Next month, Netflix wants to let you in on the action. And what action the streaming service has to offer! Whether it’s Seoul-set car chases, sun-soaked vampire killing or futuristic cyber shoot-outs, August will see your summertime skirmishes taken up a notch. For our top action-packed recommendations (and some slightly more cerebral options) take a look below…
Benediction, August 3rd
Novelist Terence Davies has turned out some seriously good films in recent years. There was The Deep Blue Sea, starring current Gentleman’s Journal cover star Tom Hiddleston, and other period dramas including 2015’s Sunset Song and 2016’s A Quiet Passion. The latter, about poet Emily Dickinson, paved the way for Benediction, a biopic of British war poet Siegfried Sassoon, starring both Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi — who share the lead role.
The Sandman, August 5th
Various adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s fiercely celebrated comic book have been in development for decades. Beginning in 1991, a film was first touted, before multiple stars and producers came and went. Netflix has now finally realised the project — as a series. Starring Tom Sturridge, we follow protagonist Morpheus, the king of dreams, as he escapes a century of captivity and attempts to restore order to his realm of fantasy and nightmares.
Carter, August 5th
The first of two amnesiac thrillers to hit Netflix this month, Carter is a Korean action movie — with the emphasis on action. Even more bloodied than the Michael Caine character from whom Joo Won’s protagonist takes his name, the man without memories wakes up months into a deadly pandemic with only a voice in his head giving him directions — and threatening to blow him to smithereens if he doesn’t follow them.
The Nice Guys, August 9th
Hot off the heels of Netflix’s own Ryan Gosling-starring action movie (The Gray Man), August gives us the chance to revisit one of the actor’s more flippant thrillers. The Nice Guys, Shane Black’s private eye mystery set in 1977 Los Angeles, paired Gosling with Russell Crowe and sent the two off to investigate corruption in the porn and automotive industries. And, despite bombing at the box office, it got rave reviews — no more so than from us.
Day Shift, August 12th
Another lightweight-but-possibly-fun original from the streaming service, Day Shift sees Jamie Foxx return to Netflix (after Project Power and the disastrous sitcom Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!) for a supernatural-tinged action flick. Featuring Foxx as a hard-working, blue-collar pool cleaner, we soon discover that his job is a front for a more menacing pursuit; hunting down and killing vampires in the sun-soaked San Fernando Valley. Also; Snoop Dogg in a cowboy hat.
Memento, August 14th
The second film to feature an amnesiac protagonist, Memento is a little more psychological (and a little less blood-spattered) than Carter above. An early project from Christopher Nolan, the neo-noir mystery centres on Guy Pearce’s insurance investigator, who must search for the people who killed his wife using an intricate system of Polaroid photographs and tattoos. It’s a blueprint for the twisty, turny filmography that now typifies the director’s blockbusters.
Repo Men, August 16th
Last year, director Miguel Sapochnik helmed the Tom Hanks post-apocalyptic survival sci-fi Finch. If you’ve got Apple TV+, we’d recommend sticking that on. If you’re still solely a Netflix loyalist, you’ll have to make do with Sapochnik’s previous film. Released over a decade ago, in 2011, Repo Men is set scarily close to modern day, in 2025. The plot follows Jude Law and Forest Whitaker as bankruptcy sequesters, who must repossess bio-mechanical organs from individuals who fail to make credit payments. Law is very good; the rest is so-so.
Me Time, August 26th
It’s been a while since John Hamberg put his rib-tickling stamp on the modern comedy scene. Succeeding 2009’s excellent I Love You, Man and 2016’s slightly-lesser Why Him?, Me Time is a Netflix original starring Mark Wahlberg and Netflix mainstay Kevin Hart. When Hart’s Sonny decides to reconnect with old friend Huck (Wahlberg) for a weekend away from his wife and children, his party animal of an acquaintance kicks off a wild weekend that almost ruins his life.
Seoul Vibe, August 26th
Another high-octane Korean-language offering, Seoul Vibe looks to be part Fast & Furious, part Baby Driver and part Money Heist. Set during the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, the film follows a car chase which takes place on the streets of the South Korean capital as a talented crew of young drivers — known as the ‘Sangedong Supreme Team’ — set out to unravel the corruption behind the slush funds.
I Came By, August 31st
Directed by BAFTA winner Babak Anvari, one of Netflix’s most anticipated British-based summer releases stars George Mackay as a rebellious young graffiti artist who targets and tags the homes of the wealthy elite. But, when he stumbles onto a shocking secret — pertaining to Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville — the tearaway is thrust on a journey that will endanger not only himself, but also those most close to him.
Want more Netflix recommendations? Here’s the best new titles to land on the streaming service in July 2022…
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