From fan-favorite A24 films to Oscar-winning classics, here are just some of the best movies coming to HBO Max in August.
HBO Max may have been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately, however, at this current moment, it still stands head and shoulders above the other streamers when it comes to its extensive film library that includes a diverse range of titles from all genres which grows every month. August has been no different, with films from all eras of Hollywood and other corners of the globe being added to the service. Check out some of the highlights below.
Director/Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Stephen Root, Alan Tudyk, Gary Cole, and Jason Bateman
A sleepover classic for the 2000s kids, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is a hilarious take on the underdog sports movie genre starring two A-list comedians at the height of their powers. Vince Vaughn stars as Peter LaFleur, the owner of the struggling gym, Average Joe’s, which is across the street from the luxurious Globo Gym owned by the air-headed and vindictive White Goodman (Ben Stiller). When White attempts to buy Average Joe’s, Peter and his motley crew of gym employees and regulars have 30 days to raise $50,000. So naturally, they sign up for a dodgeball tournament with a cash prize only for White and his Globo Gym minions to sign up, setting the stage for a final showdown. An endlessly rewatchable comedy stuffed with some unforgettable cameos.
Director/Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser and Melissa Benoist
If you need a Miles Teller fix after Top Gun Maverick, look no further than Damien Chazelle’s modern classic. Andrew (Teller), a dedicated jazz drummer and a first-year student at a prestigious music college, pushes himself to the limit trying to get into the good graces of the ruthless and abusive jazz instructor Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Chazelle announced himself as a high-caliber filmmaker worth paying attention to, while Simmons gives an instantly iconic performance that won him a well-deserved Oscar.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary
Cast: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, and Bruce Willis
Quentin Tarantino blew the doors off the indie film scene and influenced a generation of filmmakers with this masterpiece about a group of friends who like talking about cheeseburgers and quoting bible verses. Set to an eclectic soundtrack in the sprawling criminal underworld of Los Angeles, three intertwining stories take place involving a mob boss’ wife, a boxer attempting to retrieve a valuable personal item, and a hitman with a new lease on life hoping to just go on to walk the earth. Every member of the ensemble cast is excellent; John Travolta revived his career as Vincent Vega, Samuel L. Jackson gives what is arguably his greatest and most memorable performance of his storied career, while Uma Thurman is electric in every scene and graces the cover of one of the most iconic movie posters in cinema history.
Director/Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander and Sonoya Mizuno
Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a researcher for a massive tech company, is selected to win a prize to spend a week with the company’s elusive CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac) at his luxurious but isolated mansion. Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has developed a humanoid robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander), who is ingrained with artificial intelligence rendering her capable of thought and consciousness. However, the situation becomes tense when Ava confides in Caleb that Nathan is a liar who cannot be trusted. A long-time writer of screenplays and novels, Alex Garland’s directorial debut announced an exciting new filmmaking talent with a mind for engaging and thought-provoking science fiction stories. An excellently made sci-fi thriller that is well worth your time.
Director/Writer: Brian De Palma
Cast: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, and Dennis Franz
Jack Terry (John Travolta) is a Philadelphia-based sound technician working on the post-production of a low-budget slasher film. After being told by the producer to get better wind sound and a more realistic sounding scream for the film’s climax, Jack goes to a local park in the hopes of recording some better sound effects. While recording, he sees a car careen off of the road and into a nearby lake. The car’s driver, who also happened to be the governor, is killed, but Jack manages to save the passenger, a woman named Sally (Nancy Allen). Later whilst listening to his recording, Jack hears the distinct sound of a gunshot before the tire blows out and discovers that the incident wasn’t an accident but an assassination, throwing himself into a conspiracy and into the crosshairs of those who carried out the killing. Brian De Palma shows that he is a master filmmaker with this phenomenal neo-noir mystery. Blow Out is simply a must-watch for all film fans.
Director: Duncan Jones
Writer: Ben Ripley
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright
Duncan Jones followed up his acclaimed breakout debut Moon with this time loop sci-fi thriller. When US Army pilot Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up on a commuter train in Chicago he is disoriented and has no memory of getting there, but to the world around him, even in his reflection, he appears to be an entirely different man. The train soon explodes and Colter wakes up in a small cockpit where he is informed that he is on a mission to discover the culprit of the explosion and will have to keep returning to the other man’s body in order to do so. A gripping thriller that expertly uses the time loop trope.
Director: James Ponsoldt
Writer: Donald Margulies
Cast: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Ron Livingston, Anna Chlumsky and Joan Cusack
Based on a true story; David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg), a journalist for Rolling Stone Magazine, is given the opportunity to interview the renowned author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) over a few days during his book tour for his newly released and acclaimed novel Infinite Jest. While on the road, the two men discuss various topics from their lives and writing, to dogs and television. They butt heads on certain issues but ultimately come to develop a sort of kinship and deeper understanding of themselves and each other. A touching drama featuring two excellent lead performances, particularly from Segel who really should have been given some awards consideration for his work here.
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