Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to August


Summer is winding down, and with it goes the last vestiges of the blockbuster season. But there are still a few tentpole movies left which, along with some offbeat choices, make for an interesting August at the theaters. There’s only one sequel and two remakes in this month’s offerings, and the rest are refreshingly off-kilter originals that hold a lot of promise for entertainment. Laika returns to deliver astonishing visuals with their latest, while the DC Comics movieverse tries to rebound from “Batman v Superman” with “Suicide Squad.” And the whole thing is capped off by one of the most enjoyable, intense thrillers released this year. It’s an intriguing and original list of films for August, so let’s get to it!

“Suicide Squad”

Who: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
What: A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute a dangerous black ops mission in exchange for clemency.
When: August 5th
Why: “Suicide Squad” looks like an absolute barrel of fun that mixes everyone’s love of antiheroes with a dash of “The Dirty Dozen.” Based on the hit comic book of the same name, the film finds a bunch of colorful supervillains riffing off each other while trying to save the world (or just themselves). The trailers make it look like a promising blockbuster, though writer/director David Ayer (“Sabotage,” “Fury”) isn’t exactly known for delivering fun films, usually preferring the grittier side of things. Perhaps he’s found the perfect balance between the ultraviolent, grim world he normally inhabits and a more heightened experience that’s actually enjoyable to sit through.

“Hell or High Water”

Who: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Katy Mixon and Jeff Bridges
What: A divorced dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s farm in West Texas.
When: August 12th
Why: It’ll be interesting to see if director David Mackenzie can follow up the very good “Starred Up” with this southern-fried thriller written by Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario”). Combined with a talented cast, that’s a pretty good pedigree for a two-fisted tale of bank robbing and a cat-and-mouse chase with law enforcement. Film soleil movies aren’t made very often these days, but they can be some of the harshest and most engaging films, as the action and duplicity takes place under the blazing hot sun. It’ll be fascinating to watch this collision of different sides of the law taking place in the bright light of day.

“Pete’s Dragon”

Who: Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban, Robert Redford and Oakes Fegley
What: The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.
When: August 12th
Why: The original “Pete’s Dragon” is a fun family film that boasts a nice blend of animation and live-action with some impressive (if hokey) practical effects. The remake eschews the Disney-style cartoon look for a CGI approach, but it has also stacked the cast with some great talent. Director David Lowery has proven he has a great cinematic eye with his previous feature, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” which showcased strong acting performances as well. It’ll be interesting to see if Lowery can transition to a family film without going too saccharine and create a movie that’s as enduring as the original.

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