Every summer a handful of plucky indie movies jump into the mainstream, thanks to filmgoers who want more nutritional value than that offered by the season's popcorn pics. This year's notable breakouts include Fox Searchlight's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which opened in March, but has continued to ride a wave of critical plaudits through May and early June to book $157.6 million worldwide; and Roadside Attractions' "Chef," which has cooked up a tasty $7.5 million since opening in limited release last month. Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League says summer can be a good time for indie movies. "There are a lot of cinephiles who aren't as excited about the next 'X-Men,'â" he says. But Fox Searchlight co-president Stephen Gilula warns that in a genre in which films must be unique and distinctive, it can be tough to stand out amid the season's flood of movies. Despite the challenges, here are six under-the-radar films that could see their profiles rise:
(director), Keira Knightley
, Mark Ruffalo
Selling Points: "Once"
director Carney returns to the music world with this romantic drama. Weinstein has positioned the film opposite "Transformers: Age of Extinction."
History is paved with pics that left audiences swooning at festivals (in this case Toronto) only to fall flat theatrically.
(director), Ethan Hawke
Shot over 12 years, the film traces a boy's coming of age. It's funny, frank and groundbreaking.
Linklater is an indie icon, but aside from studio films like "School of Rock," his popularity is decidedly arthouse. "Boyhood's" nearly 3 hour running time also could be intimidating.
John Michael McDonagh (writer-director), Brendan Gleeson
, Chris O'Dowd
This dark comedy about an Irish priest threatened by a parishioner has earned rave reviews. Plus, Fox Searchlight ("Little Miss Sunshine") has a track record of backing indie summer hits.
Gleeson is sublime, but he's no household name. Word-of-mouth will be crucial.
Key Talent: Woody Allen
(director), Emma Stone
, Colin Firth
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