13 best movies new to Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max & Hulu: August 2021


Holy mackerel, it’s already August. Where did the time go? The dog days of the summer are waning as we wade our way into the last months before fall. August’s been a big one, what with the recent release of big summer tentpoles like The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Green Knight, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Old. There’s no shortage of exciting new films on the horizon like Nia DaCosta’s Candyman and more. But if you’re feeling the comfort of your couch more than your local theater, we’ve got you covered with best movies new to streaming this month.

In August, we’ve got everything from the nocturnal vampire horror thriller 30 Days of Night, Steven Spielberg’s 2004 crime film Catch Me If You Can, Ruben Östlund’s tragicomic art-world satire The Square, the South Korean Zombie thriller Train to Busan, and many more!

Read on for 13 of the best movies new to streaming services in August. There’s something for everyone.


30 Days Of Night

A blood drenched vampire leers with fanged teeth in 30 Days of Night

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Based on Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith’s comic series, 30 Days of Night follows the denizens of an Alaskan town as they’re hunted by a ravenous pack of vampires, who luxuriate in a spot plunged into darkness every winter for over a month. With the town’s power cut off and no access to the outside world, the survivors must find a way to fend off their would-be predators until daylight returns. Danny Huston shines as Marlow, the regal and relentless leader of the vampires, as does Josh Hartnett in his starring role as Sheriff Eben Oleson. With brutal tension and cringe-inducing gore, 30 Days of Night is a thrilling fright fest well worth watching. —Toussaint Egan

30 Days of Night is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Attack The Block

The cast of Attack the Block stand in front of a motor scooter

Photo: Optimum Releasing

Attack the Block, Ant-Man co-writer Joe Cornish’s 2011 sci-fi horror comedy debut, stars future Star Wars icon John Boyega in his feature debut as Moses, the leader of a teenage street gang who must defend their South London estate against an invasion of ravenous aliens that suddenly descends upon their neighborhood en masse. Featuring supporting performances by Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who) and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Attack the Block is a hilarious and pulse-pounding film anchored by tight writing and strong special effects. —TE

Attack The Block is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Bad Boys II

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as Detective Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey in Bad Boys 2

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith return for the 2003 sequel to Michael Bay’s buddy cop action comedy Bad Boys, and this time: shit just got real. Miami is being flooded with ecstasy out of Cuba by an unscrupulous and ruthless drug lord named Johnny Tapia (Jordi Mollà), and it falls to Detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) to shut the operation down. Things get dicey as the DEA in the form of Marcus’ younger sister Sydney (Gabrielle Union) becomes involved in the case, and possibility of Marcus transferring out of the department leaves Mike feeling restless and wondering about his own future. This movie is notoriously gory, with one car chase involving a flurry of cadavers being chucked out of a van, so be aware. —TE

Bad Boys II is streaming on Peacock.

Basic Instinct

Sharon Stone as Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct.

Photo: TriStar Pictures

Starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, Paul Verhoeven’s 1992 erotic neo-noir thriller Basic Instinct is as sexually-charged as it is gruesomely violent. Douglas is Nick Curran, a detective with the San Francisco Police Department investigating the death of former rock star Johnny Boz who was brutally stabbed to death while in bed. His investigation leads him to Boz’s mistress Catherine Tramell, a sultry and manipulative seductress who ensnares Curran in a web of lies, lust, and artful deception. Basic Instinct is a quintessential entry in the genre of erotic thrillers and a gripping work produced by a director at the height of his abilities. —TE

Basic Instinct is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Catch Me If You Can

Leonardo DiCaprio as con-man Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can.

Photo: Amblin Entertainment

Based on a true story, Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Steven Spielberg’s crime film Catch Me If You Can as Frank Abagnale Jr. who impersonated as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor, successfully conning millions of dollars — and at the age of 19 no less! Hot on his trail is Carl Hanraty (Tom Hanks), an FBI agent who’s always just one step behind Abagnale as he perilously galavants from one successful con to the next across the globe. —TE

Catch Me If You Can is streaming on Netflix.

The Insider

Al Pacino in The Insider.

Photo: Touchstone Pictures

Al Pacino and Russell Crowe star in Michael Mann’s biographical drama thriller The Insider. Based on a true story, Pacino plays Lowell Bergman, a 60 Minutes producer who approaches former Brown & Williamson researcher Jeff Wigand (Crowe) to share the story of what he learned while working for the company. As the combined pressures of Wigand’s NDA, the political leverage of Big Tobacco, and the CBS’ imminent acquisition by the Westinghouse corporation, the battle to unearth the truth at the heart of the tobacco industry escalates as the pair nonetheless attempt to fight the odds. —TE

The Insider is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Machinist

Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik in The Machinist.

Photo: Paramount Home Video

Brad Anderson’s 2004 psychological thriller The Machinist stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) as Trevor Reznik, an emaciated amnesiac working as a lathe operator. Trevor hasn’t slept in over a year, and is now haunted by visions of a co-worker that no one else can see, and an inexplicable stream of mysterious Post-It notes that appear on his fridge, Trevor must get to the heart of the madness that engulfs him if he has any chance of surviving … or at the very least, ever getting a good night’s sleep. —TE

The Machinist is streaming on Netflix.

Magnolia

Tom Cruise in Magnolia

Photo: Ghoulardi Film Company

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 ensemble drama Magnolia is sprawling mosaic of loosely related characters whose fates and stories are intertwined with one another as their respective search for love, forgiveness, and meaning unspools beautifully across the expanse of the San Fernando Valley. Boasting several masterful performances courtesy of William H. Macy, Jason Robards, Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Melinda Dillon, and many more, Magnolia is unlike anything that Anderson has produced before or since and as such, a vital watch for anyone claiming to be a fan of the director’s work. —TE

Magnolia is streaming on Netflix.

Predator

The Predator sans thermoptic camouflage

Photo: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Much like the film’s namesake, John McTiernan’s 1987 sci-fi action film Predator appears to be one kind of movie before reveal itself to be a whole other one several times over. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers, the film follows an elite paramilitary rescue team sent on a mission to rescue hostages held captive by guerrilla dissidents in a Central American rainforest. So far, so Contra. It’s not until after they arrive that they realize that something far deadlier, far more extraterrestrial in nature is skulking through the forest and picking them off one by one. With nothing and no-one else to help besides their wits and each other, the team will mounts a desperate last stand against a predator who will not stop until their mission is fulfilled. —TE

Predator is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Road to El Dorado

tulio and miguel, mighty and powerful gods

Image: DreamWorks Animation

This hilarious adventure buddy-comedy set in South America (not to be confused with the other hilarious adventure buddy-comedy set in South America that came out in 2000) absolutely tanked at the box office. But The Road to El Dorado has grown into a certifiable cult classic at this point, finding a second life via the internet, be it shitpost groups, reaction gifs, or the rich shipping culture. It’s a movie caught between the animated musicals of the Disney Renaissance (there are songs, but with one exception no one sings) and the more comedic leanings of the next wave of animated movies, that just oozes with fun. —PR

The Road to El Dorado is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Spotlight

rachel mcadams, mark ruffalo, brian d’arcy james, michael keaton, and john slattery in spotlight

Photo: Open Road Films

2016’s Best Picture Oscar went to Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight, and it’s easy to see why — it’s a well-crafted prestige-picture throwback to the days of All the President’s Men. This meticulously made but character-forward journalism procedural tracks how from 2001-2002, the Boston Globe uncovered and reported on a vast scandal involving the Catholic Church systematically covering for and protecting sexually abusive priests. As director and co-writer, McCarthy (The Station Agent) tells the story methodically, but without a lot of the showy drama and yell-fests that usually accompany prestige dramas. A strong cast (Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, and a lot more) keep the action low-key but absorbing and involving. —Tasha Robinson

Spotlight is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Square

Photo: Magnolia Pictures

Ruben Östlund’s art-world satire The Square stars Claes Bang (Dracula) as Christian, a well-respected art curator of a prestigious Stockholm museum whose professional and personal lives simultaneously collapse into a tragicomic odyssey of stolen phones, PR shenanigans, and ennui. With supporting performances courtesy of Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Dominic West (The Wire), The Square is a cringe-inducing and hilarious watch. —TE

The Square is streaming on HBO Max.

Train to Busan

A bloodied Seok-woo (Yoo) looks over his shoulder.

Image: Well Go USA Entertainment

Imagine if, instead of eating cockroaches and warding off ax-wielding thugs on their way to the one-percenter front carriage, the passengers aboard the Snowpiercer train warded off zombies. OK, OK, stop imagining: Train to Busan is better than anything you’ll come up with. Propulsive, bloody and glimmering with the dark whimsy particular to Korean cinema, animator-turned-live-action-director Yeon Sang-ho’s take on the zombie apocalypse wears its heart on its sleeve … until the flesh-eating undead tear the heart to shreds. It’s a father-daughter story. It’s a husband-wife story. It’s a who-deserves-to-live-and-die survivor narrative. It’s a people story trapped in a high-speed rail train, where the only hope of escape is a well-timed leap into the baggage shelf. It’s a hell of a movie. —Matt Patches

Train to Busan is streaming on Peacock.



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