The Hottest August

2019

The Hottest August

Critics Consensus

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81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

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Movie Info

A complex portrait of a city and its inhabitants, The Hottest August gives us a window into the collective consciousness of the present. The film's point of departure is one city over one month: New York City, including its outer boroughs, during August 2017. It's a month heavy with the tension of a new President, growing anxiety over everything from rising rents to marching white nationalists, and unrelenting news of either wildfires or hurricanes on every coast. The film pivots on the question of futurity: what does the future look like from where we are standing? And what if we are not all standing in the same place? The Hottest August offers a mirror onto a society on the verge of catastrophe, registering the anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies that preoccupy ordinary lives.

Cast

Clare Coulter
as Narrator

News & Interviews for The Hottest August

Critic Reviews for The Hottest August

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (4)

  • August 2017 was not the hottest on record. Not even close. If one can't get the title right, what chance is there of everything else falling into order?

    January 29, 2020 | Rating: 0/5 | Full Review…
  • No movie can encompass everything that's on the minds of Americans at the moment, but Story's modest but wide-ranging cine-essay comes closest, constructed in such a way that no two audiences will see it the same way.

    December 22, 2019 | Full Review…

    Peter Debruge

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • But sometimes an experiment feels like just an experiment, and that's where the well-intentioned query "The Hottest August" ultimately lands.

    November 15, 2019 | Full Review…
  • This collection of interactions with ordinary people is a cinematic gift both simple and multilayered, an intellectual challenge and an emotional adventure.

    November 14, 2019 | Full Review…
  • While it never feels completely defeatist, [Story's] film offers scattered snapshots of an uncertain society in its dog days.

    November 13, 2019 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Even face to face with a bleak future, The Hottest August is steeped... delight, the kind that reminds us that there's beauty in the world, and a future that's worth fighting for.

    March 9, 2019 | Full Review…

    Sam Adams

    Slate
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Hottest August

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