The 25 Best New Movies to Stream in August 2023

From “Asteroid City” to “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and beyond

Focus Features/Universal Pictures/Disney

August is here and with it a whole host of new movies to watch on streaming has arrived. It can be daunting thumbing through the lists of what’s new on Netflix, Prime Video, Max, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock and Paramount+, and that’s where we come in handy. Below, we’ve put together a curated list of some of the best new movies to stream this month, including brand new originals like Gal Gadot’s actioner “Heart of Stone,” new releases making their streaming debut like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and excellent library titles such as David Fincher’s “Zodiac.”

You’ll find all of that and more in our curated list of the best new movies to stream in August.



Paramount+ – Aug. 1

This new documentary details how mix tape culture helped hip-hop culture enter the mainstream. From the official press release: “Before radio play, the internet, and social media, there were mixtapes. DJs were tastemakers, trendsetters and creators of the sound that became the biggest musical genre on the planet. The importance of mixtapes goes well beyond the tapes themselves. Mixtapes were a form of currency and a signifier that someone was ‘in the know’ and had their ear to the streets. The culture was too strong to be stopped, and the artists were too talented to be ignored – so they turned the sub-culture into the mainstream, and made hip hop what it is today.” Ready to pop it in your boom box? Because we sure are. – Drew Taylor

“Only Lovers Left Alive”

Soda Pictures

Paramount+ – Aug. 1

Jim Jarmusch, the darling of independent American cinema, has cannily subverted genres over the years, putting his distinct spin on (among other things) the Western (with “Dead Man”), the gangster film (with “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai”) and the spy movie (with “The Limits of Control”). So while many were taken aback by him wanting to tackle a vampire movie, for those of us who knew (and loved) the filmmaker, it made perfect sense. And “Only Lovers Left Alive” turned out to be one of his best movies ever – a woozily romantic, singularly offbeat look at the lives (and loves) of vampires. Tom Hiddleston (in a role originally intended for Michael Fassbender), plays a vampire rocker living in decrepit Detroit; Tilda Swinton is his longtime (and we do mean longtime) lover. That’s basically the long and short of it. It’s beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted (Anton Yelchin plays Hiddelston’s human assistant and Mia Wasikowska plays Swinton’s vampire sister, with appearances from Jeffrey Wright and John Hurt). If you love vampire movies, then this is one you shouldn’t sleep on and if you love Jarmusch but thought this looked too silly – think again. It’s one of his masterpieces. Ya heard. – Drew Taylor

“F/X” and “F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion”

Orion Pictures

Paramount+ – Aug. 1

The premise for 1986’s “F/X” is deliciously ingenious: Bryan Brown plays a special effects make-up artist who is hired by the Justice Department to stage the murder of a gangster before that gangster goes into witness protection. He does the job (the sequence is so cool) but then things get trickier, especially after a New York City cop (played by Brian Dennehy) gets involved. Sturdily built (the score is by Bill Conti and Terry Rawlings did the editing), the first film is a high-concept thriller that you’ll still find yourself getting lost in. The sequel, 1991’s “F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion” (that subtitle!), is just as entertaining but, as the title suggests, way more over-the-top. The sequel was directed by Richard Franklin, one of the most stylish directors of the 1980s (with an unbelievable run that included “Roadgames,” “Psycho II,” “Cloak & Dagger” and “Link”), who was coming off a five-year dry spell and an increased dissatisfaction with the American movie industry. (“F/X 2” would be his last film before returning to Australian.) The sequel, it should be noted, was written by Bill Condon, future Oscar-winner for “Chicago,” who at the time was writing wonderful B-movies like “Strang Behavior” and “Strange Invaders.” These movies rule and it inspired an above-average TV show that ran for 40 episodes. Nothing quite dominated cable TV like these movies and the TV show. You just had to make time for “F/X.” – Drew Taylor

“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

Warner Bros.

Max – Aug. 1

Seriously, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is tons of fun. This is Guy Ritchie’s take on Arthurian legend, and in that way it’s bombastic and stylized. But that’s part of what makes it kind of a blast. Charlie Hunnam plays the eponymous King Arthur, while Jude Law fills the role of the villainous Vortigern. This is not your average take on the King Arthur tale, but as soon as Eric Bana Yoshi-jumps a horse over a cliff to murder a wizard, you’ll either be hooked or will immediately know this movie is not for you. Extra points for composer Daniel Pemberton’s incredible original score. – Adam Chitwood

“Night Moves” (1975)

Warner Bros.

Max – Aug. 1

One of the best, most underappreciated movies of the 1970s, “Night Moves” maintains that decade’s cynicism and bleakness but is housed in a somewhat more palatable genre casing. Gene Hackman plays a former football star, now private detective, who takes a case attempting to retrieve the young daughter of an aging Hollywood star (Janet Iverson). He goes down to the Florida Keys and gets embroiled in an even more dangerous mystery. The crackerjack script (the less you know the better) comes courtesy of Scottish author and screenwriter Alan Sharp, with elegant direction from Arthur Penn (“Bonnie and Clyde”). “Night Moves” was arguably Penn’s last truly great movie, which makes its somewhat obscure status even more heartbreaking. Still, you can feel the influence of “Night Moves” on things like Shane Black and Tony Scott’s “The Last Boy Scout” and beyond. If you want a gripping, gritty, uncompromisingly dark film noir, look no further. – Drew Taylor

“The Truman Show”

Paramount Pictures

Paramount+ – Aug. 1

If you’re itching for more meta fun after “Barbie,” check out “The Truman Show,” a film director Greta Gerwig says she looked towards for inspiration for her take on “Barbie.” Directed by Peter Weir, the 1998 film stars Jim Carrey as a man who has no idea that his entire life is being filmed for a reality TV show, and that his small town is actually an enormous soundstage in which every moment of his life is loosely scripted. It’s wholly unique and inventive, and came at a time when “reality TV” was first starting to take hold of audiences all over the world. In a testament to its quality, it holds up tremendously well today. – Adam Chitwood

“The Whale”

The Whale

Paramount+ – Aug. 1

We can’t say Darren Aronofsky’s drama “The Whale” is a great time, but the acting showcase did win Brendan Fraser the Best Actor Oscar. The “Mummy” star plays a morbidly obese recluse who teaches online writing courses (with his camera off). The intimate drama follows him over the course of a few days as he struggles with binge-eating, his relationship with his daughter (played by Sadie Sink) and his relationship with his nurse (played by Hong Chau). If you didn’t catch this A24 film in theaters, now’s your chance to stream it. – Adam Chitwood


Paramount Pictures

Paramount+ – Aug. 1

Inarguably a masterpiece, David Fincher’s 2007 film “Zodiac” is ostensibly about the hunt for the Zodiac Killer in the Bay Area in the 1960s/70s, but it’s actually a movie about obsession. Jake Gyllenhaal plays cartoonist Robert Graysmith who closely follows the Zodiac case and becomes convinced he can crack it. Fincher keeps a master’s handle on tone and pacing as the film has some truly terrifying moments and delivers on the “hunt for a serial killer” aspect while also serving up a thematic meal. Gyllenhaal is terrific, and he’s flanked by a phenomenal ensemble cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Edwards, Chloe Sevigny and Brian Cox. – Adam Chitwood

“The Jerk”

Universal Pictures

Netflix – Aug. 1

One of the best and funniest comedies ever made, if you’re a fan of Steve Martin in “Only Murders in the Building” and have never seen “The Jerk,” you owe it to yourself to check this one out. Released in 1979 and directed by Carl Reiner, the film stars Martin as an idiot named Nathan whose journey from Mississippi to Los Angeles, from rags to riches, is chronicled in hilarious detail. Martin gives a wondrous performance that toes an impossible line, and co-star Bernadette Peters is to die for. – Adam Chitwood

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”

Marvel Studios

Disney+ – Aug. 3

Ready for one last ride? Writer/director James Gunn, who is now overseeing DC Studios at Warner Bros., returned for the third part of his “Guardians of the Galaxy” saga. This time around, the Guardians, led by Star Lord (Chris Pratt) and including Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista), are on a desperate mission to save their friend Rocket (Bradley Cooper). Along the way we get introduced to a new big bad, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) and get extensive flashbacks to Rocket’s tortured upbringing as a genetic experiment. It’s sad and very intense (and enough to have the movie earn a special award from PETA) but it deepens the experience in a profound and unexpected way. This might be the most radically pro-animal movie that Hollywood has ever produced and it’s housed inside a rollicking, superhero-adjacent space opera. There’s also a ton of unforgettable moments and gonzo visuals. When it comes to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” they really might have saved the best for last. – Drew Taylor

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie”

Super Mario Bros Movie

Peacock – Aug. 3

This was really Mario’s year. Not only did Super Nintendo World open at Universal Studios Hollywood but he had his very first animated feature, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which – so far – is the biggest hit of the year. (“Barbie” is nipping at his heels.) And the movie, which was brightly animated and full of celebrity movies (including Chris Pratt and Jack Black) is certainly serviceable entertainment, especially for the younger viewers. If, for some reason, you missed it on the big screen, it can easily be enjoyed at home (possibly while playing your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode). You probably already heard Bowser’s “Peaches” song on TikTok and can imagine what Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong sounds like (exactly like Seth Rogen). It’s far from the best animated feature of the year – but the animation is solid and energetic and there are probably plenty of Nintendo Easter eggs you can pick out on subsequent viewings. Power to the player. – Drew Taylor

“Game Night”

Warner Bros.

Hulu – Aug. 4

“Game Night” is, simply put, the best studio comedy of the past decade. (The fact that it came out five years ago is sort of startling.) Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams (in a performance that seriously should have netted her an Oscar nomination) play a married couple who are very into game nights. But when Bateman’s brother (played by Kyle Chandler) introduces a murder mystery game element, the mild-mannered game night soon becomes downright deadly. As far as the set-up for a high-concept studio comedy goes, that’s pretty irresistible. But what makes “Game Night” so special is that directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein weren’t afraid to give the movie actual style and sophistication, in everything from the way the movie was shot (including elements that make the locations look like pieces on a game board) to how it sounds (with a sharp electronic score by former Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez). They also clearly encouraged their enthusiastic cast (which also includes Sharon Horgan, Billy Magnussen, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Michael C. Hall and, most crucially, Jesse Plemmons) to really play. And isn’t that what game night’s all about? – Drew Taylor

“Love in Taipei”

(L-R) Chelsea Zhang as Sophie Ha, Ashley Liao as Ever Wong, and Ross Butler as Rick Woo in Love in Taipei

Paramount+ – Aug. 10

Based on the first book in Abigail Hing Wen’s trilogy, “Love in Taipei” stars Ashley Liao (“Physical,” “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”) as Ever Wong, an Asian American girl from Ohio whose parents send her on a cultural immersion program to Taipei. There, Ever meets Sophie Ha (Chelsea Zhang), Rick Woo (Ross Butler) and Xavier Yeh (Nico Hiraga) during late nights out and adventures she never thought she would have in a program nicknamed “Loveboat” for its romantic history. Directed by Arvin Chen, the adaptation of Wen’s first book in the series, penned by Wen, Mackenzie Dohr and Charlie Oh promises more than just a rom-com or love triangle. Ever finds herself on a journey of self-discovery, aided by two very different boys and a supportive friend, while all of them experience their cultural roots. Wen’s second book in the series is titled “Loveboat Reunion,” and the third book, out in November, is titled “Loveboat Forever.” – Dessi Gomez

“Heart of Stone”

Heart of Stone Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot stars in “Heart of Stone” (Netflix)

Netflix – Aug. 11

Ready for a new action franchise? What if we told you that it was starring Gal Gadot and was written by Greg Rucka, who created “The Old Guard” (among other things)? Now you’re in right? That’s where we’re at too. “Heart of Stone,” directed by Tom Harper (“Wild Rose,” “The Aeronauts”), stars Gadot as Rachel Stone, who is tasked with protecting a secret object known as “The Heart.” (Now you see where that title is coming from?) The trailer that Netflix released last month is a ton of fun, featuring all sorts of insane action set pieces and out-of-this-world stunts. (Is it even an action movie if there isn’t a scene in the snow?) Plus the supporting cast is uniformly terrific (including Jamie Dornan, Sophie Okonedo, Matthias Schweighöfer and Alia Bhatt). Basically, this could be the late-summer action blockbuster you’ve been looking for. You just have to find that heart first. – Drew Taylor

“Asteroid City”

Focus Features

Peacock – Aug. 11

Wes Anderson’s latest bauble is one of his oddest and most emotionally rich yet. “Asteroid City” is set in the titular town in 1955, a fictional craggy outcropping of the American southwest, where the Junior Stargazers convene to discuss the mysteries of space with adult scientists. But when an actual UFO lands during the middle of their convention, the town gets locked down. (Yes, this is also Wes’ quarantine movie.) While trapped in the quaint town, full of rounded midcentury curves, truths are revealed and simmering attractions boil to the surface. The cast is, as expected, unstoppable, with Jason Schwartzman and Scarlett Johansson leading a troupe that also includes Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Adrien Brody, Maya Hawke, Margot Robbie, Steve Carell, Jeff Goldblum and Matt Dillon (among others). While an overly elaborate framing device does take away some of the fun, it’s also responsible for the movie’s most shattering moment. This might grow into one of Anderson’s best as the years (and several repeated viewings) go on; as for now, it’s a gorgeously rendered, extremely satisfying romp. – Drew Taylor

“Red, White and Royal Blue”

Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine in "Red White & Royal Blue"
Prime Video

Prime Video – Aug. 11

Based on the best-selling novel by Casey McQuiston, “Red, White & Royal Blue” arrives August 11 on Prime Video. The queer love story stars Taylor Zakhar Perez (“The Kissing Booth,” “Minx”) as Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the first woman president (Uma Thurman) of the United States, and Nicholas Galitzine (“Purple Hearts,” “Bottoms”) as Prince Henry, the spare to the throne of England (his brother Philip is the heir). Alex, who wears his heart on his sleeve, finds himself falling for Prince Henry after years of nemesis-like behavior between the two of them, but his feelings for the prince put his mother’s second term as president at stake on multiple levels — including foreign relations and the identity of her son who has spent a lot of time in the spotlight. Directed by Tony-winning playwright Matthew López and produced by Greg Berlanti, “the most expensive piece of fan fiction” has come to life for the screen, with a great ensemble cast of Rachel Hilson (“Love, Victor”), Ellie Bamber (“Nocturnal Animals”), Sarah Shahi (“Black Adam”) and more. Get ready for a feel-good, history-making film adaptation. – Dessi Gomez



Netflix – Aug. 14

Truly a perfect film for all ages, 2014’s “Paddington” is far better than it has any right to be. Based on the Paddington Bear doll, the film tells the story of a mild-mannered bear who moves to London where he’s taken in by a kind yet somewhat cautious family. Shenanigans ensue as Paddington seeks out an explorer who once offered his family an invitation to come to London, all while he’s hunted by an evil taxidermist played by Nicole Kidman. This film is full of unbridled compassion and kindness, and serves as a primer of sorts for the upcoming “Wonka” from the same director, Paul King. – Adam Chitwood

“The Pope’s Exorcist”

The Pope's Exorcist
“The Pope’s Exorcist” (Sony)

Netflix – Aug. 16

Just to be clear: the title of this movie refers to the priest the pope depends on to perform tricky exorcisms. The pope doesn’t need an exorcism. Although that would certainly be a pickle. “The Pope’s Exorcist” is, actually, one of the most entertaining and underrated movies of the year, a down-and-dirty, 1980’s-set exorcism movie with a wonderful central Russell Crowe performance that is at once extremely over-the-top and also deeply sincere. Crowe’s Father Gabriele Amorth (who was a real dude and a very prolific exorcist, William Friedkin made a very crummy documentary about him a few years ago) is summoned to a creepy residence in Spain, where a young mother is dealing with the potential exorcism of her son (her daughter on the other hand is content to pout and listen to post-punk music on her Walkman). The movie is genuinely scary and Crowe’s sometimes winking performance never undercuts the horror, especially when the movie takes on the loose contours of an ‘80s buddy movie, with Amorth showing a younger priest (played gamely by Daniel Zovatto) the ropes. A modest hit in the theaters, “The Pope’s Exorcist” will undoubtedly find a second life as a cult classic on home video. It’s scary good. – Drew Taylor

“War of the Worlds” (2005)

Paramount Pictures

Paramount+ – Aug. 16

When Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg finally worked together, they did so on what was ostensibly a sci-fi remake. But 2005’s “War of the Worlds” is one of Spielberg’s darkest films, as it’s very much the filmmaker’s take on the aftermath of 9/11. Cruise plays a single dad who is caring for his two children when aliens invade Earth. The story is told entirely from his character’s point of view – we never see anything he doesn’t see, which means the audience is left in the dark about the aliens’ motivations and even what they look like for much of the film. It’s a riveting thriller, and the scariest thing about it just might be how the humans treat one another in the face of imminent disaster. – Adam Chitwood

“The Monkey King”

The Monkey King

Netflix – Aug. 18

“The Monkey King” has arrived. In the latest Netflix animated feature, Jimmy O. Yang voices the titular character, a cocky monkey warrior who takes on demons both real and internal in a vaguely feudal China. (The screenplay is based on the 16th-century novel “Journey to the West.”) The project has a fascinating history, initially being developed by DreamWorks’ Chinese satellite DreamWorks Oriental, before it moved to DreamWorks (DreamWorks Oriental, now named Pearl and no longer properly affiliated with the Western studio, did some production work on the eventual film). After Netflix took over, they assigned Tangent Animation, who was also working on their ambitious miniseries “Maya and the Three,” to provide the animation. But after Netflix became dissatisfied with the studio’s output, they pulled “The Monkey King” from them. (Tangent closed after.) Reel FX, who worked on Netflix’s “Back to the Outback” and “Super Giant Robot Brothers,” took over for Tangent. And now we’re here! The movie is actually a ton of fun, with a winning voice cast that includes Bowen Yang, Stephanie Hsu, BD Wong and Jo Koy. And it’s worth mentioning the film was directed by Anthony Stacchi, who directed “Open Season” and LAIKA’s “The Boxtrolls” and more recently contributed to Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio.” We love animation royalty don’t we folks? – Drew Taylor

“To Catch a Killer”


Hulu – Aug. 19

Full disclosure: we have no idea whether or not “To Catch A Killer” (could they have come up with a more forgettable title?) is any good but we do know that it’s Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifron’s first movie since his low key masterpiece “Wild Tales” (and that was back in 2014). It’s also his English language debut, with a cast that is led by Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Jovan Adepo and Ralph Ineson, which is pretty exciting too. (Remember when he was working on a “Six Million Dollar Man” movie but was fired when Warner Bros. took issue with his script and also cited, of all things, a “language barrier?” Woof.) When the movie was released earlier this year it got middling reviews but it might be just the kind of thing (a police procedural with some stylistic flair) that could play great at home on a sleepy Sunday night. It’s just good to have Szifron back. – Drew Taylor

“The Flash”

Warner Bros. Pictures

Max – Aug. 25

Judging by the box office returns for “The Flash,” not too many people saw it when it was released theatrically this past June. Now’s your chance! In the Scarlet Speedster’s first solo film outing, directed by “It” filmmaker Andy Muschietti, Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) accidentally travels to an alternate universe while trying to clear his father (Ron Livingston, replacing Billy Crudup) of his mom’s (Maribel Verdú) murder. Unlike Barry’s world, which has Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), among others, this parallel realm doesn’t have any superpowers and what’s worse – Zod (Michael Shannon) is on the way to destroy the planet. Eep! Can The Flash fix both worlds and get home in time to clear his father’s name? While “The Flash” isn’t the best superhero movie ever made, as James Gunn and others were loudly proclaiming ahead of time, it’s a fun enough adventure, especially when Michael Keaton’s old-ass Bruce Wayne shows up. And just think – you can pause it now and make a sandwich or watch while folding laundry. Anything is possible in the multiverse! Well, anything except for “Flash 2.” – Drew Taylor

“You Are So Not Invited to My Bar Mitzvah”


Netflix – Aug. 25

Is “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” actually coming out on August 25? It’s unclear! But in the event that it’s still happening, we wanted to be prepared. This is the latest Adam Sandler/Netflix production, and features not only Adam but many of the Sandler brood, including Sunny, Jackie and Sadie, along with non-Sandler family members Idina Menzel (who co-starred with Sandler in “Uncut Gems”), “Saturday Night Live” breakout Sarah Sherman, Jackie Hoffman and Luis Guzmán. It was based on a book of the same name by Fiona Rosenbloom and the official logline reads: “Stacy Friedman and Lydia Rodriguez Katz are best friends who have always dreamed about having epic bat mitzvahs, but things start to go comically awry when a popular boy and middle school drama threatens their friendship and their rite of passage.” Here’s hoping it actually happens! – Drew Taylor

“Cinderella” 4K Restoration


Disney+ – Aug. 25

Whenever a Disney animated classic would transition to a new format, there would inevitably be a restoration of some kind – first for VHS, then DVD, then Blu-ray and now 4K. And oftentimes these restorations, while attempting to preserve a “cleaner” look, would oftentimes soften the beauty of the original animation or, worse yet, make the images feel worse than they did originally. But the 4K restoration of “Cinderella” is actually beautiful. It debuted earlier this year as a 4K disc that was only available as part of the Disney Movie Club (it’s sort of like Disney’s Columbia House Records). Legendary Disney animators Eric Goldberg and Mike Giaimo helped supervise the new transfer, which looks – and more importantly feels – like a million bucks. And if it’s been a while since you’ve watched “Cinderella,” it’s just as dazzling today – even more so when you realize that the movie rescued Disney from their World War II-era slump. (“Cinderella,” released in 1950, was the first full-length movie released by the studio since 1942. Everything in between were “package films” made up of shorter films.) Time to bask in the glory of “Cinderella” like it’s probably never been seen before. – Drew Taylor

“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”

Paramount Pictures and eOne

Prime Video – Aug. 25

This “Dungeons and Dragons” movie rules. From the filmmakers behind “Game Night” comes a fantasy film that is adventurous, hilarious and even a little bit sweet, with Chris Pine leading the charge as a bard who puts together a team to rescue his daughter. “Honor Among Thieves” is smart and surprising, with plenty of great gags, but it also never forgets to be entertaining on a base level. The ensemble, which includes Michelle Rodrigues, Rege-Jean Page and Hugh Grant, works tremendously well together. Here’s hoping the film picks up enough fans on streaming to warrant a sequel. – Adam Chitwood


snowpiercer chris evans

Hulu – Aug. 29

Before he won every Oscar imaginable for his brilliant “Parasite,” South Korean genius Bong Joon-ho was fighting with Harvey Weinstein. After The Weinstein Company obtained the North American rights to Bong’s “Snowpiercer,” Weinstein requested 25 minutes be cut from its runtime. (The movie is only 126 minutes.) Instead, the filmmaker behind “The Host” and “Memories of Murder” refused. That resulted in “Snowpiercer” getting kicked to the Radius brand within the Weinstein Company and the movie played on far fewer screens. (It also went to PVOD much quicker, which would be a harbinger of things to come.)

“Snowpiercer,” based on the French comic book series by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette, imagines a futuristic world where attempts to reverse global warming have resulted in a second ice age, with the globe covered in snow and ice. The remaining population are all living on the Snowpiercer, a train that travels along a never-ending track. And, just like in the world before this new age, the population is divided by class and wealth, with the back of the train being the poorest survivors and the front of the train being the wealthiest. Chris Evans plays a back-of-the-train freedom fighter who mounts an ambitious plan to get to the front and overtake the train. Song Kang-ho, Jamie Bell, John Hurt and Octavia Spencer are among his crew; Tilda Swinton is on the other side of things. (We can’t reveal who plays the architect of this madness; when he shows up it’s too good.) This movie is an absolute blast, with propulsive action sequences and tons of bone-crunching violence. But it’s also a prophetic piece of satirical sci-fi, showing us the ways in which we can fall back into the old ways, learning nothing and gaining no perspective. When you’re stuck in a train for your entire life, the only way to go is forward. – Drew Taylor