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For whatever reason, this month plays host to a number of incredibly popular films that Netflix took off the streamer within the last six months. Here are four highlighted films I’m happy are back, and one brand new Oscar nominee for best picture.
Being John Malkovich
It’s one of the weirdest, most wild films to ever be released, but is it ever a fun time.
This movie about a puppeteer, who discovers a portal into the mind of magnanimous movie star John Malkovich, is hilarious and quirky.
Director Spike Jonze matches up with Charlie Kaufman, the writer of hit Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, for this imaginative picture.
John Cusack and Malkovich himself have a gleeful time, but it’s Cameron Diaz who really shines here.
This best picture-director nominee is my favourite space adventure film, and arguably director Ron Howard’s best of all time.
With a cracker-jack script based on the true story about NASA’s attempt to return Apollo 13 from space, this is an unbelievable dramatic feat.
Tom Hanks is incredible here, as are co-stars Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon and Oscar nominees Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan.
It’s one of my favourite films and it’ll make you smile, cry and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Friday Night Lights
This incredible football film that inspired one of the best series of all time of the same name is a gritty, human tale.
The film about small town Odessa, Texas, the football-obsessed area with little else to talk about and too much emphasis on the sport follows the lives and pressures put on young high school athletes.
Whether from the community, school, parents or themselves, there are very real struggles and harsh hurdles and criticisms these kids go through every day in the name of sport and winning.
The reputation of their Permian High Panthers means everything to the town, but that makes living there uncomfortable for the youngsters, including characters played by Derek Luke, a young Garrett Hedlund, Lucas Black and Jay Hernandez.
But perhaps the best performances come from Billy Bob Thorton as the embattled new coach, Connie Britton, who plays his wife, and country super-star Tim McGraw as a washed up former football legend pushing his son to the brink in the name of the game.
This is an amazing, difficult film, but one that has shown the darker side of competitive sports in a way that many can relate to. It’s better than it has any right to be, and floors me every viewing.
In Good Company
It’s pretty incredible that Paul Weitz, part of the writer-director pair behind American Pie, also made this mature film.
In the midst of an American recession, Weitz explores downsizing and the difficulties of the regular worker in this tale of a middle-aged man who deals with the fact his new boss is half his age.
They spar at their ad agency, even as the young executive zeroes his sights in on the subordinate’s daughter.
The performances are solid, with That 70s Show’s Topher Grace showing dramatic poise, Dennis Quaid turning in a great performance, and Scarlett Johansson reliable as always.
This one will catch you by surprise, and it’s a heavily underrated gem.
This stunning war film from auteur Christopher Nolan is one of the most visually incredible films of the last five years.
It follows allies from Britain, France and Belgium who become trapped by German soldiers during World War II.
Though it’s a bit simplistic on story, it’s visually incredible and has great performances from Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and more.
Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Ceoghan and One Direction’s Harry Styles are all wonderful, and the film is entrancing.
New Releases To August 12:
- Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling
- Bon Cop Bad Cop 2
- GLOW: Season 3
- The Family: Netflix Original
- Take Me Home Tonight
- Blue Crush
- The Wizard
Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows