What to Watch in August: ‘She-Hulk,’ ‘House of the Dragon’ and Brad Pitt vs. Bad Bunny in ‘Bullet Train’

·8 min read
bullet-train-copy - Credit: Sony Pictures
bullet-train-copy - Credit: Sony Pictures

This August is a big month for returning favorites, both on television and in theaters. The month brings new seasons of favorites from last year, including Reservation Dogs and Industry. At IMAX theaters, nostalgic moviegoers can get a chance to catch E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Again. Even this month’s biggest debut, a Game of Thrones prequel, is kind of a return.

But, even apart from the dragons and bloodshed promised by a return to Westeros, there’s a lot to look forward to this month. Here are a few of the most promising offerings, starting with a clever-looking murder mystery.

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Bodies Bodies Bodies (Theaters, August 5)

A group of friends and acquaintances decides to wait out a hurricane in a mansion and decide to play a murder-themed game to pass the time. What could go wrong? A lot, actually! Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), Pete Davidson and Lee Pace star in this darkly comic thriller directed by Dutch filmmaker Halina Reijn.

Bullet Train (Theaters, August 5)

Bodies Bodies Bodies isn’t the only film featuring murder and mayhem in an enclose space opening this week. David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) directs this action thriller starring Brad Pitt as an American assassin in Japan charged with retrieving a briefcase from a train. No problem, right? It is when the train is filled with other highly skilled assassins (played by everyone from Brian Tyree Henry to Zazie Beetz and yes, Bad Bunny).

I Love My Dad (Theaters August 5, VOD August 12)

A road trip is a time-tested way for parents to bond with their children. But a road trip founded on a lie? That might not go so well. In this festival favorite, Patton Oswalt plays Chuck, a dad who tries to communicate with his son (James Morosini, who also writes and directs) by catfishing him, posing as an attractive young woman. When the lie gets out of hand, he then agrees to drive his son to meet the non-existent woman of his dreams.

Luck (Theaters/Apple TV+, August 5)

The ambitious animation house Skydance Animation makes its debut with this story of an unlucky woman named Sam (Eva Noblezada) whose life takes a turn for the better after she finds a lucky penny — until she accidentally flushes it down the toilet. Simon Pegg co-stars as a talking cat and Jane Fonda voices a dragon, replacing Emma Thompson who left the project due to the involvement of former Pixar chief John Lasseter. Watch with 7-day free trial to Apple TV here.

Prey (Hulu, August 5)

The latest film in the Predator series turns the clock way back. Amber Midthunder (Legion) stars as Naru, a Comanche warrior who finds herself facing an interplanetary foe. That’s a clever set-up and the presence of Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) as director makes it even more promising. Watch with a free trial to Hulu here.

Resurrection (Theaters / VOD August 5)

In the Andrew Semans film, Rebecca Hall stars as Margaret, a highly skilled executive and single mom who starts to unravel after encountering David (Tim Roth), a man from her past. Who he is and what he means to her is just one of the many shocks in a film that had Sundance audiences abuzz when it played the festival earlier this year.

Thirteen Lives (Prime Video, August 5)

The latest from Ron Howard recounts the extraordinary efforts used to rescue a soccer team trapped in Thailand’s Tham Luang Nang Non cave for 18 days after a flood. Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, and Joel Edgerton star as a trio of real life heroes charged with finding a solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem. Watch with a 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime Video here.

The Sandman (Netflix, August 5)

After years of false starts dating back to the early 1990s, Neil Gaiman’s revered comic book series has been adapted into a TV series starring Tom Sturridge (Velvet Buzzsaw) as Morpheus, the mythological king of dreams who escapes from over a century of captivity and sets about setting his kingdom back in order. Working with David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg, both old hands at turning comics into movies and television, Gaiman himself is deeply involved in the series, which ought to help reassure longtime fans worried about an unfaithful adaptation. Watch on Netflix here.

Emily the Criminal (Theaters, August 12)

Another Sundance hit, the directorial debut of John Patton Ford, this crime drama stars Aubrey Plaza as Emily, a woman driven to desperation by her seemingly insurmountable debts. She believes she may have found a way out, however, after working with Youcef (Theo Rossi), a thief who puts her to work.

A League of Their Own (Prime Video, August 12)

Some movies don’t seem like they’d work well as TV series but A League of Their Own isn’t one of them. As good as the Penny Marshall film about a women’s professional baseball league formed during World War II, it also suggests there were many more stories that could be told about that world. Developed by Will Graham and star Abbi Jacobsen, this ongoing series about one team’s experiences co-stars Chanté Adams, D’Arcy Carden, and Nick Offerman. Watch with a 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime Video here.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Disney+, August 17)

It’s hard enough being a superhero, but try being a superhero while also working a day job. That’s one of the problems faced by Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), a lawyer specializing in superhuman cases who shares some powers with her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo, who’s set to appear). Jennifer Gao, a veteran of Rick and Morty serves as the series’ creator, so expect a different take on the MCU and its residents. Watch on Disney+ here.

The Undeclared War (Peacock, August 18)

Set in 2024, this British drama depicts a war between the UK and Russia that takes a different form: crippling cyberattacks. Hannah Khalique-Brown stars as Saara, an intern destined to play a key role in the conflict, with veterans like Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance and Adrian Lester rounding out the cast. Watch on Peacock here.

Bad Sisters (Apple TV+, August 19)

Apple hasn’t revealed that much about Bad Sisters, billed as a dark comedy about five sisters deeply affected by their parents’ death years before. But we do know that it stars Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, and Eve Hewson and its creator, Sharon Horgan, whose name alone suggests it will be worth a look. Watch with 7-day free trial to Apple TV here.

House of the Dragon (HBO, August 21)

It’s been three years since Game of Thrones drew to a close, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still stories to be told in the land of George R.R. Martin’s Westeros. This series is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, a time that finds the Iron Throne occupied by King Viserys I (Paddy Considine). But don’t expect the peace to last. Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, and Olivia Cooke co-star. Watch on HBO Max here.

Welcome to Wrexham (FX, August 23)

What would happen if a pair of Hollywood stars teamed up to buy a struggling Welsh football club? That sounds like the premise for a high-concept comedy but it really happened in 2020 when Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds purchased Wrexham A.F.C. This series documents the pair’s attempts to turn the club’s fortune’s around. Watch with a free trial to FX on Hulu here.

Little Demon (FX/Hulu, August 25)

In a new animated series executive produced by Community and Rick and Morty’s Dan Harmon, Aubrey Plaza voices a woman trying to live an ordinary life despite raising the daughter of Satan. A product of Danny DeVito’s Jersey Films, it features DeVito as Satan and his own daughter Lucy DeVito as the hellspawn. Watch with a free trial to FX on Hulu here.

Mike (Hulu, August 25)

The life of Mike Tyson doesn’t lend itself to a traditional sort of sports biopic, so don’t expect a lot of uplift from this unauthorized look at the life of the former champ. Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) plays the grown-up Tyson in a limited series that charts his rise and fall. Watch with a free trial to Hulu here.

The Patient (FX/Hulu, August 30)

Created and written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg (The Americans), this limited series fools the relationship between a psychiatrist (Steve Carell) and a serial killer (Domhnall Gleeson). The twist: the shrink is being held against his will as part of the killer’s quest to free himself of his demons. Watch with a free trial to FX on Hulu here.

Three Thousand Years of Longing (Theaters, August 31)

For his first film since Mad Max: Fury Road, director George Miller turned to a short story by A.S. Byatt about the encounter between a scholar (Tilda Swinton) and a djinn (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes and a bunch of stories.

Andor (Disney+, August 31)

The 2016 film Star Wars: Rogue One offered a grittier look at the Star Wars universe via a story filled with espionage, terrorists, and a formidable death count. Set five years before that film, Andor returns to the seedier side of the galaxy far, far away via a series starring Rogue One’s Diego Luna as a thief who gets wrapped up in intergalactic politics. Stellan Skarsgard and Genevieve O’Reilly co-star and Rogue One co-writer Tony Gilroy serves as showrunner. Watch on Disney+ here.

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