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10 Films to See In August

Written by on August 1, 2013 

Although the summer is coming to an end, there is some celebration to be had. This August brings what is perhaps the best slate of 2013 thus far — hopefully a precursor of what’s coming this fall. We’re kicking off the month with one interesting failure, but the coming weeks will see some of my favorite festival films from earlier in the year (and even further back) land in theaters. Check out our rundown of the 10 must-see titles and let us know what you’re looking forward to most in the comments.

Matinees: Europa Report (8/2), In a World… (8/9), Cutie and the Boxer (8/16), Inch’Allah (8/16), Una Noche (8/23) Closed Circuit (8/28), I Declare War (8/30), Our Nixon (8/30), Afternoon Delight (8/30)

10. Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg; Aug. 23rd)

Synopsis: Luke and Kate are co-workers at a Chicago brewery, where they spend their days drinking and flirting. They’re perfect for each other, except that they’re both in relationships.


Why Should You See It: Judging by most accounts, I picked the right feature with which to jump into the filmmaking of Joe Swanberg. Known for his prolific work habit, often churning out multiple features a year, Drinking Buddies marks his largest production yet while retaining lo-fi charm and a believable relationship at its center. Check out our SXSW review for the film that’s now out on VOD.

9. You’re Next (Adam Wingard; Aug. 23rd)

Synopsis: When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.


Why Should You See It: It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two years since attending the premiere of You’re Next, but Lionsgate will finally unleash the entertaining horror flick around the end of August. Contrary to some reports, in no way, shape or form does this slasher escapade bring something wildly new to the table — but, with visceral thrills and some effective scares, it’s well worth checking out. Check out my two-year-old review from TIFF.

8. Passion (Brian De Palma; Aug. 30th)

Synopsis: The rivalry between the manipulative boss of an advertising agency and her talented protégée escalates from stealing credit to public humiliation to murder.


Why Should You See It: While his latest has been lambasted since a festival unveiling last fall, any Brian De Palma fan should know that, until it’s in front of you, no overarching judgement can be handed out. We’ve now arrived in the month of Passion, which hits VOD this week before getting a short theatrical run, and we can’t wait to check out what’s in store with the Rachel McAdams– and Noomi Rapace-led thriller.

7. Prince Avalanche (David Gordon Green; Aug. 9th)

Synopsis: Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.


Why Should You See It: One of the more refreshing films I caught at this year’s Sundance was a return to form for David Gordon Green, Prince Avalanche. As mostly featuring just Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsh on the job, I said, “with a dose of genuine drama as revelations build and build to a breaking point, the character-based film is an ideal transition for Green from his recent slapstick passions to the authentic dramas that launched his career.” Read my Sundance Film Festival review.

6. Elysium (Neill Blomkamp; Aug. 9th)

Synopsis: A factory worker takes on a mission to hijack his way onto a man-made space habitat.


Why Should You See It: While once set for a March bow, Sony thought it would be wise to position Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium similarly to his debut hit, District 9. Arriving in just a week, the sci-fi blockbuster looks to be a standout of the summer, featuring Matt Damon as the lead of an actioner that, with any luck, can successfully meld big ideas with thrills. Early reviews and buzz have hinted that it doesn’t reach the highs of Blomkamp’s first outing — but, if it even comes close, the film should be worth seeing.

See top five films to watch this month >>

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