This hasn’t been the most prolific of summers as far as blockbusters are concerned. The Avengers gave this season a promising start, but no action film came close to matching its scope and sheer love for fun. Last month was the most disappointing proof of that, with the very flawed Amazing Spider-Man and the messy finale we got with The Dark Knight Rises.

However, there’s been a good run of independent releases so far – Killer JoeHeadhuntersSafety Not GuarnteedYour Sister’s SisterTake This Waltz, etc. —  and this August is no different, with plenty of small and greatly satisfying offerings to be discovered.

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Opens August 3rd

From the director of the overlooked The Vicious Kind and co-written by Rashida JonesCeleste and Jesse Forever is a bittersweet film showing off Jones’ talents both on and off the screen and co-star Andy Samberg‘s promising chops as a dramatic actor.

There’s a good chance this will become one of the sleeper indie hits of the summer, and hopefully that’ll be the case.

Read the Review

Check out the Trailer

The Bourne Legacy

Opens August 10th

The Bourne Legacy is proof that sometimes giving your hero one clear goal and a lack of a big emotional arc pays off. This mythology expanding story ends as a worthy continuation of the world of espionage and ass-kicking we initially fell in love with.

After one too many mentions of Jason Bourne, Gilroy wisely begins to tell his own fresh story. By the end of the finale’s fantastic set piece all of the skepticism made about a Bourne movie without Bourne disappears.

Check out the Trailer

The Campaign 

The Campaign

Opens August 10th

Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell facing off sounds like the proper and hilarious way to close out the summer. The first time we saw the two of them riffing off each other led to a pretty good result (see here for proof). Not only that, Jay Roach — who has been on a roll lately with Game Change and Recount – is no comedy director slouch. The three of them should do their comedic premise justice.

Check out the Trailer

Compliance 

Compliance

Opens August 17th

A Sundance darling which is about as disturbing and uncomfortable as the true story it follows. Compliance is a claustrophobic and bloodless horror movie about how far people will go under the illusion of authority.

From the physical abuse to the sight of greasy fast food fries cooking, there’s little which is not disturbing in this potential year’s best film.

Read the Review

Check out the Trailer

ParaNorman

ParaNorman

Opens August 17th

Coraline was a creepy as hell movie which delved into certain kids’ worst nightmares. ParaNorman, coming from the studio behind Henry Selick‘s great stop-motion picture, looks to have one factor Selick’s horror story lacked: a big sense of humor. Based on some early word-of-mouth, ParaNorman delivers on as many laughs as it does creepy imagery. Even if that’s not the case, then Chris Butler and Sam Fells‘s film should still be worth seeing based purely on the extraordinary craft that went behind it.

Check out the Trailer

Read on…


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