Best New Movies on Netflix (August 2020) - Featured

Every month, dozens of movies arrive on Netflix, but it can be a hassle keeping track of all the great content that comes and goes. Don’t fret though, we’re going to break down the best new movies on Netflix each month to help you decide on what to watch. These are the best of what’s coming to Netflix in June, 2020.

Stuck on Floor 7 ½

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Being John Malkovich  •  Renegade Cut

I like to think of Being John Malkovich as maybe the most ill-conceived movie ever made. Malkovich summed it perfectly in saying “Either the movie's a bomb and it's got not only my name above the title but my name in the title, so I'm fucked that way; or it does well and I'm just forever associated with this character.”

But somehow, despite its inane premise, Being John Malkovich worked -- it worked so well in fact that it received three Academy Award nominations, and more than tripled its budget at the box-office.

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Conclusion

Writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze show us how to creatively use surrealism in film in Being John Malkovich.

World War II Masterpiece

Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler’s List ‘Eye Trace  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Full disclosure, I think Schindler’s List is the greatest film ever made. No other film has made me as emotional, sobered, or horrified as Spielberg’s holocause masterpiece.

Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Sir Ben Kingsley all give the best performances of their careers in the film. Spielberg’s decision to shoot in black and white was bold but brilliant. Steven Zaillan’s script is sprawling yet always engaging. Not to mention that John Williams' score is maybe the greatest film score of all-time.

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Conclusion

To watch Schindler’s List is to watch the darkest days of human history -- which is something we absolutely must do. As the saying goes, if we turn a blind eye to history, then it’s bound to repeat itself.

Blessed are the Forgetful

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine and the Meet Cute  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of those movies that a lot of people love and a lot of people hate. Critics lauded the film upon its 2004 release, but casual audiences were far less venerative. The best way I can surmise Eternal Sunshine is to say: you have to be in the mood for it.

Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star in Eternal Sunshine as two star-crossed lovers who find themselves losing the memories of each other. Eternal Sunshine is a confoundingly layered film, but if you get through to its core, you may find that it’s actually quite profound.

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Conclusion

If you’re a fan of Charlie Kaufman’s other works, you’ll probably love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Life Finds a Way

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park and the Spielberg Oner  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Steven Spielberg is one of the best in the business at making big-budget popcorn thrillers that are accessible and enjoyable to all ages. Out of all of Spielberg’s “blockbusters,” Jurassic Park is perhaps the greatest.

The practical effects in Jurassic Park were groundbreaking, the acting masterclass, and the direction was, as usual, signature Spielberg.

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Conclusion

Jurassic Park is without a doubt one of the very best Steven Spielberg movies.

Award-Winning Drama

Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight  •  Behind the Scenes

Spotlight is one of many movies that may make you ask the question: wait, that won Best Picture? It’s certainly a great movie; one with a hugely important story and great performances, but it seems to have faded over the last few years in popularity.

Featuring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci, Spotlight excels on the strength of its ensemble cast.

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Conclusion

The Boston Globe spotlight team exposed thousands upon thousands of instances of abuse by higher-ups in the Catholic church.

I’m Beginning to Enjoy it Out There

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max Retrospective

The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Fury Road are widely regarded as two of the best action movies of all time. But if you’ve never seen the original 1979 Mad Max, then you may be shocked to find just how different it is from its successors.

Mad Max stars a young Mel Gibson in the title role of a police officer who pursues fleeing criminals on the open road. Each film in the series descends further into madness than the last.

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Conclusion

Mad Max is one of the most financially successful films of all time, grossing 250x its budget at the global box office.

Boston Heist Movie

The Town (2010)

The Town  •  Trailer

Ben Affleck is a good filmmaker. There, I said it. And well I’m at it, I’ll say this too: Ben Affleck is a good actor. I know, I know, put down the pitchforks. I do watch movies and I don’t just like Affleck because we share a Boston connection.

Over the years, Affleck has been involved in some cinematic duds, but when he’s on, he’s on. His 2010 heist-thriller The Town is proof that he’s capable of more than what he often settles for.

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Conclusion

Affleck directed and starred in The Town, and did excellent work behind the camera and in front of it.

Ambulance Chaser Extreme

Nightcrawler (2014)

Eyes of an Anti Hero  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Dan Gilroy’s feature directorial debut Nightcrawler is one of the best films of the 21st century. There’s a good chance that critics will one day look back upon Nightcrawler as a film of prescient importance, much like they do with Paddy Chayefsky’s Network.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Nightcrawler as the insidious anti hero Lou Bloom -- a man who will do whatever it takes to turn himself into a success.

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Conclusion

Nightcrawler is a brilliant film about the deconstruction of the American dream.

Historical Epic

The Promise (2016)

The Promise  •  Trailer

Did you know that Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale starred in a movie about the Armenian genocide? If you didn’t, that’s okay, not many people did. The Promise was a monumental box-office bomb, largely in part due to a lack of word of mouth hype.

The Promise is a good movie that history fans and scholars should enjoy. Just be warned that there’s a completely unnecessary love triangle that’s way too central to the plot.

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Conclusion

The Promise is certainly carried by the acting talent of its two stars, but it also tells a story of immense impact.

Disaster Movie Parody

Airplane! (1980)

Cape Fear  •  Video Essay

Airplane! is one of the best 80’s movies and one of the best comedies of all time. Featuring Leslie Nielsen, Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Airplane! soars on the success of its unexpected all-star cast.

The film was written and directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker. The trio would go on to make several other films together, but none were better than Airplane!.

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Conclusion

Airplane! parodies disaster movie tropes with riotous humor and surrealist action.

Off the Beaten Path Drama Comedy

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Safety Not Guaranteed  •  Trailer

I hate to use the term quirky, but Safety Not Guaranteed is definitely a quirky movie. Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass star in the film as two entangled souls drawn together by a time-travel wanted ad.

Colin Trevorrow directs the film, which was so well received by critics, that he was hired by Universal to direct the Jurassic Park reboot, Jurassic World.

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Conclusion

Safety Not Guaranteed succeeds on the back of its witty dialogue and strong lead performances from Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass.

Eastwood’s Boxing Film

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Million Dollar Baby  •  Trailer

Million Dollar Baby may very well be Clint Eastwood’s best directorial feature. That’s saying something too, Eastwood isn’t a one trick pony director. He’s been nominated twice for Best Director at the Academy Awards and won twice.

Hillary Swank stars in the film and does a great job in the leading role of boxer Maggie Fitzgeral. Both Swank and co-star Morgan Freeman won Oscars for their performances.

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Conclusion

Eastwood delivered an absolute knockout with his 2004 Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby.

Epic Musical

Les Miserables (2012)

Les Miserables  •  Behind the Scenes

Les Miserables made waves upon release in 2012 for its great soundtrack and all-star cast; which included Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Eddie Raymane.

Some musical purists were upset by the lackluster quality of some of the singing, particularly Russell Crowe’s -- but that’s the territory that comes with adapting a stage musical to blockbuster cinema.

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Conclusion

The 2012 film Les Miserables takes the original Victor Hugo novel of the same name and turns it into an epic-scale cinematic musical.

Kung-Fu Classic

The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid  •  Comedy Essay

The Karate Kid is a quintessential piece of 80’s cinema. Even if you’ve never seen the film before, you’ve probably heard of Mr. Miyagi and his “wax on, wax off” training technique.

There’s a lot to love with The Karate Kid, even if it’s chock-full of cliches. Filmmakers often struggle with the most basic element of plot, which is building a character we root for. The Karate Kid does not.

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Conclusion

It may not be an exaggeration to say that The Karate Kid is “the Citizen Kane” of teen kung-fu movies.

Bond Reboot

Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale  •  Trailer

Out of all of the Daniel Craig Bond films, one could argue that Casino Royale is the best. Most critics consider Casino Royale and Skyfall the better two of Craig’s four Bond films -- personally I think Casino is far and away the best.

No Bond movie is complete without a dastardly villain. In Casino Royale, the villain is played by the always excellent Mads Mikkelsen. Casino Royale is definitely one the great new movies on Netflix this month.

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Conclusion

Thanks to some great performances from Daniel Craig, Mads Mikkelsen, and Eva Green, and a sharp script from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis, Casino Royale is engaging throughout.

UP NEXT

Best Movies on Netflix

Some great new movies are coming to Netflix in May, 2020, but perhaps you’re still looking for something else to watch. Don’t worry, check out our list of the best movies of all time that are on Netflix! We update this list as movies come and go from the service so make sure to check back each month,

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