The first week of September is filled with variety – it’s got coming-of-age films, costume dramas, action flicks, and more – though few of the films are likely to make any serious waves. Think of this as like a staging area; a pleasant gap between the insanity of the summer blockbusters and the brooding self-reflection of the Oscar hopefuls.
First up is American Ultra, a comedy about a stoner/sleeper agent who is marked for extermination but uses his subconscious secret agent skills to avoid death. Think Bourne, if Jason Bourne was just really high for the whole film. Starring Jessie Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart (who apparently does comedy now), the film has underperformed at the box office in the US so far, and has received mixed reviews, so it would appear to be suffering from that pesky subjectivity, but it seems like it’ll be a fun film. It’s released on Friday.
If watching Eisenberg and co get all violent isn’t your thing, this week has got buckets of alternatives. One such being Dope. A coming-of-age film about three teenage friends who go to an underground party (presumably meaning counter-culture, not like, a party in a cave) and are quickly drawn into an adventure through L.A. The film opened at Sundance 2015, where it was picked up by several distributors, receiving wide release through the US (and phenomenal box office returns given the size of it), high praise, and entry into Cannes. It has a limited release on (you guessed it) Friday.
Our fourth film this week is 2015’s answer to The Fault in Our Stars, as the coming-of-age genre once again tackles cancer, this time with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. The film follows a high schooler who makes parodies of classic movies, who befriends a cancer-stricken classmate. The film won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for US Drama at the Sundance Film Festival, and has been met with high praise from critics, despite stumbling a bit at the box office in the US. Also it stars Nick Offerman (a funny, funny man) and Jon Bernthal (who’s been in, like, everything this year) in supporting roles. It is again, also released on Friday.
Costume drama Miss Julie is this week’s penultimate film. Based on a 19th Century Swedish play of the same name (or rather, its translated name is the same, the play’s original name is Fröken Julie, which is basically the same), the film tells the story of an aristocrat’s daughter trying to seduce her father’s valet, while being watched by the cook (also – I don’t want to spoil anything – but the ending is progressive as fuck). Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samatha Morton, the film is released on Friday.
Wrapping things up is No Escape, an action thriller starring Pierce Brosnan and Owen Wilson. The film follows a businessman and his family as they are trapped in a far-flung (and conveniently unidentified) country that collapses into a war-zone around them. The film has so far performed well at the box office abroad, but has been met with some criticism by reviewers. No doubt an easy action flick, the film is released on Friday.