'Despicable Me 4' leads July’s new cinema releases

01 Jul 2024 in New Releases

5 mins
A man points a laser gun
A man points a laser gun

As summer gets into full swing, a soothingly cool cinema auditorium is the perfect place to escape from the heat and be transported to a fascinating new world. Our top picks for young audiences from this month's new cinema releases range from action-adventures with powerful messages, such as the importance of family in the latest instalment of the Despicable Me franchise and cautions on climate change in a thrilling disaster movie, to informative non-fiction films with uplifting and joyful scenes, such as a celebratory wildlife documentary and a study of happiness in the Himalayas. The educational and entertainment value of these films offer opportunities for young people to cultivate enthusiasm for going to the cinema and see it as a place to broaden their horizons and learn.

Despicable Me 4 (U) - in cinemas 12 July 2024

In this newest adventure revisiting the popular animated franchise, international supervillain turned loving dad and husband Gru is happily enjoying family life with the addition of baby Gru Junior, who takes after his father in his disgruntled nature. But when the evil Maxime Le Mal escapes from prison seeking revenge, Gru and his family must go into hiding, along with the little yellow troublemakers, the Minions. Comic escapades ensue as the family meet their new neighbour Poppy, an aspiring supervillain, and try and pull off a major heist. The Minions, always desperate to help, use a special serum to get superpowers, leading to hilarious antics. But will Gru Junior also reveal an unexpected side, and can Gru Senior confront his past? This fourth film promises to be an entertaining ride packed with action sequences, lovable characters and fantastical animation. 

Watch the first and second films in the Despicable Me series, along with the hilarious spin-off Minions, on Into Film+ Premium*, and discover free school screenings of Despicable Me 3 this July.

Heart of an Oak (U) - in cinemas 12 July 2024

This gentle wildlife documentary film wordlessly observes and celebrates the passing of seasons and the secret lives of animals living in and around a majestic, two-hundred-year-old oak tree. The ecosystem includes a cute red squirrel, a family of wood mice, a group of foraging wild boar, a curious barn owl, and a pair of mating insects. Seen up close, their day-to-day lives take on fascinating and sometimes even humorous stories, but the cycle of life also includes drama as survival instincts kick in. With innovative cinematography, illustrative animated sequences, and imaginative editing, this poetic and exciting film offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural world and learn why it is important to protect it.

A red squirrel nibbles an acorn

Agent of Happiness (certificate TBC) - in cinemas 12 July 2024

What is the key to a happy life? And how do you measure happiness? This light-hearted documentary takes us to Bhutan to try and find simple yet profound answers. A happy-go-lucky governmental worker called Amber ventures across the Himalayan mountains to carry out a survey that measures the country's gross national happiness. He meets a cross-section of society, including a transgender singer, a wealthy farmer, a teenager who worries about her mother's alcoholism, and a man who has recently lost his wife. Along the way, Amber reflects on his own contentment and search for fulfilment, such as his longing for a romantic partner and his relationship with his aging mother. While some of the questions in the survey seem straightforward, others yield less definable results, but they draw out each person's personal story and, through the storytelling of the film, we gather a multifaceted picture of what the common denominators for happiness may be.

Twisters (12A) - in cinemas 19 July 2024

Climate change has led to a dramatic increase in severe weather phenomena such as tornados. Taking inspiration from the causes and effects of this dramatic trend, this remake/sequel of the 1996 disaster movie Twister offers a front row seat to the thrilling and terrifying might of nature. The story follows a group of storm chasers, as those who try and get near to the eye of a tornado are referred to. Having been scared off the dangerous activity as a student, Kate now works as a scientist studying storm patterns. She is persuaded to go back out into the field to test an experimental weather alert system and meets Tyler, an adrenaline-seeker of social media fame known as ‘the Tornado Wrangler'. But things get serious when Kate and Tyler must fight for their lives as Oklahoma is caught in the centre of an unprecedented and devastating storm.

A man and a woman stand in front of a truck in heavy wind

* Screenings for an entertainment or extra-curricular purpose require a PVS (Public Video Screening) Licence from Filmbankmedia. State-funded schools in England are covered by the PVS Licence. Into Film and the Into Film+ streaming service is supported by the UK film industry through Cinema First and the BFI through National Lottery Funding, thanks to National Lottery players.

This Article is part of: New Releases

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