August is traditionally one of the deader months in mainstream movie-going – studios tend to schedule their big summer blockbusters early in the season, before explosion-and-sequel fatigue sets in, while holding their higher-quality stuff for the awards-friendly environs of fall. But no one’s slouching on the indie front, so we’ve got a wide variety of dramas, comedies, and documentaries to recommend. Here we go:
RELEASE DATE: Out now (limited), August 4 (wide)
DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow
CAST: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Jason Mitchell, Will Poulter, Jack Raynor
Oscar-winner Bigelow’s account of the assaults and murders at the Tangiers Hotel by Detroit Police officers in the midst of the city’s 1967 riots is a tough, uncompromising piece of work, zeroing in on that brutal night of “interrogations” and giving the viewer no more of an escape route than its participants. That middle hour or so is harrowing, infuriating filmmaking; the rest of the movie is a bit messier, for better and worse, with director Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal (their third collaboration, following The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty) perhaps biting off a bit more story than they could chew. But whatever the film’s flaws, it should be seen and considered; this is urgent cinema, tackling a subject that is in no way confined to the past.