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What's Streaming? Best New Releases Coming Your Way This Month
With new streaming services launching seemingly every other day, it’s almost impossible to keep track of all the new movies and TV shows popping up each month. With that in mind, we’ll be running down the top new streaming picks debuting each and every month to help you avoid those endless late-night sessions of mindless scrolling.
Traditionally, July is when the mega franchise releases invade your local multiplex, but this year is a little different – while you can still head to the theaters to catch the likes of F9, many of this summer’s biggest hits will also be available directly via streaming services from the safety and comfort of your home.
This July sees the streaming release of major blockbusters including the highly anticipated Black Widow (Disney+, July 9), The Tomorrow War, a sci-fi action epic starring Chris Pratt (Amazon Prime Video, July 2), and Jungle Cruise, a live-action film based on the long-running Disney amusement park ride (Disney+, July 30).
If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, there are plenty of great new titles hitting streaming this month, including a new season of the absurd comedy sketch show I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (Netflix, July 6), Steven Soderbergh’s star-studded heist film No Sudden Move (HBO Max, July 2), and many more.
This month’s streaming picks are available via Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max/Crave, Amazon Prime Video, and Shudder.
Amazon Prime Video
The Tomorrow War
Originally slated to premiere in theaters, this massive sci-fi epic is now set to beam directly into your home via Amazon Prime Video. Chris Pratt stars alongside J. K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, and Sam Richardson (also starring in the second season of Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson this month) in this tale of a group of present-day soldiers sent off into the future to battle an alien invading force. Directed by Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie), The Tomorrow War looks like a throwback to an era when blockbuster sci-fi action films like Independence Day ruled the box office. “Welcome to Earth!” The Tomorrow War debuts on Amazon Prime Video on July 2.
Delayed for over a year due to the pandemic, the latest Marvel blockbuster is finally out this month and you won’t even need to leave your couch to see it. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, the secretive member of The Avengers who finally gets her due with her own feature film. Set after the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, the action-packed espionage thriller features a stacked cast including Florence Pugh, David Harbour, William Hurt, and Rachel Weisz. Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow officially kicks off the fourth phase of the MCU, making this one a must-see for all the legions of Marvel zombies out there. Black Widow is available as a Disney+ “Premium Access” purchase as of Friday, July 9th.
Admittedly, a movie based on a Disney theme park ride may not scream of “cinema,” but Jungle Cruise looks like the perfect summer blockbuster. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as “Skipper” Frank Wolff, a steamboat captain tasked with taking a scientist (Emily Blunt) and her brother (Jack Whitehall) on an expedition to find the fabled Tree of Life. Along the way, they’ll have to outsmart and outmanoeuver deadly animals, mother nature, and a rival team led by the great Jesse Plemons as a “deranged and ambitious German aristocrat.” Jungle Cruise seems to know exactly what kind of movie it is, and should be an excellent way to kill a hot July afternoon. Jungle Cruise sails onto Disney+ as a “Premium Access” add-on as of July 30.
HBO / HBO Max / Crave
No Sudden Move
Director Steven Soderbergh reinvented the heist film for a new generation with his Ocean’s trilogy, and he has one big score up his sleeve with No Sudden Move. His latest centers on a group of criminals who are brought together for a job, and are forced to work as a team to figure out who’s at fault when things go very badly. Featuring a staggeringly great ensemble cast including Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Julia Fox, and Ray Liotta, this is the blockbuster for those who prefer a bit more brains with their brawn. No Sudden Moves arrives on HBO Max on July 2.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
A quarter of a century (!) after the release of Space Jam comes the long-awaited sequel, the aptly-titled Space Jam: A New Legacy. While the original film had NBA star Michael Jordan kibitzing with the animated likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, the sequel features Lebron James in a team-up with the classic Looney Tunes characters to free his son from the clutches of the “Warner 3000 Server-Verse,” a virtual space run by an evil A.I. (played by Don Cheadle, also starring in No False Move this month). It all sounds pretty preposterous, but Space Jam: A New Legacy looks like one of the few new blockbuster releases that both parents and their kids might actually enjoy together, which is no mean feat. Space Jam: A New Legacy dribbles its way onto HBO Max on July 16.
Summer of Soul
Questlove, drummer for the Roots, DJ, author, and vinyl collector par excellence has made his first foray into feature film directing with Summer of Soul, a remarkable documentary on the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Held the same year as Woodstock, the free outdoor festival in Harlem featured an incredible lineup of Black artists including Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, and The Staple Singers, among many others. And while Woodstock became a generational touchstone, the Harlem Cultural Festival has remained largely unknown — until now. Unearthing rare live footage that had sat unseen for decades, Questlove incorporates moving new interviews with the performers and fans while placing the mammoth concert series in a revealing historical and social context. Turn this one up LOUD. Summer of Soul premieres on Hulu on July 2.
Fear Street: The Trilogy
The teen slasher horror genre is about to undergo a massive resurgence with the arrival of the upcoming Fear Street trilogy of films. Based on the beloved ‘90s YA books by R.L. Stine, Netflix is releasing each of the three films on a weekly basis throughout the month, starting with Fear Street: 1994 on July 2. Each installment is set in a different era, with the 1994 film leaning into the Scream teen horror boom of the ‘90s, while the second entry takes place at a ‘70s summer camp, a tip of the hat to the iconic Friday the 13th franchise. And while teen horror sometimes gets a bad rap, director Leigh Janiak didn’t hold anything back for this trilogy, earning the films an R-rating for “strong bloody violence.” Bring it on! Fear Street Part One: 1994 lands on Netflix on July 2, with the subsequent films debuting on July 9 and 16.
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson Season 2
The first season of Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson remains one of the funniest and most absurd sketch comedy shows in years, with endlessly quotable lines (“a great steering wheel that doesn’t fly off when you’re driving”) and some of the cringiest moments this side of Curb Your Enthusiasm. We don’t know much about the upcoming season yet, but with guest stars including Bob Odenkirk, Julia Butters, Paul Walter Hauser, Tim Heidecker, and Robinson’s frequent co-star Sam Richardson (also starring in The Tomorrow War this month), this new season might be just as memorable as the night that the skeletons came to life. I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson Season 2 debuts on Netflix on July 6.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation Season One
By the power of…Kevin Smith? The creator of Clerks and Mallrats may seem like an unusual choice to helm a He-Man reboot, but with his encyclopedic pop-culture knowledge and knack for crafting memorable dialogue, this might just work. Smith serves as showrunner and executive producer for the new Netflix series, which comes a full four decades after the ‘80s He-Man series wrapped-up. With a vivid animation style and a great cast of voice actors (including Mark Hamill as Skeletor!) Masters of the Universe: Revelation is a dream come true for middle-aged geeks everywhere. Masters of the Universe: Revelation Season One debuts on Netflix on July 23.
“The call is coming from inside the house!” Modern genre fans will get a kick out of the cast for The Call, the new horror film starring Lin Shaye (of The Conjuring films) and Tobin Bell (Saw), and produced by Jeffrey Reddick, who created the Final Destination franchise. Set in 1987, the plot revolves around a group of small-town friends who have to spend their night in a home with a creepy couple following a tragic accident. All they need to do to escape is to make a single call, but the couple has other plans for the stranded group of friends. Needless to say, things go very wrong from there. Pair this with one of the new Fear Street entries for a killer Friday night double-feature that will have you second guessing just what decade we’re living in. The Call hits Shudder on July 15.
What Was Streaming Last Month?
June brought some of this year’s biggest blockbuster films to HBO Max, including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s long-awaited In the Heights (June 11) and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (June 4). (Both films will also be released in theaters on the same day, a hybrid release model that Warner Brothers will continue throughout the year.)
Other exciting debuts included the first season of Marvel’s Loki on Disney+ (premiering June 9), Pixar’s Luca (Disney+, June 18), and the return of Paris’ snazziest thief with Lupin Part 2 (Netflix, June 11).
Last month’s streaming picks are available via Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max/Crave, Amazon Prime Video, FXX, and Shudder.
Loki Season One
After WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand on Disney+ with everyone’s favorite cosmic prankster, Loki. Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Thor’s adopted brother from the Marvel films in this new series that spins off from the events of Avengers: Endgame. After creating an alternate version of himself, Loki is brought before the Time Variance Authority and given a choice – he can be wiped from existence, or help save the timeline against a greater evil. A time-traveling heist caper that finally focuses on Hiddleston’s scene-stealing performances in the Marvel films, Loki promises to be unlike anything we’ve seen from the MCU to date. The first episode of Loki Season One debuts on Disney+ on June 9th, with new episodes dropping each Wednesday.
The latest Pixar animated film arrives straight to Disney+ this month and will be available as part of your regular subscriber package (not as the $30 “Premium Access” add-on the studio has used in the past). In what looks almost like a child-friendly version of Call Me by Your Name, Luca focuses on a young boy of the same name enjoying the summer in a small town by the Italian Riviera. His summer is filled with adventures with his new best friend, but Luca has a deeply-held secret – he’s a sea monster, and must keep his true identity secret. A coming-of-age story crossed with a classic monster tale, Luca looks like a beautiful (and likely heartbreaking) animated feature that should enchant kids while hitting their parents deep in the feels. Luca debuts on Disney+ on June 18.
Dave Season Two
Dave was one of the most hilarious and unexpectedly touching TV debuts last year, and hopes are high that this upcoming season continues the show’s mix of offbeat humor and deeply realized characters. Starring Dave Burd (aka the rapper Lil Dicky) and based on his experiences breaking into the hip hop industry, the show follows the emerging rapper Dave (Burd) and his real-life sidekick/hype-man GaTa (Davionte Ganter) as they navigate Dave’s career and quest to become a breakout rap star. Part of the fun of the first season was spotting the real-life celebrity cameos, and the second season keeps that up with an incredible list of guest stars including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Doja Cat, J Balvin, Lil Nas X, Kevin Hart, and many more. Dave Season Two premieres on FXX on June 16 at 10:00 pm ET/PT.
HBO / HBO Max / Crave
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The third Conjuring film and the eighth (!) in the overall Conjuring universe franchise, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It moves away from the haunted house trope of the earlier films in the series and focuses on a real-life true crime case from the ‘80s. Based off the 1981 Connecticut trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson — the first known US court case where a defendant blamed demonic possession for the crime – the film features the return of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who become embroiled in the landmark case with sure-to-be spooky results. Given how obsessed with true crime most of us have become (thank you, Serial and Netflix!) this one should resonate far beyond the usual diehard horror crowd. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It lands on HBO Max on June 4.
In the Heights
Lin-Manuel Miranda follows up the zeitgeist-gripping Hamilton with In the Heights, a musical set in the predominately Dominican neighborhood of New York City’s Washington Heights. Based on the Tony Award-winning stage production, In the Heights is finally seeing the light of day after being pushed back a full year due to the pandemic. Directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) and starring Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, and Melissa Barrera, the inspiring and life-affirming film is just what we all need after the last year. You’re guaranteed to be humming the soundtrack for the entire summer. In the Heights premieres on HBO Max on June 11.
Broad City’s Ilana Glazer returns to the screen in the upcoming horror film False Positive, which looks like a modern-day twist on Rosemary’s Baby. The film’s plot has been kept fairly hush-hush, but Ilana Glazer starring in a full-on horror movie is already enough of an elevator pitch to get us excited (Glazer also developed the story, co-wrote the script, and serves as a producer on the film). Directed by John Lee (of MTV’s demented Wonder Showzen) and co-starring Justin Theroux and Pierce Brosnan, False Positive looks like a dread-inducing good time. False Positive arrives on Hulu on June 25.
Sweet Tooth Season One
Based on the acclaimed comic series by Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth takes place ten years after a mysterious incident known as “The Great Crumble,” which led to the appearance of part-human / part-animal creatures known as “hybrids.” Hunted and feared by the human population, the hybrids exist on the fringes of society. After living out in the woods for a decade, a young deer-human hybrid named Gus (Christian Convery) develops an unexpected bond with a grizzled human hunter named Jepperd (Nonso Anozie), which leads them on a dangerous adventure to uncover the truth about Gus’ history and Jepperd’s past. This might just be one of the sleeper hits of the summer. Sweet Tooth Season One debuts on Netflix on June 4.
Lupin Part 2
Incroyable! Paris’ wittiest cat burglar returns in Lupin Part 2, the continuation of one of the most entertaining Netflix shows in recent memory. Starring Omar Sy as Assane Diop, a thief who models himself on the “gentleman burglar” Arsène Lupin, the first “season” was a thrilling mix of intricately-plotted heists and emotional family drama that ended on a stomach-churning cliff-hanger. But knowing Assane, things are never quite as insurmountable as they may seem. Lupin Part 2 arrives on Netflix on June 11.
Kevin Hart is back with a very different film this summer. Based on the 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin, Hart stars as a recently widowed father struggling to raise his young daughter on his own after the death of his wife. The film co-stars Lil Rel Howery, Alfre Woodard, and Paul Reiser. Written and directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy), Fatherhood looks to be Hart’s most open and vulnerable performance yet. Fatherhood hits Netflix on June 18.
The Ice Road
Obvious similarities to Liam Neeson’s 2019 film Cold Pursuit aside (maybe Neeson really likes filming in northern climates?), The Ice Road looks like another intense addition to the actor’s surprising late-career reinvention as an action star. This time around, Neeson stars as an ice driver who attempts to rescue workers trapped in a collapsed diamond mine in the Canadian wilderness before the waters thaw. Co-starring Laurence Fishburne, the film comes from writer-director Jonathan Hensleigh (Die Hard with a Vengeance, Armageddon), which should elevate it above some of Neeson’s recent action misfires. The Ice Road skates onto Netflix on June 25.
Times are tough all around, so when down-on-his-luck Isaac (Jonathan French) is asked to take a job watching over his landlord’s niece, Olga (Leila Sykes), at a secluded cabin for a few days, he begrudgingly agrees. However, things immediately begin to go south when he discovers he will need to wear a chained leather harness at all times to ensure he can’t access certain areas of the house. Once he’s strapped in and left alone with the clearly disturbed Olga, the duo embark on a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse in this tense and surrealistic horror debut from Irish filmmaker Damian Mc Carthy. Caveat debuts on Shudder on June 3.
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