Justin Chon's 'Gook,' Natalie Portman's 'Planetarium' also closing summer season

By Joey Nolfi
August 01, 2017 at 02:21 PM EDT

As the summer stretch draws to a close, studios and specialty distributors alike are unleashing their last hurrahs of the season. From action epics like The Dark Tower to potential Oscar players (Wind River) and international festival fare (The Villainess), this former cinematic dumping month could launch a few gems into the pop cultural conversation. Read on for a list of notable titles hitting theaters this month.

The Dark Tower

The latest in a long line of Stephen King projects to hit the big screen stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. “It’s better just to treat it like no big deal,” Elba previously told EW about his landing a role in the film. “There should be no difference. The character that was written in Stephen’s imagination, it could be any color. It just happens to be me and, you know? In the artwork, it just so happens to be a white guy, but I don’t think that makes any difference. … I think what’s great about it, if I want to say anything about it, is that it is a sign of the times in terms of a colorless society. People go, ‘A good actor is a good actor,’ you know?”

Release date: Aug. 4 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

Kidnap

After pounding pulses at the center of The Call, Halle Berry hits the road for another taut abduction thriller with Kidnap, her first leading role in a major movie in four years.

Release date: Aug. 4 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

Columbus

Love and personal ties are matters of life and death in Kogonada’s Columbus, which stars John Cho as Jin, a curious man whose father falls gravely ill, leaving him stranded in the film’s titular Indiana town where he strikes up a meaningful friendship with an architectural enthusiast, Casey (Haley Lu Richardson).

Release date: Aug. 4 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

Wind River

After landing on critical radar with two well-received dramas in a row — 2015’s Sicario and last year’s Hell or High Water — Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan steps into the role of director with Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as a game trapper and FBI agent, respectively, investigating a grisly murder on a Native American reservation. Given that the film occupies the same release window as Hell or High Water (Cannes screening, August release), Wind River could score Sheridan his second consecutive nod from the Academy when ballots are cast in just a few months’ time.

Release date: Aug. 4 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

Annabelle: Creation

No, the creepy doll from The Conjuring hasn’t just simmered in your nightmares all this time; Warner Bros. has been hard at work crafting another film based on the terrifying toy, who scared up an impressive $256 million against a modest $7 million budget in her debut standalone picture in 2014.

Release date: Aug. 11 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

The Glass Castle

Brie Larson (re-teaming with her Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton) Naomi Watts, and Woody Harrelson breathe life into Jeannette Walls’ 2005 autobiography in this true life tale of a dysfunctional family fronted by a nomad alcoholic (Harrelson) and his artist wife (Watts).

Release date: Aug. 11 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan, and more voice furry critters in this family-oriented sequel.

Release date: Aug. 11 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

Ingrid Goes West

Freshman feature director Matt Spicer directs Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen in this hip comedy-thriller about a social media stalker (Plaza) who moves to California to insert herself — by several unorthodox means — into the life of a popular Instagram star (Olsen).

Release date: Aug. 11 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

Good Time

Robert Pattinson earned some of the best reviews of his career at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in the Safdie brothers’ latest project, which follows a pair of sibling criminals separated when a heist goes awry. Oneohtrix Point Never’s original score and Pattinson’s lead performance could register on Oscar voters’ radar in the awards race ahead.

Release date: Aug. 11 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

The Only Living Boy in New York

Kate Beckinsale causes a sultry stir for her adultering partner’s son after the 20-something college grad forcefully crosses paths with her in Marc Webb’s upcoming romantic comedy The Only Living Boy in New York. The film centers on city dweller Thomas (Callum Turner), whose wealthy father (Pierce Brosnan) — unbeknownst to his wife (Cynthia Nixon) — engages in a secret affair with another woman, Johanna (Beckinsale). Her allure proves to be too much for Thomas, as he begins meeting with (and, at one point, kissing) her, adding another layer of complication atop the intricately woven familial dynamic — all while confiding in his eccentric neighbor (Jeff Bridges).

Release date: Aug. 11 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

Planetarium

Natalie Portman speaks to spirits in Rebecca Zlotowski’s bewitching period drama, about two sisters (Portman and Lily-Rose Depp) whose medium powers are enlisted by a wealthy studio head seeking to turn their gifts into profitable movies. With stellar performances and eye-popping visual flair, Planetarium is an ambitious throwback to the movie magic of yesteryear.

Release date: Aug. 11 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson team for a comedy-action film about a bodyguard hired to protect his sworn enemy — also a ruthless hitman — chosen to testify  at the International Court of Justice. Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman also star.

Release date: Aug. 18 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh’s finished with early retirement (like you didn’t see that coming) already, unleashing Logan Lucky — yet another heist comedy with a robust cast, including Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Adam Driver, and Hilary Swank — at the end of the month.

Release date: Aug. 18 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

Gook

Director-actor Justin Chon pours his heart and soul into Gook, a riveting drama about a pair of Korean-American brothers who navigate the contentious streets of Los Angeles (and maintain their South Central shoe business) during the Rodney King riots. Young Simone Baker gives a star-making turn as Kamilla, a young girl from a dysfunctional family who serves as the emotional center of the film.

Release date: Aug. 18 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

Patti Cake$

A young woman (Danielle MacDonald) attempts to make it as a hardcore rapper in this Sundance hit.

Release date: Aug. 18 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

Birth of the Dragon

The life of cinema icon and ace martial artist Bruce Lee gets the biopic treatment in George Nolfi’s period action flick, which debuted last year at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Release date: Aug. 25 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

Leap!

The animated family film that blessed us with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling” on its jam-packed soundtrack is finally here.

Release date: Aug. 25 — get tickets here
Release type: Wide

Tulip Fever

After footage first screened at Cannes in May 2015, Tulip Fever – -starring Alicia Vikander, Judi Dench, Christoph Waltz, and Cara Delevingne in a period tale about a love affair that unfolds amid the backdrop of 17th century floral mania — is finally hitting domestic screens this August.

Release date: Aug. 25 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

The Villainess

Fans of South Korean cinema rejoice, as Kim Ok-bin fronts the new action thriller (and Cannes critical hit) The Villainess, which revolves around a female assassin who becomes a sleeper agent for her country’s government — only to endure the resurgence of her dark history when two men from her past unexpectedly return.

Release date: Aug. 25 — get tickets here
Release type: Limited

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