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Films

The 10 best films arriving on Netflix in August 2021

August 2021 has a lot of exciting stuff in store for Netflix. From the anime adaptation of The Witcher finally arriving this month to the highly-anticipated final instalment of The Kissing Booth, the streaming platform has a lot to offer. Jason Momoa shall be arriving as a bulked-up dad waiting to avenge his wife’s death in Sweet Girl while a nearly similar plotline shall be seen in the new series Hit & Run. Paris Hilton’s cooking secrets shall be revealed and the TikTok generation shall finally get to see their idol, Addison Rae star in the remake, He’s All That. 

However, amidst all the upcoming originals, Beckett seems to be the most exhilarating and promising watch with a scathing commentary on racism, socio-political tensions and more. August shall also witness the return of certain good old classics including Inception, Catch Me If You Can, Magnolia and more.

With an ever-growing watchlist, it might get difficult for viewers to comprehend what to watch next. Fret not for we have compiled the 10 best films, including previous releases as well as new Originals that are gracing the streaming giant this month, for you to watch:  

The 10 best films arriving on Netflix in August 2021

10. Beowulf  (Robert Zemeckis, 2007)

In the wake of Christianity, the mighty Beowulf puts up a massive fight and defeats the monstrous Grendel which sends his mother into a state of rage. Grendel’s mother begins to wreak havoc and starts killing to seek revenge while Beowulf repents his sin of giving in to his physical desires.

While there are certain deviations from the original story, the film focuses more on character development as the original poem mainly consisted of episodic descriptions of the mighty battles fight. While we wish the animated Beowulf had more expressive eyes, it is a great animated feature to inform us about the Old English classic. Gruesome violence and nudity galore, the film stars Ray Winstone, Angelina Jolie and Crispin Glover and paves the way for 3D filmmaking.  

“Keep a memory of me, not as a king or a hero; but as a man: fallible and flawed.”

Pineapple Express

To beat away your August blues, rewatch Pineapple Express. Crude, racy, bawdy and dopey (with an insane amount of drug use), it is everything that a Seth Rogen film can be. Add to that very saucy mix, a funny James Franco. Need we say more? Hysterical, the film is exactly what the producer Judd Apatow envisioned, and of course, he thought “it would be funny to make a movie in which you follow that character out of his apartment and watch him get chased by bad guys.”

Rogen and Franco are back with their riotous antics as they play a pair of pot addicts who are forced to be on the run after Rogen accidentally stumbles upon a corrupt cop and a drug kingpin murdering a man. A classic story of two peaceful goofballs chased by violent and corrupt degenerates. 

“Fuck the po-lice!”

8. The November Man (Roger Donaldson, 2014)

Adapted from There Are No Spies by Bill Granger, the film follows a former CIA agent, Peter Deveraux on his journey of protecting a woman who contains classified and confidential information that, if revealed, might annul the Russian presidential candidate’s candidacy. 

Former 007 Pierce Brosnan is suave and charming in the film and carries the weight of the film on his able shoulders. A blistering commentary on the unending lust for power and vaulting political ambition, the film shows how personal motives can often pose a threat to a country’s security and stability. Charismatic performances portray the icy professionalism that war criminals and special agents inherit and the film is surprisingly devoid of cliches. 

“How the fuck should I know? Does it really matter? You feel the need for a relationship? Get a dog.”

7. Deep Blue Sea (Renny Harlin, 1999)

If you are a Jaws fanatic and derive a certain kind of sadistic pleasure from watching humans battle humongous sharks, this is one dopey recommendation for you! Sharks are scary and smart sharks are, for the lack of a better word, terrifying. The film remains a silent spectator to numerous deaths. Whenever things go wrong, people die. However, it is not just terror, gore and blood; the lead characters are well-developed and although it is not jaws, the film is definitely right next to the Spielberg classic. 

With $200 million on the line to find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, biologist Susan McAlester decides to harvest genetically enlarged shark brains to help harbour enzymes that can battle the disease. However, these intelligent sharks are deadlier than ever and start fighting back! 

“That’s the answer to the riddle. Because that’s what an 8000-pound mako thinks about. About freedom. About the deep blue sea.”

6. The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig, 2016)

Nadine is a high school junior and is having a tough time adjusting to the various changes in her life, including her best friend dating her older brother. When things get nearly unbearable, an unlikely friendship of sorts restores Nadine’s faith in life and she slowly grows accustomed to the various upheavals.  

High school is difficult and Hailee Steinfeld adds a new dimension to her self-loathing portrayal of Nadine who wallows in her own misery. In Craig’s directorial debut, she does a pretty impressive job of portraying the awkwardness and pressure of being a teenager and manages to get the cast to deliver their best performances. Watch out for Woody Harrelson’s brilliant performance as the cynical Mr. Brunner and take note of all his impromptu quips and jabs that left the director herself in splits!

“There are two types of people in the world: The people who naturally excel at life. And the people who hope all those people die in a big explosion.”

5. Vivo (Kirk DeMicco, Brandon Jeffords, 2021)

Sony Pictures’ first-ever musical with various original songs, the film shall help transpose the viewers to a land of vibrant colours with a series of adventures that shall quench their wanderlust amidst such dreadful times. Featuring voices of LinManuel Miranda, Zoe Saldana and Ynairaly Simo among others, the film shall be a fun watch for both adults and children.

Vivo is a rainforest honey bear who performs alongside his amicable owner Andres, enthralling the crowd with his musical talent. However, tragedy strikes when Andres dies of a broken heart and Vivo must deliver a piece of sheet music to Andres’ long-lost lover, the wonderful songstress Marta before her farewell concert. 

“When it came to music, Andres and I were so in sync. Never out of place. Until the letter came.”

4. Catch Me If You Can (Steven Spielberg, 2002)

Frank Abagnale, a fraudster, is known for his notorious reputation that he derives from duping people of millions using masterful trickery, charisma and deceit. He is closely pursued by FBI agent Carl Hanratty who is determined to nab the con artist. 

Filled with suspense and fun, Spielberg’s twenty-year dream project boasts of an enviable duo comprising Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio who have palpable chemistry, adding thrill and fun with their enthralling performances. The well-crafted cat-and-mouse chase shall appeal to the viewer’s adrenaline. Grins and winks galore, Leo as trickster is cheeky, charming, flirtatious and convincing and delivers a nuanced performance. 

“An honest man has nothing to fear, so I’m trying my best not to be afraid.” 

3. Beckett (Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, 2021)

Set to release in August 2021, although the film has not yet been screened for critics, the trailer seems quite promising and intense. With dramatic fight sequences and chase scenes, John David Washington leaps over cars and jumps into cliffs, fights conspirators while wearing a blue cast on his arm and desperately trying to uncover the truth that is enmeshed in a sinister web of racism, deceit and more. 

According to the trailer, a Black man named Beckett goes on a vacation in Greece with his girlfriend and becomes the target of an intense manhunt after he loses his girlfriend to an accident. While being on the run and desperately trying to get to the American embassy to seek help, political upheavals and rising tension hinder him. 

“I need help. I am a US citizen. I was vacationing with my girlfriend.”

2. Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999)

A narrator retells three separate tales that somehow interconnect and find a common ground where the wide variety of characters, plagued by pain and coincidence, search for love, purpose and forgiveness within the course of a day that changes all their lives forever. The tale takes place in the San Fernando valley as fate and coincidence weave out the stories of the characters. 

PTA is an exquisite director and the 188-minute film shall make the viewers feel a certain kind of way. Magnolia is a fictional portrayal of how bizarre life is, in general, while playing on the common theme of suffering, hopelessness and pointlessness of life. The characters wallow in their pain and are filled with regrets in general. Life sucks and we spiral every day, complaining, but somehow at the end of every tunnel, there is a tiny ray of hope that PTA provides in this slice of modern life film that is one of the best classics of modern times.  

“I’ll tell you everything, and you tell me everything, and maybe we can get through all the piss and shit and lies that kill other people.”

1. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Professional extractor Dom Cobb engages in infiltrating the subconscious of oblivious targets to steal information for a living. He is tasked with a dangerous yet excellent offer that shall help eliminate all his criminal history which includes Cobb implanting an idea instead of extracting, in a subject’s mind. 

A mind-bending masterpiece, Inception bagged four Academy Awards out of the eight nominations and is known for confusing viewers and pushing them to their wit’s end. Leonardo DiCaprio’s brilliant performance as Dom Cobb has often led to comparisons to a gothic romance hero. DiCaprio was reportedly “intrigued” by Nolan’s film that resonated dream-reality and agreed to collaborate with the director to help add emotional and psychological depth to the character sketch. 

 “Well, dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up then we realize that something was actually strange.”