The 9 best movies new to Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu: August 2022

August is here, can you believe it? Wow! New movies added to streaming this month include popular favorites like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and Alex Garland’s cerebral sci-fi debut Ex MachinaJim Jarmuschs ghost dogand much more.

Here are the top nine movies new to streaming platforms in August 2022.


Satan lights a cigarette for Constantine

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

This pre-DC Universe DC film is supernatural neo-noir, starring pre-John Wick Keanu Reeves as the very grumpy John Constantine. Made in the style of an old detective thriller (but with supernatural elements), constantine is a campy time, with a great cast (Reeves is joined by the likes of Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, and Peter Stormare) and more than a few goofy visual gags. —peter people

constantine can be streamed on Netflix.

Ex Machina

Alicia Vikander as Ava stares through a pane of glass at her own reflection in Ex Machina.

Image: A24

Domhnall Gleeson stars in Alex Garland’s directorial debut Ex Machina as Caleb, a young programmer who gets a chance to spend a week with Nathan (Oscar Isaac), an elusive technology CEO, on his luxurious and isolated compound. Upon arrival, Caleb agrees to become the protagonist of Nathan’s latest endeavor: a Turing test to measure the intelligence of Ava (Alicia Vikander), an advanced humanoid robot. An elegant, slow-burning sci-fi thriller that explores the intersection of consciousness, gender and power, Ex Machina is a notable film and easily ranks among the most notable science fiction films of the 2010s. – Toussaint Egan

Ex Machina can be streamed on HBO Max.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Forest Whitaker as Ghost Dog aiming a silenced pistol in Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai.

Image: Lionsgate Films

This terrific crime drama from Jim Jarmusch follows a hitman (Forest Whitaker) nicknamed “Ghost Dog” who sees himself as a modern day samurai and lives by the code Hagakure (also known as The Book of the Samurai). While living in a modern American setting, he doesn’t use modern technology (he communicates via pigeons) and is mysterious even to those he works with. When Ghost Dog is hired to kill a gangster but leaves an innocent bystander alive, his life is taken instead.

Whitaker is great in the lead role and Jarmusch’s writing and direction are absolutely perfect. but ghost dog really stands out because of the score – the first movie soundtrack produced by the RZA. –PV

Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai can be streamed on HBO Max.


Tom Hardy as Ivan stares at Locke deep in thought in Locke (2013).

Image: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

A self contained thriller set entirely in a car, curl follows builder Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) as he drives from Birmingham to London the night before a major project. Locke, who is married with children, learns that the woman he is having an affair with will have her child. As he drives across the country to join her, he juggles phone conversations with business associates and family members. A master class of a performance by Hardy, the only actor to appear on screen, curl is an impressive feat of thrifty filmmaking by director Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders). —PV

curl can be streamed on HBO Max.

man on fire

Thrillingly run away from a flaming car under a freeway underpass in Man on Fire.

Image: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

I can’t speak highly enough about this man on fire. Starring Denzel Washington as a former CIA agent turned bodyguard for a 9-year-old girl in Mexico City, the 2004 film saw Tony Scott at the peak of his powers and delivered a brutal, explosive and emotional action thriller about the A man’s search for redemption and his surrogate love for his protégé. Featuring an overwhelming score by Harry Gregson-Williams and Lisa Gerrard, intense action and violence and a painfully beautiful resolution. man on fire is an absolutely electrifying watch. —TE

man on fire can be streamed on Hulu.

Spider-Man trilogy by Sam Raimi

Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man looking down at his hands without a mask

Image: SonyPictures

Three of the best Marvel movies of all time are making their way to Netflix and Hulu. Yes, I said three.

With Sam Raimi’s latest Marvel movie and new Spider-Man movies appearing left and right, we at Polygon have spoken quite a bit about our love for his original trilogy of Spider-Man movies. With excellent use of Raimi’s horror background, a great cast with great villain performances, and a strong moral center, it’s hard to beat.

I’ll happily join the masses in praising the first two films, both of which are excellent, but I’d like to take a moment to commend the third entry. It’s messy, sure, but in a really intriguing way (if you can get past the third act or all that Topher Grace as Venom stuff). in the Spider-Man 3, the successes of the first two films go to Peter’s head, leaving him as an inadequate Spidey and, most importantly, a very crappy friend of Mary-Jane. Much of this film is about what it means to be a current partner, something Peter fails terribly at. If you’re one of the many people who thinks this movie is just a disgrace to the franchise, I encourage you to give it another try. And hey, even if you still don’t like it, the other two movies are right here now for you to boot up on Netflix whenever you want. — P.V

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu.


James Caan in Thief.

Image: Warner Home Video

The late, great James Caan (The Godfather) Stars in Michael Mann’s 1981 neo-noir heist thriller Thief as Frank, an ex-convict and professional safecracker who wants to jump right in and start a family. Unfortunately, Frank is denied his share of his latest heist, forcing him to take on a mafia contract to break even. Featuring a gorgeous synth score by Tangerine Dream, dazzling nocturnal cinematography by Donald Thorin, and an iconic and emotionally nuanced performance by Caan, Thief is stone cold madness and a jewel in the crown of one of the finest directors working today. End of blurb. —TE

Thief can be streamed on Prime Video. The 9 best movies new to Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu: August 2022

Charles Jones

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