Every month, Netflix Canada adds a new batch of TV shows and movies to its library. Here are the titles we think are most interesting for July, broken down by release date. Netflix occasionally changes schedules without giving notice.
Starts streaming: July 1
The writer-director Karyn Kusama and her lead actress, Michelle Rodriguez, broke through nearly 20 years ago with this Sundance competition favorite, which won Best Director and tied “You Can Count on Me” for the Grand Jury Prize. Kusama has had her ups and downs since, most recently with the pungent chamber piece “The Invitation” and last year’s disappointing Nicole Kidman crime movie, “Destroyer,” but her genre instincts were well honed from the beginning. With the penetrating glare that would become her signature, Rodriguez stars as a rage-filled teenager whose frustrations at home and school are worked out in the gym. “Girlfight” keeps the scale properly downsized, tying her ambitions as a boxer to the intimate dramas of her everyday life.
Starts streaming: July 1
The deeper Quentin Tarantino gets into his career, the more “Jackie Brown” stands out as his most mature and emotionally grounded work, with a Pam Grier performance that honors her legacy as a screen icon while giving her a more fully realized character than she’d ever played before. Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel, the film stars Grier as a flight attendant for a sub-sub-major airline who makes extra money by smuggling cash across the Mexican border for an arms dealer (Samuel L. Jackson). Caught between her dangerous boss and the F.B.I., she hatches a plan with a sympathetic bondsman (a wonderful Robert Forster) to avoid prison and escape with her life.
Starts streaming: July 3
At last year’s fall festivals in Venice and Toronto, “Vox Lux” and “A Star Is Born” were a fascinating study in contrasts: Both are about singers who undergo a dramatic metamorphosis, both feature original contributions from major pop stars and both deal with the price of mega-stardom. But “Vox Lux” is the far less commercial of the two, framed by two shocking acts of violence: The first a 1999 school shooting that leaves a teenage girl seriously injured, the second a 2017 terrorist attack set to music by the same girl, played by Natalie Portman, whose character has since grown into an arena-filling sensation. Portman’s performance is a compelling high-wire act, at once combative and vulnerable, as her character tries to transcend a life defined by death.
‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’
Starts streaming: July 10
An animated comedy about a rotund, flatulent superhero in a red cape and tighty-whities sounds extremely unpromising, at least for grown-ups, but “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” turns out to be a clever, fast-paced and genuinely funny surprise. With a screenplay by Nicholas Stoller, who directed “Neighbors” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and voice cast loaded with talent like Kevin Hart, Jordan Peele, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch and Kristen Schaal, the film gets plenty of lowbrow laughs from the premise of two wiseacres who hypnotize their principal into believing he’s a superhero. Nick Kroll is particularly inspired as Professor Poopypants, a German scientist and master criminal cursed with a name that doesn’t earn him much respect.
‘Cities of Last Things’
Starts streaming: July 11
Winner of last year’s Platform competition section at the Toronto Film Festival, this Malaysian curio from the director Ho Wi Ding unfolds in reverse chronological order through three segments, each drawn from a different genre. “Cities of Last Things” works backward from the suicide of Zhang Dong Ling. A different actor plays Zhang in three individual segments: The first a dystopian science fiction set in 2035, the second a noir that flashes back to his days as a police officer and the third a drama that goes all the way back to his childhood, when he got involved in organized crime. Taken together, the trio accounts for what led this character to such a terrible end and how much of his destiny is owed to the hands of fate.
Starts streaming: July 12
Not to be confused with the superb Lee Marvin thriller from the late 1960s, “Point Blank” operates in the same genre, but Americanizes a 2010 French hit about a man who pairs up with a lowlife criminal to rescue his wife. Anthony Mackie stars as an E.R. nurse who frees an injured murder suspect (Frank Grillo) from police custody and enlists his help in bringing down the dirty cops who have kidnapped his pregnant wife. The French film emphasized the sheer ordinariness of its hero, but Mackie is a more conventionally ripped action star, and most of the tension comes from his mismatched-buddy dynamic with Grillo.
‘American History X’
Starts streaming: July 15
The cultural life of “American History X” has been appropriately fraught, starting with a battle over the final cut between the director Tony Kaye; his star, Edward Norton; and its distributor, New Line Cinema. When it found an audience later on home video, it was hard to know whether to celebrate its hard-hitting treatment of white supremacy in America or fret about how its message may or may not be received by the movement it is ostensibly decrying. Either way, “American History X” is a combustible and ever-relevant drama, starring Norton as a neo-Nazi leader who serves three years for manslaughter and comes out of prison a changed man, eager to steer his younger brother (Edward Furlong) down a more tolerant path.
‘The Great Hack’
Starts streaming: July 24
Over a sprawling 139 minutes, Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim’s documentary explores the terrifying implications of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, which raised issues of privacy at Facebook. In early 2018, it was reported that the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was harvesting personal data from millions of Facebook users as a service to politicians like Ted Cruz and Donald J. Trump. “The Great Hack” digs into individual stories from figures on different sides of the data breach, arriving at unsettling conclusions about how social media sites like Facebook are weaponized to spread disinformation and spark discord in politics. Noujaim’s involvement is particularly enticing: Her credits include “Startup.com” and “The Square,” two insightful docs about transformative moments in internet culture.
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‘Anna and the Apocalypse’
Starts streaming: July 26
The world doesn’t need another zombie comedy — or a zombie anything, for that matter — and “Anna and the Apocalypse” owes more than it should to the slacker vibe and visual panache of Edgar Wright’s “Shaun of the Dead.” But the Scottish director John McPhail’s Yuletide gorefest has one novel thing going for it: Choreographed song-and-dance numbers. In the tiny town of Little Haven, a jaded teenager (Ella Hunt) and her high school friends have to fight their way to safety as the zombie hordes rapidly infect the community. The songs in “Anna and the Apocalypse” have a combination of mopeyness and whimsy that recall the musical episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but the best numbers are front-loaded at the beginning, before the mayhem takes over completely.
‘The Red Sea Diving Resort’
Starts streaming: July 31
In the early 1980s, Mossad agents pulled off an audacious rescue mission by setting up a fake diving retreat in Sudan as a front for smuggling thousands of Jewish refugees to Israel. “The Red Sea Diving Resort” stars Chris Evans as the leader of a small group of Mossad undercover operatives who set up shop at an abandoned tourist resort and target a tribe of Ethiopian Jews for extraction. The writer-director Gideon Raff was responsible for “Prisoners of War,” the Israeli TV show on which “Homeland” was based, and he fills out this political thriller with another great cast, including Michael K. Williams, Haley Bennett, Michiel Huisman and Ben Kingsley.
‘The Last Czars’
Starts streaming: July 3
The production company Nutopia was founded for the purpose of selling large-scale documentary projects to cable networks like the History Channel, which aired its 12-hour mini-series “America: The Story of Us” in 2010. More recently, Nutopia has experimented in documentary/fiction hybrids like the recent “Jesus: His Life,” which blended commentary from religious scholars with dramatic re-enactments. That’s the approach the company is taking in “The Last Czars,” a six-episode series about the Romanovs, the family that ruled Russia for over 300 years before the Bolsheviks removed them from power in the early 20th century. By mixing and matching forms, docudramas like “The Last Czars” risk a certain awkwardness, but if it works, having real-life experts on hand will bring legitimacy to the action.
‘Stranger Things 3’
Starts streaming: July 4
The first season of “Stranger Things” told such a complete story that a second seemed unnecessary, driven more by viewership numbers than the need to extend its ’80s sci-fi pastiche any further. But the show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, brought a surprising amount of emotion to Season Two, which registered the exhaustion and grief of characters who are thrown back into danger while still reeling from the traumas of the recent past. The third season adds Maya Hawke (Ethan Hawke’s daughter), Cary Elwes and Jake Busey to the cast, and shifts the action to the summer of 1985, when “The Goonies” and “Back to the Future” were in theaters. It seems unlikely the Duffers will let those cultural events pass without a hat tip.
‘Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein’
Starts streaming: July 16
“Stranger Things” has made a star out of David Harbour, the show’s grizzled sheriff, and now Harbour is taking advantage with this quirky 28-minute “mockumentary” special. Using his real name, Harbour investigates lost footage from his father’s stage play, “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein,” to gain fresh insight into his legacy as an actor and uncover a host of family secrets. Alfred Molina and Kate Berlant are among the guest performers, and the show is directed by Daniel Gray Longino, whose work includes the sketch comedy “Kroll Show” and the acclaimed Hulu series “PEN15.” Inspired side project or indulgent misfire? It won’t take much of a time investment to find out.
‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: New 2019: Freshly Brewed’
Starts streaming: July 19
Since moving from Crackle to Netflix for its 10th and 11th seasons, Jerry Seinfeld’s talk show has joined “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman” as low-stakes victory laps for TV legends who are feeling a little restless in retirement. Seinfeld isn’t the most probing conversationalist, but he continues to attract some of the biggest names in the business to sip coffee, drive around in vintage cars and engage in lighthearted banter. Brevity is key, too: No episode is much longer than 20 minutes, so viewers are invited to engage as casually as he does. The big get in the 11th season is Eddie Murphy, but familiar faces like Seth Rogen, Ricky Gervais, Jamie Foxx and Martin Short also take the passenger seat.
Starts streaming: July 25
Fans of the brilliant Sci-Fi Channel revival of “Battlestar Galactica” have a special affinity for Katee Sackhoff, whose performance as the brash lieutenant Starbuck always gave the brainy show a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Now Sackhoff has returned to outer space in “Another Life,” another sci-fi series about mankind facing a mysterious threat from the heavens. She plays an astronaut who leads a mission to find an alien artifact that has appeared on Earth and has dire implications for the future of mankind. As she and the crew aboard The Salvare search for intelligent life in space, a media influencer (Selma Blair) snuffs out an important story.
Also of interest: “Ghostbusters” (July 1), “Jumanji” (July 1), “Midnight Express” (July 1), “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (July 1), “War for the Planet of the Apes” (July 1), “Dazed and Confused” (July 3), “The Mummy” (July 3), “Sea of Love” (July 3), “Mary Poppins Returns” (July 9), “Extreme Engagement” (July 12), “Taco Chronicles” (July 12), “Last Chance U: INDY: Part 2” (July 19), “Queer Eye: Season 4” (July 19), “Orange Is the New Black: Season 7” (July 26).
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