Five films to see in June

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Still from the Secret Life of Pets, showing a budgie working a TV remote control

A new animation from the Minions creators, a Michael Moore doc, the long-awaited sequel to Independence Day and more: the pick of this month's new movies

1. Where To Invade Next

Out 10 June / Cert: 15

Michael Moore, thought-provoking director of Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, returns with this amiable, funny and optimistic documentary. In the face of America's multitude of social issues, Moore looks at the way other countries organise things like work-life balance, health care, education and even school dinners. Travelling to  Italy, Slovenia, France and Portugal and beyond, he listens and learns, even planting a flag in each country as he decides to "steal" the ideas and claim them for America. Far less confrontational than his earlier works, it's an ambling, shambling film – and Moore can easily be criticised for his selective pick'n'mix approach. But delivered with his usual dead-on humour, it makes for a very amusing travelogue. Intriguingly, he doesn't visit the United Kingdom…


2. Barbershop 3: A Fresh Cut

Out 17 June / Cert: 12A

Some 12 years after the last instalment, Ice Cube returns as Chicago barber Calvin Palmer in this appealing comedy-drama. Joining the former hip-hop star on the shop floor to shoot the breeze is what feels like half the American music industry – including rapper Common and singer Nicki Minaj, who impresses as a flirtatious hairdresser that has most of the men drooling. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, the film isn't all about battle of the sexes banter. With the 'hood affected by gun violence, Calvin organises a 48-hour ceasefire, offering free haircuts for all. Despite highlighting what is a very real social issue in America, A Fresh Cut never feels like a lecture. Driven by the ever-reliable Cube, an actor who rarely gets his due, it's well worth sitting in the chair for.


3. The Secret Life of Pets

Universal / 18 June / Cert: TBC

Ever wondered what your pets get up to when you're not there? If this animation is to be believed, it's raiding the refrigerator, listening to death metal music and generally causing utter mayhem. Set in Manhattan, this is the latest cartoon to come from the unique mind of Chris Renaud, who co-directs with Yarrow Cheney. Renaud was responsible for the Despicable Me franchise – yes, he's the man who gave us the Minions. This time, he's gathered an impressive array of comedic voice talent – including Louis C.K. and Steve Coogan – for this animal adventure that begins after a terrier named Max is left mortified when his owner brings a new mongrel into his midst. You'll never look at your pet in the same way again.


4. Independence Day: Resurgence

23 June / Cert: TBC

Twenty years on from the original, director Roland Emmerich and his writing partner Dean Devlin return for this blockbuster sequel to 1996's Independence Day. The first film saw us earthlings, led by Bill Pullman's President, battle an alien invasion, as the White House was blown to smithereens. Well, no prizes for guessing what happens this time: yes, the unfriendly extraterrestrials are back – and in greater numbers – after sending a distress signal for back-up. Despite the absence of star Will Smith, many of the original cast return, including Pullman and Jeff Goldblum, in full-on boffin mode, along with newcomers like Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth and French icon Charlotte Gainsbourg, making a rare appearance in a Hollywood movie. It will certainly plug the sci-fi gap until Star Wars spin-off Rogue One arrives at Christmas.


5. Adult Life Skills

24 June / Cert: TBC

 A perfect antidote to all the summer blockbuster bombast is this engaging British film from writer-director Rachel Tunnard. Jodie Whittaker – the actress who broke through as Peter O'Toole's muse in Venus a few years ago and more recently starred in Broadchurch on TV – plays Anna, a 29 year old still living at home, in a converted shed at the bottom of her mother's garden. She makes mini-films starring her thumbs (don't ask) and shows no signs of getting a boyfriend, much to her mother's dismay. Whittaker is excellent in the lead, playing a woman who has deeper troubles than we initially suspect. Co-starring Edward Hogg and Alice Lowe, two recent stalwarts of the British indie scene, it's a deft comedy-drama that never outstays its welcome.


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