Summer is almost over, and as we enter the month of August, the big-name blockbusters are much fewer and farther between. The middle of the month boasts a whopping 10 new wide releases across just two weeks, but few of them would be considered must-see entertainment by most. That said, we ve still got a smattering of noteworthy films on the way, including the Fast Furious spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, a horror flick produced by Guillermo del Toro, and a raunchy coming-of-age comedy. Read on to find out the five most anticipated movies of August, as voted by Rotten Tomatoes users and our fans on social media.1. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 67%3,845 Want-to-See Votes#1 pick by our Instagram and Facebook fans, #2 pick by our Twitter fansOpens August 2It ll likely surprise no one that this film is the most anticipated of the month. Not only is the Fast Furious franchise one of the most popular and profitable around the world, but Hobbs Shaw unites two of its most bankable stars, gives them plenty of scenery to chew and one-liners to spout at each other, and pits them against a superpowered Idris Elba, with copious mayhem and vehicular pyrotechnics to boot. It also helps that this August, like so many Augusts past, is chock-full of second-tier summer fare all jostling for a slice of the box office pie. Hobbs Shaw knows what it is a hypertuned injection of adrenaline for thrill-seeking audiences and doesn t pretend to be anything more, which is exactly how fans like it.2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) 77%1,514 Want-to-See Votes#1 pick by our Twitter fans, #2 pick by our Facebook and Instagram fansOpens August 9Fan favorite director Guillermo del Toro s name is all over the marketing for Scary Stories, even though he s not the one behind the lens for this one. While André Øvredal is the man at the helm, the film fits rather neatly into del Toro s wheelhouse, so fans are excited to see what he is able to bring to the project as a producer. Of course, the main inspiration for the film is the series of children s horror books written by Alvin Schwartz, most notable for illustrator Stephen Gammel s terrifying artwork, and brought to life on screen as the manifestation of a young girl s secret writings. Scary Stories ranked at the top of the list for our Twitter fans this month, while our Facebook and Instagram fans voted it the second most anticipated.3. Good Boys (2019)1,271 Want-to-See Votes#3 pick by our Instagram and Twitter fans, #4 pick by our Facebook fansOpens August 16Coming-of-age films usually come in two varieties: the heartfelt drama and the raucous comedy. Good Boys fits squarely into the latter category, setting a trio of almost-teens (Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams) loose on a caper to replace a damaged drone that takes them to places and through situations they ve never experienced before. It also happens to be rated R, implying these kids will get up to some very adult shenanigans. The film premiered earlier this year at South by Southwest to fairly strong reviews, and its promise of outlandish comedy was enough to propel it to #3 in our Instagram and Twitter polls.4a. Ready or Not (2019) 88%
It’s time for a new hit movie musical, and Netflix hopes The Prom will rise to the occasion. Fortunately for them, if the first reviews are any indication, Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of the Broadway show will fit the bill and delight subscribers of all ages with its mix of old-school razzle-dazzle and progressive subject matter.The Prom, which arrives on the streaming service December 11, stars Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, and Andrew Rannells as egocentric showbiz types from NYC who descend upon a conservative Midwest American town to help a teen (Jo Ellen Pellman) whose sexual orientation has caused her school to cancel the titular dance. For both its message of tolerance and its lively spectacle, it seems like it might just be the movie of the year.Here’s what critics are saying about The Prom:Should Ryan Murphy fans flock to the movie?It s a perfect combination of filmmaker and material. Ian Sandwell, Digital SpyThis film is well inside Ryan Murphy’s Glee wheelhouse. Fionnuala Halligan, Screen InternationalMurphy is back in Glee territory here, for better or worse. David Rooney, Hollywood ReporterRyan Murphy again finds the underdog vibe of Glee that captured pop culture’s imagination. Brian Truitt, USA TodayThe Prom demonstrates that Murphy has matured as a filmmaker since his Glee days. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionThe Prom is the best of what Murphy can offer Hollywood — a taste of the past with its eyes on the future. Jude Dry, IndieWire(Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix)Is it a worthy adaptation of the musical?[Murphy’s] real achievement is making The Prom feel like a film rather than a captured-on-camera stage production, one that still retains the let’s-put-on-a-show energy of live theater. Thom Geier, The Wrap[The] stage vision translates surprisingly well to the screen thanks to the movie’s visual flair. Jude Dry, IndieWireBut what if you don t care for musicals?It probably goes without saying, but anybody with an aversion to musicals or Murphy s previous work, such as Glee, should stay well clear of The Prom. Ian Sandwell, Digital SpyRegrettably, much of the film s humor comes in the form of musical theater in-jokes. Mary Sollosi, Entertainment WeeklyIn recent years, there’s been a spate of musicals that you’ll enjoy even if you don’t like musicals … The Prom is no such musical. Ben Travis, Empire MagazineRyan Murphy offers a fun and lightweight musical that will certainly not win over the sort of people who detest the genre but will likely entertain those who do. Lewis Knight, Daily MirrorThe Prom isn’t quite as ubiquitous as, say, Cats or Les Miserables, and thus Murphy’s film will feel refreshing for a streaming audience often itching to watch Netflix’s next big thing. Brian Truitt, USA Today(Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix)And what about fans of old-school musicals?Aside from its impassioned overtures for LGBTQ+ rights, The Prom has all the makings of a classic Hollywood musical. Jude Dry, IndieWireIf The Prom is a proudly liberated musical, it’s also one that’s so defiantly square, with a vibe that reaches back to the incandescently wholesome musicals of the studio system. Owen Gleiberman, VarietyIt will frustrate audiences who prefer their musicals with subtlety and nuance. Doug Jamieson, The Jam ReportHow are the songs?The heartrending songs Pellman and [Ariana] DeBose deliver are sweet and, more importantly, powerfully poignant. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionCatchy in the moment, even if they seldom linger long in the head. David Rooney, Hollywood ReporterThe songs truly are terrible. Jesse Hassenger, AV ClubRyan FujitaniHow is Meryl Streep?Streep is transcendent… a genuine campy hoot. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionStreep is consistently hilarious. David Rooney, Hollywood ReporterStreep absolutely shines in her most endearing role in years. Doug Jamieson, The Jam ReportMeryl Streep is having the most fun in years as she revels in her character s awfulness. Ian Sandwell, Digital SpyAs fantastic as every cast member is — and there isn’t a dud in the bunch — it’s still Streep’s show. Jude Dry, IndieWireAnd James Corden?I don’t think he has ever been better. Scott Menzel, We Live EntertainmentHe burrows so deeply into the character’s quibbling insouciance that he gives him a three-dimensional essence. He’s soulfully funny and touching. Owen Gleiberman, VarietyCorden’s performance feels the most like a caricature and comes across as especially calculated, with some moments landing with comedic heft but most of them not. Lewis Knight, Daily MirrorIt s a flat performance without much heart… This is a role that cries out for Nathan Lane. David Rooney, Hollywood ReporterMurphy made a major error in the casting of James Corden as the musical s gay male lead character… a flaw that undoes a lot of the good work elsewhere. Corden camp[s] it up to the point of being regressive and offensive… His performance comes across as dated and strikes a sour note. Ian Sandwell, Digital Spy(Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix)And what about their young castmates?I would certainly be remiss if I did not mention newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman who absolutely steals every scene that she is in. Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment[Pelllman is] “one of the discoveries of the year. Ian Sandwell, Digital SpyPellman makes an assured debut. Yet it’s DeBose who turns in a star-making performance. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionPellman holds her own throughout, plus she and DeBose… form a dynamic pairing essential to the film’s aspirational themes. Brian Truitt, USA TodayDoes Pellman s Emma get enough screen time?The film really sparkles when [Pellman and DeBose] are in the spotlight. If only the focus was on them more often. Emily Maskell, Little White LiesWhere’s Emma in all of this?… The Prom doesn’t seem especially interested in accepting Emma as an individual person. Jesse Hassenger, AV ClubThis, though, is Emma’s story, and she gets lost in the mix…the character feels thin. Ben Travis, Empire MagazineIt s a shame the film doesn t spend more time with Emma as a character as this is truly her story, even if sometimes the Broadway divas are more fun. Lewis Knight, Daily MirrorThe movie belongs not to the people with the painful problem, who actually overcome something difficult, but the quartet of invaders… The film has way too much in common with the egomaniacs at its center. Mary Sollosi, Entertainment Weekly(Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix)Does it convey its message convincingly?The Prom is very much a movie about the two Americas, and part of its luster is that it portrays the conservative Midwestern one with dignity, even as it attacks the impulses of bigotry. Owen Gleiberman, VarietyBob Martin and Chad Beguelin’s script goes as soft as cafeteria Jell-O when it comes to the Indiana crowd. Thom Geier, The WrapIts core message of inclusivity and tolerance is more than welcome, even if it’s more fun to watch the self-absorbed Broadway stars learn their lessons than the PTA come to heel. Fionnuala Halligan, Screen InternationalThe Prom is better at satirically skewering Broadway than it is at seriously skewering homophobia, which feels like a missed opportunity. Ben Travis, Empire MagazineShould you keep the tissues handy?There won t be a dry eye in the house come the finale. Ian Sandwell, Digital SpyI’ve watched the film twice already, and I teared up both times. Scott Menzel, We Live EntertainmentThe tear-jerking climax is worth the wait, despite the choppy waters along the way. Lewis Knight, Daily Mirror(Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix)Is The Prom the perfect way to end 2020?After the year we’ve all had, Netflix’s glorious musical comedy The Prom couldn’t have come at a better time. Brian Truitt, USA TodayThis is a feel great musical extravaganza that is exactly what the world needs in 2020. Scott Menzel, We Live EntertainmentThe Prom is everything you need right now. Jude Dry, IndieWire[It’s] an eye-poppingly vibrant finale to a grim year. Ben Travis, Empire MagazineThe Prom premieres on Netflix on Friday, December 11, 2020.On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.
The summer heat is reaching new heights this month, the coronavirus pandemic continues affecting film and television production around the country, and the selection of returning series to binge is admittedly slim. So we are bringing you something a little different with this month’s guide by including an upcoming streaming film and the star’s previous TV projects you ll want to catch up on. Find our recommendations below for six series to binge in August.The Rain (Netflix)What it is: This post-apocalyptic Danish thriller from creators Jannik Tai Mosholt, Esben Toft Jacobsen, and Christian Potalivo takes place six years after the modern world has succumbed to a fatal virus that’s transmitted through toxic, infected rain. Siblings Simone and Rasmus survived against all odds while holed up in a bunker, and they reenter the world in search of their scientist father to find the rain has killed nearly all signs of human life in their native Scandinavia. They’re soon joined by another young group of survivors who face the world’s devastation and dangers together.Why you should watch it: This slow-burning, character-driven drama has enough sci-fi elements and reality-based thrills to keep any fan of the admittedly well-worn dystopian genre entertained for a quick binge. Season 3 premieres August 6 on Netflix.Where to watch: NetflixCommitment: Approx. 10.5 hours (for the first two seasons)Star Trek: The Next Generation 91% (CBS All Access)What it is: As the Star Trek universe adds a new series with this month’s Star Trek: Lower Decks, we’re recommending you revisit The Next Generation for a summer binge. TNG sets the stage for this animated comedy series’ fantastical world, which follows four “heroes” from the support crew on Starfleet s U.S.S. Cerritos, the fleet’s least important ship. The series also borrows its name from TNG episode, “Lower Decks.” If you want more Star Trek options, check out our list of Star Trek TV Shows Ranked by Tomatometer to find one that s right for you. Why you should watch it: While the new series should be accessible to Trekkies, experts, and newbies alike, a binge of TNG will give you the info you need to ID the Lower Decks’ Easter eggs, share in the Trek humor, and more. Season 1 premieres August 6 on CBS All Access.Where to watch: Amazon, CBS All Access, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Netflix, VuduCommitment: Approx. 132 hours (for all seven seasons)Freaks and Geeks 100% (NBC)Undeclared 93% (Fox)What it is: This one is for all the Seth Rogen lovers out there. Today, he is a bankable star thanks to timeless teen and stoner comedy classics like Knocked Up, Superbad, and Pineapple Express — and his latest, An American Pickle, is quite literally timeless due to its time-jumping immigrant premise. But some may forget that he pretty much grew up on our screens at the top of the millennium with Judd Apatow’s short-lived but beloved network comedies, Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared.Why you should watch it: Anyone who’s ever felt like an adrift outsider will likely see themselves in any number of the messy-but-lovable characters across these two series. If you’re looking for a classic binge that’ll remind you just why Rogen is a huge star today, this is a great place to start before An American Pickle premieres on HBO Max on August 6.Where to watch it: A little twist with these titles: They re only available to purchase on DVD, so you re going to have to really commit. Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared are available to order from Amazon.com. (Step 1: Do you even have a DVD player?)Commitment: Approx. 13 hours for Freaks and Geeks and approx. 6.5 hours for Undeclared.Endeavour 88% (PBS)What it is: As a prequel series to the long-running Inspector Morse, this Russell Lewis–created, Shaun Evans–starring series follows our hero Endeavour Morse through his early career as a detective constable through to his promotion as a detective sergeant with the Oxford City Police.Why you should watch it: This lush period drama depicting 1960s-era Oxford and the surrounding area is grounded first and foremost from a charismatic Evans, but its twists and turns also help make the series endlessly watchable for lovers of the PBS Masterpiece cloth. Season 7 premieres August 9 on PBS.Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Microsoft, VuduCommitment: Approx. 40 hours (for the first six seasons)Lucifer 88% (Netflix)What it is: Most people escape their locale to vacation where it’s warm, but where do you vacation when your home is in Hell? Los Angeles, apparently. That’s where our titular antihero Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) sets his sights, at least, after resigning his post as ruler of the underworld to spice up his life. Once in L.A., he opens up a nightclub and stumbles into becoming a civilian consultant for the LAPD.Why you should watch it: Based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg, Lucifer Morningstar is a protagonist like we haven’t seen before. Ruler of Hell, sure, but also charismatic as hell (charming, witty, and handsome), proving himself to be the perfect right-hand man for homicide detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). (Over the span of the series, their beguiling relationship is one of the reasons to stick around, too.) Lucifer was cancelled by Fox in 2018, but revived by Netflix, which will premiere its fifth season on August 21.Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Netflix, VuduCommitment: Approx. 47 hours (for the first four seasons)