10 Best Movies on Netflix (August 2022)

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    Goodfellas (1990)

    Goodfellas might just be Martin Scorsese’s very best movie. Based on the novel Wiseguy, Goodfellas follows the life of real-life mobster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) as he gradually goes from petty crime to violent murders alongside associates James Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). Like the rest of his mob movies, Scorsese incisively explores the violent, sociopathic tendencies at the heart of mobsters, juxtaposing their actions with stellar camerawork and a catchy classic rock soundtrack. The characters come to impressive life thanks to iconic performances by Liotta, De Niro, and Pesci, all equally full of charm and malice. Lorraine Bracco’s performance is also underrated, as the long-suffering Mrs. Karen Hill, a mob wife as full of life as the mobsters themselves. Like the rest of Scorsese’s filmography, Goodfellas is a masterpiece that’s compulsively watchable thanks to his world-class direction.

    Director: Martin Scorsese
    Cast: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco
    Genre: Drama
    Rating: R
    Runtime: 2h 26m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 96% (Critics) 97% (Audience)


    The Gray Man (2022)

    A couple of years after the Russo brothers directed a little movie you may have heard of called Avengers: Endgame, the directors are back at Netflix with an action flick starring a small actor you also may have heard of named Ryan Gosling. Based on the novel of the same name, The Gray Man centers on the CIA’s most skilled mercenary (Gosling), as he discovers dangerous secrets the agency is hiding and in turn becomes hunted around the world by a psychopathic former colleague (Chris Evans) and various assassins. The Russos have brought an all-star cast to this latest high-profile Netflix blockbuster, with Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, and Billy Bob Thornton joining Gosling and Evans in this fast-paced, globe-trotting action thriller. Evans is playing thrillingly against type here as a murderous villain, and it’s great to have Gosling back in the movies again after a four-year absence. Thrilling, twisty, and just plain exciting, The Gray Man looks to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer.

    Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
    Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page
    Genre: Action
    Rating: PG-13
    Runtime: 2h 9m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 52% (Critics) 89% (Audience)


    The Sea Beast (2022)

    Netflix Animation has slowly been making a name for itself over the past couple of years, with hits like Klaus and Over the Moon. Their latest film, The Sea Beast, sets out to do the same. The animated adventure comedy centers on monster hunter Jacob Holland (Karl Urban), as he discovers a young stowaway on his ship named Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator), and sets off on a dangerous journey into uncharted waters with her. Netflix Animation notably changes animation styles with their films, with The Sea Beast boasting a markedly different animation style from its other films, showcasing majestic ocean waves and intimidating monsters that dwarf the main characters. Charming characters and a grand sense of scale and adventure make this movie one of the more exciting animated films Netflix has ever released. The Sea Beast is proof that Netflix animation is giving Pixar and DreamWorks a run for their money.

    Director: Chris Williams
    Cast: Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris, Dan Stevens
    Genre: Adventure, Comedy
    Rating: PG
    Runtime: 1h 55m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 93% (Critics) 83% (Audience)


    Nightcrawler (2014)

    Jake Gyllenhaal has such an impressive career that even one of his best performances can go under the radar, such as in 2014’s Nightcrawler. The thriller centers on Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), a con man, as he gets into the fast-paced world of L.A. crime journalism, teaming up with similarly ruthless local news TV director Nina (Rene Russo). Bloom excels at his job, even hiring timid assistant Rick (Riz Ahmed), but quickly starts blurring ethical lines as he dives deep into his work. Bloom is one of the most unhinged characters Gyllenhaal has ever played, with his unnerving eyes and frequent emotional explosions, but he’s also one of the most compelling. The character is pure capitalism as he does everything he can in his power to make as much money as possible, even if it crosses moral boundaries. It’s clear right off the bat that the character is somewhat less than human, but there’s a perverse thrill in watching him try to emulate actual human emotion. Rene Russo is similarly great as the cutthroat director Nina, and Riz Ahmed is quietly powerful as Bloom’s naive assistant, who provides the one voice of reason throughout the film. A haunting, vicious satire of both the free market and the media, Nightcrawler is one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s very best films.

    Director: Dan Gilroy
    Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton
    Genre: Thriller
    Rating: R
    Runtime: 1h 57m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 95% (Critics) 86% (Audience)


    RRR (2022)

    It’s not every day that an Indian blockbuster becomes a runaway success not just in its home country but in America as well, but RRR isn’t like most movies. The Telugu language historical drama epic takes place in the 1920’s and tells the fictional story of real-life revolutionaries Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.) as they become friends and unite to fight for their country against the British empire. The highest-grossing Indian movie of all time, the film shattered records in its home country before becoming a social media sensation in America as well thanks to widespread word of mouth. From the trailer it’s easy to see why the movie is such a sensation: it’s true action-packed insanity that makes your average Marvel movie look like an Ingmar Bergman movie. Dizzying camerawork, charismatic performances from N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, and breathtaking action sequences make this one of the very best action films released in years. Its infectious joy and riveting anti-colonial violence made it one of the very best theatrical experiences for moviegoers in 2022 and now it can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home thanks to Netflix. A pitch-perfect marvel of blockbuster filmmaking, RRR needs to be seen to be believed.

    Director: S.S. Rajamouli
    Cast: Ram Charan, N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ajay Devgan, Alia Bhatt
    Genre: Action, Drama
    Rating: NR
    Runtime: 3h 5m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 88% (Critics) 94% (Audience)


    Katt Williams: World War III

    The legendary comedian Katt Williams is back with his first comedy special since 2018. The four years since his last special saw Williams win an Emmy for a guest performance on Atlanta, and this special shows he hasn’t missed a comedic beat. World War III was filmed in January 2021 and sees the veteran comedian taking on everything from vaccines, to fentanyl, to then-newly elected President Biden. Williams effectively jokes about lies and truths in the modern world with subjects ranging from the War on Drugs to the chicken wing shortage, and mines plenty of humor from telling the truth about those who lie. While smart and well constructed, Williams also shows he knows how to tell different types of jokes as well, with his second half hour raucously devolving into the types of dirty sex jokes that he’s built his career on. World War III once again proves why Katt Williams has been a successful comedian for over two decades now.

    Director: Katt Williams
    Genre: Comedy
    Rating: TV-MA
    Runtime: 59m


    The Gentlemen (2020)

    Guy Ritchie movies are a genre all to themselves at this point. If you’re in the mood for a gritty but fun gangster movie starring actors donning heavy British accents, Ritchie’s the man for you. His latest, The Gentlemen ranks among his most fun films in recent memory. The action comedy follows American Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), who runs a profitable marijuana empire in London. When he decides to retire and liquidate his assets, his decision triggers a series of schemes from other interested parties that want to steal his empire from him. The movie boasts an all-star cast, including Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, Henry Golding, and Jeremy Strong alongside McConaughey, all gleefully in Ritchie mode as the bodies pile up and the backstabbing gets into full swing. Ritchie still has an eye for action as well, with several sequences in this movie bringing to mind his earlier hits that made him such a big name amongst cinephiles. A refreshing return to form for Guy Ritchie, The Gentlemen is a blast.

    Director: Guy Ritchie
    Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Colin Farrell, Jeremy Strong
    Genre: Comedy, Crime
    Rating: R
    Runtime: 1h 53m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 75% (Critics) 84% (Audience)


    Menace II Society (1993)

    One of the biggest hood dramas of the 90’s, Menace II Society is the blistering directorial debut of Albert and Allen Hughes, who later went on to direct 1995’s Dead Presidents. Menace II Society centers on the life of young Caine Lawson (Tyrin Turner), who lives in the Watts neighborhood of south Los Angeles, as he attempts to escape his violent existence and strives for a better life. The film sent shockwaves through both Hollywood and hip hop culture thanks to its harsh realism, violence, and matter of fact depiction of the lives of those who lives in poor, Black neighborhoods in Los Angeles. While undeniably depressing and at times hard to watch, the movie works so well thanks to its visceral direction and impressive performances. Tyrin Turner turns in a charming performance alongside Love Jones and Why Do Fools Fall In Love star Larenz Tate in an explosive debut film performance. A huge hit in the 90’s, the film continues to be celebrated, with it entering the illustrious Criterion Collection in 2021. Thrilling and incisive, Menace II Society is a modern classic.

    Director: Albert and Allen Hughes
    Cast: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, Vonte Sweet, Jada Pinkett Smith
    Genre: Drama
    Rating: R
    Runtime: 1h 37m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 84% (Critics) 93% (Audience)


    Dunkirk (2017)

    Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to 2014’s sci-fi epic Interstellar was something no one expected but all British directors eventually do: a World War II drama. Thankfully, Nolan’s take on the genre is as inventive and interesting as the rest of his filmography. Dunkirk depicts the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk after being cut off and surrounded by the German army during WWII’s Battle of France. The film features an ensemble cast, including Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, and an early performance from Eternals and The Batman star Barry Keoghan, who all make this extraordinary military maneuver come to life. However, the real thrust of the film is the direction, cinematography, and music, which is where Nolan creates much of the film’s suspense. Dunkirk dilates time (much like Inception) so that the actions of different protagonists the viewer follows exist parallel to each other, and often crosscut during similarly hectic scenes. This highly effective crosscutting alongside the moody cinematography, stressful score (which sounds like a clock constantly ticking), and incredibly loud sound design make you feel like you’re actually there alongside the soldiers, making this one of the most immersive war movies ever made. One of the more technically impressive movies in a career full of technically impressive movies, Dunkirk is among Christopher Nolan’s very best movies.

    Director: Christopher Nolan
    Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy
    Genre: Drama
    Rating: PG-13
    Runtime: 1h 46m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (Critics) 81% (Audience)


    Don’t Look Up (2021)

    Adam McKay’s latest film follows the political bent of The Big Short and Vice but with his largest ensemble cast yet. The satirical comedy Don’t Look Up follows two astronomers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) as they attempt to warn humanity about an incoming comet that will destroy Earth. The ensemble cast, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, features Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Timotheé Chalamet, Ariana Grande, and Scott Mescudi. McKay assembled this cast for an important goal: the plot of the film is meant to mirror the real-life climate crisis and how many people in power seem to purposefully ignore the ongoing crisis that threatens every life on Earth. Despite that potentially dour subject matter, the movie is frequently funny in how it depicts the obliviousness of the rich and powerful and insightful in portraying how hopeless and alone those who take climate change seriously can feel. All too timely and biting, Don’t Look Up is one of the darkest, most important comedies of the year.

    Director: Adam McKay
    Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill
    Genre: Comedy
    Rating: R
    Runtime: 2h 18m
    Rotten Tomatoes: 55% (Critics) 77% (Audience)

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