It’s been said that people watch less television during the summer months. Lies I tell you!
When it’s sunny and hot there are lots of opportunities to go outside and enjoy everything that summer has to offer. But after a long day of activities in the heat, it just feels so good to turn the brain off and engage in complete couch lock.
Some people like a good book, while others appreciate the instant gratification of Netflix and that’s where I come in.
Last month I provided 10 beauties that deserved your eyes like the addictive show Ozark where Jason Bateman gives a career defining performance. Or the funny yet heart wrenching foreign film Toni Erdmann about a daughter and her eccentric dad. It doesn’t matter the genre, there is always something good on the big giant streaming site.
So is there anything special about August?
You know the scene in The Evil Dead when Ash attached a chainsaw to his severed hand? I have actually cut off part of my hand and have replaced it with a TV remote. That’s how committed I am to finding Netflix gold for the month of August.
Below is a list of 10 shows that don’t require you to slice off any of you appendages.
Make sure to check out our complete list of what’s coming to Netflix this month and feel free to give us some of your recommendations.
Release Date: August 1
Director: Pablo Larraín
Cast: Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Carroll Lynch
Natalie Portman plays the eloquent Jackie Kennedy during the aftermath of her husband’s assassination in 1963. This film gives a different take on the Kennedy story that isn’t hung up on who shot JFK but instead focuses on how Jackie managed to barely keep her family together during a tumultuous period in American history. Portman gives one of her best performances of her career and was nominated for an Oscar for it.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Release Date: August 1
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Jared Harris, Hugh Grant
Not everything director Guy Ritchie touches turns to gold, but his 2015 film with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer was a surprisingly entertaining spy flick. Based upon the 1964 television series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. tells the story of CIA agent Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) who are forced to put aside longstanding hostilities and work together to stop a mysterious criminal organization. This movie is a good time. Read our full review here.
Release Date: August 4
Director: Bryan Fogel
This documentary looks absolutely explosive! If you haven’t watched the trailer, this is about Russia’s doping scandal during the Sochi Games. What’s interesting is director Bryan Fogel was making a different kind of doc about PEDs in cycling with the help of Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov. But halfway through the film, the story flipped and so did Rodchenkov who goes into great detail about how he was the mastermind behind the Russian doping during the Olympics. This film got great reviews at the Sundance Film Festival and could be an early contender for Best Documentary at Oscar time.
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later
Release Date: August 4th
Director: David Wain
Cast: Janeane Garofalo, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Kristen Wiig, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, Marguerite Moreau, Michael Showalter, Christopher Meloni, Ken Marino, Chris Pine, Alyssa Milano, Michael Ian Black
If you like some dumb comedy or late night stoner fare, this is a series that doesn’t disappoint. I recommend the 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer and the 2015 prequel series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp than you can dive into this new 8 part series that should give you some nonsensical lols. This has a great cast but missing this time around is Bradley Cooper who had a scheduling conflict so there is no Ben and his camp theatre exploits.
Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 3
Release Date: August 4th
Cast: Josh Keaton, Steven Yeun, Jeremy Shada, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Tyler Labine, Kimberly Brooks, Rhys Darby
I have to include some family programming on this list when I can. But let’s be honest, this Voltron series has been terrific no matter if you have little ones or not. Early reviews are already out and apparently, season 3 is the best season yet but only contains seven explosive episodes. That’s okay though because season 4 is planned for an October release. It’s just too much goodness at our finger tips, so it’s time to form Voltron! I highly recommend this series.
Atypical: Season One
Release Date: August 11
Director: Michael Patrick Jann, Seth Gordon, Joe Kessler
Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist, Jenna Boyd, Michael Rapaport, Brigette Lundy-Paine
This looks like an intriguing new Netflix show with a fantastic cast. The story centres around an 18-year-old named Sam who is on the autism spectrum and is trying to find his way in the world. One thing he would like to have is a girlfriend, but he’s just too awkward to make that first move. This looks like a fantastic coming of age story that also revolves around Sam’s family dynamics. Bravo to Netflix for bringing autism into the spotlight.
Release Date: August 11
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Matthew Goode, Lizzy Caplan, Raffey Cassidy, Jared Harris, Simon McBurney
I personally enjoy a lot of what director Robert Zemeckis has done over the years. His 2016 film Allied looks like it’s full of intrigue and drama which is perfect for a spy film of this ilk. Anytime you have Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in the same movie together you need to take notice. The story is about two World War II operatives who complete a risky mission together and fall in love. They decide to leave all the double-dealing behind them and start a new life. Instead, suspicion and paranoia come along for the ride and their relationship is tested.
Marvel’s The Defenders: Season 1
Release Date: August 18
Cast: Mike Colter, Finn Jones, Charlie Cox, Jessica Henwick, Krysten Ritter, Sigourney Weaver, Elodie Yung, Rosario Dawson, Elden Henson, Simone Missick, Rachael Taylor, Scott Glenn, Eka Darville, Chloe Levine, Debbi Morgan, Carrie-Anne Moss, Deborah Ann Woll
What Iron Fist? That was just a glitch in Netflix’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. Danny Rand is still around, but we’ll pretend season one didn’t happen and focus now on his teaming up with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil to form The Defenders. For fans of the MCU this has been a long time coming and so there is some hype surrounding this new series. Don’t expect to see Frank Castle “The Punisher” on this team of heroes, he works alone.
Release Date: August 25
Director: Adam Wingard
Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley, Willem Dafoe, Shea Whigham, Nat Wolff
One of the most anticipated films that are dropping on Netflix this month is Death Note, based on the Japanese manga series of the same name written by Tsugumi Ohba. Of course, anime nerds are already pissing on it and don’t like it when their precious stories get a live adaptation, but I will remain optimistic due to who is involved with this project. Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest, Blair Witch) is a very capable director, and when you have Willem Dafoe as Ryuk I feel there is some hope for this supernatural thriller. I recommend watching the anime series first (also on Netflix) beforehand to get some context.
Release Date: August 26
Director: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Nora von Waldstatten, Anders Danielson Lie
This is a thriller that has some nice horror elements but isn’t full of jump scares or gore. Instead, this is a slow burn of creepy and is very well done with an excellent performance by Kristen Stewart. The story centres around a girl named Maureen (Stewart) who is a personal shopper for a wealthy celebrity in Paris. When she isn’t trying dresses on and picking out jewelry, she communicates with spirits and tries to reach out to her deceased brother.