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The 25 Best New Movies to Stream in August 2022

”Prey,“ ”Lightyear,“ ”Licorice Pizza“ and many more are available in your living room this month

August is here, which means summer is winding down and the options at your local multiplex are starting to become a bit slimmer. Not to worry, though, because a bevy of new titles are streaming this month, offering a ton of new movies — both newly streaming films and genuine new releases — to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Below, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the best new movies to stream in August, which runs the gamut from a new “Predator” prequel to a vampire action comedy to a pair of brand new animated films.

Belle

Studio Chizu

August 1, HBO Max

One of last year’s very best animated features, “Belle” hails from Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda (his previous film, “Mirai,” was the first non-Studio Ghibli Japanese film to be nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar). A 21st century take on “Beauty and the Beast,” “Belle” concerns a young girl who refashions herself as a pop princess in a virtual space known as the U. It’s there that she encounters the Dragon, a mysterious, destructive beast. Inspired in equal parts by the original fairy tale and the 1991 Disney animated adaptation, “Belle” is truly an international affair, with some of the backgrounds (and U designs) being handled by Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon (“Wolfwalkers”) and character designs from Disney artists Jin Kim and Michael Camacho. If you haven’t seen it yet, “Belle” is a wonderful world to get lost in. – Drew Taylor

Blow Out

Filmways Pictures

August 1, HBO Max

Arguably Brian De Palma’s very best film, which is a feat considering how many modern classics he is singlehandedly responsible for, “Blow Out” was dismissed upon its initial release in 1981 and only in the years since has been properly reevaluated. John Travolta stars as a sound recorder working for a low-rent production company in Philadelphia. While attempting to record sounds for a B horror movie, he accidentally records an assassination. This leads him along the path of a brutal mystery, as he falls in love with the survivor of the attack (an adorable, ditzy Nancy Allen) and becomes a target himself. Full of post-Watergate paranoia and unease, with peerless performances (John Lithgow also stars as the assassin who becomes an impromptu serial killer in an effort to cover up his crime) and stunning cinematography (by Vilmos Zsigmond). Combine all of that with some of De Palma’s greatest suspense set pieces and one of his very best endings, and you’ve got a slyly satirical thriller that felt like it came out a couple of years too late – it’s a 1970s movie that happened to open in 1981. – DT

Enemy

Entertainment One

August 1, HBO Max

If you’re a fan of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” or “Arrival” and psychological thrillers, you owe it to yourself to check out his truly mind-bending 2013 film “Enemy.” Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a college history professor living in Toronto who rents a movie and spots an actor who looks exactly like him. As he starts trying to track down his “double” (with Gyllenhaal playing dual roles), his life as he knows it starts to crumble around him. This one’s a trip and has one of the most startling and unforgettable final shots in recent memory. – Adam Chitwood

Ex Machina

Ex Machina
Ex Machina (A24)

August 1, HBO Max

A heady sci-fi two-hander with an iconic dance break from Oscar Isaac, 2014’s “Ex Machina” contains multitudes. The film hails from writer/director Alex Garland, whose knack for telling smart (and thought-provoking) sci-fi stories ranges from “Annihilation” to “Devs.” In “Ex Machina,” Isaac plays an enigmatic billionaire who summons a programmer (played by Domhnall Gleeson) to his remote compound to assess whether his A.I. creation (played by Alicia Vikander) is sentient. Philosophical conversations are interspersed with feelings of dread and horror, as Garland masterfully weaves a tale about what it means to be human. – AC

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

United Artists

August 1, HBO Max

Who says all remakes are bad? The 1978 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is a terrifying and thematically rich update of the 1955 novel that was first adapted into a film in 1956. Donald Sutherland stars as a San Francisco health inspector who begins to discover that humans are being taken over by alien doubles. As the numbers of alien imposters mount, Sutherland and his colleagues (including Leonard Nimoy) try to outrun the growing threat, culminating in a true “humdinger” of an ending. – AC

Slow West

Film4 Productions

August 1, HBO Max

This one’s for fans of underrated hidden gems. “Slow West” is a darkly comedic western starring Michael Fassbender as a bounty hunter who accompanies a young Scottish man (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee) who’s searching for his long lost love. Hot on their trail is a gang leader played by Ben Mendelsohn who almost exclusively wears fabulous fur coats. Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, this is a great find off the beaten path. – AC

The Devil’s Backbone

the-devils-backbone
Warner Sogefilms A.I.E.

August 1, HBO Max

Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s third film put him on the map in a big way – and for good reason. 2001’s “The Devil’s Backbone” is a Spanish-language ghost story set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. The story takes place at a small orphanage where the ghost of a young boy haunts the halls and its inhabitants, all while the threat of the war encroaching on the orphanage’s grounds looms. – AC

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy

spider-man-tobey-maguire
Sony Pictures

August 1, Netflix and Hulu

Sam Raimi’s 2002 film “Spider-Man” is one of the most influential comic book films of all time, helping to solidify for Hollywood what a “comic book movie” even was at a time when adaptations were scattershot at best. Tobey Maguire is a terrific Peter Parker in this series of films, as Raimi blends a colorful and playful sensibility with the grounded emotion of Parker’s interior life. All three films are now streaming on both Netflix and Hulu, and while “Spider-Man 2” is one of the best sequels of all time, we won’t blame you if you wanna skip “Spider-Man 3.” – AC

You’ve Got Mail

youve-got-mail-tom-hanks-meg-ryan
Warner Bros. Pictures

August 1, Hulu

Nothing says “comfort watch” quite like “You’ve Got Mail.” Nora Ephron’s 1998 film may be dated in its plot specifics (an evil big box book store vs. an independent children’s book shop, before the rise of Amazon) but the charms of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan transcend time and prehistoric dial-up noises. For the uninitiated, Hanks plays the heir apparent to a major chain of bookstores while Ryan plays the owner of a tiny children’s bookstore. The two are rivals, but unbeknownst to one another have been chatting online as strangers via this newfangled communication called “e-mail.” For many, “You’ve Got Mail” is the film equivalent of a warm blanket. – AC

Fantastic Mr. Fox

fantastic-mr-fox
20th Century Fox

August 1, Hulu

Wes Anderson’s first foray into animation is a wonderful gem of a movie that’s sure to delight kids and adults alike. Based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, the stop-motion “Fantastic Mr. Fox” follows a restless fox who draws the ire of a trio of farmowners, putting all the animals around him in jeopardy. An A-list voice cast that includes George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jason Schwartzman pairs nicely with Anderson’s adventuresome plotting and picturesque visuals. – AC

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters 1984 elevator
Photo: Sony

August 1, Hulu

One of the most beloved comedies of all time, “Ghostbusters” combines laughs and sci-fi in a near-perfect concoction. This classic stars Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson as a quartet of amateur(-ish) ghost hunters who begin investigating a string of ghost sightings in New York City, only to stumble upon the summoning of a god named Zuul. This one’s been imitated to death, but there’s nothing like the original. – AC

Man on Fire

man-on-fire-denzel-washington
20th Century Fox

August 1, Hulu

If you’re in the mood to watch an action-thriller with an emotional center, you can’t go wrong with “Man on Fire.” From the late director Tony Scott, the 2004 film stars Denzel Washington as a former CIA officer now working as a bodyguard who is jolted into action when the young girl he’s supposed to be watching (played by Dakota Fanning) is kidnapped. What appears to be a sweaty revenge thriller has a surprising amount of emotional heft, and stands as one of Scott’s best films from his final string of actioners. – AC

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

a-i-image
DreamWorks Pictures

August 1, Prime Video

If it’s been awhile since you saw Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” it’s well worth giving another shot. Originally conceived by Stanley Kubrick, Spielberg revived the project after Kubrick’s death and wrote and directed this tale of a young boy A.I. who is programmed to love and then abandoned by his adopted family. One part fairy tale and one part nightmare, this is one of Spielberg’s darkest films, with the director maintaining a heartbreaking emotional core throughout the young boy’s journey. Fair warning: If you’re a parent, have tissues at the ready. – AC

Lightyear

lightyear
Disney/Pixar

August 3, Disney+

“Lightyear” underperformed when it was released theatrically earlier this summer, but now here’s your chance to catch up to Pixar’s surprising, super fun sci-fi extravaganza. Part of the problem was that people didn’t know what to make of “Lightyear.” Was it a spin-off? Prequel? It’s actually the movie that Andy watched in 1995 to make him fall in love with the Lightyear character. (Co-writer/director Angus MacLane says that the movie was made in the late 1970s/early 1980s and the Buzz toy Andy gets is probably from an animated series based on the movie.) This time around Chris Evans plays the actual Space Ranger, who becomes obsessed with saving his colony after accidentally crashing on a hostile planet, full of carnivorous plants and killer bugs. His quest for perfection leads him to some unlikely places, eventually teaming up with an adorable robot cat named Sox (Peter Sohn) and facing off against the villainous Zurg (James Brolin). MacLane made an ambitious, visually dazzling sci-fi movie that is sure to become a favorite for the whole family. – DT

Skyfall

EON/MGM/Sony

August 4, Netflix

One of the best James Bond movies ever made, 2012’s “Skyfall” deepens the emotional core of Daniel Craig’s 007 without sacrificing spectacle. Director Sam Mendes crafts an explosive and thrilling action film that is deeply personal in nature, as Bond is forced to reckon with a changing world all while going up against an enemy from his past. It culminates in an emotional climax, and is immaculately photographed by cinematography great Roger Deakins. – AC

Prey

Prey
David Bukach/20th Century

August 5, Hulu

The “Predator” franchise finally gets the reboot/prequel it always deserved with “Prey.” Set in 1719, the new film follows a young female member of the Comanche nation (Amber Midthunder), as she comes up against the feared Predator alien. (It is implied this is one of the first visitations of the Predator race) Easily the best “Predator” movie since the masterful 1987 original, “Prey” is constantly surprising, very scary and punctuated by bursts of extreme violence. Who would have guessed that one of the best summer movies of 2022 would premiere on Hulu? (Not us!) – DT

Uncharted

uncharted-tom-holland box office
Sony Pictures

August 5, Netflix

Arguably the very best movie that was based on a video game (or at least the most fun), “Uncharted” was a modest hit when it came out earlier this year. The film version of the PlayStation game stars Tom Holland as a young Nate Drake, an explorer and treasure hunter who teams up with a more experienced soldier of fortune (Mark Wahlberg) for a globetrotting adventure. The action scenes have an appropriate amount of zest (particularly one where cars fall out of a plane, inspired by a similar moment from the game) and Wahlberg and Holland have good, flinty chemistry. And yes, we know this was originally scheduled to premiere on Netflix in July and then quietly shifted, but it’s streaming now we promise! – DT

Licorice Pizza

licorice pizza cooper hoffman
“Licorice Pizza” / MGM

August 5, Prime Video

Now that the dust has settled, can we all agree that Paul Thomas Anderson’s beautiful, heartfelt “Licorice Pizza” wasn’t worth the “controversy” that it caused during last year’s awards season? Because, really, this coming-of-age story, told in vignettes and set in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, might be Anderson’s greatest accomplishment and the performances by Cooper Hoffman and Alan Haim as a pair of lovestruck dummies, are peerless and only worthy of our praise. From the gorgeous cinematography to the insane amount of needle drops, “Licorice Pizza” really does feel like a hangout movie classic, worthy of placement alongside “Dazed and Confused” and “American Graffiti.” If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the perfect time. Watch and fall in love. – DT

Luck

Luck
Apple TV+

August 5, Apple TV+

The debut feature from Skydance Animation, “Luck” is directed by Peggy Holmes (who worked on direct-to-video animated projects for Disney), follows an unlucky young woman named Sam (Eva Noblezada) who ventures to the whimsical land of luck. This is a land where everything works without interruption, lorded over by a multi-limbed luck dragon (voiced by Jane Fonda). Of course, if anybody can turn the land of luck upside down, it’s Sam. If you’re looking for something new and entertaining for the whole family, you could have worse luck. – DT

The Nice Guys

the-nice-guys-ryan-gosling-russell-crowe
Warner Bros.

August 9, Netflix

“The Nice Guys” is so good, it will make you mad you didn’t see it in a theater when it first came out. This 1970s-set noir comedy from filmmaker Shane Black stars Ryan Gosling as a private investigator and Russell Crowe as a gruff enforcer who are forced to team up to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl (played by Margaret Qualley). Gosling and Crowe’s chemistry is absolutely dynamite, and Black demonstrates his knack for two-handers that he previously perfected on films like “Lethal Weapon” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” And not for nothing, but Gosling delivers one of the best comedic performances of the century here. Seriously, give it a whirl. You won’t regret it. – AC

Dope

Open Road Films

August 11, Netflix

Here’s another hidden gem that’s worth checking out. 2015’s “Dope” first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and follows a trio of high school “geeks” who live in Ingelwood, California. A coming-of-age story at heart, Shameik Moore (the voice of Miles Morales in the “Spider-Verse” films) plays a character on the cusp of getting into Harvard who suddenly (and accidentally) comes into possession of some drugs. This slice-of-life dramedy boasts great performances, a killer ‘90s soundtrack and slick direction from Rick Famuyiwa. – AC

Secret Headquarters

Paramount+

August 12, Paramount+

How’s this for an irresistible premise? A son (Walker Scobell from “The Adam Project”) discovers that his goofy father (Owen Wilson) is actually a world-renowned, Iron Man-like superhero after uncovering his secret headquarters underneath the family house. That’s pretty good, even if the final product winds up being more “Sky High” than “Shang-Chi.” “Secret Headquarters” is co-written and directed by the team of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who last remixed the superhero genre with Netflix’s somewhat underrated “Project Power” and made two of the best installments in the “Paranormal Activity” franchise. Also, bonus points since some of the team behind “Top Gun: Maverick” were responsible for “Secret Headquarters,” including producer Jerry Bruckheimer and composer Lorne Balfe. This might end up being a secret success. – DT

Day Shift

DAY SHIFT Jamie Foxx Snoop Dogg
“Day Shift” (Netflix)

August 12, Netflix

In this inventive action-comedy Jamie Foxx plays a down-on-his-luck pool cleaner and freelance vampire hunter in the San Fernando Valley. (Truthfully, this could be the great second half of a double feature that begins with “Licorice Pizza.”) When his estranged wife (Meagan Goode) threatens to leave town with his daughter, he makes a bid to rejoin the vampire hunter union. They saddle him with a bookworm auditor (Dave Franco) and force him to complete a series of tasks. Of course, in the process of trying to restore his livelihood he uncovers a vast vampire conspiracy. The movie has a loose, shaggy charm and will remind you of the macho, ultra-violent buddy movies from the 1980s like “Renegades” or “Shakedown.” It’s a good hang. – DT

Orphan: First Kill

orphan-first-kill
Paramount Pictures

August 19, Paramount+

“Orphan” debuted way back in 2009 and was something of a sleeper hit. The big twist, of course, was that the young girl that a well-meaning Connecticut family (led by Vera Farmiga and Peter Sargaard) adopted was, in fact, a murderous old crone (Isabelle Fuhrman). Now, more than a decade later, we have a prequel to the original, investigating what Esther was up to before she was adopted by the nice family in the original film. “Orphan: First Kill” is stripped of much of the pedigree of the first film, which was handsomely directed by journeyman filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra and produced by Joel Silver and Leonardo DiCaprio, but retains Fuhrman as the murderous Esther, which is something. (It’s directed by William Brent Bell, director of “The Boy” movies.) It’ll be interesting to see if the thrills still work considering we all already know the big twist. – DT

Samaritan

samaritan-sylvester-stallone
Prime Video

August 26, Prime Video

A movie that has been shifted around the release schedule nearly as many times as “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Samaritan” finally arrives, following Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, as a Prime Video exclusive this month. (Previous release dates included November 20, 2020 and June 4, 2021.) Sylvester Stallone plays Samaritan, a superhero who most suspected was dead after a particularly epic battle 25 years ago. But a young boy (Javon Walton from “Euphoria”) comes to realize that he’s still around – and living in his neighborhood. Since “Samaritan” is directed by Julius Avery, the Australian filmmaker with two low-key classics under his belt (crime drama “Son of a Gun” and gonzo, J.J. Abrams-produced Nazi horror movie “Overlord”), we are cautiously optimistic that this will be a cut above the rest of the superhero fare. – DT

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