As July comes to an end and August looms, it has arrived: the complete list of movies and television shows arriving on Netflix next month. But since picking something to watch can be a painful and agonizing process, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Here are the must-see movies from everything coming to Netflix within the next thirty days.
The Fast and the Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Everyone seems to agree that the Fast and Furious series really became something special with Fast Five, which transformed a loose series about street racing and related crimes into a globetrotting adventure story full of outrageous characters and preposterous action. However, to truly appreciate and study how far this series has come, the early films are required viewing. The original 2001 film, The Fast and the Furious, is a rough watch these days. It hasn’t aged well and Paul Walker and Vin Diesel aren’t comfortable screen presences quite yet. Still, it’s a bizarre artifact and the exception that proves the rule about movie franchises getting worse with age.
And then there’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which began as a completely disconnected sequel to the first two movies and now acts as a vital turning point for the series thanks to some wacky timeline restructuring. More importantly, it marks Justin Lin‘s first time in the director’s chair for one of these movies and it’s actually the first entry in the series to be legitimately and honestly good.
Final Destination 3
It may not be on the same bonkers level as Final Destination 2, but Final Destination 3 is one of the stronger entries in this very silly series. As you’d expect (and let’s face it, hope), the film is built entirely around finding grisly ways to off the cast members one by one through absurd scenarios that don’t even bother asking for your suspension of disbelief. There’s a natural comedic rhythm to the best of these films: a meticulous and agonizing set-up filled with misdirection and distractions suddenly turns around with drops a gooey punchline covered in viscera right in your lap. Pour yourself a strong drink and enjoy the perfectly modulated carnage.
No Country For Old Men
One of several films from Joel and Ethan Coen that can be described as a masterpiece, No Country For Old Men is a bleak, terrifying, and occasionally blackly funny odyssey into nihilism and consequence and fate and random chance. It begins as one of the best thrillers of the ’00s and concludes as a maddening, thoughtful rumination on violence and a changing world. That ending, which can feel so frustrating upon first viewing, is one of the all-time great cinematic denouements and a perfect ending for a movie that refuses to offer easy answers or small comforts. Javier Bardem‘s Oscar-winning performance is as good as you remember, but it’s Josh Brolin, as the hapless hero thrown into a living hell because of a moment of mercy, who is quietly magnificent.
If you still have a single warm or pure thought left in your body after watching No Country For Old Men, John Hillcoat‘s The Road will stamp out the ashes. Like that film, this is an adaption of an acclaimed Cormac McCarthy novel and unlike that film, there is nothing thrilling or even remotely humorous about anything that transpires here. The setting is the post-apocalypse. The characters are an unnamed man and his son. There is no story, just a serious of violent and miserable episodes. There is no supporting cast, just a serious of increasingly unsettling encounters with other wanderers. Hillcoat sticks true to McCarthy’s text and the result is one of the bleakest movies ever made. It’s a tough watch. You may hate it. But oh boy, it sure is something.
If this movie was made today, it would probably be terrible. You have Tim Burton directing a quirky re-imagining of a classic story and it stars Johnny Depp, who is putting on a funny voice and indulging in all manner of quirks. That sounds like an Alice in Wonderland-esque recipe for disaster, but Sleepy Hollow comes from an age where these two working together wasn’t quite so old hat. This violent and odd riff on the tale of the Headless Horseman is stylish and moody, a hugely entertaining gothic horror tale that’s surprisingly earnest in its storytelling. If not for all of the gore, this could be a Hammer horror movie from the ’60s.