A look at the things we're most excited about watching, reading, browsing, and listening to:
In theaters Friday:
The satirist of Borat, Bruno, and Da Ali G Show now inhabits the persona of a Middle Eastern autocrat on a tour of America in The Dictator, whose plot is loosely based on Zabibah and the King, a novel penned by ... Saddam Hussein. "[Sacha] Baron Cohen employs a comic range that ricochets between wicked political barbs and the lowest anatomical farce, to often funny and occasionally hilarious effect," writes The Hollywood Reporter.
If the weather has you in the mood for a traditionally big, dumb summer blockbuster, try Battleship, the Rihanna-starring explosionfest "based on" an iconic board game.
On sale Tuesday:
Summer vibes, heartbreak, and bargain-budget production values characterized the pop rock of Best Coast's excellent, hilarious, and catchy 2009 debut, Crazy for You. The follow up, The Only Place keeps the beachy-bummer shtick but upgrades its sound with the help of producer Jon Brion.
Irresistible '80s synth pop meets the magical-realistic songwriting of Sweden's Malin Dahlström on Niki & the Dove's excellent debut, Instinct.
The consistently mind-blowing electronic artist Squarepusher—he of swarming drum beats, cinematic melodies, and wry, wordless humor—releases his 15th album, Ufabulum.