Can you believe it? This month's stream of new movies includes favorites like Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, Alex Garlands' cerebral sci-fi debut Ex Machina, Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog, and many more.
In August 2022, here are 15 of the greatest streaming movies to be released.
Belle travels to the vast internet world of U in search of a fresh start following the death of her mother. The Dragon, a monstrous being, is instantly drawn to Belle's tragic and strange nature, and she discovers a connection far deeper than she had imagined.
This engaging journey that merges the legendary narratives and emotional narratives of director Mamoru Hosodas' previous works and places them in a stunning world created by a wide spectrum of talented artists across the globe, is Hosodas' most popular film to date.
Belle is available for viewing on HBO Max.
This DC pre-DC Universe film is a weird neo-noir with pre-John Wick Keanu Reeves as a very dour John Constantine. Made very much in the style of an old detective thriller (but with supernatural elements), Constantine is a campy fun time with a great cast (Reeves is joined by Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, and Peter Stormare, among others) and more than a few silly visual gags.
Constantine is now available on Netflix to stream.
Ex Machina, directed by Alex Garlands, is a young programmer who is invited to join Nathan, an unknown tech executive, at his luxurious and isolated property. Upon his arrival, Caleb agrees to participate in Nathan's next venture: a Turing test to assess the intelligence of Ava (Alicia Vikander), an advanced humanoid robot.
Ex Machina is now available on HBO Max.
The third Hollywood film by John Woos (following Hard Target and Broken Arrow) is the first where he feels like he had to develop the muscles that make a John Woo film a John Woo film. Face/Off is a delightfully over-the-top 90s action film that thrives on Woos' direction and the two leading performances.
John Travolta is the son of FBI agent Sean Archer, who was murdered by Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), a terrorist who planned to kill the older Archer. In his quest for vengeance, Archer undergoes an experimental face transplant, becoming Troy. Of course, Troy does the same in return, becoming Archer. However, Cage has claimed that Travolta got the better end of the deal, spending most of the runtime playing the more eccentric of the two characters.
When Mike Werb and Michael Colleary created the script, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were in mind. I can see it, but im glad we got this one. PV
On Paramount Plus and Prime Video, Face/Off is available for streaming.
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Ghost Dog is a modern-day samurai who communicates via pigeons in a modern-day setting, and he is unconcerned about himself even to those he works with. When Ghost Dog is hired to kill a gangster, a hit is placed on his life.
Whitaker is fantastic in his leading role, and Jarmusch's script and direction are perfect. But Ghost Dog excels because of the score, the first film soundtrack to be produced by the RZA. PV
HBO Max has a subscription to Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai.
Locke, a contained thriller shot entirely in a car, follows construction worker Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) as he drives from Birmingham to London the night before a big project. Locke learns that the woman he is having an affair with is about to have a child. As he drives across the country to join her, he juggles conversations on the phone with business associates and family members.
Locke is now available on HBO Max for streaming.
Man on Fire
Man on Fire, a 2004 film starring Denzel Washington as a former CIA agent who was turned bodyguard for a 9-year-old girl in Mexico City, is a brutal, violent, and ecstatic action thriller about a man's quest for redemption and his surrogate love for his charge. With a blistering performance by Harry Gregson-Williams and Lisa Gerrard, it's an utterly electrifying watch.
On Peacock, Man on Fire is available to stream.
Jet Li is played as many, many versions of himself in this 2001 film by James Wong (Final Destination) that predates the modern multiverse's relentless assault. The film is about a murderous serial killer who is traveling across the multiverse to kill all of his other versions of himself, as well as a group of people who are attempting to stop him from accomplishing his goal.
Back to the Jet Lis. First you have our principal characters protagonist Gabe Law, a police officer, and antagonist Gabriel Yulaw, the previously mentioned homicidal serial killer. Then there's Yu Fook Law (Rastafari Jet Li), Swen Law (surfer Jet Li), Seth Law (Jet Li with long hair), and so many more.
The One is a winner for the fun setup, but also for Lis' particular set of skills. Corey Yuen (Yes, Madam) showcases his acrobatic ability with a dynamic energy, especially in the moments when Li kicks people in midair like soccer balls. Also, Delroy Lindo and Jason Statham (with an American accent and a mostly full head of hair!)
The One is now available on HBO Max.
Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) has made the latest installment in the Predator series, taking the sci-fi villain and placing him in America's 18th century. Naru (Amber Midthunder) is the only one who recognizes this imminent danger.
From our evaluation:
Prey is a film about a young woman on a collision course with a cool skull mask. The other members of the Narus tribe are there to naysay and/or become Predator fodder, while a late-arriving band of fur traders also offers up some huntable bodies.
Prey is now available for streaming on Hulu.
Sam Raimis Spider-Man Trilogy
Three of the finest Marvel movies ever released are now available on Netflix and Hulu. Yes, I said three.
Weve talked quite a bit about Sam Raimi's first Marvel film, along with new Spider-Man movies coming out as well as right and left, at Polygon about his love of his original trilogy of Spider-Man films. With a solid cast with fantastic villainous performances, its hard to beat.
I'll happily join the masses in lauding the first two films, which are both excellent, but I'd like to take a moment to praise the third one. Its messy, yes, but it's fascinating (if you can get past the third act or all the Topher Grace as Venom stuff). In Spider-Man 3, the first two films leave Peter as a ludicrous Spidey and, most importantly, a very deft boyfriend to Mary-Jane.
The Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy is now available on Netflix and Hulu.
The late, great James Caan (The Godfather) plays Frank, an ex-con and professional safecracker who wants to go straight and build a family. Unfortunately for him, Frank is denied his share of his latest heist, forcing him to accept a job from the Mob in order to break even. Thief is a stone-cold masterpiece and a jewel in the crown of one of the finest filmmakers working today.
Thief is now available for streaming on Prime Video.
The Safdies (Good Time) 2019 film is not only one of the best thrillers you can watch at home, but it is also one of the finest basketball films. Here, playoff basketball is transformed into a literal life-and-death situation; Uncut Gems is, simply put, a jewel of a film.
Peacock has Uncut Gems available to stream.
Under the Skin
Under the Skin is a stone-cold thriller from the master Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast).
From our list of the finest films of the 2010s:
Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer's existential sci-fi horror film about an alien who harvests men for purposes that are opaque, painful, and brutal, has little substance except that she coldly exploits men's sexuality and (cruelly) human love to seemingly serve unfeeling masters of her own. (Oh, and a shout-out to Micah Levis' piercing, icy score.)
Under the Skin is now available on HBO Max for viewing.
Polygon's best things are listed below for the week.
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