New movies in August include a cute cat movie starring Kevin Spacey, a “Pete’s Dragon” reboot, and a beautiful Japanese-inspired family film. Here’s a sneak peek at all the new movies in August. Note that release dates are subject to change.
Rated PG for thematic elements, language and some rude humor | In Theaters 8/5 | Ok for Kids 7+ | EuropaCorp | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a daredevil billionaire at the top of his game. His company FireBrand is nearing completion on its greatest achievement yet – the tallest skyscraper in the northern hemisphere. But Tom’s workaholic lifestyle has disconnected him from his family, particularly his beautiful wife Lara (Jennifer Garner) and their daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman). For her 11th birthday, Rebecca wants what she’s always wanted – a cat. So Tom buys a cat named Mr. Fuzzypants at a mystical pet store run by eccentric owner Felix Perkins (Christopher Walken). One thing leads to another and after a car accident, Tom finds himself trapped inside the body of Mr. Fuzzypants! Will he be able to return to his family as a newly energized husband and dad?
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 or R | In Theaters 8/5 | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru back in 1959, the Suicide Squad team has included countless DC villains among its ranks, including Deadshot (Will Smith), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), among others. The story centers on the imprisoned supervillains recruited by a secret government agency to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency. Directed by David Ayer, this action thriller also stars Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Common, Scott Eastwood and Joel Kinnaman.
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | In Theaters 8/5 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Weinstein | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels
Written by Robert Siegel (“Big Fan”), this drama tells the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire. Directed by John Lee Hancock, this movie also stars Nick Offerman, Linda Cardellini, Laura Dern and BJ Novak.
Rated PG for action, peril and brief language | Ok for Kids 7+ | In Theaters 8/12 | Disney | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
This reimagining of the 1977 Disney classic blends live action and CGI to tell the story of the special bond between an orphaned boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliott, who just happens to be a dragon. Directed by David Lowery, this film also stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace, a park ranger who discovers the existence of Elliott; Wes Bentley as Jack, a local mill owner; Karl Urban as Jack’s brother, Gavin; Oona Laurence as Natalie, the young girl who befriends Pete; and Robert Redford as Grace’s father.
Rated R | In Theaters 8/12 | Ok for Kids 18+ | Sony | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels
“Sausage Party” may be animated, but it’s definitely not for kids! This raunchy comedy centers on one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. After learning some horrible truths, our hero sausage and his new friends embark on a perilous journey to get back to their supermarket aisles and warn the others before it’s too late. Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, this movie stars Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Salma Hayek, Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, and Edward Norton.
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 8/12 | Paramount | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels
Set in 1940s New York, this musical comedy is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite (Meryl Streep) who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge. Directed by Stephen Frears, this movie also stars Simon Helberg and Rebecca Ferguson.
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 8/19 | Ok for Kids 7+ | Focus Features | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels
Set in a fantastical Japan, this epic action-adventure is from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA and director Travis Knight. Kind-hearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town, including Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kamekichi (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Rooney Mara) to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.
Not yet rated; likely R | In Theaters 8/19 | Open Road Films | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
After a heist goes terribly wrong, Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) finds himself on the run from a ruthless gang headed by mob boss Hagen (Anthony Hopkins). Now Casey has precious cargo that belongs to Hagen, who will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Left with no choice, Casey calls his former employer and drug smuggler Geran (Ben Kingsley) to protect his long-time girlfriend Juliette before Hagen gets his hands on her. Casey sets out on an adrenaline-fueled car chase on the German highways to save the love of his life before it’s too late. Directed by Eran Creevy, this movie also stars Felicity Jones.
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 8/19 | Paramount | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
This remake of the 1959 classic film is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but instead finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” this movie is directed by Timur Bekmambetov and also stars Morgan Freeman and Rodrigo Santoro.
THE SPACE BETWEEN US
Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality and language | In Theaters 8/19 | Ok for Kids 13+ | STX Entertainment | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot, an inquisitive, intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his life. While searching for clues about his father and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars, but scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Directed by Peter Chelsom, this movie stars Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, Britt Robertson and BD Wong.
Not yet rated; likely R | In Theaters 8/19 | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
Based on a true story, this action comedy follows two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller) living in Miami during the first Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a $300 million deal to arm the Afghan Military – a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government. Directed by Todd Phillips, this movie also stars Bradley Cooper and Ana de Armas.
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.
Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.