5 Things to Watch This Fourth of July Weekend


Keen to bulk up your watch list this holiday weekend? Look no further! From music documentaries to crime capers, road movies to mood pieces, there are all kinds of good things to catch—or catch up on—as you await the fireworks. Find our five recommendations for at-home (or in-theater!) viewings this Independence Day below. 

No Sudden Move: now streaming on HBO Max

This highly enjoyable, perfectly cast, effortlessly cool caper film set in 1950s Detroit is Steven Soderbergh’s 33rd film. 33rd! I’d argue that no director’s best film is his 33rd, so let’s set expectations accordingly: No Sudden Move is not Ocean’s 11, not Magic Mike, not Sex, Lies, and Videotape. What it is is two zippy hours of incredible actors (a lot of well dressed guys—Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Kieran Culkin, Brendan Fraser—including one uncredited surprise at the end you’ll be delighted by) double- and triple-crossing each other over a hyper-valuable car industry document thought to be secured in a safe at General Motors. Even when Soderbergh is not making films for the ages (I’d put No Sudden Move on par with his later-period diversions, such as High Flying Bird and Logan Lucky, and a cut above, say, Unsane and, ahem, the 93rd Oscars), he’s better than anyone at scenes that mix humor and tension, scenes of jostling male egos where gunshots and deadpan one-liners are equally likely to go off. —Taylor Antrim

Zola: currently in theaters

In the market for a swaggering summer saga involving strip clubs, gunfights, several very toxic relationships, and Nicholas Braun? Consider Zola, A24’s long-anticipated adaptation of Aziah “Zola” King’s viral Twitter thread from 2015. Directed and cowritten by Janicza Bravo with the playwright Jeremy O. Harris, the film stars Taylour Paige and Riley Keough as Zola and Jessica, two new friends who travel from Detroit to Tampa for a job—and encounter nothing but trouble when they’re there. Based, as it was, on her own lived experience, King was thrilled to help bring the film to life. “I think that Black writers and creatives, especially Black sex workers, have to tell their own stories through their own perspectives,” she recently told Vogue. “There are so many Black experiences told through non-Black eyes which doesn’t really translate well. That was a big focus of mine, Janicza’s, and Jeremy’s.” —Marley Marius


Among the many exciting additions to the Criterion Channel this month is an entire slate of films by the Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai. Featuring As Tears Go By (1988), Days of Being Wild (1990), Chungking Express (1994), Fallen Angels (1995), Happy Together (1997), the iconic In the Mood for Love (2000), and 2046 (2004), along with two shorts, the series celebrates the poeticism, daring, and pure good style of Wong’s cinematic universe. —M.M.

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised): now in theaters and streaming on Hulu

A new documentary from Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson takes as its subject the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a six-week musical event staged in Marcus Garvey Park. Featuring performances by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Sly and the Family Stone, the film captures a joyous string of Sundays very nearly lost to time; for some 50 years, footage from the festival had been gathering dust in a basement. “‘Summer of Soul’ is one of those rare films from which you emerge saying, ‘My favorite part was that bit. No, that bit. Wait, how about that bit?’” wrote Anthony Lane in his review for The New Yorker. “There’s no lack of great concert movies, so how to account for the urgent thrill of this one? Because of all the unhappy days. Because the whole of the Harlem Cultural Festival was, as someone remarks of Nina Simone’s imperious set, ‘like a rose coming through cement.’” It’s little wonder that Summer of Soul cinched both the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury and Audience awards at Sundance this year. —M.M.

Something’s Gotta Give: now streaming on Hulu

An old favorite arrived on Hulu this month: Nancy Meyers’s perennially charming Something’s Gotta Give (2003), starring Diana Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Keanu Reeves with winning supporting turns from Frances McDormand and Amanda Peet. Set primarily in East Hampton, New York, the film centers on a playwright in an unlikely love triangle—and features as many summer whites, farmstands, beach walks, and French music as anyone could hope for from a movie this weekend. C’est si bon! —M.M.


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