It’s officially July, which means hot dogs, trips to the beach/pool, and watching great movies in the cool air conditioning. To that last point, July also brings us a bevy of new movies to watch on the various streaming services, including Hulu. Indeed, Hulu has announced a robust lineup of new movies hitting the streaming service this month, and we’ve singled out the best of the best. It’s the perfect time to catch up on a comedy gem that got lost in the shuffle last year, a long-awaited sequel that’s actually genuinely great, or the first documentary from musician Questlove.
Below, we’ve assembled a list of the best new movies to watch on Hulu in July 2021, along with justifications for why each one is well worth checking out. Take a look, and happy viewing!
William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet
Available on: July 1st
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writers: Craig Pearce and Baz Luhrmann
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Brian Dennehy, Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Sorvino, and Diane Venora
Before Baz Luhrmann revolutionized the movie musical with Moulin Rouge!, the bold filmmaker offered a visionary twist on an iconic piece of fiction with 1996’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. The film brings the legendary story to present day (or present day for the 90s) but maintains Shakespeare’s dialogue and speech patterns, resulting in a beautifully idiosyncratic viewing experience. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes are perfectly cast as the doomed couple, giving wildly emotional performances that just may drive you to tears. Luhrmann’s fast-paced style may be a little off-putting at first, but sit with it and you’ll quickly get into the groove. And to top it all off, the film has an incredible soundtrack.
28 Days Later
Available on: July 1st
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, and Christopher Eccleston
If you’re in the mood for a zombie movie, 28 Days Later is one of the best. This groundbreaking 2003 film hails from Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle and Ex Machina writer Alex Garland, and was one of the first movies ever shot on video instead of film. The story follows a man (Cillian Murphy) who’s been in a coma and wakes up in a deserted hospital, only to find a zombie apocalypse has occurred in London and has left him alone. He struggles to find others, all while trying to outrun incredibly fast zombies. This one’s terrifically moody and scary, but has a bit of social commentary as well.
Available on: July 1st
Director: Tim Burton
Writers: Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren
Cast: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, and Catherine O’Hara
If you want to have a good time, Beetlejuice is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Tim Burton’s second movie as a director still holds up as a hilarious and rollicking ghost story, as it follows a nice couple living in the country who die, only to become ghosts haunting their own home as they watch a gaudy family move in and completely renovate it. Looking to spook them, they turn to a controversial figure named Beetlejuice who’s much more trouble than he’s worth.
Summer of Soul
Available on: July 2nd
This one is a genuine new movie, as Summer of Soul is making its streaming debut on Hulu this month in addition to a limited theatrical release. The documentary was directed by Questlove and made its debut at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it received wildly positive reviews. It chronicles the Harlem Cultural Festival, which took place in the summer of 1969 just 100 miles south of Woodstock, but was largely forgotten. The festival celebrated Black history, culture, and fashion and Questlove uses archival footage to show this tremendously joyous event frozen in time.
Bill and Ted Face the Music
Available on: July 2nd
Director: Dean Parisot
Writers: Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Anthony Carrigan, Erinn Hayes, Jayma Mays, Kid Cudi, William Sadler, and Kristen Schaal
Bill and Ted Face the Music has no reason being as good as it is, and yet this long-awaited sequel is incredible. The third film in the Bill and Ted franchise finds the titular characters called to action once again – a visitor from the future tells them if they don’t write the song that saves the world ASAP, the universe as we know it will come to an end. The film is an incredibly fun (and funny) sci-fi romp but also, as the title suggests, embraces the notion that the characters are now middle-aged and looking back on what they’ve done with their lives. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are excellent, but Anthony Carrigan nearly steals the show as a killer robot sent to destroy them.
Leave No Trace
Available on: July 4th
Director: Debra Granik
Writers: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini
Cast: Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster, Jeff Kober, and Dale Dickey
If you’re in the mood for a critically acclaimed drama, head on over to Leave No Trace. This 2018 film is one of the highest-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes for a reason. Directed by Winter’s Bone helmer Debra Granik, it tells the story of a war veteran (Ben Foster) and his daughter (Thomasin McKenzie) who live in a park near Portland, Oregon – not out of poverty, but out of desire. When they’re spotted, however, they’re forced to move into a home, and Foster’s character struggles to re-enter society while his daughter discovers there are things she never knew she was missing. It’s an emotional, stripped down drama about PTSD and the relationship between fathers and daughters.
Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
Available on: July 7th
Director: Josh Greenbaum
Writers: Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumalo
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumalo, Jamie Dornan, and Damon Wayans Jr.
You simply have to see Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. This comedy was released during the pandemic and failed to make a splash at the box office, but it’s an absolutely joyous gem that’s well worth your time. It’s the second script from Bridesmaids writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumalo, who also star this time as the titular Barb and Star – a pair of single women from Nebraska who go on their first vacation ever to Florida, only to get wrapped up in a deadly plot hatched by a supervillainess. This is an incredibly goofy movie that veers on the silly side – it’s more Austin Powers than Bridesmaids, and all the better for it. Come for the delightful banter between Wiig and Mumalo, and stay for Jamie Dornan performing an full-on musical number about how he wants to be an “official couple” with the woman he loves. You are not prepared.
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