The Hottest August (2019) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hottest August2019

The Hottest August (2019)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.


Clare Coulter
as Narrator

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Critic Reviews for The Hottest August

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

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 12, 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 8, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Hottest August is ambitious and carefully thought-through, but its scattershot, no-context approach undermines it in the end.

February 28, 2019 | Full Review…

The film is beautifully lensed by Derek Howard, capturing distinct qualities in natural light, in the quantity of water in the air, which speak to its subject.

November 19, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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