The best new releases on Netflix this month
It’s hard to keep track of the hundreds of movies and shows migrating between the dozens of streaming services every month — on top of those precious quibis. This space is here to keep you updated on the best movies and shows coming to Netflix on a monthly basis. Below you’ll find the best Netflix releases in August, spanning a mix of old favorites returning or coming to the platform for the first time, and some still-unseen original programming that looks poised to impress.
Being John Malkovich
You’ll have to fact-check me on this, but I think this has to be the only movie where a character finds a portal into John Malkovich’s mind? Spike Jonze’s debut remains incredibly singular more than 20 years after its release, and was only a taste of how far Charlie Kaufman would burrow into the surreal and existential pangs of modern life. Never not going to be weird seeing Charlie Sheen in this thing.
You can now watch one of 2020’s most popular films, free and right at home. With the year’s slate of new films mostly cleared out of theaters, Jurassic Park took the mantle as a drive-through staple alongside old favorites like Jaws and E.T. It’s no accident — Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster is still one of his finest, and the quintessential summer thriller. People love dinosaurs, man.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Is it Charlie Kaufman month or something? No just kidding, it’s another one that seems to move to and from the platform every month or so. While his films can often feel cold and distant in their crippling ennui, this was perhaps his most generous effort as a screenwriter. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet both do the 50 First Dates thing in an effort to avoid the anguish that got them there into a troubled relationship in the first place. Remember really loving this as a freshman in college, which sounds about right.
It’s good and I will not be taking further questions.
Immigration Nation (August 3)
While it’s hard to choose any one thing, the Trump administration’s brutish expansion of ICE raids and family separation may stand as its most brazen act of prolonged cruelty. The upcoming Netflix original docuseries has already ruffled enough feathers for the administration to reportedly urge the streamer to delay it until after the election. According to the site’s description, the series offers “unprecedented access to ICE operations, as well as moving portraits of immigrants.”
Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (August 7)
Since winning one of the more unremarkable Best Picture / Best Director Oscars in recent memory for The Shape of Water — no shade, just not good or bad enough to remember — Guillermo Del Toro has been a prolific producer, lending co-signs to everything from that Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie to the Pacific Rim sequel. Before his anticipated stop-motion Pinocchio arrives next year, catch up on the director’s continued animated work with DreamWorks, the Tales of Arcadia series. Its third and final season, Wizards: Tales of Arcadia arrives this month, and brings the heroes to Camelot for a pivot away from 3Below’s futuristic sci-fi.
Selling Sunset: Season 3 (August 7)
I’ve only caught this one in the background when my girlfriend has it on, but always end up enraptured. You can't look away from these people — the main realtor named for a Shell gas station and its attendant, the bald short king twins, the strange French himbo dude named Romain? Its last season ended with Romain and Mary's wedding, and we're staring down Christine's wedding and more wall-to-wall drama surrounding Chrishell's public divorce. The weird hot realtor show is good folks.
The Legend of Korra (August 14)
I’m taking all of your word for it at this point, but this feels essential as I’m just dipping into a first-watch of Avatar: The Last Airbender. That Nickelodeon series enjoyed a major second wind after coming to Netflix — from latecomers like me and devout fans on their fifth rewatch — so it’s only fair to expect the same for Korra. The sequel series picks up 70 years later, with a new avatar and the same old bending.
Project Power (August 14)
There was a period where you could reasonably wonder where Joseph Gordon-Levitt went, taking a similar exodus to his subject in Snowden. But now the dude's just everywhere again — that Amazon hijacking movie, the upcoming Aaron Sorkin flick where Jeremy Strong demanded tear gas, and now Project Power. In the vein of The Old Guard, it's another Netflix original genre exercise that might be a modest hit in theaters or a blockbuster on the platform. Alongside Jamie Foxx, Gordon-Levitt encounter a mysterious drug that grants you superpowers for five minutes. Cool premise, looks silly enough to throw on in the background.
Casino Royale (August 31)
With the prospect of a new James Bond movie hitting theaters this winter looking bleaker by the day, 007’s pogo between streaming services will have to be the next best thing. While I’d vouch for some Connery and Moore joints, this is the one right here. Fourteen years later, still breathtaking in its pacing, still one of the best action movies of all time, and still the best mainstreamer of poker and asking for a scratch.