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The 10 Indie Films You Must See This May

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire May 1, 2013 at 10:25AM

As an extension of our recent summer movie preview, Indiewire is offering the first of four monthly summer "must-see" lists to make cinematic decision-making as easy as possible this summer.
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8. The Kings of Summer (May 31)

Director:
Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie
Distributor: CBS Films

Criticwire Average: 10 critics gave it a A- average

Why is it a "Must See"? Summer is synonymous with coming-of-age story and that is just what new writer-director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has to offer. “The Kings of Summer” follows a Walden-like adventure of three teenage friends (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias) who decided to spend their summer building a house in the woods and live off the land, without. After framing their kidnapping, the boys escape to nature to find true independence and channel their inner Thoreau. Also starring Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie as the boys’ parents, the film looks to be the refreshing, comedic summer indie that inspires us to hitch up a tent and embrace the wild--maybe even this year’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” If you’re still not convinced just check out the film’s simplistic first trailer from March where the boys make a drum out of a hollow pipe in the forest. [Erin Whitney]

Check out the film's trailer:


9. What Maisie Knew (May 3)

Director:  Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Cast:  Alexander Skarsgård, Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan
Distributor: Millennium Films

Criticwire Average: 14 critics gave it a B+ average.

Why is it a "Must See"? While the works of Henry James wouldn't necessarily seem to lend themselves well to being contemporized, it's still surprising that his "What Maisie Knew" has never had a major film adaptation before, as it remains a pretty unflinching look at post-divorce child upbringing through the eyes of the title character. But now "Bee Season" and "Uncertainty" co-directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel are bringing James' novel into the 21st century, with touted newcomer Onata Aprile as the titular six year old, observing the bitter custody battle between her aging rocker mom (Julianne Moore) and art dealer dad (Steve Coogan). The film played at Toronto last year, where the acting of everyone involved was praised, which isn't surprising given the on-screen talent. [Mark E. Lukenbill]

Check out the film's trailer:


10. Post Tenebras Lux (May 1)

Director: Carlos Reygadas
Cast: Adolfo Jimenez Castro, Nathalia Acevedo, Willebaldo Torres
Distributor: Strand Releasing

Criticwire Average: 32 critics gave it a B average.

Why is it a "Must See"? Carlos Reygadas' "Post Tenebras Lux," was one of the more controversial Cannes winners in recent memory when Reygadas took home a Best Director trophy at last year's festival, following a reception that earned its fair share of praise and an equal (if not larger) amount of derision from those attending its premiere. Using his own life as a structuring method, the film follows a rural couple living in Mexico who own a wealthy estate with their children and various workers. What seems at first to be the director's most linear film yet quickly descends into a series of inexplicable events, mixing the real with the supernatural within his heavily textured visual style.

IW's Eric Kohn called the film "at turns wildly beautiful and pointlessly nonsensical," in his Cannes review, and wherever you end up siding on the film, it's sure to be one of the more fascinating films you'll see all summer. [Cameron Sinz]

Check out the film's trailer:

This article is related to: Before Midnight, Frances Ha, Stories We Tell, Sightseers, Something In The Air