Summer is somehow already nearing a close, and most of the season's biggest blockbusters have come and gone. But there are still a few new films to look forward to this month — not to mention some highly anticipated television premieres. Here are the biggest films and shows to watch in August:
Bullet Train (August 5)
Brad Pitt leads this action-comedy as a trained killer tasked with the supposedly simple assignment of retrieving a briefcase on a train departing out of Tokyo. Spoiler alert: It's not that simple! David Leitch directs coming off of Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw, and the rest of the cast is pretty strong: Joey King, Brian Tyree Henry, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Zazie Beetz, and Bad Bunny (in his first major film role) play assassins who pop up on the train, and Logan Lerman and Michael Shannon also star. Oh, and Sandra Bullock has a role as the handler of Pitt's character, meaning we didn't even have to wait five months for a Lost City reunion. It's arguably the last major big-screen "event" movie of the summer, so enjoy that giant IMAX screen while you can — and let's hope this turns out better than the last time Pitt showed up in a David Leitch movie.
Prey (August 5)
If it bleeds, we can stream it. For those inclined to stay home the weekend of Aug. 5, a huge new franchise movie is surprisingly debuting direct to Hulu: the latest Predator film Prey. This one puts a unique spin on the series by taking the action back to the 1700s, where we follow Native Americans who encounter the Predator long before Arnold Schwarzenegger told us to get to the choppa. Amber Midthunder leads the film as a Comanche warrior, and Dan Trachtenberg directs in his follow-up to 2016's excellent Twilight Zone-esque thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane. Prey is also Predator's latest attempt to reinvent itself after Shane Black's The Predator, which was a bit of a bust in 2018. Can Trachtenberg breathe new life into the series? And given the early buzz is quite strong, will Disney regret not putting the film in theaters? Possibly!
Bodies Bodies Bodies (August 5)
Fans of Ti West's X may want to check out another new slasher from A24: Bodies Bodies Bodies, which follows a group of Gen Z-ers who decide it's a great idea to have a party at a mansion in the middle of a hurricane. There, they play a Mafia-style game that involves trying to figure out who the "murderer" is — only to discover there's been an actual murder. The cast includes Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Rachel Sennott (Shiva Baby), as well as Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live), who in the trailer insists he's not the killer because it would be "so obvious." We'll see! Reviews have been largely positive, with IGN calling it a "comedy-thriller for the online generation with as much tension as humor." If A24 wants to fully pivot into being the studio that brings us a smart, modern slasher every few months, we wouldn't be mad.
Emily the Criminal (August 12)
Aubrey Plaza's post-Parks and Recreation career takes another dramatic turn with the crime drama Emily the Criminal, which earned solid reviews from the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Plaza, who's been racking up impressive non-comedic performances like in Black Bear and Legion, stars as a woman who turns to credit card fraud to deal with her own crippling debt. It's John Patton Ford's directorial debut, and Theo Rossi also stars. Critics said it's a solid thriller and an especially strong acting showcase for Plaza, who RogerEbert.com's Brian Tallerico said gives a "force of nature performance." We'll be on the edge of our seat to find out whether Emily is ultimately caught by Burt Macklin, FBI.
Orphan: First Kill (August 19)
Orphan: First Kill might have the most bizarre movie hook in recent memory: An adult actress is reprising a role she played as a kid, but in a prequel, meaning she's meant to look younger than when she really was a child. In the 2009 horror film Orphan, a couple adopts a young girl, Esther, who they believe is a 9-year-old but (spoiler alert!) turns out to be a 33-year-old woman with a disorder that makes her look like a kid. First Kill, which stars Julia Stiles and is heading straight to Paramount+, is a prequel following Esther as she impersonates a family's missing daughter — and Isabelle Fuhrman returns to play Esther … despite now being a 25-year-old woman. "To reprise a role that you literally did as a kid as an adult has never been done before," Fuhrman told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that "we didn't use special effects, we didn't use any crazy makeup tricks." Move over, Ben Platt.
Three Thousand Years of Longing (August 31)
Director George Miller's highly anticipated follow-up to Mad Max: Fury Road is this fantasy romance that looks like it should be a visual marvel if nothing else. Based on the short story "The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye," Three Thousand Years of Longing stars Idris Elba as a Djinn who offers a woman, played by Tilda Swinton, three wishes. After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, reviews for the film were more mixed than expected, with Variety's Peter Debruge dubbing it a "brain-tickling eyesore." But while some critics felt Miller bit off a bit more than he could chew, others applauded him for the effort, and Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson called it "messy in all its ambition but consistently transfixing, an earnest labor of love." Hey, after Fury Road, we're down for pretty much anything Miller cooks up next.
The Sandman (August 5)
Moving to television, Neil Gaiman's popular DC comic is finally getting a long-awaited adaptation courtesy of Netflix. The Sandman follows an immortal being who is also the king of dreams, and he's known as, well, Dream. "When Dream is unexpectedly captured and held prisoner for a century, his absence sets off a series of events that will change both the dreaming and waking worlds forever," Netflix's plot synopsis explains. Gwendoline Christie stars as Lucifer in her biggest post-Game of Thrones TV role, and the cast also includes Christie's Thrones co-star Charles Dance and former Doctor Who companion Jenna Coleman. Netflix seems to have high hopes for the show as one of its next big franchises, reportedly spending around $15 million an episode — on par with the last season of Game of Thrones. Fingers crossed the end result doesn't put subscribers to sleep.
A League of Their Own (August 12)
There's still no crying in baseball. The classic Tom Hanks sports movie A League of Their Own, which follows the creation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, is getting the TV treatment with this spin from Amazon. The adaptation "evokes" the original while "widening the lens to tell the story of an entire generation of women who dreamed of playing professional baseball, both in and outside of the AAGPBL," Prime Video says. Broad City's Abbi Jacobson, The Good Place's D'Arcy Carden, and Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman star alongside Chanté Adams and Kelly McCormack. Jacobson also co-created the series with Will Graham (the producer and writer, not the guy who hunts serial killers). Can Amazon live up to the 1992 classic, or will this be another revival that strikes out?
Tales of the Walking Dead (August 14)
The Walking Dead is in its final season now, but the Walking Dead Universe just keeps coming back to life. This is the franchise's third spinoff after Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, but it might have the juiciest hook of them all. It's an anthology series consisting of six episodes that each follow a different standalone story from the zombie apocalypse, providing more bite-sized slices from this world. The cast includes Terry Crews, Jillian Bell, Anthony Edwards, Parker Posey, and Jessie T. Usher — and it's not too late for AMC to work out the rights issues that would allow the Cryptkeeper to introduce every episode.
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law (August 18)
You may or may not like her when she's angry. Marvel's latest Disney+ series stars Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters, an attorney and cousin of Bruce Banner who gains his Hulk abilities. Mark Ruffalo returns as Bruce, and Jameela Jamil makes her MCU debut as the villain, Titania. Because Jessica is tasked with working with a division dedicated to superhero-related cases, we can also expect plenty of fan favorites to pop up, including Tim Roth as Abomination, Benedict Wong as Wong, and even Charlie Cox as Daredevil. Marvel describes the show as its first half-hour comedy, and She-Hulk's tendency to constantly break the fourth wall has been carried over from the comics, with the marketing teasing plenty of Fleabag-style, meta monologues to the camera. TBD on whether it'll have its own hot priest.
House of the Dragon (August 21)
It's Succession with a lot more dragons (and incest) in Game of Thrones' first-ever spinoff. Set 200 years before the original series' events, House of the Dragon follows the Targaryens during the height of their power in Westeros leading up to the "Dance of the Dragons," an epic civil war fought over the throne. King Viserys (Paddy Considine) is ruling at this time, and he's tasked with officially naming an heir, which should theoretically be Matt Smith's Daemon Targaryen. But the king also has a firstborn child, Rhaenyra Targaryen, who would come before Daemon in the line of succession if she were a man. Cue the Taylor Swift! The trailers promise a return to the kind of political machinations that made early Game of Thrones so compelling, but that's not to say there won't be plenty of highly expensive battle sequences. Thrones' last season may have been a bit disappointing, but after a few amazing trailers, we're officially ready to get hurt again!
The Patient (August 30)
Steve Carell takes on another aggressively serious role with The Patient, a new FX drama from the producers of The Americans. Carell stars as a therapist who's held captive by a serial killer played by Domhnall Gleeson, who wants help to be cured of his compulsion to murder. "With time running out, Alan fights desperately to stop Sam before Alan becomes complicit in Sam's murders or worse — becomes a target himself," FX's description says. It's Carell's latest non-funny role since exiting The Morning Show, and the marketing promises a juicy two-hander between him and Gleeson. Get ready for the mind-blowing finale reveal that the show takes place in The Office universe and Gleeson has been playing the Scranton Strangler all along.