The Best Movies of August 2019

Welcome to a new segment of Pop Culture Reviews! Every month, we’ll count down our favorite movies that have premiered whether they be original movies on various streaming services, those with limited theater releases, and even the big blockbusters of course! No matter the scale of the film, we dedicate this list to the movies that have impressed us in more ways than one. So without further ado, here are the best movies of August 2019:

Them that Follow

Director: Brittany Poulton & Dan Madison Savage
Starring: Alice Englert, Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins
Cinematographer: Brett Jutkiewicz
Release Date: August 2, 2019 (limited)

Official synopsis via IMDb: Set deep in the wilds of Appalachia, where believers handle death-dealing snakes to prove themselves before God, Them That Follow tells the story of a pastor’s daughter who holds a secret that threatens to tear her community apart.

This religious thriller first slithered its way to theaters at the 2019 Sundance Film festival, and would leave audiences in anguish for many reasons. Though it never quite reaches its potential of greatness, Them That Follow has an intricate and jarring way of showing the dangers of extremism in religion, which results in some shocking scenery and warranted fear. And this effect is exactly why it’s one of my favorites of the month.

Rating: ★★★½

The Peanut Butter Falcon

Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen, and Dakotah Johnson in The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

Director: Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen, Dakota Johnson
Cinematographer: Nigel Bluck
Release Date: August 9, 2019

Synopsis: Zak, a 22-year old man with Down syndrome runs away from his residential nursing home to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. During his quest for independence, he meets an outlaw named Tyler, who befriends him after becoming his coach and ally.

On paper, The Peanut Butter Falcon seems like it could be a disaster. But thanks to Zack Gottsagen & Shia LaBeouf’s sweet on-screen chemistry, their blossoming friendship is hard to be critical of despite its derivative script. And quite frankly, the film just works. This heartwarming journey of growth, friendship and dedication is certain to tug at heart strings all over the world, which is exactly why it’s one of the best of August 2019.

Rating: ★★★½


Director: Julius Onah
Starring: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth
Cinematographer: Larkin Seiple
Release Date: August 2, 2019

Official synopsis via IMDb: A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student.

It’s been on my mind since its premiere at the Sundance Film festival, and Luce will stay with me for months to come. (Read the full review here). The film elegantly depicts respectability politics among young people of color, shatters America’s idea of labels, and confronts liberalism. Together, with a star-studded cast that gives career bests, Luce is the kind of film that sticks with you and asks its audiences to question their own beliefs and values… In short, that’s my kind of film.

Rating: ★★★★★

Ready or Not

Samara Weaving in Ready or Not (2019)

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett
Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell
Cinematographer: Brett Jutkiewicz
Release Date: August 21, 2019

Official synopsis via IMDb: A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.

This black comedy-horror is perhaps one of the best surprises of the 2019 year. For one, the trailers of this feature do it no justice, so going in blind may be best for most. It’s filled with quips, violence, and blood – the 3 makings of a non-stop action-packed thrilling ride. It’s certainly the most fun I’ve had all summer with a film. So, do yourself a favor and witness this quirky and smart feature with tons of wonderfully-directed sequences that’ll have you bursting with joy.

Rating: ★★★★

The Nightingale

Director: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr
Cinematographer: Radek Ladczuk
Release Date: August 2, 2019 (limited)

Official synopsis via IMDb: Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.

Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale has been deemed one of the most brutally violent and intense films of the year since it premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and that still feels like an understatement. There’s no escaping the numbness that comes with watching Kent’s feature. But this tale of revenge is accompanied by emotionally gripping scenes paired with phenomenal acting by Aisling Franciosi. So, it certainly deserves a spot on the best films of August list.

Rating: ★★★★½

Brittany Runs a Marathon

Director: Paul Downs Colaizzo
Starring: Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lil Rel Howery, Micah Stock
Cinematographer: Seamus Tierney
Release Date: August 29, 2019 (limited)

Official synopsis via IMDb: A young woman decides to make positive changes in her life by training for the New York City Marathon.

Brittany Runs a Marathon originally sprinted onto screens at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, at which it would take home the audience award. After its premiere, it was predicted to be one of the best feel-good movies of the year; and I certainly stand by that assessment. It’s a triumphant story about loving yourself, finding confidence and trying your absolute best to be the greatest version of yourself. These kind of messages will resonate with many audiences when the film gets a wider release on September 13. And it’s the kind of film that we at PCR love.

Rating: ★★★★

Thanks for tuning in to our first installment of The Best Films of the Month series. Comment below and/or tweet us at @ PopCultureRevs and tell us your favorite films that came out during the month of August 2019. Also, be sure to check out some of these films (in theaters now) or during their wide release in the coming weeks.

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