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11 best movies new to Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max & Hulu: June 2021 – Polygon

The sun is shining, the heat is sweltering, and (almost) everyone is itching to get outside after more-or-less quarantining for over a year. Yes, it’s really summer — but once you’re done surfing waves and eating ice cream cones and what-have-you, there are plenty of great movies to watch.

For June, We’ve got a ton of classic picks in the way of David Fincher’s Fight Club, Miranda July’s Kajillionaire, a few of Stanley Kubrick classics, and most surprisingly, Walter Hill and Larry Gross’ neo-noir rock action musical Streets of Fire!

Read on for 11 of the best movies new to streaming services in June. There’s something for everyone.


An American Werewolf in London

Photo: Universal Pictures

John Landis’ shaggy, horror comedy stars David Naughton and Griffin Dunne as David and Jack, two college students whose chance encounter with a lycanthrope changes their lives forever (as in, one gets turned into a werewolf and the other is straight up killed). In visitations beyond the grave, Jack begs David to off himself in order to prevent further attacks, but … he may have a thing going with the woman who nurses him back to health. The oddball, ticking-clock movie is bolstered by prosthetic effects by the legendary Rick Baker, which are every bit as agonizing and mesmerizing as they were in 1981. —Matt Patches

An American Werewolf in London is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Fight Club

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

David Fincher’s Fight Club embodied the zeitgeist of turn-of-the-century modernity back when it released in 1999, with The New York Times going so far as to dub it the “defining cult movie of our time” on the 10th anniversary of the film’s release. Edward Norton stars as a disgruntled automobile recall specialist who, dissatisfied with the course of his life and career, develops a case of chronic insomnia. After crossing paths with a charismatic soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), the two strike up a fast friendship which eventually inspires them to create an underground fight club in order to let off their pent-up aggression. The fight club takes on a life of its own, escalating into a nation-wide phenomenon that threatens to upend not only the main character’s life, but the future of American society as we know it. By now you probably know the twist; after all, the film has been a nigh-ubiquitous touchstone of popular culture for over two decades now. But just in case you haven’t, you absolutely must. —TE

Fight Club is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Face/Off

Face/Off - Nicolas Cage and John Travolta

Paramount Pictures

Action dramatist John Woo loves big swings. His shootouts twirl with the surreal pace of a modern dance. His plots flip through pages like a paperback thriller. There will always be pigeons flying in slow-motion — flocks of them. So it makes sense that he’d team with Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, two of Hollywood’s most baroque actors, for this gloriously silly cat-and-mouse game about an FBI agent who, to hunt down the terrorist that killed his son, replaces his face with that of his target’s. Go with it! —TE

Face/Off is streaming on Hulu.

Dr. Strangelove (HBO Max)

Photo: The Criterion Channel

Dr. Strangelove is considered one of Stanley Kubrick’s best, a scathingly satirical parody of Cold War paranoia and comically ineffectual bureaucracy set on the teetering cusp of nuclear devastation. When a US Air Force general preemptively orders a nuclear strike, against the Soviet Union, it’s up to the President of the United States, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Royal Air Force officer to devise a means to call off the strike and prevent an all-out nuclear war. Peter Sellers stars in a career defining turn in not one but three different roles: the bumbling ineffectual President Merkin Muffley, the Royal Air Force Captain Lionel Mandrake, and Dr. Strangeglove, the wheelchair-bound advisor with a not-so-secret Nazi past. A subversive masterpiece of pitch-black irony and unmistakable style, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is an absolute must-see movie. —TE

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is streaming on HBO Max.

Eyes Wide Shut

A circle of masked figures.

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Speaking of Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut is one hell of a capstone to the career of one of cinema’s most consequential directors, an erotic psychological mystery drama that’s left a permanent stamp on popular culture for its unvarnished depiction of the depravity of wanton excess and turn-of-the-century ennui. Stanley Kubrick’s stars Tom Cruise as Bill Hartford, a New York City doctor who descends into an existential crisis when his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) admits to having contemplated having an affair and leaving him. Bill subsequently embarks on an odyssey of dispiriting and bizarre sexual encounters that unsuspecting lands him smack dab in the middle of a cloistered bacchanalia held by a deadly clandestine society of masked libertine socialites. All that, and on the eve of Christmas no less! —TE

Eyes Wide Shut is available to stream on HBO Max.

The Green Mile

Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan as Paul Edgecomb and inmate John Coffrey in The Green Mile

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont’s follow-up Stephen King adaptation stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb, a death row corrections officer who, while working at Cold Mountain Penitentiary during the Great Depression, witnesses astounding supernatural events and miracles in the wake of the arrival of a mysterious new inmate named John Coffrey (Michael Clarke Duncan). Darabont’s film is widely consider to be his masterpiece, nominated for over four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, an powerful enduring performance by the late Michael Clarke Duncan as the soft-spoken and eminently graceful Coffrey.

The Green Mile is available to stream on HBO Max.

Kajillionaire

Evan Rachel Wood puts her entire arm into a post-office box in Miranda July’s Kajillionaire

Photo: Focus Features

Kajillionaire is easily Miranda July’s most accessible, approachable, and funny film — but it’s still weird and idiosyncratic as heck. Evan Rachel Wood stars as the adult daughter of two petty con artists (Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger) who live via tiny scams like stealing other people’s mail. They’re all equal partners in crime, until she meets a woman (Gina Rodriguez) who wants in on their scams, and accidentally upends their practiced but ridiculous lifestyle. The director of Me and You and Everyone We Know and The Future is all about high levels of quirk, but Kajillionaire adds on a lot of big, relatable, colorful emotions and a pretty hilarious heist plot. —Tasha Robinson

Kajillionaire is available to stream on HBO Max.

Jennifer’s Body

Megan Fox as Jennifer in Jennifer’s Body, crouched on top of a chair like a demon out of Henry Fuseli’s 1781 painting The Nightmare.

Photo: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Gory without being gratuitous, sexy without being degrading, empowering without being pandering, Jennifer’s Body is a hell (ha ha) of a good time and somehow just the movie I, as someone who went to high school in that era and is still unpacking all the mixed messages about female friendships and empowerment packaged to me then, needed to see this weekend. —Petrana Radulovic

Jennifer’s Body is available to stream on Hulu.

Kick-Ass

aaron taylor-johnson and chloe grace moretz in kick-ass

Photo: Lionsgate

Adapted from Mark Millar’s comic series of the same name, X-Men: First Class and Kingsman: The Secret Service director Matthew Vaughn’s grim and gritty superhero action drama Kick-Ass stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzillas) as Dave Lizewski, a wimpy teenager-turned-masked vigilante who teams up with the foul-mouthed Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her psychotic heavily-armed father Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) to fight crime. Their campaign for justice inevitably runs afoul of the city’s most dangerous elements as Kick-Ass (Taylor-Johnson) must rise to the ocassion in order to save the day. Kick-Ass is a stylish, hyper-violent, and abrasive depiction of a “real-life” superhero scenario that feels like a predecessor to contemporary subversive superhero dramas like The Boys or Invincible. —TE

Kick-Ass is available to stream on Hulu.

Safe

Julianne Moore as Carol White breaths into an oxygen mask while sitting on a cot in a large open dome in Safe (1995)

Image: The Criterion Collection

In Carol director Todd Haynes’ suburban horror film, Julianne Moore stars as Carol White, a stay-at-home mom whose suburban life in 1980s Los Angeles consists of jazzercise, fruit dieting with friends, and picking out the perfect couch for her remodeled home. Her world is aggressively mundane and affluent, but any sense of normalcy falls away when her health spirals out of control. Is it an allergic reaction? A deeper condition? Her doctors don’t have answers, and scoff at her insistence that something is wrong. Her husband wants to help, but also questions her condition — is it all psychosomatic? All Carol knows is that her nose is bleeding, and that she can’t take a drive on the freeway without hacking up a lung.

Carol’s world starts making a little more sense when she connects with a commune of chemical-sensitive men and women. To escape the toxins that inhabit every corner of modern existence, she retreats into a bubble — at times, literally. But the leader of the cultish group takes his own advantages of the suffering, and Haynes raises open-ended questions about self-preservation. Whether Carol’s physical ailment is real or not, it’s a mental terror, squeezing the life out of her very existence. She has no support system, even when she does. The people who should be finding every way to prop her up devote their time to interrogating her integrity. Even at the New Age desert retreat, she’s told time and time again that the only reason this is happening is because of her, in some way.

When Safe hit theaters in 1995, there were obvious parallels to draw to the judgment and cultural failure surrounding the AIDS crisis. Haynes’ allegory remains as sturdy as ever, from the imagery of all-purpose masks and oxygen tanks to the idea of seeing our everyday toxins as cosmic threats that lurk in the shadows. The filmmaker confronted this notion more directly in 2019’s little-seen Dark Waters, which chronicled the case against DuPont’s use of poisonous chemicals in Teflon in legal-thriller fashion. But the surreal, detached nature of Safe puts it firmly in the horror genre, even while tackling urgent issues that haunt us all. Moore, as always, doesn’t flinch. It’s a movie and performance that will have you questioning everything. —MP

Safe is available to stream on Criterion Channel

Streets of Fire (Netflix)

Diane Lane as Ellen Aim singing on-stage in Streets of Fire

Photo: Universal Pictures

Director Walter Hill and screenwriter Larry Gross’ 1984 feature Streets of Fire is an odd film to describe. A self-described “Rock and Roll Fable” about an ex-soldier-turned-mercenary named Tom Cody (Michael Paré) who returns home to rescue his ex-lover-slash-rock singer Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) when she’s unsuspectingly kidnapped on-stage by a nefarious biker (Willem Dafoe) and his band of ne’er-do-well bikers. Rounding out the cast is Amy Madigan (Twice in a Lifetime) as McCoy, a former soldier and mechanic who joins Tom in his mission to rescue Ellen and Rick Moranis (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) as Ellen’s manager-boyfriend Billy Fish. While the film initially bombed when it released in theaters initially in 1984, Streets of Fire has gone on to achieve status as a cult favorite among fans and critics in the decades since.

Streets of Fire is available to stream on Netflix.

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