Best New Cinema Releases for August

The Meg
The Meg | © Warner Bros.

Editorial Manager

Here’s our pick of the best movies hitting cinemas this month.

A Sicilian Ghost Story

Loosely based on a true story, this award-winning Italian drama manages to combine fantasy elements with realistic tragedy to tell an unnerving tale. When a young boy mysteriously disappears, his friend is determined to uncover what happened, despite constant opposition. The key appears to be a nearby lake, but what sort of horrors lie beneath? Sicilian Ghost Story could be the new Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).

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The Meg

There’s a potential face-off in this movie that will see Jason Statham punch a giant prehistoric shark in the face. Sold! “Meg” is actually short for Megalodon, an extinct breed of shark that has a reputation for being one of the most powerful and fearsome predators that ever lived. Jason Statham is a former diver who has a reputation for starring in terrible movies yet somehow making them oddly entertaining. Put the two together and the result is this beast of a movie.

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Christopher Robin

Not to be confused with last year’s Goodbye Christopher Robin, this Ewan McGregor movie is a far more whimsical affair. Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh’s beloved human companion, was based on the author’s own son. McGregor plays a grown-up version of the boy from the stories who is visited by Pooh and tasked with reuniting the group of friends in later life. Christopher Robin Milne grew up to resent the “empty fame” his father gave him, so it will be interesting to see if this film delves into that in some way.

The Equalizer 2

Based on a violent TV series from the 1980s, The Equalizer films are just as brutal as their small-screen counterpart but feature Denzel Washington instead of the fantastically named Edward WoodWard. The Hollywood gloss added by Washington translates into a smooth and suave action hero, but those yearning for Woodward’s world-weary charm will find something to enjoy too.

The Festival

Very much in the style of The Inbetweeners, this crude comedy aims to capture the best (and worst) of the traditional British music festival. Joe Thomas, best known for his Inbetweeners performance, stars as Nick, a young man who has just graduated from college but been dumped by his girlfriend. Happiness, according to his eager friend, is to be found in the middle of a muddy field.

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The Spy Who Dumped Me

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon star as best friends who find themselves involved in an international espionage escapade with a comedic twist. Audrey (Kunis) is thrust into action when her ex-boyfriend turns up out of the blue and claims to be a spy on the run. Outlander star Sam Heughan gets a big-screen outing, which will probably fuel the demands from fans for him to play 007.

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Based on an incredible true story, BlacKkKlansman is the latest film by Spike Lee. Set in the politically charged 1970s, a black police detective in Colorado sets about bringing down the Ku Klux Klan… by infiltrating the white supremacist group. Not only is Detective Stallworth (John David Washington) successful in achieving his primary objective, he even rises to the head of the local chapter.

Slender Man

Slender Man is an internet meme that has taken on a disturbing life of its own. Starting out as a pure work of fiction on an online forum, the legend grew thanks to parallels with old fairy tales and some creative photography. Real-life incidents have fuelled interest in the character, most notably the near-fatal stabbing of a young girl by two of her friends. This film, directed by Sylvain White, feels like it has arrived a tad too late, but there’s still interest in Slender Man. The plot focuses on a group of teenagers investigating the disappearance of their friend only to find themselves haunted by the eponymous villain. Expect to see, and read, a lot more about this online phenomenon in the coming weeks.

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Cold War

Paweł Pawlikowski won an Oscar for his last film, Ida (2005). His follow up is inspired by the lives of his parents, and the film has already garnered top honours at Cannes this year. Set in the 1940s, Cold War paranoia frames the turbulent love story at the centre of Pawlikowski’s tale.

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A desperate father searches for his daughter who is missing after a night out. Rather than turn the likeable John Cho into an action star à la Taken (2008), director Aneesh Chaganty opts for cyber detective work as the main narrative. The film is told entirely via phone and computer cameras, with occasional scenes using surveillance footage and a few news clips. The format plays with the found footage genre and actually offers up something refreshingly urgent. The twists might feel a little too thickly layered on, but the performances are all great given the restrictive set up.


Directed by Idris Elba, Yardie is based on a novel that follows the story of Jamaican-born Dennis, who moves to England and finds himself struggling to survive in East London. The film is Elba’s debut effort as a director and the star has spoken of wanting to give the story a “human heart and soul”.

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