Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to August

“War Dogs”

Who: Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Bradley Cooper and Ana de Armas
What: The true story of two young men who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan.
When: August 19th
Why: Armed with some very talented actors in morally dubious roles, director Todd Phillips’ latest film has the potential to be a fun, dark comedy that shines a light on the absurdity of the war machine and various efforts undertaken by governments to control affairs. Or it could just be a mess; there’s really no way of knowing which Phillips audiences will get. He’s had films that work tremendously well and feel vital and fresh, and he’s churned out some boring pabulum that felt like paint-by-numbers attempts at originality. Hopefully, the former Phillips is the one that shows up, because this looks like an intriguing cross between “Three Kings” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” that could yield spectacular results.

“Mechanic: Resurrection”

Who: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Yeoh
What: When his most formidable foe captures the love of his life, Arthur Bishop must complete three impossible assassinations and make them look like accidents.
When: August 26th
Why: The first “Mechanic” film was a surprisingly fun and effective action-thriller that delivered prime Statham in a very good role (originated by Charles Bronson). It’ll be interesting to see how this sequel is able to work with Bishop’s coming out of retirement plot to make it seem natural and not manufactured. Without Ben Foster, some of the charm of the first one is missing, but with Michelle Yeoh and Tommy Lee Jones along for the ride, this film should have more than its fair share of badass moments. And while the director is largely unknown, it’s just nice to get a Statham film that’s not some DTV tripe but instead a big budget action movie with the occasion for some fun set pieces.

“Don’t Breathe”

Who: Jane Levy, Stephen Lang, Dylan Minnette and Daniel Zovatto
What: A group of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong.
When: August 26th
Why: Director Fede Alvarez exploded onto the horror scene with some excellent short films and the “Evil Dead” remake. While that movie was greeted with mixed results by audiences, “Don’t Breathe” shows that he’s an incredibly capable director with an excellent ability to crank up the tension. The film has a number of surprising twists, and one of the most shocking and crowd-pleasing moments seen all year, but it’s deftly handled and never feels like a gimmick or an artist trying to outdo himself at every turn. It’s a fun ride that will surprise audiences and freak them out in equal measure, and it should be sought out by anyone likes a good thriller.

“The Hollars”

Who: John Krasinski, Anna Kendrick, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Sharlto Copley
What: A man returns to his small hometown after learning that his mother has fallen ill and is about to undergo surgery.
When: August 26th
Why: The logline of this movie sounds very familiar, like it was actually made in the Sundance channel/indie film incubator. But director/star John Krasinski has assembled a murderer’s row of talent to star in the drama (his second feature after the David Foster Wallace adaptation of “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men”), which could elevate this from indie dramedy cliché to something watchable and affecting. Margo Martindale and Richard Jenkins are two of the best character actors working today, so seeing them together will probably be worth the price of admission alone. Though it’s uncertain if this is just a Zach Braff-ian quarter life crisis movie or something more, there is just enough talent for drama and comedy to elevate it beyond its clichéd roots.

Pages: 1 2 3  (Previous Page)

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.