The last month of the summer movie season may be the biggest. A reboot of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” and Guy Ritchie’s big-screen take on TV’s 1960s Cold War spy series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” are among the highlights.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the bigger films due out in theaters in August. Note that release dates may change.
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 8/7 | Ok for Kids 12+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels.
Directed by Josh Trank (“Chronicle”) and inspired by the “Ultimate Fantastic Four” comics (the first arc of which was written by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar, with Joe Kubert illustrating), this movie offers a modern take on Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team.
The story centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The team must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
The cast includes “Whiplash’s” Miles Teller as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, “House of Cards” star Kate Mara as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, “Fruitvale Station’s” Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, and “Snowpiercer’s” Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing. Stars also include Toby Kebbell as Doctor Doom, Reg E. Cathey as Dr. Franklin Storm, and Tim Blake Nelson as Harvey Elder/TheMole Man.
Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 8/7 | Ok for Kids 8+ | GKIDS | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels.
Based on Khalil Gibran’s best known fictional work, this animated production involves collaborations across many borders. Each of the 89-year-old classic’s chapters is directed by a different award-winning filmmaker, including Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Michal Socha and others, with Roger Allers (“The Lion King”) connecting the narratives together.
Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, Quvenzhane Wallis, John Krasinski, Alfred Molina and Frank Langella are a few of the actors voicing characters in the film. One of the best-selling books of all time, “The Prophet” has sold more than 100 million copies since its original publication in 1923. The Lebanese-born Gibran is the third most-read poet in history, after Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu, and has been translated into more than 40 languages.
THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content and partial nudity | In Theaters 8/14 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels.
Oh boy! I loved this TV show when I was a kid, and the big screen version directed by Guy Ritchie doesn’t disappoint. Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s at the height of the Cold War, this spy thriller centers on CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Ilya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), who are forced to put aside longstanding hostilities and team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization that’s bent on causing chaos via nuclear weapons and technology.
The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization. It’s a race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe. Also stars Alicia Vikander, Jared Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani and Hugh Grant.
Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 8/14 (2D/3D) | Ok for Kids 7+ | Weinstein | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels.
From The Weinstein Company and director Juan Jose Campanella comes this animated adventures featuring the voices of Matthew Morrison, Ariana Grande, Nicolas Hoult, Bella Thorne, Katie Holmes, and John Leguizamo.
The story follows Jake (Morrison), a shy but talented foosball player whose passion for the game is rivaled only by his love for free-spirited Laura (Grande). With her encouragement, he beats the town bully, Ace (Hoult), in a foosball game, but everything changes when Ace becomes the world’s best soccer player and returns years later to turn their village into a new sports stadium. He starts to destroy everything, kidnaps Laura in the process, and just when all hope seems lost, the toy figures from Jake’s foosball table come to life. He and the players embark on a wild adventure to save Laura, reclaim their village and save the day with the help of his team, his town, and a little magic.
CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON II: THE GREEN LEGEND
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 8/28 (IMAX/Netflix) | Ok for Kids 15+ | Weinstein | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.
Woo-Ping Yuen directs this sequel to the hit 2000 film that centers on a story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword, and one last opportunity at redemption. Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as Yu Shu Lien, and the film also stars Eugenia Yuan, Jason Scott Lee, Roger Yuan, Harry Shum Jr, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, and Donnie Yen as Silent Wolf.
Trailer not available at press time.
What do you think about these movies due out in August? Sound off in the comments section below!
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender.
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Jane Boursaw is a well-known film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.