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Published July 23rd 2017
A Lucky Gift in a Windy Tower in Detroit?
Gifted (by Fox Searchlight Pictures)
There are films for all ages and tastes premiering in Australian theatres this month. From drama and comedy to epic sci-fi westerns and frosty thrillers, start with these top 5 movies in August.
Gifted – August 31
Rated M for occasional coarse language
As many kids in Australia are pressured to perform for entry to selective schools, Gifted taps into our difficult parental choices as Frank (Chris Evans), a single father, raises Mary, his excitable niece. At only 7-years-old, she's seen as a mathematics prodigy, prompting Frank's own mother to challenge his role and snatch her away to a more 'suitable' environment.
When Frank discovers Mary's mother was a brilliant mathematician before committing suicide as she tried to solve one of the notoriously difficult Millennium Prize Problems, he fears for Mary's future. With guidance from Mary's teacher and his landlady, Frank begins an emotional custody battle for her future.
Adding the inane to slick Oceans 11 heist films, Logan Lucky stars 2 brothers (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver) busting into a NASCAR motor race for a high-stakes robbery, hoping to break a family curse with bags full of dirty money.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, chaos quickly ensues as the Logans, lacking IQ, talent, skill, money and common sense, might finally find a bit of good luck.
Also starring Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Daniel Craig, Sebastian Stan.
Rated MA15 for strong themes, sexual violence and violence
Wind River, a cleverly plotted, character-driven thriller set on a Native American Reservation, begins with a rookie FBI agent searching for local girl's killer. Struggling to track the murderer, she teams with a veteran game tracker with a suspect history as they delve deep into a rugged, icy wilderness, full of shadows and secrets.
The film's director, Taylor Sheridan, also wrote the script, completing a successful trilogy after penning the screenplays for Sicario and Hell or High Water. The chilling atmosphere is heightened by Nick Cave's soundtrack.
Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Jon Bernthal.
Stephen King's epic series spanning 8 novels and over 4,000 pages finally arrives on the silver screen, 35 years after The Gunslinger (Idris Elba), began his search for the mythical Dark Tower.
The film, blending sci-fi, fantasy, horror and spaghetti westerns, and co-produced by Ron Howard, captures the showdown as the Gunslinger battles the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) to protect the tower from tumbling into hell, dragging humanity with it.
King's self-described magnum opus will resonate with fans of The Lord of the Rings, King Arthur, and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The film, in development since 2007, continues as a sequel to The Dark Tower VII, with a follow-up television series already in production.
Also starring Katheryn Winnick, Tom Taylor.
Detroit (by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Detroit – August 31
50 years since the 12th Street Riot, Detroit dramatises the events leading to the 5-day civil disturbance resulting in 43 deaths, over 7,000 arrests and the destruction of thousands of buildings in downtown Detroit. The riot has since been surpassed in severity by the 1992 Los Angeles riots after the beating of Rodney King. The 1967 tragedy ended only after the president ordered soldiers into the city.
The film's release is timely, as Americans react to new acts of excessive force by police.
In the film, directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) the police raid on an unlicensed bar, sparking the riot, is depicted. Police arrested dozens of revellers as they celebrated the safe return of two locals from the Vietnam War. As more locals watch the speakeasy's clientèle dragged into police trucks, chaos erupted.
Starring John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jason Mitchell, John Krasinski.
Which movie tops your list for August? Please let us know with a comment.