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Culture | What we’ll be watching and reading this July

In hopefully the last self-isolation special, HLN's Chris Kingston shares our top books, films and tv shows coming out this month for you to enjoy.

By Christopher Kingston

After months of self-isolation, it looks like we’re finally returning to some form of normality in our everyday lives. While shopping centres opened their doors once again in June, this month we will see the reopening of pubs, hotels, restaurants and most importantly the cinemas.

However, movies that were due to be released at the end of July – like Disney’s Mulan and the new Christopher Nolan thriller Tenet – have been pushed back to August.

In what will hopefully be our last self-isolation special, we take another look at what is making its debut this month. 

Starring Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns) as forgotten American founding father Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton is set against the backdrop of the American War of Independence, comparing America of the past with the America of today. An adaptation of one of the most popular Broadway shows of all time, this one is well worth a watch.

Hamilton – Out now – Disney +

Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks plays an inexperienced Navy Captain who leads an allied convoy crossing the North Atlantic as they are stalked by Nazi U-boats. Set in 1942, this is a tense and deadly game of cat and mouse as he chases down the attacking submarines and the hunted becomes the hunter.

Greyhound – 10 July – Apple TV +

The latest superhero film to hit our screens sees Charlize Theron leading a group of centuries-old immortal mercenaries, who must fight to keep their secret and maintain their freedom.

The Old Guard – 10 July – Netflix 

A Black detective of the Colorado Springs Police Department works with his Jewish colleague to infiltrate a group of white supremacists. Rising Star John David Washington (Tenet) and Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) play the detectives in this Oscar-winning comedy-crime film directed by Spike Lee.

BlackkKklansman – 24 July – Netflix -DVD/ Blu Ray 

Russell Crowe’s new psychological thriller Unhinged has been chosen to be the first major movie released in Cinemas post-lockdown. Crowe plays a terrifying character who overreacts when he gets tooted at by Rachel (Caren Pistorious) during rush hour traffic. Taking road rage to a whole new level, Rachel and everyone she holds dear finds themselves the target of a man who feels invisible and wishes to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her some deadly lessons

Unhinged – 31 July – In Cinemas

Netflix brings a lively new take on The Babysitters Club, based on the classic books of the same name by Ann M Martin. We follow the lives of a group of Connecticut girls and their friendship and adventures as they form a babysitting business. Make sure you look out for Alicia Silverstone (of Clueless fame) who plays one of the mums.

The Babysitters Club – Out Now – Netflix

Move over Jason Bourne there’s a new assassin in town. Based on the movie of the same name, the second season sees Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) on the run from the authorities and CIA agent Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) as she investigates the Utrax program and a school full of CIA trained girls.

Hanna – Season 2 – out now – Amazon Prime 

Cate Blanchett leads a largely female-led cast in this 1970s-set show loosely based on the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and the unexpected backlash. With an amazing line up of women – including Sarah Paulson and Rose Byrne – this is a one to binge-watch.

Mrs. America – 8 July – BBC 2

Yet another retelling of the King Arthur legend, however this time it’s from the perspective of young rebel Nimue. Armed with mysterious powers and a legendary sword, she joins forces with Arthur in an attempt to find Merlin and save her people. Based on the illustrated novel of the same name by comic book writer Frank Miller, this is perfect for fans of The Witcher (also on Netflix).

Cursed – 17 July – Netflix

Set in 1950s post-partition India, this is an epic family saga based on the novel by Vikram Seth. We follow four families over 18-months and focus on Lata (newcomer Tanya Maniktala), whose mother is determined to marry her off, but instead, she goes on her own journey of self-discovery.

A Suitable Boy – coming soon – July BBC One

Adapted from the comic book written by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way, this series focuses on a dysfunctional family of superhero siblings brought together after the death of their adoptive father. Starring Ellen Page (The X-Men Movies) and Robert Sheehan (Misfits) as they lead The Umbrella Academy, travelling through time to figure out what caused the apocalypse and how they can prevent it from happening.

The Umbrella Academy season 2 – 31 July

The #1 New York Times Best Selling author of the phenomenal Crazy Rich Asians returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men, set in the extravagant and decadent world of the New York elite.

From the author of The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead, comes a dark and gritty tale set in 1960s Florida, when two boys are sentenced to a hellish reform school.

Packed full of recognisable names from the arts scene, Utopia Avenue explores the power of music and the darker side of the Summer of Love.

From the visionary director of the 2006 film of the same name and the Author of the Inkheart trilogy comes an enthralling novel inspired by Pan’s Labyrinth’s gothic fairy tale.  

Set during America’s Great Depression, The Giver of Stars follows five women who deliver books to the people of Kentucky from their travelling library. 

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