Top 5 must-see films this summer

Today, the idea of a 'must-see film' is different to what it once was. Whiz-bang special effects and digitally altered celebrities, combined with the constant stream of new Hollywood movies being released, make finding films of real quality and substance a great challenge. But rest assured that there are still many great movies playing at your local cinema: movies capable of dazzling audiences with intricate storylines, nuanced performances and top quality direction. So, for all lovers of the cinematic arts, here's a list of the five must-see films of the summer season.

The Imitation Game

This full-bodied historical thriller centres on the life of British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing. Alan Turing was an essential figure in the WWII code-breaking movement, but his fall from grace is as alarming as it is deeply affecting. Boasting a truly awe-inspiring performance from British actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game has proved to be one of the season's biggest hits. Well crafted and infinitely intriguing, The Imitation Game will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

American Sniper

Clint Eastwood's latest epic is a story of truly heroic proportions. This subtle and rewarding biographical drama is based on the story of Chris Kyle, officially the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history. Touching and bold, American Sniper features a transformative Bradley Cooper in the role of a lifetime. Octogenarian director Clint Eastwood has once again proved his considerable cinematic skill, weaving a porous and sometimes unnerving tapestry. In spite of the action packed trailer, this is a slow-burning film, and one that has the potential to speak volumes about the reality of war and the men who get lost in them.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

If you love breathtaking performances and funny, life affirming films, then Birdman might be the movie for you. Birdman undertakes ambitious structural challenges by presenting the entire film as one single, continuous take. The evocative portrayal of an ageing former superhero-movie-star (the incomparable Michael Keaton) staging an ambitious career comeback undoubtedly achieves technical brilliance and artistic grandeur..Birdman features a star-studded cast, including Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Aussie actress, Naomi Watts. Oscillating seamlessly between dark humour and existential drama, Birdman is a serious contender for this year's Best Picture Oscar.

Selma

Set in 1965, this Oprah Winfrey produced historical drama has the makings of a classic. Based in the segregated south, Selma tells the story of the famous march led by cultural icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (played by the amazing David Oyelowo). Their march towards freedom is both an affecting and eye-opening journey, giving life to an era we've since put behind us. The final result is a gripping movie with the capacity to illustrate the great advancements of Western civilisation in recent years, as well as the many bridges left to cross.

Inherent Vice

Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film is a hot-tempered noir film for the ages; a comedy that also features elements of romance and drama. Based on the era-defining book by Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice tells the story of private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix, who also teamed up with Anderson to bring us 2012's wonderfully complex The Master). Set in 1970's California, Inherent Vice does justice to the renowned author's intricate narrative style, offering viewers a funny and sometimes disorienting 'trip' for the ages. With a stellar cast including Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro and seventies comedy legend Martin Short, Inherent Vice really is one of the year's must-see comedies.

Though movie making isn't quite what it used to be, these are five films that buck the modern trend and deliver truly outstanding pieces of cinematic theatre, reminiscent of some of the classic hits of bygone eras. Make the most of the peak movie season and catch any one of these five compelling films.

Tell us in the comments section below, will you be seeing any of these film?