'Papillon' (Aug. 24)
Prison breakout movies are a dime a dozen – but Henri Charrière's acclaimed memoir about the "butterfly" prisoner who makes a daring attempt to escape from Devil's Island has always been one-of-a kind. Steve McQueen starred as Charriere in a 1973 film version with Dustin Hoffman as his fellow convict Louis Dega. Now, we get Charlie Hunnam as Big Papi and Mr. Robot's Rami Malek in the role of Dega. Director Michael Noer knows his duty is to provide a Shawshank-like escape thriller, but he insists that the core of the film resides with "two men who develop a relationship in pain." Any similarities to the movie's Thirties-set penal colony and current penitentiary horror stories are, of course, not coincidental, and the result is a summer movie with a conscience. Let's hope it's a trend.