MoviesRecapsAugust 2019 Movie Preview

dannythemoviemanAugust 1, 2019

August, for the past few years, has been known to be a month where not much films get released. It’s usually holdovers from earlier in the summer, and the tail end of August usually sees really low box office numbers. 2019 seems to be breaking that curse, as there is an insane amount to look forward to – especially in the tail end – which is an awesome change. Whether you want to hear music from your favorite rock icons in a theatrical setting (David Crosby: Remember My Name, Blinded by the Light), see your favorite action schlock heroes back on the big screen (Hobbs and Shaw, Angel Has Fallen) or get in a last light/feel good tale before you get hit with the end-of-summer blues (Brittany Runs a Marathon, Good Boys) there truly is something for everyone. Welcome to our August 2019 movie preview, where we let you know about the noteworthy releases of the month and follow them up with 5 top picks. Hope to see you at the movies!

Noteworthy Releases

David Crosby: Remember My Name – August 2nd (Theatrical)

Meet David Crosby in this portrait of a man with everything but an easy retirement on his mind. (IMDb)

Directed by A.J. Eaton.

Featuring David Crosby, Jan Crosby, Cameron Crowe, Graham Nash, Steven Stills and Neil Young.

Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw – August 2nd (Theatrical)
Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. (IMDb)

Directed by David Leitch. Written by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce.

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren, Eiza Gonzalez and Eddie Marsan.

Otherhood – August 2nd (Netflix)
Three mothers who are long-time friends and empty nesters decide to drive to New York City to reconnect with their adult sons. In the process, they realize their sons are not the only ones whose lives need to change. (IMDb)

Directed by Cindy Chupack. Written by Chupack and Mark Andrus.

Starring Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett and Felicity Huffman.

The Art of Racing in the Rain – August 9th (Theatrical)
A dog named Enzo recalls the life lessons he has learned from his race car driving owner, Denny. (IMDb)

Directed by Simon Curtis. Written by Mark Bomback.

Starring Milo Ventimiglia, Kevin Costner, Amanda Seyfried, Gary Cole and Kathy Baker.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold – August 9th (Theatrical)
Dora, a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold. (IMDb)

Directed by James Bobin. Written by Matthew Robinson and Nicholas Stoller.

Starring Isabela Moner, Benicio Del Toro, Eva Longoria, Danny Trejo, Michael Pena and Eugenio Derbez.

In the Shadow of the Moon – August 9th (Netflix)

A Philadelphia police officer leads the hunt for an elusive serial killer whose crimes are timed to the lunar cycle in this sleek sci-fi thriller. (

Directed by Jim Mickle. Written by Geoffrey Tock and Gregory Weidman.

Starring Michael C. Hall, Boyd Holbrook and Bokeem Woodbine.

The Kitchen – August 9th (Theatrical)
The wives of New York gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s continue to operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Andrea Berloff.

Starring Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Domhnall Gleeson, Margo Martindale, James Badge Dale, Common, Bill Camp and Brian d’Arcy James.

Mike Wallace is Here – August 9th (Theatrical)

A look at the career of ’60 Minutes’ newsman, Mike Wallace. (IMDb)

Directed by Avi Belkin and featuring archival footage of Mike Wallace.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – August 9th (Theatrical)
A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives. (IMDb)

Directed by Andre Ovredal. Written by Dan and Kevin Hageman.

Starring Dean Norris, Gil Bellows and Lorraine Toussaint in addition to an ensemble of up-and coming young actors.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 – August 14th (Theatrical)
The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their beef to the next level. (IMDb)

Directed by Thurop Van Orman. Written by Peter Ackerman, Eyal Podell and Jonathon E. Stewart.

Starring Awkwafina, Dove Cameron, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Tiffany Haddish, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Jason Sudeikis, Sterling K. Brown, Rachel Bloom, Josh Gad, Eugenio Derbez, Nicki Minaj, Pete Davidson, Zach Woods, Colleen Ballinger, JoJo Siwa, David Dobrik, Lil Rel Howery, Leslie Jones, Brooklyn Prince, Beck Bennett and Anthony Padilla.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged – August 16th (Theatrical)
Four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learn they’ve entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves. (IMDb)

Directed by Johannes Roberts. Written by Roberts and Ernest Riera.

Starring Nia Long, John Corbett, Sophie Nelisse, Brec Bassinger, Sistine Rose Stallone and Corrine Fox.

After the Wedding – August 16th (Theatrical)
A manager of an orphanage in Kolkata travels to New York to meet a benefactor. (IMDb)

An English language remake of the 2006 Danish film, which was directed by Susanne Bier.

Written and directed by Bart Freundlich.

Starring Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup.

Cold Case Hammarskjold – August 16th (Theatrical)

Danish director Mads Brügger and Swedish private investigator Göran Björkdahl are trying to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. As their investigation closes in, they discover a crime far worse than killing the Secretary-General of the United Nations. (IMDb)

Directed by Mads Brügger.

Featuring Brügger and Göran Björkdahl.

American Factory – August 21st (Netflix)

In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America. (IMDb)

Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert.

Angel Has Fallen – August 23rd (Theatrical)
Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat. (IMDb)

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh. Written by Waugh, Katrin Benedikt, Robert Mark Kamen and Creighton Rothenberger.

Starring Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Nick Nolte, Danny Huston, Tim Blake Nelson, Chris Browning and Michael Landes.

Aquarela – August 23rd (Theatrical)

Water is the main protagonist, seen in all its great and terrible beauty. Mountains of ice move and break apart as if they had a life of their own. Kossakovsky’s film travels the world, from the precarious frozen waters of Russia’s Lake Baikal and Miami in the throes of Hurricane Irma, to Venezuela’s mighty Angel Falls in order to paint a portrait of this fluid life force in all its glorious forms. Fragile humans experience life and death, joy and despair in the face of its power. (IMDb)

Directed by Viktor Kossakovsky and featuring water.

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan – August 23rd (Theatrical)
A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor reminisces the written correspondence he shared with him, as well as the impact those letters had on both their lives. (IMDb)

Directed by Xavier Dolan. Written by Dolan and Jacob Tierney.

Starring Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Jacob Tremblay, Thandie Newton, Sarah Gadon, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates and Ben Schnetzer.

Freaks – August 23rd (Theatrical)
A bold girl discovers a bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein.

Starring Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern and Amanda Crew.

Tone-Deaf – August 27th (Digital)
A woman goes to the countryside to spend a quiet weekend after losing her job and having her last complicated relationship implode. She rents a country house to an old-fashioned widower, who struggles to hide his pyschopatic tendencies. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Richard Bates Jr.

Starring Robert Patrick and Amanda Crew.

Brittany Runs a Marathon – August 30th (Theatrical)
A woman living in New York takes control of her life- one block at a time. (IMDb)

Written and directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo.

Starring Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Mikey Day and Lil Rel Howery.

Official Secrets – August 30th (Theatrical)
The true story of a British whistleblower who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (IMDb)

Directed by Gavin Hood. Written by Hood, Sarah Bernstein and Gregory Bernstein.

Starring Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans and Matthew Goode.

Playmobil The Movie – August 30th (Theatrical)
Animated feature film inspired by the Playmobil brand toys. (IMDb)

Directed by Lino DiSalvo. Written by Blaise Hemingway, Greg Erb and Jason Oremland.

Starring Jim Gaffigan, Adam Lambert, Dnaiel Radcliffe, Anya Taylor-Joy, Kenan Thompson and Meghan Trainor.

Dan’s Top Five Picks of the Month

5) Luce – August 9th (Theatrical)

A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student. (IMDb)

Directed by Julius Onah. Written by Onah and J.C. Lee.

Starring Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Octavia Spencer and Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Why You Should See It: Getting tremendous buzz as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance, with raves even suggesting a potential awards season darling, this political thriller explores political violence from a perspective that we haven’t really seen it before – the paranoia seen towards it in the western world, particularly American suburbia. Plus, I’m loving this re-teaming of Funny Games couple Naomi Watts and Tim Roth – especially considering they’re being thrust into just as challenging of a situation.

4) Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – August 23rd (Theatrical)

A loving mom becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Her leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery. (IMDb)

Directed by Richard Linklater. Written by Linklater, Holly Gent and Vincent Palmo Jr.

Starring Cate Blanchett, Judy Greer, Kristen Wiig, Billy Crudup and Laurence Fishburne.

Why You Should See It: Even with it’s numerous delays that have almost gone a full year, as well as rumors of it being not-so strong, it’s just so difficult not to be excited for a new Linklater film. With a fantastic ensemble cast, and especially considering the hot streak Linklater has been on, considering his most recent films were the fantastic Last Flag Flying, Everybody Wants Some, Boyhood and Before Midnight. It may not be great, but any opportunity for a Linklater film is a great one – this writer’s personal favorite director!

3) Ready or Not – August 21st (Theatrical)

A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game. (IMDb)

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy.

Starring Samara Weaving, Andie MacDowell and Adam Brody.

Why You Should See It: It’s been years since Fox Searchlight’s most recent foray into shock-horror, and from the trailer alone, this looks like it could be a great way to cap summer off with a bang. Taking an incredibly obscure spin on the family game night, this extremely bloody survival story looks gorgeously shot, gory in a way that’ll have audiences cheering, and what looks to be a performance that could give the fantastic and exceptionally underrated Samara Weaving a chance to truly be in the spotlight.

2) Good Boys – August 16th (Theatrical)


Three sixth grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party. (IMDb)

Directed by Gene Stupnitsky. Written by Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg.

Starring Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Will Forte, Lil Rel Howery and Millie Davis.

Why You Should See It: A surprise breakout from this years SXSW Film Festival, Good Boys is revelatory. A studio comedy that avoids tropes, and balances obscurely sophisticated as well as obscurely immature humor in a brilliant way, this molly-fueled adventure around American suburbia is a hilarious, well-meant romp that thrusts kids into a situation that they definitely shouldn’t be in a way that’s extremely entertaining. P.S, we better protect these precious kids at all costs!

1) Blinded by the Light – August 16th (Theatrical)

In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen. (IMDb)

Directed by Gurinder Chadha. Written by Chadha, Paul Mayeda Burges and Sarfraz Manzoor.

Starring Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra, Aaron Phagura, Dean-Charles Chapman, Nell Williams, Rob Brydon and Hayley Atwell.

Why You Should See It: In my opinion, the second best film of the year, Blinded by the Light is the pure definition of a crowdpleaser. After its major 15 million dollar acquisition by Warner Bros. at this years Sundance Film Festival (Warner acqusitions are practically unheard of), if you are in the mood for a creatively edited film about how art can transcend lives, and the South Asian representation that mainstream film truly deserves, this is one that you should seek out and see more than once!

Follow me on twitter @daniel_azbel and on letterboxd @danthemovieman.

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