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3 underrated movies you need to watch in June 2024

Two men smoke in The Bikeriders.
Focus Features

In May, the summer movie season was officially inaugurated, and the results have been … mixed. The Fall Guy received great reviews for a summer blockbuster, but audiences mostly stayed away. They seemed to favor the primates in the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, yet another entry in the half-century-old Planet of the Apes movie series.

The June 2024 theatrical movie slate includes such potential hits as Pixar’s Inside Out 2, yet another Bad Boys action movie, and Kevin Costner’s ambitious first entry in the Horizon Western movie saga. Chances are, you know those movies are coming, but there are other films that warrant a trip to the theater or accessing your streaming subscription. The following films are vastly different from each other, but each one is guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable moviegoing experience.

Hit Man (June 7)

A man and a woman soak in a bathtub in Hit Man.

Is it possible for a movie’s own studio to underrate one of its films even before it’s released? Hit Man debuted at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival to enthusiastic reviews, with critics hailing the movie’s charming blend of romance and comedy (just don’t call it a rom-com) and star Glen Powell’s charismatic lead performance as the titular hit man, who doesn’t really kill people. (It’s a long story.)

Many have lamented that Hit Man isn’t getting a wide theatrical release, due to Netflix’s rigid streaming-centric strategy, because it displays such a fresh mass appeal that would kill in a packed, air-conditioned theater during the hot summer months. Alas, they said the same thing about The Fall Guy, and look how that turned out? Director Richard Linklater has a near spotless track record, and if Hit Man reaches the heights of his previous summery movies Dazed and Confused (still a stoner comedy classic) or Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (one of the best movies of 2022), it will become another modern genre classic.

The Bikeriders (June 21)

A man and a woman talk next to a motorcycle in The Bikeriders.
Focus Features

Another holdover from 2023, The Bikeriders sports one of the sexiest casts of the season. Dune: Part Two villain Austin Butler stars as Benny, a young member of a motorcycle bike club that roams 1960s America in search of adventure and, sometimes, trouble. That often is caused by Johnny (Tom Hardy), the leader of the gang, who gradually steers the gang of outlaws and outcasts into  violent organized crime. This doesn’t sit well with Benny, and thus, a conflict filled with motor oil and testosterone is born.

Also starring Jodie Comer, Mike Faist (Challengers), Michael Shannon, Norman Reedus, and Boyd Holbrook, The Bikeriders is directed by Jeff Nichols, who helmed the excellent Take Shelter and Mud. There’s not a lot of films like The Bikeriders on movie screens — ones with an emphasis on human conflict rather than CGI set pieces — so now ‘s the time to see a drama made for adults while you can.

Last Summer (June 28)

A woman and her stepson laugh in Last Summer.
SBS Productions

What could be more appropriate for summer than a sunlit romance? Last Summer chronicles the blossoming attraction between Anne, a hard-working lawyer, and Theo, a sensitive dude who doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. They do all the things lovers in these movies usually do: bike rides in the countryside, long talks at night, etc. There are only three problems: Anne is married, she’s married to Theo’s father, and Theo is her 17-year-old stepson. Zoinks!

Last Summer is directed by Catherine Breillat, who knows a thing or two about making films that push people’s buttons. (Among her past works are the X-rated Romance, Fat Girl, and Anatomy of Hell.) Last Summer is, of course, controversial, with the whole sleeping-with-your-stepson plotline, but it’s also a compelling ,complicated work that looks at the terrible things people do when they think they are in love. If you crave a film that plumbs the depth of one woman’s desires and morality, Last Summer is for you.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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