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The 21 Best Things Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix in August

Get ready to (30) Rock ’n’ roll ...

En español | Baby, it’s hot outside, which is why Netflix and chilling have never been a better option for August nights. Our critics have checked the entire list of what’s arriving for the best bets for grownups ... and perhaps more importantly, have flagged our favorite films leaving America’s popular streaming platform. So don’t miss scrolling to the bottom to make sure you catch some great films before they’re gone!

Coming Aug. 1

30 Rock, Seasons 1-7

Tina Fey’s comedy is smarter, faster and much more consistently funny than Saturday Night Live, which inspired it.


Beowulf (2007)

Robert Zemeckis’ grownup animated epic is a mess, but that cast could make Grendel plotz: Robin Wright, Brendan Gleeson, John Malkovich and Anthony Hopkins as King Hrothgar the Gray-Haired Treasure-Giver.

DON’T MISS THIS: Anthony Hopkins tells AARP he loves being gray-haired and 83: Anthony Hopkins’s Life Has Never Been Better


Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Tom Hanks is the FBI agent on the trail of a teenage forger (Leonardo DiCaprio) who talked his way into actual jobs as a doctor, a lawyer and airline copilot. True story!


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Matthew Broderick plays Ferris, director/writer John Hughes’ fantasy version of himself in high school — skipping school to bond with his best friend and girlfriend, playing “Twist and Shout” in a big parade. “Life goes by so fast,” he says. “If you don’t stop and look around, you might miss it.”


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Inception (2010)

If you thought director Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie The Dark Knight was a smart blockbuster, wait until you see this intricately tricky mindbender about a guy (Leonardo DiCaprio) who hacks into people’s dreams to steal their secrets.


The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

Matthew McConaughey is extremely good as a defense attorney whose office is the back seat of a chauffeured Lincoln Contintental in a pretty good courtroom drama taken from a Michael Connelly best seller.


The Machinist (2004)

Christian Bale became a heavyweight actor by losing 60 pounds to play an insomniac factory worker whose sleeplessness propels him into an increasingly paranoid nightmare world, despite the love of a call girl (Jennifer Jason Leigh).


The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)

Spike Lee documents the massively successful concert tour of comics Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric The Entertainer and Bernie Mac in what critic Odie Henderson calls “the Stop Making Sense of stand-up comedy movies.”


Seabiscuit (2003)

Want to feel uplifted? Try the triumphant, against-all-odds, improbable and true story of the greatest dark-horse champion Seabiscuit, his owner (Jeff Bridges), his jockey (Tobey Maguire) and his trainer (Chris Cooper).


Coming Aug. 8

Quartet (2013)

Liked The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but wish it were set in a veddy British place like Gosford Park? Dustin Hoffman directs a sweet story about a once-famous opera singer (Maggie Smith) who moves to a musicians’ retirement community with Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay (playing her ex), and would sooner listen to her old records than hear her voice anymore. Not what you’d call a propulsive plot, but rich in feeling and acting genius. (Also watch the documentary that inspired it, Tosca’s Kiss.)


Coming Aug. 13

Beckett (2021)

An American tourist (John David Washington) runs for his life when his Greek vacation becomes a race to escape a conspiracy of authorities with murder in their eyes.

Watch it: Beckett


Coming Aug. 19

Like Crazy (2011)

In an intriguing experiment, the director gave a story outline to Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence and had them improvise their dialogue, chronicling a long-distance romance between a Brit and a Yank lad.


Coming Aug. 20

Sandra Oh stars in the Netflix series The Chair

Eliza Morse/Netflix

Sandra Oh stars as Ji-Yoon Kim in "The Chair."

The Chair (2021)

Don’t miss Sandra Oh’s comedy about the new chair of the English department at a floundering college. Jay Duplass is great as her fellow prof and maybe-lover-to-be, spiraling after his wife’s death, and Holland Taylor and Bob Balaban as irascible elder colleagues. It’s touching and funny, and a wicked satire of undergrad wokeness gone mad as a hatter to boot.

Watch it: The Chair


Last Chance Must-Sees

Leaving Netflix Aug. 12

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

An irresistibly charming lightweight indie comedy about a Seattle magazine intern (Aubrey Plaza) and a grocery clerk (Mark Duplass, younger brother of filmmaker and The Chair star Jay), who are both grieving loved ones and wander into a melancholy time-travel adventure.

Watch it: Safety Not Guaranteed


Leaving Netflix Aug. 30

Casino Royale (2007)

In the first James Bond tale ever written, Daniel Craig jolts 007 back to life, and gives him something he never had: a heart. Judi Dench debuts as his gizmo whiz M.

Watch it: Casino Royale


Leaving Netflix Aug. 31

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Gangsters mistake the perma-stoned Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) for another Lebowski who owes them money in the Coen brothers’ cult classic comedy packed with grownup stars: John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore and Sam Elliott.

Watch it: The Big Lebowski


Chinatown (1974)

Jack Nicholson’s detective Jake Gittes hunts the straying husband of a femme fatale (Faye Dunaway) and gets swept up in an unimaginably evil conspiracy in Roman Polanski’s immortal film noir.

Watch it: Chinatown


Election (1999)

Reese Witherspoon solidifies her stardom as a high school student body presidential candidate more driven than Hillary Clinton, with Matthew Broderick as the teacher out to bring her down.

Watch it: Election


The Social Network (2010)

The origin story of Facebook is like a high-IQ superhero (or supervillain) movie, with Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg.

Watch it: The Social Network


Superbad (2007)

On the last night of high school, seniors Jonah Hill and Michael Cera’s fake IDs buy them booze, scary adventures and the help of a pair of cops (Bill Hader and Seth Rogen) more immature than them.

Watch it: Superbad


Tim Appelo is AARP’s film and TV critic. Previously, he was Amazon’s entertainment editor, Entertainment Weekly’s video critic, and a writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, LA Weekly and The Village Voice.


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