The Summer Movie Season is on the homestretch and it is going out with a bang. This summer has been loaded with some pretty great films and August looks no different. What I like most about the movies coming out in August is the diversity in genre and filmmaking. We are getting some really good original content, as well as films from almost every genre, like horror, action, comedy, crime, and some strong indie films. We are also getting films from some really good directors, like Jennifer Kent, André Øvredal, and Richard Linklater. Here are my picks for the best movies coming out in August.
5 – SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (André Øvredal, August 9th)
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is an iconic book series. I remember reading it as a kid and I’ve actually been re-reading it in preparation for the film. I am very intrigued as to how Øverdal is going to adapt these books to the big screen. Each story ends with a “jump-scare” or an interactive scare that you are supposed to do with the people you are telling the story to. It will be interesting to see how that plays out, along with how they splice in all the different stories together. Will it be one big plot with a number of scary elements in it, or will be more of an anthology? I’m excited to see this and excited to end summer with a good scare.
4 – FAST AND FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (David Leitch, August 2nd)
- The Fast and Furious franchise has become a cinematic staple. For nearly twenty years now, we have grown with Dominic and the family, from their times street racing in Los Angeles to robbing banks in Brazil and beyond, and each movie gets bigger and more explosive. Hobbs & Shaw is the first spin-off film of the franchise, as it looks at the unlikely duo of Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham) as they face-off against a genetically enhanced villain (Idris Elba). I don’t know how I feel about Elba’s character being genetically enhanced, as one of the best attributes of the Fast and Furious franchise is that they do the ridiculous stunts and cause all this mayhem within the real world and genetically enhanced characters take away from that real world aspect. Regardless, I expect a lot of chaos, action, and quips between Johnson and Statham, culminating in one of the biggest movies of the summer.
3 – GOOD BOYS (Gene Stupnitsky, August 16th)
- Who doesn’t love a nice, raunchy comedy centered around tweens? Good Boys takes a trio of sixth graders (Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon) who skip school one day and end up on a whirlwind adventure while carrying stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and making sure they know how to kiss a girl before they go to their first big party. The film looks like a tween Superbad, and with Seth Rogen as a producer on the film, this is sure to be an uproarious comedy, yet filled with heart and a lot of sweet moments from our leading kids.
2 – THE NIGHTINGALE (Jennifer Kent, August 2nd)
- I have already seen The Nightingale twice this year, first at Sundance in January and then at the Chicago Critics Film Festival in May. I love this movie. Director Jennifer Kent’s follow-up to her 2014 horror smash, The Babadook, is a different kind of horror film. This isn’t a movie with jump scares or fantastical monsters. Here, the events that place will shock and haunt you and the monsters in the movie are humans. Set in 1825, The Nightingale looks at a woman (an incredible Aisling Franciosi) who goes through a horrific ordeal and seeks revenge with the help of a tracker (Baykali Ganambarr, in one of the best performances of the year). This is a tough film to watch, but a rewarding and inspiring one, as Kent has made a movie that shows the power of good over evil, the effects of revenge, and story about a growing friendship. You can read my review of The Nightingale HERE, but make sure you seek it out. It’s a tough watch, but one of the best you’ll have all year.
1 – THE KITCHEN (Andrea Berloff, August 9th)
- Gangster films are some of my favorite films. We don’t get a lot of them nowadays, but when we do, I get really excited. The Kitchen reminds me of Widows, but set in 1970’s New York. Andrea Berloff makes her directorial debut in a film that follows a trio of women, played by Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Tiffany Haddish, who operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison. The trio of McCarthy, Moss, and Haddish is really exciting, as all three have the capability to turn in great performances. I’m most intrigued to see Haddish in more of a serious role and if Moss knocks it out of the park again, like she did earlier this year in Us and Her Smell, 2019 might be the year of Moss. I have faith that Berloff will give us one of the year’s most exciting movies.
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