Friday Film Roundup: Transformers, Unidentified Objects, Scarlet, and more

EntertainmentBy 2023-09-08T16:54:06-04:00June 9th, 2023|
  • Courtesy of Paramount.

Latinos are winning big this weekend at the movie theater in everything from the week’s biggest release to its most obscure. In front of and behind the camera, Latinos are all over a weekend that encompasses all kinds of genres, styles, and subjects. From the week’s tentpole release, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” to an obscure documentary about technology and parenthood, Latino voices are taking front-and-center this weekend.

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” (In Theaters June 9th)

The long-awaited follow-up to the 2018 “Bumblebee” movie is definitely more spin-off than sequel, but this incarnation of the Autobots, birthed in Michael Bay’s 2007 “Transformers” film, isn’t showing any signs of wear and tear more than fifteen years after their debut. Bumblebee is quite possibly one of the most beloved CGI characters of all time, but he takes a backseat here to Mirage, a new Transformer voiced by Pete Davidson, alongside Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback — who absolutely killed it in the Donald Glover miniseries, “Swarm” — as the major human characters in the film. I actually had a chance to see this one early (shameless plug for the forthcoming review) and it’s possibly even more Puerto Rican than “Spider-Verse,” which is really saying something. It’s also a worthy follow-up to “Bumblebee” and the best movie with “Transformers” in the title since 2007.

“Scarlet” (In Theaters June 9th)

Encompassing the 20 years between the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II, “Scarlet” employs a bit of magical realism to tell the story of a young woman raised by a single father who comes back from the war following the death of his wife. Throughout the film, the girl, Juliette, meets a witch who tells her of a life-altering prophecy, falls for a pilot who literally drops out of the sky, and dreams of a life of experience and significance. At the very least, “Scarlet” looks like one of the year’s more original movies and a period piece worth watching.

“Users” (In Theaters June 9th)

This thought-provoking documentary, directed by Mexican-American photographer Natalia Almada, attempts to understand the relationship with technology and motherhood. As digital solutions continue to dilute the need for human intervention, Almada’s film wonders if mothers will even be necessary and fears that human connection may not be enough to replace the efficiency of contemporary technology. It’s a question worth asking and a film worth seeing, made even more vital by the fact that Latinas do not get nearly enough opportunities to direct films. When they do make them, we need to support!

“Unidentified Objects” (In Theaters June 9th)

Switching gears completely, “Unidentified Objects” is another Latin-directed film, this one from Juan Felipe Zuleta. The film follows Peter, a little person living in New York City who embarks on a road trip with his neighbor, Winona, who’s absolutely obsessed with UFOs. Combining elements of sci-fi, road comedy, and meditation on the immigrant experience, “Unidentified Objects” is a must-see for Latino genre fans or really anyone who has ever wondered about where they fit into our big, bad universe.


Although we’re definitely giving Latinos this weekend for obvious reasons, there’s a ton of other stuff worth watching that we cannot neglect to mention. Check out the trailers below and have a great weekend of moviegoing!

“Blue Jean” (In Theaters June 9th)

“Aloners” (In Theaters & On Demand June 9th)

“The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” (In Theaters June 9th)

Josef Rodriguez is a writer, filmmaker, and film critic living in New York City.