Summer is the biggest movie season of the year, and this year, it’s happening at more than just the theaters. The major streaming platforms keep adding new and classic releases to their libraries every week, ensuring there’s always something great to watch on movie night. But with so much coming and going all summer, it’s easy to miss something you wanted to see. To keep you up to date, we’re compiling the best new movies to join Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max every single week.
John David Washington stars in this Netflix Original thriller from Italian director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino. While vacationing in Greece, a devastating accident forces American tourist Beckett (Washington) to run for his life as he becomes the primary suspect. Desperately trying to get to the American embassy to clear his name, the authorities close in, political unrest mounts, and Beckett finds himself falling into a conspiracy he has no business being a part of.
Pray Away (2020)
Kristine Stolakis’ deeply upsetting documentary takes a deep dive into Exodus International, a group formed in the 1970s by five evangelicals who believed that gay people can become straight through prayer. The doc explores the origins of “conversion therapy” and how a once-crackpot religious movement attracted a huge following despite pushing a sadistic, psychotic, ineffectual, and pointless practice.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can was an Oscars darling and an awesome showcase for stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. DiCaprio plays Frank Abagnale, Jr., a brilliant fraudster and thief who conned his way into working as a doctor, a lawyer, and a pilot all by age 17. Before being a legal adult, he was the most successful bank robber in American history. This is the story of FBI Agent Carl Hanratty’s (Tom Hanks) tireless journey to catch Frank and bring him to justice.
Django Unchained (2012)
Quentin Tarantino takes on the antebellum South in this gloriously violent revenge tale. Shortly before the Civil War, slave Django (Jamie Foxx) joins forces with an unusual German bounty hunter called Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) as he hunts down the Brittle brothers, a vicious bunch of racists with whom Django has a personal history. Soon, Schultz frees Django, who decides to team up with Schultz to hunt the South’s most-wanted criminals while Django searches for his long-lost wife. Their travels soon lead them to the plantation of the ruthless, sadistic Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)
Things get crazy in this female-driven, action-packed thriller! Sam (Karen Gillan) was only 12 years old when her assassin mother (Lena Headey) was forced to abandon her. Picked up by her mother’s crime syndicate, The Firm, Sam grows up to be one of the fiercest hitwomen on the planet, using her skills to clean up The Firm’s most dangerous messes. But when a high-risk job goes wrong, Sam must choose between The Firm and protecting an innocent child. Her only chance of survival: Reunite with her mother and a new band of lethal associates called The Librarians.
Together Together (2021)
Patti Harrison and Ed Helms are ridiculously charming in this heavy comedy about finding connection in a lonely world. Matt (Helms) is a single man in his 40s who wants a child, so he hires young loner Anna (Harrison) as the gestational surrogate. Both introverts and strangers to one another, they soon realize that this new arrangement is going to force them to get far closer to one another than they bargained for, challenging their ideas of connection and boundaries.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)
John Candy and Steve Martin are both at the top of their games in one of the greatest comedies of the ’80s. Neal Page (Martin) is a bit of a control freak, so when a freak snowstorm derails his trip to get home to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his family, he’s a little on edge. Even worse, when he’s forced to bunk up with the gregarious Del Griffith (John Candy), Neal is just about ready to snap. Together, they must reach some common ground to find their way home.
Black Swan (2010)
Darren Aronofsky’s psychological ballet drama was nominated for five Oscars, but only Natalie Portman won for Best Actress. Portman plays Nina, a ballerina whose passion for dance borders more closely on obsession. When her company’s artistic director taps her to replace the prima ballerina for “Swan Lake,” Nina is overjoyed. However, she soon finds competition from newcomer Lily (Mila Kunis). As Nina becomes consumed by earning the Black Swan role over Lily, the two dancers form a rivalry that slowly evolves into a twisted friendship that brings out the worst in Nina.
Summer of Soul (2021)
While Woodstock captivated the nation and became the ultimate symbol of the turbulent ’60s, another massive music festival put the spotlight on a different community. And yet almost nobody knows it ever happened. Across six weeks during the summer of 1969, the Harlem Cultural Festival celebrated Black history, culture, music, and fashion, entertaining thousands in one of the most historic Black neighborhoods in the country. Questlove unearths incredible archival footage to relive the festival in this electric documentary.
Leave No Trace (2018)
Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie star in this quiet, slow burn of a drama about a father and daughter who live an idyllic, mysterious existence in Forest Park, near Portland, Oregon. They rarely make contact with the world, but when a small mistake tips them off to the authorities, they’re forced to find a new place to call their own. Easier said than done.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
Sacha Baron Cohen’s beloved Kazakhstani fish out of water returned to America during the COVID-19 pandemic with great success. But nothing beats 2006’s original, which took ridiculousness to brand new heights. Borat, one of Kazakhstan’s most popular reporters and successful people, comes to the United States to film a documentary on what makes America a great nation. During his journey, he offends pretty much everyone he meets, tries to kidnap Pamela Anderson, and runs naked through a crowded hotel conference room.
Fans of small-market baseball teams owe a lot to the ingenuity and spendthriftiness of former Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. In this adaptation of Michael Lewis’s bestselling book, Brad Pitt stars as Beane, who wakes up one day realizing that baseball’s conventional wisdom is completely wrong. Joining forces with Ivy League graduate and analytical outcast Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Beane sets out to reinvent his team by outsmarting richer ball clubs by looking at the numbers everyone else is overlooking. Recruiting bargain-bin players that scouts have labeled flawed, Beane and Brand craft a team that wins in the margins, propelling the A’s to the longest regular-season winning streak of all time.
Is there a better summer movie than Jaws? Unless you’re currently on Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod, probably not. Steven Spielberg’s creature horror classic may lack the special effects of modern movies, but it still stands up as a thrilling, action-packed drama about a rogue shark derailing an entire town. It’s peak season on Amity Island, but when a young woman is killed by a shark, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches. Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), however, overrules him in favor of tourist revenues. Instead, ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and salty dog Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody kill the beast, sparking an epic battle of man vs. nature.
Big Fish (2003)
Tim Burton’s contemporary folk fantasy is a gorgeous tale of generational conflict that firmly believes the world is still a little magical. Edward Bloom has fallen ill and his son, William (Billy Crudup), comes to be with him on his deathbed. William has always struggled with his father, who tells exaggerated, implausible stories about his life. Sure enough, even on his deathbed, Edward tells the same fantastical stories, much to William’s chagrin. But as William, a journalist, finally begins to investigate his father’s tales, he discovers more than a kernel of truth and realizes his father is simply an extraordinary storyteller.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
In 1939, governess Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is out of work and on the bread line. Middle-aged, running out of options, and recently refused work at an employment agency, Miss Pettigrew breaks character by stealing the details of a juicy assignment and pursuing the job herself. If you’re looking for a whimsical, often inspiring period piece, this is a great choice.
The Suicide Squad (2021)
James Gunn’s “soft reboot” of 2016’s Suicide Squad has already garnered significantly better reviews despite bringing back much of the same cast (with some notable substitutions). Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the U.S., is where the worst supervillains are kept and where the worst supervillains constantly try to escape. They’ll even join the shady Task Force X. So when Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin, and Harley Quinn strike a deal to get out for a while, they’re dropped on the remote, enemy-infested island of Corto Maltese. One wrong move and they’re dead, either from enemies or from their government handlers.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman deliver tour de force performances in this classic drama about a man falsely imprisoned for the murder of his wife. Andy Dufresne (Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in Shawshank prison for the murders of his wife and her lover. Andy knows he didn’t commit the crimes but, over time, adapts to life in prison and becomes a surprisingly valuable resource for the inmates and the corrupt warden alike. It’s because of that resourcefulness that when new evidence comes to light that exonerates Andy, the powers that be will do everything they can to silence it.
Best in Show (2000)
Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap!, Waiting for Guffman) is the king of the mockumentary, and Best in Show is arguably his best effort. Especially for dog people. With an amazing cast of characters, Best in Show chronicles the building tension and excitement ahead of the prestigious Mayflower Dog Show. This is, without a doubt, the greatest moment in all of these people’s lives and they are not all coping with it in a healthy way. Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, and Guest himself lead a tremendously talented cast in a largely improvised movie that delivers constant laughs.
Drop the “Friday” out of Freaky Friday and you get this gory, slasher comedy starring Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn. Millie Kesler (Newton) is just trying to survive high school and overcome the cruelty of the popular kids at her school. Unfortunately, she soon also become the target of the town’s infamous serial killer, the Butcher (Vaughn), making high school the least of her worries. When the Butcher’s mystical dagger causes him and Millie to magically switch bodies, however, things take a gruesome turn for her high school and for Millie herself, who must get her identity back within 24 hours, lest she is stuck looking like Vince Vaughn forever.
Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)
The second-best movie about the Looney Tunes playing basketball of all time is now on HBO Max. Whether you’re a grown-up fan of the original Michael Jordan version or you have young, basketball-loving kids, you might find Space Jam: A New Legacy worth your time. In this CGI-ed update, LeBron James and his son Dom get trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I. (Don Cheadle). To get home safely, LeBron must lead Bugs, Lola Bunny, and the rest of the Looney Tunes against the A.I.’s digitized, powered-up basketball stars.