Netflix has added a ton of new movies to its library for the month of July, but the streaming service has also announced quite a few films that will be leaving sometime this month. In the interest of prioritizing good movies before they’re gone, we’ve put together a list of the films set to expire within the next 30 days that are most worth checking out. They range from horror-thrillers to animated films to even action blockbusters, but they’re all worth watching for one reason or another.
So below, check out our rundown of the best movies to watch before they leave Netflix in July 2021, along with a justification for what makes each of these films worth watching.
Leaving on: July 7th
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writers: Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, and John Carroll Lynch
If you’re into psychological thrillers but haven’t seen The Invitation, make sure you watch this before it leaves on July 7th. Jennifer’s Body filmmaker Karyn Kusama takes a stripped down horror approach to this story of a man named Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and his new girlfriend who go to his ex-wife’s house for a dinner party with her new husband and all of their mutual friends. The tension is thick as a past trauma unites Will and his ex forever, but things begin to take a dark turn when his wife starts discussing her new spiritual philosophy. This is a slow burn thriller that builds to a jaw-dropping ending that will leave you shook.
The Princess and the Frog
Leaving on: July 15th
Directors: Ron Clements and John Musker
Writers: Ron Clements, John Musker, and Rob Edwards
Cast: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, and John Goodman
For some reason, the Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog still feels like a bit of a hidden gem. Despite that fact, the 2009 feature is well worth checking out before it leaves Netflix this month. Hailing from the same directors as Disney classics like Hercules, Aladdin, and Moana, this fairy tale story takes place in 1920s New Orleans and follows a hardworking waitress named Tiana who gets turned into a frog when she kisses a frog prince who’s been cursed by a witch doctor. The misadventures that follow find Tiana trying to become human again, and the film boasts some terrific original songs by Randy Newman.
Leaving on: July 30th
Director: Tom McCarthy
Writers: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
Cast: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian D’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, and John Slattery
Spotlight feels like a unique Best Picture winner in that it’s relatively small scale, unfussy, and straightforward. And yet it’s a great film all the same. Released in 2015, this procedural drama chronicles the Boston Globe’s investigation into systemic cover-ups of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, and the difficulty they had in getting the story. It’s incredibly tense but methodical, and evokes All the President’s Men as a “journalism movie” that’s engrossing but not self-congratulatory. If you haven’t seen this one yet, check it out.
A Clockwork Orange
Leaving on: July 31st
Director/Writer: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri, and Miriam Karlin
Anyone who calls themselves a cinephile should probably see A Clockwork Orange at least once, but fair warning it’s a bit of a tough sit. Legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s 1972 film is a dystopian sci-fi story that uses violence to fuel its socio-political themes. Set in a near-future Britain, the story follows an antisocial young man named Alex (Malcolm McDowell) who leads a small gang of thugs on a horrific crime spree. When he’s captured, he’s subjected to experimental psychological conditioning to “cure” him. As told through Kubrick’s unflinching eye, this story is unforgettably disturbing.
Friends with Benefits
Leaving on: July 31st
Director: Will Gluck
Writers: Will Gluck, Keith Merryman, and David A. Newman
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins, Jenna Elfman, and Woody Harrelson
If it’s a romantic comedy you’re in the mood for, fire up Friends with Benefits. You may have scrolled past this title many times before thinking it’s a silly basic romcom, but in reality it’s a surprisingly funny, sweet, and endearing story that has a lot to offer. As the title suggests, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis play friends who decide to strike up a strictly physical relationship, and as you can probably guess it doesn’t exactly go smoothly. But the film dimensionalizes the characters with a subplot revolving around the father of Timberlake’s character, which elevates the material above your standard “will they or won’t they get together” fare.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Leaving on: July 31st
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writers: Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, and Paul Lovett
Cast: Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dennis Quaid, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Sienna Miller, Byung-hun Lee, Christopher Eccleston, and Jonathan Pryce
If it’s an action blockbuster you’re in the mood for, look no further than G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra. The 2009 film was Paramount’s attempt to create an interconnected universe of G.I. Joe movies, and while it didn’t all go according to plan, there’s value in director Stephen Sommers’ colorful adventure. The director who brought us The Mummy introduces us to the G.I. Joe world via two American soldiers who join the Joe team after being attacked by M.A.R.S. troops.
Leaving on: July 31st
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Jim V. Hart and Malia Scotch Marmo
Cast: Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, and Charlie Korsmo
Hook is a bit of an odd duck in that when it was released, the film got pretty universally terrible reviews. And yet an entire generation of kids hold it dear as one of their favorite movies. Inarguably Steven Spielberg tapped into something special about the Peter Pan story here that connected with kids more than adults, and that makes it a worthwhile effort in my book. The film reimagines the Peter Pan story as it picks up with Peter as an adult (Robin Williams) who’s forgotten all about Neverland, only to return when his children are kidnapped by Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). The film toes a line between fantasy and reality as Peter maintains, even in Neverland, that he’s not Peter Pan and doesn’t have powers, and it’s up to the Lost Boys and Tinkerbell to make him believe so he can fight Captain Hook and save his children. The film also features one of John Williams’ best scores.
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