August’s film slate needs no introduction. After all, we’ve waited more than a year for the release of Suicide Squad! Despite it’s cold reception, we’re still rushing to the theaters to see it. And during a summer filled with chilling horror flicks (The Conjuring 2; Lights Out), we’ll be sure to see the latest thriller, Don’t Breathe. So, without further ado, here’s our August Film Guide!
SUICIDE SQUAD (In Theaters August 5th)
With superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman now in the public eye, intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) decides to assemble a team of incarcerated supervillains to perform dangerous tasks in exchange for shorter prison sentences. Dubbed the “Suicide Squad,” villains like Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) and others will have to confront a mysterious and powerful entity while facing the antics of The Joker (Jared Leto).
Why we’re excited to see it: After the critical disappointment of Batman V. Superman, DC and Warner Bros. really need a win. Luckily, Suicide Squad looks absolutely amazing, despite the early reviews. Margot Robbie is the perfect Harley Quinn, Will Smith is going to shine as Deadshot, and if anyone can replace Heath Ledger, it’s going to be Jared Leto with his unique take on the Joker. Add in the talented director David Ayer (Fury and End of Watch) and Suicide Squad has a recipe for audience success.
NINE LIVES (In Theaters August 5th)
Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a workaholic billionaire whose business-heavy lifestyle has created a disconnect between him and his family. For his daughter’s 11th birthday, Brand decides to buy a cat from a seemingly harmless pet store. After purchasing it, the owner of the store (Christopher Walken) transforms Brand into the fury animal. Told that he only has a week to bond with his family, or else he’ll remain a cat, Tom Brand sets off to make this connection while in the form of Mr. Fuzzypants.
Why we’re excited to see it: At first glance Nine Lives is a movie that can be easily dismissed by some cinephiles; however, the cast is incredible with Kevin Spacey at the lead and support from actors, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Walken. With such a talented ensemble, proven director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black series) is sure to make an entertaining movie that is definitely worth watching. Nine Lives is set to be the surprise hit of summer 2016. As the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover.
LET’S BE EVIL (In Theaters August 5th)
In the near future, Jenny (Elizabeth Morris) takes a seemingly easy assignment; keep an eye on candidates for The Prosperity Project as they use augmented reality devices to learn. As the children get deeper into augmented reality, they become more dangerous and soon, the chaperones are at risk.
Why we’re excited to see it: The trailer demonstrates both, a blend of first-person and third-person filming, as the plot deals with kids using augmented reality to terrorize their chaperones. With style-heavy director Martin Owen (L.A. Slasher) having hands in writing the film, chances are, it’ll be the smart b-movie horror film that the summer’s been missing.
THE LITTLE PRINCE (In Theaters August 5th)
Based on the 1943 children’s classic by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince is a story within a story where the protagonist is a girl (with an overbearing mother) who befriends the now elderly aviator/narrator. As the two become friends, the elderly man tells her about his adventures and meeting the Little Prince. The film is a mix between 3D stop motion and computer animation. The original French cast has been dubbed by likewise great actors, such as Jeff Bridges, Paul Giamatti, Benicio del Toro, James Franco and Rachel McAdams.
Why we’re excited to see it: The Little Prince’s US release date has been long overdue, as it first premiered out of competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, followed by a theatrical release in France. Now, thanks to Netflix, it finally gets its US theatrical release on August 5th. Having grown up reading The Little Prince, we can’t wait for the film to re-introduce this memorable story and characters to a new generation of children. We’re also excited about the chance to relive the Little Prince’s adventures through a new character, the little girl protagonist.
FIVE NIGHTS IN MAINE (In Theaters August 5th)
After his wife’s sudden death, a man travels to Maine to visit his mother-in-law. What awaits them is an emotional journey that forces the two to confront their strained relationship.
Why we’re excited to see it: Five Nights in Maine appears to be an emotionally compelling feature from director, Maris Curran. We’re sure that David Oyelowo gives a heartbreaking performance as a man who struggles to deal with his grief, while Dianne Wiest gives a complex performance as the estranged mother-in-law. Sometimes, in the midst of a season of action and adventure, a good cry can be a relief.
LITTLE MEN (In Theaters August 5th)
When Jake Jardine’s (Theo Taplitz) grandfather dies, he and his family move back to their original Brooklyn home. While there, Jake befriends a boy named Tony (Michael Barbieri) whose mother runs the dress shop downstairs. The boys’ friendship is put to the ultimate test when their parents enter a feud over the shop lease.
Why we’re excited to see it: Little Men seems to be the sort of film that is relatable, a bit heart-wrenching, and hits home for just about everyone. It’s been awhile since we have seen a non-romantic story of genuine friendship between two normal, down-to-earth kids. So, this film will definitely serve as a refreshing dose of reality. From what we can see in the trailers, the acting feels raw and honest. And how could it not be, with talents like Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle? This movie will certainly be tenderly bittersweet, and we can’t wait to see it with our own best friends!
PETE’S DRAGON (In Theaters August 12th)
A new take on Disney’s classic tale, Pete’s Dragon is the story of an orphaned boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) who has lived in the forest with his mysterious dragon friend, Elliot, for the past 6 years. When his secret life is discovered by people from the outside world, Pete must figure out how to protect Elliot from those unaware of dragons’ existence. Retold by director David Lowery, this story comes back just as fun and lovable as the first!
Why we’re excited to see it: How could we go the entire month of August without another Disney classic remake? The answer is simple, we couldn’t. Luckily, with Pete’s Dragon in theaters, we won’t have to. This story is one that will appeal to all audiences: children, teens, adults, and even those who haven’t seen the original. Equally as action-packed as it is heartfelt, this movie will keep us both on our feet, and most likely, in tears. We are extremely anxious to see what new twists and turns this remake will take, as well as what aspects of the original story will stay intact.
Sausage Party (In Theaters August 12th)
Sausage Party is an adult animation comedy that follows the adventures of various talking groceries with the life goal of being taken home by supermarket customers. Once they discover what happens to them when they get there, a sausage named Frank and his friends embark on an adventure to save themselves and warn the rest.
Why we’re excited to see it: Voiced by the likes of Seth Rogen (who also co-wrote), Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, James Franco, Michael Cera, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and basically the rest of the cast from This Is The End, Sausage Party has been gaining momentum thanks to hilarious red band trailers and a rough cut screening at SXSW 2016. It will no doubt be a commercial success, as it’s definitely an original concept. Any Seth Rogen fan will be thrilled to finally have an animation movie catered to an older demographic.
Florence Foster Jenkins (In Theaters August 12th)
A musical enthusiast, American socialite, Florence Foster Jenkins, dreams of becoming a singer. There’s just one tiny issue: she can’t actually sing. When she is chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall, her husband is determined to take every action necessary to prevent her humiliation.
Why we’re excited to see it: Stephen Frears—director of Philomena, Dirty Pretty Things, and The Queen—returns with a new feature that is sure to be a hit. With a cast that includes Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, we’re definitely intrigued. And our interest is only supported by the positive reviews that the film has already garnered.
Hell or High Water (August 12th)
To save their property from imminent foreclosure, two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) go on a bank robbery spree in West Texas. Jeff Bridges stars as a soon-to-be-retired Texas Ranger who takes on the case and tries to make sense of it, whilst chasing the brothers through rural Texas.
Why we’re excited to see it: With Hell or High Water, director David Mackenzie brings us another action packed thriller with a heart. Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges, give raw and memorable performances. Although the setup might sound banal, this movie is witty and heartfelt whilst also being very in tune with certain social and political realities. The film successfully meshes a western, noir, heist crime drama/road movie accompanied by three dimensional characters that keep the audience hooked on its twists until the very end. With its independent production, Hell or High Water has the potential for mainstream success thanks to its genuinely fresh storytelling and gripping performances.
GHOST TEAM (In Theaters August 12th)
The summer of 2016 proves that sometimes, you gotta liven up the box office with a little bit of the paranormal. Ghost Team continues the trend with Louis (Jon Heder) as a depressed man in search of ghosts. His interest leads him to assemble a crack team of paranormal investigators: his best friend (David Krumholtz), a cable access medium (Amy Sedaris), a rent-a-cop (Justin Long), and a “tech specialist” (Paul W. Downs), with equipment borrowed from his job at the electronics store.
Why we’re excited to see it: Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Justin Long (Tusk) and Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy). All three have been working very steadily as bit players in broader comedies, or in voice-over work, for the past few years. So, having all three in a spooky comedy is a delight. Plus, we really love Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) and hopefully Ghost Team can demonstrate how talented the young performer is.
ANTHROPOID (In Theaters August 12th)
Anthropoid depicts the WWII mission OPERATION ANTHROPOID; the assassination of third in command SS General Reinhard Heydrich. With limited opportunity and the threat of losing Prague to Germany, Jozef Gabčík (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Jamie Dornan) must help plan the assassination that might turn the tides of war.
Why we’re excited to see it: Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) and Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) usually turn out fantastic dramatic performances. And the two look extremely period appropriate for this historical thriller. With Sean Ellis (The Broken) back in top form as writer/director, Anthropoid is another Bleeker Street Media release to watch out for. Plus, the film gives us another square in “Spot Toby Jones” Bingo for 2016.
BLOOD FATHER (August 12th)
Blood Father stars Mel Gibson as ex-con, John Link, a man who runs a tattoo parlor and hasn’t seen his daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty) in years. When she calls him for help, drugs in her bag and gunmen at her back, it’s up to John to save her.
Why we’re excited to see it: Like a twisted version of Taken, Blood Father promises to deliver the paternal instincts that we want to see on film, combined with the action set pieces that are Jean-François Richet’s (Mesrine Part One and Part Two) bread and butter. Plus, it will be nice to see Mel Gibson back in action films.
DISORDER (In Theaters August 12th)
Suffering from PTSD, Vincent struggles to regain control of his mental state, in an effort to return to combat. While on leave, he is hired to protect the wife and son of a wealthy businessman. After a violent event, Vincent finds a new use for his skill set.
Why we’re excited to see it: Director Alice Winocour returns with her second feature film, starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger. Winocour’s knack for pensiveness makes her films highly complex, yet simultaneously simple. If you’re intrigued by a quiet thriller, Disorder may be the perfect film for you.
JOSHY (In Theaters August 12th)
Some people just don’t want to let a good party go to waste. Sadly, the titular character, Joshy (Thomas Middleditch) is one such person, having had his fiancée leave him just before his bachelor party. With the deposit for the house already gone, Josh decides to use the house as a chance to have his friends take his mind off the pain.
Why we’re excited to see it: Jenny Slate (Obvious Child), Nick Kroll (The Nick Kroll Show), Aubrey Plaza (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates), Adam Pally (Happy Endings)…it’s basically a who’s who of comedians who often steal the show. Combine this all-star comedy cast with a darkly humorous topic! We’re in.
ANTS ON SHRIMP (In Theaters August 12th)
Chef René Redzepi, moves his Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, to Japan for five weeks. Once there, he is challenged to reinvent his menu.
Why we’re excited to see it: As a two-Michelin-star restaurant, Noma has made its mark on the culinary world. So, we’re intrigued to see the renowned Redzepi at work. How can we resist staring at delicious food for an hour and a half?
BEN-HUR (In Theaters August 19th)
Based on the epic novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ, the film is the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince who must endure years of slavery after being falsely accused of treason by his Roman brother (an officer). After being separated for years from the woman he loves and his child, Judah Ben-Hur finally makes his way back to Rome, this time seeking vengeance on the brother who betrayed him.
Why we’re excited to see it: This classic story of betrayal, vengeance, and redemption has been adapted for the silver-screen three times before (excluding animation) with each adaptation better than the last. Visionary director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) promises not to disappoint with his take on the tale. With the help of actors, Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman, this updated version of the story will prove to be just as epic as those to have come before it.
WAR DOGS (In Theaters August 19th)
Based on the absolutely true story, War Dogs follows David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, two young men living in Miami who exploit a government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on military contracts. After inexplicably winning a $300 million contract from the U.S. government, the two young men find themselves dealing with some extremely shady people in dangerous circumstances.
Why we’re excited to see it: Take The Hangover and The Wolf of Wall Street and blend them with an unbelievably true story about two twenty-something-year -old stoners who end up supplying the Afghan military effort. Now, you have War Dogs. As his first movie since finishing the Hangover trilogy, Todd Phillip’s War Dogs promises to be one of the nonstop, action-packed, funniest movies of the summer. With help from talented actors like Jonah Hill, Miles Teller and Bradley Cooper, War Dogs is sure to be the comedy we’ve all been craving since The Hangover trilogy finally ended.
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (In Theaters August 19th)
The hero’s journey is one of the most time-honored cinematic story traditions. Kubo and the Two Strings is about Kubo (Art Parkinson), a young boy who must go on a journey to find a suit of armor left behind by his late father (Ralph Fiennes). He is joined by Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) who help this magical bard try to vanquish the spirit that haunts his town.
Why we’re excited to see it: With a crisp claymation style and a killer voice cast, Kubo and the Two Strings looks like a great diversion from the traditionally 3D animated films of the past few years. Production company Laika (The Boxtrolls, Coraline, Corpse Bride) always makes visually interesting films with fantastic stories to match.
KINGSGLAIVE: FINAL FANTASY XV (In Theaters August 19th)
Based on the video game, Final Fantasy XV, Kingsglaive follows the story of Noctis—the son and only heir of King Regis Lucis Caellum CXIII—and his home of Lucis, the last kingdom in the world to possess a crystal. When the kingdom is invaded by the Niflheim Empire, an elite guard from Kingsglaive must protect and defend Lucis and the last surviving crystal.
Why we’re excited to see it: The Final Fantasy video game series is one of the most renowned video game franchises of all time. Adopting from this series, Square Equinox has devoted comparable care for setting and plot when producing the films. Kingsglaive looks to be no different with visually stunning CGI, which almost looks real, and a story to compete with it. With a talented cast including HBO alumni Sean Bean and Lena Heady, and Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul, Kingsglaive is going to be a great addition to the film series.
IMPERIUM (In Theaters August 19th)
While working as an undercover agent for the FBI, Nate Foster (Daniel Radcliffe) must attempt to infiltrate and collapse a radical, white supremacist terrorist group. This mission becomes increasingly dangerous and difficult as he must adopt a new identity, while simultaneously fighting to live by his true values. He must do all of this while working to keep his real identity a mystery, as there is no telling what the group might do if they realize he works for the FBI. Inspired by real events, this film takes us through the terrifying realities of a life undercover.
Why we’re excited to see it: With its intense and unnerving plotline, there is absolutely no doubt that Imperium will keep us on edge throughout the entire film. As viewers, we will be just as nervous as Nate during his time with the terrorist group. The trailer leaves us anxiously wondering whether or not his true identity will be discovered- or if it already has been discovered. It is certainly exciting to see Daniel Radcliffe take on more serious roles. We’re interested to see how he does with this one. This thriller looks like an absolute must-see!
The People vs Fritz Bauer (In Theaters August 19th)
In the aftermath of World War II, prosecutor and Holocaust survivor, Fritz Bauer, is determined to locate former Nazi, Adolf Eichmann, and bring him to justice.
Why we’re excited to see it: After screening at the Toronto International Film Festival 2015 and winning six Deutscher Filmpreis (German Oscars), this feature is set to be an intense thriller. We love complex political films, especially through an historical lens. Actors Burghart Klaussner (The White Ribbon) and Ronald Zehrfeld (Phoenix) are sure to deliver compelling performances.
MORRIS FROM AMERICA (In Theaters August 19th)
After relocating to Germany, an American teenager and aspiring rapper, attempts to find his place within his new surroundings.
Why we’re excited to see it: From A24 (Ex Machina, Amy, The Witch) comes this Sundance hit starring Craig Robinson and helmed by up-and-coming director, Chad Hartigan. This cross-culture, coming-of-age comedy is a refreshing take on the young adult film. If you’re still not convinced, just look at the reviews.
MIA MADRE (In Theaters August 19th)
Mia Madre is Italian actor/director Nanni Moretti’s latest film and possibly, his most personal. With the movie within a movie frame, the film follows Italian director Margherita as she’s in production for her latest project: an Italian-American collaboration whose star (played by John Turturro) can’t remember his lines and is consistently unhelpful. To top it off, Margherita’s mother has been hospitalized and nursed by her brother (Nanni Moretti), leading Margherita to reflect on her life choices, family and friends.
Why we’re excited to see it: Mia Madre looks like a solid family drama as Moretti reverts to the autobiographical genre (his mother died during the production of his film Habemus Papam) with a meta framing resembling Fellini’s 8 ½. The film depicts a filmmaker struggling to separate their work from their personal life and everything that happens in between.
LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD (In Theaters August 19th)
In today’s modern world, not only can we find just about anything on the internet, but we entirely rely on it as a source of infinite information. Director Werner Herzog brings this terrifying reality to life in Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. This documentary investigates the omnipotence of the internet and its influence on human interaction. Here, we see, in a playful, yet eerie way, the extent of our connected online lives.
Why we’re excited to see it: This documentary will certainly act as an eye-opener to technology’s effect on modern society. The exploration of how the internet works in our interconnecting lives will be intriguing and probably a bit chilling. Hopefully, it will help us to see just how much we allow our lives to be controlled by the internet, and whether or not this is a good thing. And if you’re not interested in the content of this film, there is still one vital reason to see it: to hear Werner Herzog’s voice narrating a documentary.
MECHANIC: RESURRECTION (In Theaters August 26th)
Though attempting to put his murderous past behind him, Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) returns after the love of his life is kidnapped. To secure her safety, he must complete three impossible assassinations—all within a 36-hour time period—and do what he does best: make them look like accidents.
Why we’re excited to see it: Jason Statham is currently one of the best pure action stars in Hollywood. He is known for being an unstoppable force in extremely entertaining, over-the-top action series. This sequel to 2011’s The Mechanic looks to be no different, as once again, Statham is going to prove why he is the quintessential action superstar. With a supporting cast comprised of Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones, and talented director Dennis Gansel (The Wave), Mechanic: Resurrection is must-see summer action fun.
DON’T BREATHE (In Theaters August 26th)
When three burglarizing teenagers discover that a nearby blind veteran (Stephen Lang) has an abundance of cash hidden in his home, they decide that he is their perfect next target; however, this decision quickly turns on them. The teens soon realize that though blind, this veteran is, by no means, helpless. The group’s hunt for money becomes a fight for their lives. They must avoid making noise, nearly to the point of not breathing, in order to escape the house without being discovered.
Why we’re excited to see it: Who doesn’t love a horror film on a warm summer night? This story feels fresh and original, combining aspects of both horror and thriller genres to create an intense, exhilarating scary movie. With what we know about the film so far, we pretty much find ourselves rooting for the blind veteran to catch these thieving teens. That is, until we watch the trailer, and see the girl who appears to be trapped in the veterans basement–talk about a plot twist! This seems like a movie that will constantly break expectations, throwing us deeper into the plot, as we wait to see what on earth is going to happen next.
I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER (In Theaters August 26th)
Based on the novel of the same name, I Am Not A Serial Killer stars Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are) as John Wayne Cleaver, a sociopathic teenage mortuary worker who feels that he is destined to join the ranks of serial killers. When murders occur in his town, John must ask himself the ultimate question; how do I stop the monster, despite my future?
Why we’re excited to see it: The first novel was absolutely captivating, in terms of young adult literature, and the adaptation looks pretty spot-on. With Christopher Lloyd in a featured role, I Am Not A Serial Killer looks like a film to watch out for.
HANDS OF STONE (In Theaters August 26th)
Hands of Stone follows the life of Roberto Duran, the Panamanian professional boxer. Regarded as one of the best in the world, his nickname, Manos de Piedra, means “Hands of Stone.” The film stars Edgar Ramirez as Duran, Robert DeNiro as real-life boxing trainer Ray Arcel, and Usher in the role of Sugar Ray Leonard, Duran’s opponent.
Why we’re excited to see it: Boxing movies have proven to be successful, especially here in the States, as we’ve seen with films like Raging Bull, The Fighter and more recently, Ryan Coogler’s Creed, as well as Miles Teller’s upcoming project Bleed for This. Hands of Stone is written and directed by Venezuelan director Jonathan Jakubowicz and will, no doubt, be another solid boxing movie that has the potential of being a summer hit. We already know that Ramirez and De Niro have chemistry on screen thanks to David O. Russell’s Joy and it’ll be interesting to see Usher in another acting role.
THE HOLLARS (In Theaters August 26th)
The Hollars follows the story of John Hollar (John Krasinski), an aspiring cartoonist living in NYC, who must return to his hometown when his mother (Margo Martindale) is diagnosed with brain cancer. While home, he is forced to reconnect with his hectic old life: his family, high school friends (and rivals), and his crazy ex-girlfriend. He must cope with all of this while awaiting the birth of his first child by his girlfriend (Anna Kendrick), back in New York. Adopted from a script by Jim Strouse, director John Krasinski uses this film to analyze the vital bonds of friendship and family.
Why we’re excited to see it: Just take a look at the cast! John Krasinski, Margo Martindale, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick- who isn’t dying to see this? Besides the great cast, this movie certainly looks like it relates to just about anybody. It works as a familiar tale of the relationships we have with family and friends. So, it will have aspects that resonate with everyone. This will definitely be a film that has it all: laughs, tears, heartbreak, and above all, overwhelming sentiment.
SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU (In Theaters August 26th)
Southside With You is a romantic dramedy that recounts a version of President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama’s first date in 1989 Chicago, as a young associate and lawyer, respectively, trying to figure out their role in the world.
Why we’re excited to see it: The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to favorable reviews. It seems to resemble a similar walkabout-style as Before Sunrise, as two people share a day together, experiencing a similar idealism and a need to effect meaningful change in the world. And the fact that it’s a tale about the President and the First Lady of the United States, makes it even better.
THE INTERVENTION (In Theaters August 26th)
During a weekend getaway, a few friends propose that two of their married friends get a divorce.
Why we’re excited to see it: Written and directed by actress, Clea DuVall, The Intervention seems like a promising debut feature. During its festival rounds, the film played Sundance, Sarasota, Independent Film Festival Boston, Outfest, and the Seattle International Film Festival. We’re prepared for the emotion and comedy that this indie gem promises to deliver.
Looks like we’ve got quite a few films to see this month! Tell us: which flicks are you looking forward to?