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15 Films to See in August

Written by on July 29, 2019 

The summer movie season is now winding down and, in a reversal of prevailing expectations, August brings one of the best slates of the entire year. From stellar documentaries to heartfelt stories of romance to a 14-hour epic, it’s an eclectic lineup before the busy fall season begins.

15. Apocalypse Now: Final Cut (Francis Ford Coppola; August 15)

This monthly rundown is usually reserved for new films, and Francis Ford Coppola’s latest project is no mere restoration, but rather a new “final cut” of Apocalypse Now–one that is getting an IMAX release. Nick Newman was at the world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, where he said, “More a reigned-in second stab than radical reworking, it suggests where he’d turned right or wrong, shows an affable stubbornness in the retention of lesser-liked pieces, and at day’s end maybe breeds further ambiguity as to what really shapes a masterpiece.”

14. This Is Not Berlin (Hari Sama; August 23)

A stand-out at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Hari Sama takes a semi-autobiographical look at his fiery adolescence. Jared Mobarak said in his review, “The events onscreen are semi-autobiographical for Sama and thus a document of the turmoil those his age at the time faced when external expectations and internal hopes clashed. At its center: love. The power it has to bring us together opposite its potential to tear us apart.” One can also read our interview with the director here.

13. Give Me Liberty (Kirill Mikhanovsky; August 23)

If it wasn’t Vin Diesel behind the Fast & the Furious franchise, but rather a second-generation Russian-American living in a frigid Wisconsin, and if our protagonist’s goal wasn’t a victorious street race or bank heist, but rather dropping off handicapped people to their destination and his relatives to a funeral, you might have something like Give Me Liberty. I said at Sundance, “A kinetic, comedic journey taking place over a day, Kirill Mikhanovsky’s film is a bit too needlessly frenzy as it eventually runs out of steam, but is potent in its exploration of shared cross-cultural experiences.” With the film now receiving some trims for its theatrical release, we imagine a more satisfying experience is in store.

12. Ready or Not (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett; August 21)

Every August there seems to be at least one pre-Halloween season horror film that delivers the right amount of thrills. Coming from the directing duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (aka Radio Silence), Ready or Not looks to fit the bill. Their follow-up to Devil’s Due and Southbound seems to inject a heavy dose of satirical comedy into this tale of a wedding tradition gone horrifically wrong when the bride fits back.

11. Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Richard Linklater; August 16)

After being delayed for well over a year, Richard Linklater’s adaptation of the hit book Where’d You Go, Bernadette finally arrives this month. Led by Cate Blanchett in the story of motherhood, marriage, and a career deferred, we’ll have our full thoughts when the embargo goes up a few days before release.

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