaim and collecting an armful of 'independence' related awards along the way. Minimal, stark and prone to moments of intense rage, what was only his second film highlighted a unique perspective on violence and the justifications for it. So Saulnier's follow up, entitled Green Room, concerning a punk band trapped in an isolated Neo-Nazi bar after a gig gone sour, has got a lot of people talking.

If the premise isn't enticing enough, the fact that Patrick Stewart plays the role of Nazi patriarch should be, and if you've seen Blue Ruin then you'll know that the moral division between ideology and violence is an environment wherein Saulnier thrives. The trailer alone is an experience in itself, and if the full film is anywhere near as breakneck and intense, then we may just have a future cult classic on our hands.


Knight of Cups (dir. Terrence Malick)

will be the most divisive film on this list, a freeform poem as opposed to a conventional narrative experience. Before the turn of the millennium, Terrence Malick had made some of the most visually stunning films of the 20th century; Badlands (1973), Days of Heaven (1978), and The Thin Red Line (1998) - all classics and defining features of the American national cinema, the work of a true artist in the cinematic sense of the word.

Since 2000 however, and the release of The New World (2005), The Tree of Life (2011), and To The Wonder (2012), his audience has been waning and accusations of pretension have flooded in. The Tree of Life was the recipient of much of this vitriol, with the few cries of "genius" lost in a wider chorus of derision.

Knight of Cups then, will likely infuriate as much as much as it rewards its audience because it is about as coherent as a mushroom trip and equally as exhausting. Love it or loathe it, Malick's vision is still as completely unique as it ever was, and as he now dedicates his films to experimenting with the medium and our conceptions of it, he shows us a dimension of the artform that we will likely never see again.


Sonita (dir. Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami)

After winning the grand jury prize at this year's Sundance festival, Sonita has steadily been building momentum through celebratory word of mouth. The documentary follows a teenage Afghani refugee, living in Tehran, who dreams of becoming a famous rapper. She receives the news that she is to be married to the highest bidder as tradition dictates, but fights valiantly against her decided fate through her politically charged music.

Tense beyond belief and one of the most incredible stories about youth and music in recent memory, Sonita will steadily roll out into select theatres this May, but will undoubtedly go far beyond your local independent cinema once the populist audience gets a hold of it. Sonita is going to be huge.


Where To Invade Next (dir. Michael Moore)

An anomaly on this list as Michael Moore doesn't often need an introduction. Where to Invade Next is angling itself as a 'playful' and comedic piece in Moore's predominantly snarky filmography, its premise being the director 'invading' countries and cherry picking their best features to take back to America. Box office returns have highlighted it as his financially weakest yet, and early reviews are middling at best, but maybe the concept will appeal more to Europeans as it is our legislations that the film focuses on.

There's little chance it'll have the same earth shattering impact as Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), a film that arguably opened the door for big budget mainstream documentary, but a comedic and light-hearted Moore is infinitely more appealing than the holier-than-thou persona that he had developed in the work following Farenheit.


Swiss Army Man (dir. Daniels)

Like Weekend at Bernie's and Castaway had a lovechild with a taste for strong acid, it is still too early to tell if Swiss Army Man is actively taking the piss or not. Reviews have noted its sweetness and its heart, but one wonders if this is just going to be one big laugh at bodily functions and dead things. Paul Dano's performance as 'Pet Sounds' era Brian Wilson in 2015's Love and Mercy once again reminded us that he could carry off vulnerable and sweet, but save for Little Miss Sunshine way back in 2006, he has rarely exercised any outright comedic muscles. Daniel Radcliffe meanwhile, continues on his quest of distancing himself from Harry Potter as much as humanly possible, literally playing a corpse here.

I'm sceptical, but there's a chance this could be an endearing sleeper hit in the vein of Warm Bodies (2013), and if Radcliffe's presence can bring in the odd Potter completest off the street then there's a chance it could find an audience.