Stream, Skip, Buy: August 2019 Movie Releases
It's hot outside. Come inside, relax in the A/C, and binge-watch August's must-see streaming movies before it's back to school or work ramps up. Don't know what to watch? Welcome back to another installment of Stream, Skip, Buy — our series where we review the latest releases to hit Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
There are a lot of goodies this month, with A-listers like Chris Evans and Blake Lively as headliners. But the one to watch, in our humble opinion, is a romantic indie set in the bustling city of Mumbai. Are we wrong? You'll have to watch for yourself.
Out: July 31 on Netflix
As YouTube commenter Mayank Sharma put it ever so delicately: "I didn't even read what [I] was clicking. Saw Chris Evans and here [I] am." The actor plays an international spy who helps Ethiopian Jewish refugees evade persecution through a seaside hotel. If you're a Captain America fan, you'll want to watch this spy thriller. However, if you're more of a war-drama purist, the 1980s Ethiopian crisis — and modern-day Sudan parallels — may take a backseat to the suspense. This brings awareness to the true events of which this movie is based on, but unfortunately, it also lightens the impact of such a serious story.
Out: August 3 on Netflix
Suburban moms go bad? It's a premise that makes movies like Date Night and, well, Bad Moms so successful. When three young city boys essentially ignore their moms on Mother's Day, their mamas, Carol (Angela Bassett), Gillian (Patricia Arquette), and Helen (Felicity Huffman), decide to take the Big Apple by storm and reconnect with their kids. While doing so, they find themselves again...through a predictable storyline involving a dance-club montage and drunk pizza scenes. If this is bad, we don't want to be good.
Out: August 7 on Amazon Prime
Blake Lively's character, Gina, is blind but in a seemingly loving relationship with her husband (Jason Clarke)...that is until she has corrective eye surgery. The themes of self-discovery, co-dependency, and marital trust make this flick worth a stream. With most psycho-dramas, you tend to get pretty good cinematography too. However, the plot slowly builds into confusion, leaving you just resentful you just wasted two hours.
Out: August 9 on Amazon Prime
This documentary can be summarized in one word: heavy. In an exploration of the emotional pitfalls of the one-child policy China enacted to curb overpopulation, filmmakers interview child smugglers, mothers who abandoned their babies, and more. It's sad, to say the least, but eye-opening to see what happens when a basic biological freedom is taken away.
Out: August 16 on Amazon Prime
A Sundance Film Festival contender, this heart-warming story is made for romantics and indie-flick fans alike. We're putting it out there now: The setting is set in Mumbai, so subtitles will most likely be necessary. If that's not your cup of tea, move on. But if you enjoy layered, emotional, and admittedly slow-burning stories, this is for you.
Out: August 16 on Hulu
The trailer says it all: Magic. Meth. Mayhem. The Ben Berman documentary follows The Amazing Johnathan, the magician-comedian who, at the height of his career, was known more for his personality than his tricks...until he was diagnosed with a health condition and was said to have one year to live. Fast forward to three years later: Johnathan is alive, addicted to meth, and fighting time...or is he? Everything is questioned, including the legitimacy of his condition and the film itself, which makes it all the more entertaining.
Out: August 21 on Amazon Prime
You'll hate or love it. It's dark, seductive, and campy. Mommy blogger Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) investigates her fabulous BFF's (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance. It's marketed as a mystery thriller, but the snappy one-liners and comedic timing kill the suspense. Not complaining, just sayin'.
Out: August 23 on Amazon Prime
The action-packed, high-octane formula that makes the Mission: Impossible franchise works for a reason. Like The Fast and the Furious films, the producers of Ethan Hunt's latest adventures know what fans want, which makes this a must-see for them. The storyline almost doesn't matter, because you know exactly what you're going to get: technical action sequences, exotic locales, and Tom Cruise doing what he does best.
Out: August 24 on Hulu
This biopic tells the story of famed photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Even though there's plenty to work with — BDSM sub-culture, AIDS/HIV, the intersection between art and sex — the film plays it too safe, blandly retelling a story that's full of unconventional life. If you're going to skip one release this month, it's this.
Out: August 28 on Hulu
You can't stream August's must-sees without watching an animated movie (or two). Our recommendation this month? The next installment in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. Why? Who doesn't want a dragon as a pet. At the very least, it's worth a watch because this third movie ends the successful series on a good note.