July’s selection of new movies being added to streaming is one of the most exciting groups this year. Mad Max: Fury Road’s return to streaming is the highlight, to be sure, but there are plenty of great movies for you to watch at home that have just been added on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Prime Video, and more.
In addition to George Miller’s remarkable blockbuster achievement, there are new, underseen recent gems like Dark Waters and Leave No Trace, critical darlings like Goodfellas and Lincoln, and fun genre romps like John Wick and Jennifer’s Body.
Here are 17 of the best movies new to streaming platforms in July 2022.
The Before trilogy
I’ve already spoken several times at length about how much Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy mean to me. All three of the films have been added to Criterion Channel this weekend, so I feel compelled to again reiterate my recommendation back in February:
Had the story of Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse’s (Ethan Hawke) whirlwind Vienna romance simply concluded with Before Sunrise’s bittersweet ending, it alone would have easily endured as one of the greatest romantic dramas of its era. But when joined with 2004’s Before Sunset and 2013’s Before Midnight however, Richard Linklater’s decade-spanning romance culminates into something even more transcendent: a meditation on the peculiar tenacity and tenuousness of love under the strain of time and circumstance. To watch the Before Trilogy is to experience something life-changing; I sincerely recommend sharing it with someone you love.
I meant every single word back then, and I mean them just as much right now. —TE
The Before trilogy is available to stream on Criterion Channel.
Possibly Ridley Scott’s strangest movie, this crime thriller was written by Cormac McCarthy and follows a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who gets involved in a major drug deal. An excellent modern noir that combines the philosophical writing of McCarthy with the sharp directorial eye of Scott, The Counselor is not for everybody (Cameron Diaz has sex with a car, years before Titane). But with an excellent ensemble cast, a director working outside of his usual comfort zone, and a tangible feeling of everything being just slightly off-kilter, it is one of my favorite Ridley Scott movies. —PV
The Counselor is available to stream on HBO Max.
We wrote this up in our list of the best movies leaving streaming services in June. Dark Waters has now moved from Peacock to Prime Video, so I’ll repeat my recommendation: Watch this excellent movie about a real-life hero taking on a cartoonishly evil corporate villain.
To quote myself, from last week:
Mark Ruffalo, who also produced the movie, stars as the lawyer Robert Bilott and gives a passionate performance as a man up against the system. Haynes brings life to the story through his attention to detail, especially the tactile way in which he depicts Bilott’s work — in a storage room surrounded by boxes and papers on all sides, digging through hoping to find anything helpful among the seemingly miles of data. The cast also includes some of the real people who were impacted by the events depicted in the film.
Well said, Pete. I completely agree with you, still. —Pete Volk
Dark Waters is available to stream on Prime Video.
Martin Scorsese’s 1990 biographical crime drama Goodfellas is an quintessential entry in what I like to call the “your high school friend’s dad’s movie collection” canon. The film tells the story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), an Irish Italian American youngster who, in his own words, “always wanted to be a gangster.” It follows him from his early years as a wayward teenager, through his rise as a mobster-enforcer, and then to his subsequent fall and transition into a FBI informant.
Liotta’s performance is masterful, depicting each era of Hill’s life with an effortless sense of charisma and sensitivity, rendering his character as both an empathetic figure while being deeply reprehensible. A terrific pair of supporting performances by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, not to mention Lorraine Bracco’s emotionally charged turn as Henry’s wife, Karen, elevate Goodfellas as not only one of Scorsese’s best films, but an American crime drama whose iconic status is comparable to that of Coppola’s The Godfather. If you’ve never seen it, you absolutely must. —TE
Goodfellas is available to stream on Netflix.
I think we’ve safely reached the period in time where “Jennifer’s Body rules, actually” is no longer a contrarian opinion. Regardless, if you have yet to join the chorus of voices who have reconsidered this wrongly maligned black comedy, now’s your opportunity! —PV
Jennifer’s Body is available to stream on Prime Video.
It’s been a busy eight years since director Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad revitalized Keanu Reeves’ action movie career with 2014’s John Wick. The neo-noir action series set in a world of assassins following a once-reformed killer waging a one-man war to avenge his dog has spawned several sequels, video games, and even a TV spinoff in the works, but the original film still remains the best. With fantastic set-pieces, gorgeous lighting, pulse-pounding action, and a terrific lead performance, John Wick was both a return to form for Reeves and just the kind of jolt of vitality contemporary action cinema desperately needed. —TE
John Wick is available to stream on Peacock.
Kung Fu Hustle
Stephen Chow’s action-comedy follow-up to 2001’s Shaolin Soccer follows Sing (Chow), a hapless wannabe gangster in 1940s China who stumbles into a slum owned by an irascible landlady hoping to shake down its tenants to earn an easy reputation. Unbeknownst to him, the slum is the home to a trio of kung fu masters, and Sing’s ruse inadvertently sparks a feud between the humble slum and a local crew of murderous gangsters known as the Axe Gang. All of the comedic sensibilities Chow displayed in Shaolin Soccer are honed to a fine edge in Kung Fu Hustle, buoyed by sharp writing, colorful characters, and an impressive, over-the-top finale. —TE
Kung Fu Hustle is available to stream Hulu.
Leave No Trace
An Iraq War veteran (Ben Foster) lives with PTSD and his 13-year-old daughter (Thomasin McKenzie) in the lush green woods outside of Portland, Oregon. Isolated from the rest of society, they work together to live a life with nature. But when the young girl is seen by a jogger in the woods, she is detained by social services and her father is arrested. A touching story about finding your own place in the world and the comforts and limitations of family, Debra Granik’s 2018 drama is a modern masterpiece. —PV
Leave No Trace is available to stream Netflix starting July 4.
Lincoln is one of the great modern biopics (a low bar) and stands as one of Steven Spielberg’s best works (a high bar!). A master filmmaker tackles one of America’s most famous figures at one of his most challenging moments, with a cast full of established luminaries and up-and-coming stars (Adam Driver and Jeremy Strong are both in this!). What’s not to like? —PV
Lincoln is available to stream on Prime Video.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the greatest action films of the 2010s, if not the greatest. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Tom Hardy stars as Max Rockatansky, an itinerant survivor roaming the plains of a desolate wasteland, whose path fatefully crosses with Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a road warrior who rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search of her lost homeland along with a group of female prisoners. With spectacular car chase sequences, breathtaking pyrokinetic effects, powerful performances, and a pounding operatic score by Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road is a monumental feat of blockbuster cinema that demands to be witnessed. —TE
Mad Max: Fury Road will be available to stream on HBO Max on July 9.
Mira Nair’s 1991 romantic drama Mississippi Masala follows the story of a young woman, Mina (Sarita Choudhury), who falls in love with Demetrius (Denzel Washington), a Black man in Greenwood, Mississippi. Focused on the intercultural complexities and politics of interracial romance between African Americans and Indian Americans, the story is set several years after Mina’s ethnic Indian family is expelled from Uganda. Mississippi Masala is a resonant cinematic portrait of love in defiance of generational prejudice and a candid story of letting go of the past in order to fully embrace and appreciate the present. —TE
Mississippi Masala will available to stream on Criterion Channel on July 20.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
One of our favorite thrillers you can watch at home, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning was an awakening for me. I had not (and still haven’t) seen any of the other movies in the franchise, and at the time I was unfamiliar with its young star, Scott Adkins. But something about John Hyams’ twisted sci-fi/horror/action story got its hooks into me and never let go.
A soldier (Scott Adkins) wakes up from a coma, haunted by memories of the brutal murder of his wife and daughter. He wants nothing more than to hunt down the man responsible... Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), the protagonist from the original films of the Universal Soldier franchise. With influences from filmmakers like Gaspar Noé combined with the grimy aesthetic of a direct-to-video action-horror flick, Day of Reckoning is a unique combination of genres and talents and one of my favorite movies ever made. A note: This is a particularly violent movie, and is not for the squeamish. —PV
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is available to stream on HBO Max.
Mike Nichols’ (The Graduate) 1988 rom-com classic was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and acting nominations for Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, and Joan Cusack. A class comedy about a secretary who fills in for her injured boss only to have said boss try to take credit for her hard work, this is a breezy comedy with an outstanding cast that also serves as a bit of a time capsule for late 1980s New York City, and makes an excellent companion piece to 9 to 5.
Working Girl also inspired a particularly funny episode of Bob’s Burgers: the season 5 premiere “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl,” a mashup of Working Girl and Die Hard. —PV
Working Girl is available to stream on Hulu.