closing out the summer season

In the past, the final month of the summer season was reserved exclusively for big-action films, with musclemen and comic book heroes dominating the screen. Not so much anymore: the choices are more varied. Here’s a look at some of the standouts that await you this August at Valley theaters.

Christopher Robin

Camp out with your favorite anthropomorphic animals in the Hundred Acre Wood and get gooey in the honey pot of nostalgia that is this live-action Disney tribute to A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Ewan McGregor stars as Chris Robin, now a middle-aged man in search of the childlike wonder he’s outgrown. Release date: Now


Director Spike Lee doesn’t care if you’re uncomfortable. His latest is an unflinching dramatization of that time a black Colorado Springs cop (Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington) infiltrated the KKK. Grand Prize winner at Cannes, this one’s on fire and might just be Lee’s most entertaining yet. Release date: August 10

The Meg

It doesn’t matter if critics drown this waterlogged B-movie in negative reviews—nothing can come between you, a jumbo tub of popcorn, and Jason Statham in hero mode. Except maybe the massive megalodon he’s been tasked with taming. Sorry, but we’re chomping at the bit. Release date: August 10

The Wife

All hail the dynamo that is Glenn Close. In yet another entrancing role, she plays Joan Castleman, the yin to her husband’s yang and the quiet tour-de-force in this simmering marital portrait. As her husband of 40 years prepares to accept a Nobel Prize, she reevaluates life, marriage, and her complicity. Bonus: the film is based on a book by Meg Wolitzer. Release date: August 17


Let’s go to prison—just so we can break out with Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek. All kidding aside, this remake of the Steven McQueen ‘70s original, also based on the autobiography of Henri “Papillon” Charriere, is brutal fare about a wrongly convicted prisoner who successfully escapes Devil’s Island. Release date: August 24

The Little Stranger

This historical ghost story about a country doctor who’s haunted by his past has a lot going for it; it’s helmed by Room director Lenny Abrahamson, written by The Danish Girl’s Lucinda Coxon, and based on a novel by the author who gave us The Handmaiden. Not to mention it stars Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling. Release date: August 31

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

This indie film about conversion therapy is already making waves. Desiree Akhavan’s ‘90s-era queer romance stars Chloe Grace Moretz as the titular character, and it’s racking up awards, including top prize at Sundance. Release date: Now

Summer of ‘84

What’s new is old again in this suburbia slasher steeped in ‘80s nostalgia. In what feels like It without the clown and Disturbia without the Shia, a group of 15-year-old buddies spend their summer transfixed by one thing: hunting down a serial killer. And girls. OK, so two things. Release date: August 10

Crazy Rich Asians

Consider this your invitation to attend the gaudiest wedding in all of Singapore. Kevin Kwan’s best-selling rom-com about a New Yorker who learns her modest boyfriend is actually the heir to a massive fortune is finally premiering on the big screen, with Constance Wu and Henry Golding leading the way. Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and Ken Jeong are also along for the ride. Release date: August 15


You don’t necessarily have to be a country music fan to enjoy this Sundance winner, but you might just leave the theater and download the soundtrack immediately. A Texas native, Ethan Hawke steps behind the camera to direct an affecting biopic about troubled yet inspired Texas country singer Blaze Foley. Release date: August 17

The Little Mermaid

Not to be confused with Disney’s live-action remake that will no doubt feature a real-life chorus of creatures belting out “Under the Sea,” this reimagined indie fish tale based on the Hans Christian Andersen classic is a super-serious circus feat about a mermaid held captive by an evil ring leader. Release date: August 17


Aneesh Chaganty’s techno-thriller unfolds entirely within the confines of a computer screen, yes, but his techy film is no gimmick. An Hitchcockian suspense thriller that highlights how we as a society spend the majority of our time these days (i.e., online), Chaganty’s debut is peak contemporary cinema. And ironically, and it stars your Internet Boyfriend John Cho. Release date: August 31