IMDb Picks: August

by IMDb-Editors | created - 23 Jul 2015 | updated - 06 Aug 2015 | Public

You've got one goal this month: to pack in as much fun and relaxation as possible before school goes back into session and work ramps up. In order to help you accomplish such a lofty mission, use our handpicked list of August movies and TV shows that we're excited about as your guide. We hope you'll discover some instant hits and hidden gems!

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1. The Gift (VI) (2015)

R | 108 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A young married couple's lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband's past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years.

Director: Joel Edgerton | Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman

Votes: 123,391 | Gross: $43.77M

All I can say about this one is that it’s nice to know you can still be surprised by thrillers — kudos to writer, actor, producer, and director extraordinaire Joel Edgerton on his directorial debut! This is a well-acted, well-written movie that I’d highly recommend. And do pay attention to the stunning cinematography by Eduard Grau. - Chako

Release Info: In theaters on Thursday, August 6.

2. Project Runway (2004– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Game-Show, Reality-TV

Heidi Klum hosts a reality series where aspiring fashion designers compete for a chance to break into the industry. Each week, a designer is eliminated from the competition after exhibiting their work in front of a judges' panel.

Stars: Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors

Votes: 9,540

If I had it my way, "Project Runway" would be on nonstop year round. It's hard to believe that the show has been on for 14 seasons, and I'm still not bored with the process. Every year there's always an interesting mix of new designers and this year is no exception. I'm excited for the upcoming line-up which includes a menswear designer, a knitwear specialist, and a plus-size designer. Bring on the real women challenge! - Michelle

Premieres: 9pm Thursday, August 6 on Lifetime.

3. Fantastic Four (2015)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

27 Metascore

Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

Director: Josh Trank | Stars: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell

Votes: 139,674 | Gross: $56.12M

The behind-the-scenes drama with director Josh Trank made me more interested in seeing his take on the origins of Reed Richard and his friends — and none of the available footage has shaken my belief that the movie might be solid enough to re-launch the franchise by the time the opening weekend box-office numbers are in.

It's been an interesting summer for superheroes with Avengers: Age of Ultron making less money than its predecessor and Ant-Man succeeding in its own universe (but failing to expand the popularity of the MCU). Hopefully, there's a chance for the Four to re-ignite our love for comic book movies with a great story, well-conceived characters, and a through line for a potential sequel. - Arno

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 7.

4. Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

PG | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

81 Metascore

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

Directors: Mark Burton, Richard Starzak | Stars: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili, Richard Webber

Votes: 32,813 | Gross: $19.38M

It never ceases to amaze me what Aardman Animation Studios can do with the painstaking process of claymation! I predict my face will hurt from non-stop smiling and giggling through the entire movie. And the fact that there are no words in the movie (or the series) means they have to be extra-clever when telling the story. - Chako

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 7.

5. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

56 Metascore

In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki

Votes: 239,643 | Gross: $45.45M

Maybe you’ve watched "The Americans" and thought, I wish you guys were a little more fun. And I wish you’d see past all the Cold War stuff to the bigger threats, and team up with the CIA. And could you throw in Henry Cavill and Arnie Hammer while you're at it? Because that would be nice. Okay maybe you haven't thought all this, but these are the reasons to get excited for The Man from U.N.C.L.E..

  • Melissa

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 14.

6. Straight Outta Compton (2015)

R | 147 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr.

Votes: 164,797 | Gross: $161.20M

They first brought their stories to the public through their music, and now that story is finally being brought to life in this biopic. N.W.A.'s journey of struggle and transcendence brings a nice balance to the heavy dose of summer popcorn movies.

  • Chako

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 14.

7. Sinister 2 (2015)

R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

32 Metascore

A young mother and her twin sons move into a rural house that's marked for death.

Director: Ciarán Foy | Stars: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan

Votes: 41,492 | Gross: $27.74M

A spooky basement, home movies on film reels, and scary kids in cornfields? This movie is packed with horror movie tropes, but it looks to be a recipe for at least two and a half weeks’ worth of nightmares. Hopefully sequel Sinister 2 won’t make you, er, 2 your pants. - Chako

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 21.

8. American Ultra (2015)

R | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

50 Metascore

A stoner - who is in fact a government agent - is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he's too well-trained and too high for them to handle.

Director: Nima Nourizadeh | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Connie Britton, John Leguizamo

Votes: 76,571 | Gross: $14.43M

As a fan of Adventureland, I was immediately intrigued when I heard that Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart were teaming up for another film. And then I watched the trailer... Jesse Eisenberg as a stoner/sleeper CIA agent with the ability to kill with the spoon? I don't think I've laughed that hard at a trailer in a long time. I just pray that Kristen is also deep undercover. Fingers crossed. - Michelle

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 21.

9. Grandma (2015)

R | 79 min | Comedy, Drama

77 Metascore

A teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy seeks help from her acerbic grandmother, a woman who is long estranged from her daughter.

Director: Paul Weitz | Stars: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer

Votes: 13,623 | Gross: $6.98M

Lily Tomlin is not your grandma’s grandma. Age has not mellowed her acerbic wit, for one, and she’s more modern than the generations in her wake, which is why director Paul Weitz created this role just for her — the coolest grandma a teen in trouble could ask for. All of us could use some of Tomlin's wisdom and advice, delivered straight up, as only she can do. - Melissa

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 21.

10. Fear the Walking Dead (2015– )

TV-MA | 44 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A Walking Dead spin-off, set in Los Angeles, following two families who must band together to survive the undead apocalypse.

Stars: Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Cliff Curtis, Rubén Blades

Votes: 99,305

As a huge fan of "The Walking Dead," I can’t even contain my excitement to watch the start of the Walker-pocalypse play out in LA. Sources say the FtWD group won’t meet up with Rick Grimes and the TWD crew, but I don’t know if I fully believe them (or want to believe them). The show is already locked down for a two-season commitment from AMC, which means we’ve got lots of exploding heads to look forward to. And Kim Dickens! The world needs more Kim Dickens. - Chako

Premieres: 10pm Sunday, August 23 on AMC.

11. Tom at the Farm (2013)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

67 Metascore

A grieving man meets his lover's family, who were not aware of their son's sexual orientation.

Director: Xavier Dolan | Stars: Xavier Dolan, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Lise Roy, Evelyne Brochu

Votes: 13,831

Saw this movie on a Montreal trip and cannot wait for a second viewing. Xavier Dolan's psychosexual drama keeps all of its characters' mysteries close to its chest and makes you wonder about their intentions, as well as the weird space that desire and fear can share. - Arno

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 14.

12. People Places Things (2015)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Romance

68 Metascore

Will Henry is a newly single graphic novelist balancing parenting his young twin daughters and a classroom full of students while exploring and navigating the rich complexities of new love and letting go of the woman who left him.

Director: Jim Strouse | Stars: Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Jessica Williams, Stephanie Allynne

Votes: 7,488

After writing both Lonesome Jim and Grace Is Gone (and directing Grace), James C. Strouse lightened things up a bit with the decent comedy The Winning Season, which stars Sam Rockwell. Strouse now takes things even further with a fatherhood comedy and a leading role for Jemaine Clement, and I'm pretty excited about this combination after watching the trailer. - Arno

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 14.

13. Digging for Fire (2015)

R | 85 min | Drama

69 Metascore

The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.

Director: Joe Swanberg | Stars: Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson

Votes: 5,022 | Gross: $0.12M

Thanks to The One I Love, now I can get excited when indie actors get wrapped up in a mystery. - Arno

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 21.

14. She's Funny That Way (2014)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama

45 Metascore

On the set of a playwright's new project, a love triangle forms between his wife, her ex-lover, and the call girl-turned-actress cast in the production.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Imogen Poots, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn

Votes: 22,102 | Gross: $0.09M

It’s been 43 years since Peter Bogdanovich directed What’s Up, Doc?, and 14 since his last film. The director has somehow managed to revive his career with a script he co-wrote in the 90s (with his ex-wife) that’s lured Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. Curiosity – and nods to Broadway Danny Rose – have landed this one on my picks' list. - Melissa

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 21.

15. 7 Chinese Brothers (2015)

Not Rated | 76 min | Comedy

56 Metascore

Sharing a small apartment with his sleepy French bulldog, an unmotivated thirty-something slacker lands a job at a Quick Lube, to be close to the shop's beautiful manager. Has he found a new purpose in life? Is there still hope?

Director: Bob Byington | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Olympia Dukakis, Tunde Adebimpe, Eleanore Pienta

Votes: 1,308

Nice-guy director Bob Byington has no problem getting people like Nick Offerman and Kevin Corrigan to collaborate with him, and now he adds Jason Schwartzman to his collective.

Byington's newest movie is about a guy (Schwartzman) who's smart enough to get what he wants out of life, but seems to lack any kind of desire, passion, or interest — aside from his faithful French bulldog (Schwartzman's real-life dog, Arrow) and opiates. My recent conversation with Byington and Schwartzman opens up the world they created together, and I hope it appeals to others. My advice: If the story doesn't grab you the first time around, give it a second chance. - Arno

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 28.

16. Z for Zachariah (2015)

PG-13 | 98 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.

Director: Craig Zobel | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine, Margot Robbie

Votes: 25,274 | Gross: $0.12M

There’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned post-apocalypse love triangle! Apparently, love knows no bounds, even when struggling for survival on a ruined Earth. This intense character study is sure to bring out the best in already super-talented leads Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. - Chako

Release Info: In theaters on Friday, August 28.

17. Awkward. (2011–2016)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An unpopular 15-year-old gains immediate, yet unwanted, popularity at her high school when the student body mistakes an accident she has for a suicide attempt.

Stars: Ashley Rickards, Beau Mirchoff, Jillian Rose Reed, Brett Davern

Votes: 40,818

Lost in a sea of "Teen Moms" and "Pretty Little Liars" is this MTV gem, a smartly-written comedy with a heroine that any generation can embrace (Jenna Hamilton, played by Ashley Rickards). With high school coming to an end, I'm eager to see what the writers have in store for Jenna’s future. Hopefully not a "Teen Mom" crossover. - Melissa

Release Info: In theaters on Monday, August 31.

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