It’s the last week of August and that mean’s summer is coming to a close. The past few months have been filled many ups and several downs at the box office. Like every year, there are the highly-anticipated franchise films and always-talked about but never seen indie flicks. With at least two new films hitting theaters every weekend this summer, it was easy to miss a few. We rounded up the 10 films that you should go back and watch while you still can (or add them to your On Demand watch list).
1. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
This is not your typical summer flick. It’s a quiet, poetic film that tells story of a young armed robber (Casey Affleck), his pregnant girlfriend (Rooney Mara) and the sheriff’s deputy she injures in a shootout. It’s almost a conventional Western (though set in the ’70s), but the focus is on quiet performances and stunning cinematography, which earned the film a Special Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
2. The Bling Ring
Leading up to the release of the film, much of the hype was centered around Emma Watson’s turn as a bad girl that officially sad goodbye to her good girl role of Hermione from the Harry Potter series. While fantastic in the role of Nicki Moore (based on the real life of Alexis Neiers), it’s Katie Chang who quietly steals the film. Chang channels the celeb-obsessed leader of the crime ring with surprising depth making this film one to watch.
3. Drinking Buddies
The film opened late in the summer but it’s one worth watching. Luckily, it’s one of several films on this list that you can actually enjoy from your living room (with a beer) via Video On Demand. A strong cast (Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde) weaves together a story about two couples who mix business and pleasure. After several misfires with big budget films, it’s nice to see Wilde simplify things in well-rounded romantic comedy.
4. Fast & Furious 6
The surprise win of the summer is the sixth installment of the Fast & Furious series. What should be stalling out this late in a franchise finds a fresh pair of legs and continues to deliver on what fans want: fast cars, juiced guys, hot girls, lots of explosions and very little explanation. It’s so ridiculous, it’s hard not to enjoy it.
5. Fruitvale Station
Fruitvale tells the true story of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer. It was the breakout hit of the Sundance Film Festival and earned rave reviews for Michael B. Jordan’s passionate performance as Grant. It’s the kind of dramatic film audiences expect to see in the late fall but, instead, came out during the height of the summer making it easily missed.
6. The Kings Of Summer
This unexpectedly funny coming of age comedy tells the story of three boys looking to escape the frustrations of life as a teenager. The film is one of two nostalgic films on this list that recall the tribulations of growing up and dealing with the fact you are not totally in control of the end result. The stand out performance goes to Moisés Arias (Hannah Montana, The Middle) who delivers a hilarious turn as one of the three friends, Biaggo.
7. Pacific Rim
Never has a blockbuster film been as polarizing as Pacific Rim. Compared to the likes of Godzilla (the disastrous remake), Transformers and Battleship, audiences were left unsure what to expect going into the film. However, for those who did go, they got to enjoy a fantastic ride of aliens versus robots and the charm of Charlie Day. Surprisingly, Pacific Rim did not get drowned in water like previous sea-focused flicks (Battleship, Waterworld). It managed to deliver a fresh take on the blockbuster mega-action film.
8. The To Do List
Aubrey Plaza’s first major role since breaking out on Parks And Recreation sees her trying to lose her virginity in a sex farce about graduating high school. The film is elevated by an ensemble cast that includes Rachel Bilson, Connie Britton, Donald Glover and Bill Hader. More on the film here.
9. The Way Way Back
This charming film from Community’s Dean (Jim Rash) and Nat Faxon focuses on a young boy (Liam James) who is trapped with his family, including a philandering Steve Carell, on summer vacation. The charm here is the adult cast who each take turns stealing the spotlight as misguided adults who fail to see the pain in their own children. Combined with Kings, this film makes summer a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
10. You’re Next
If you love being scared, you’ll love watching this film about a family picked off by a team of masked murderers. Like The Strangers, the real fright is the idea of unknown villains torturing a home for seemingly no reason. Sharni Vinson steals the film as Erin, a relentless girlfriend bent on not dying.