The Best “New” Movies on Netflix this August

A new month means new movies on Netflix. Here are the 10 that caught my eye and are subsequently getting added to My List. Stat.

10. The Addams Family

Though I prefer Addams Family Values–its Camp Chippewa scenes are priceless–the original live-action movie still has plenty to like. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston are pitch perfect in their respective roles, though the real star is director Barry Sonnenfeld, who manages to bring this creepy family to life in all the right ways.

9. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Yes, Jurassic Park, which also debuts on Netflix in August, is the better movie, but you don’t need any convincing to see it. The Lost World, Steven Spielberg’s sequel, often gets raked through the mud these days, but it actually boasts some pretty terrific sequences (most notably the cliff scene) that make it worthwhile despite its shortcomings.

8. The NeverEnding Story

I would imagine if you dove into The NeverEnding Story for the first time, as an adult, it’d come off as pretty cheesy and dated, but for those of you who hold the memory of this film in such high regard, Netflix has now made it easy to go on a nostalgic joy ride.

7. A Knight’s Tale

You don’t get too many movies like A Knight’s Tale these days. Heath Ledger stars as a rebellious knight in medieval times, but with a modern soundtrack and modern dialogue and humor, writer/director Brian Helgeland clearly had little interest in telling a drab, historical tale.

6. Mad Max

The original 1979 Mad Max looks and feels a bit dated these days, yet it’s still worth checking out. While not nearly as epic nor insane as its sequels, the fundamentals of the franchise are on full display, with a viscerally bleak story told by George Miller and a sincerely earnest turn by a young Mel Gibson.

5. Being John Malkovich

This weird-as-hell movie from Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman is an incredibly imaginative and ambitious experience about a man (John Cusack) who discovers a portal into the brain of actor John Malkovich. 

4. An Education

If for some reason you’ve ever doubted Carey Mulligan’s talent, watch An Education, in which she delivers a fantastic performance as a blossoming teenager in 1960s London. The coming-of-age tale isn’t perfect, but it comes close at times through its depiction of a city and country undergoing massive transformation and Mulligan’s delicate turn.

3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Believe it or not, I haven’t watched Eternal Sunshine since it was first released over 15 years ago, despite it being one of the most imaginative and creative films of the decade. Even though I own it on DVD, now that it is on Netflix and is only a remote-click away (vs. having to get up, put the disc in my DVD player, wait for it to load, etc.), I no longer have any excuse not to revisit this gem.

2. Casino Royale

Easily one of the best James Bond films, and certainly the best Daniel Craig film, Casino Royale is a stark reminder of how none of the other Craig films quite get it (though Skyfall comes close). Tightly told, gritty, and funny, director Martin Campbell (who also rebooted the Bond franchise once before with the excellent Goldeneye) redefines Bond for the modern era while still, undeniably, giving us a quintessential Bond movie.

1. Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal’s frightening performance in Nightcrawler, about a sociopathic “journalist” who starts creating his own, violent news to beat the competition, is one of the best of the century. The movie is nearly as good. And yet many people have never taken the time to experience this terrific thriller. You can change that this month.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movies