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The Best Movies and TV Shows New to Netflix Canada in August


Welcome to Watching, The New York Times’s TV and movie recommendation site.

Every month, Netflix Canada adds a new batch of movies and TV shows to its library. Here are the titles we think are most interesting for August, broken down by release date. Netflix occasionally changes schedules without giving notice.

Movies New to Netflix

‘8 Mile’
Starts streaming: Aug. 1

The rapper Eminem was at the height of his popularity when he starred in “8 Mile,” a semi-autobiographical account of his rough-and-tumble trailer park roots in Detroit and his efforts to break through in a musical genre dominated by African-Americans. There’s more than a little calculation in Eminem’s cred-boosting attempt at self-mythology, but director Curtis Hanson evokes this poverty-ravaged stretch of the Motor City beautifully, and the rap battles are a nervy, electrifying confirmation of his protagonist’s talent.

‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’
Starts streaming: Aug. 1

On “Saturday Night Live” digital shorts like “Lazy Sunday” and in music videos like “I’m on a Boat” and “Jack Sparrow,” the brilliant comedy trio the Lonely Island found huge viral success in silly rap parodies of music and popular culture. Not many saw its debut feature in theaters, but choice clips from “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” have circulated heavily since, and the film itself holds together as a sendup of self-styled pop icons, celebrity culture and trends in the music industry. Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer’s musical numbers are the main attraction here, but other whimsical touches abound, like a record release deal with an appliance company and Seal’s getting torn apart by wolves.

‘Public Enemies’
Starts streaming: Aug. 1

This historical thriller from Michael Mann about the cat-and-mouse game between John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and law enforcement agents, led by Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), has the studio polish of “The Untouchables” but a more idiosyncratic feel, from the conspicuous digital-video look to a narrow focus on the methodology of the hunt. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the charismatic Dillinger thieves his way into popularity among Americans reeling from poverty, but his pursuit becomes an argument for J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) to expand the F.B.I.’s investigative scope. All roads lead to the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

‘Touch of Evil’
Starts streaming: Aug. 1

Orson Welles’s 1958 noir classic, “Touch of Evil,” is cited mostly for the most famous opening shot of all time, an unbroken take that follows the placing of a bomb in the trunk of a car and cranes over the top of a building as it cruises past the United States-Mexico border. Welles’s chiaroscuro style is a chief attraction throughout the rest of “Touch of Evil,” too, which miscasts Charlton Heston as a Mexican narcotics officer who investigates the bomb’s explosion while on a honeymoon with his American bride (Janet Leigh). Since the explosion happened on the American side of the border, all inquiries go through a corrupt American police captain, played to menacing perfection by Welles himself.

‘Like Father’
Starts streaming: Aug. 3

Among the more promising and higher-profile Netflix original this month, “Like Father” pairs Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer as an estranged father-daughter pair who wind up on a honeymoon cruise together after Bell’s groom abandons her at the alter. Bell’s current run on NBC’s excellent “The Good Place” is a testament to how well she can turn life-altering misfortune into laughs and Grammer is a reliable comedy professional who hasn’t had a chance to show off much lately. The writer-director Lauren Miller has also cast her husband, Seth Rogen, as a love interest who drives a wedge further between them.

‘Flavors of Youth’
Starts streaming: Aug. 4

With few exceptions, anime tends to thrive on the margins of American popular culture, but last year, it had a breakthrough moment here and abroad with “Your Name,” a lush, metaphysical teenage love story that became the highest-grossing anime of all time. Now the producers of “Your Name,” CoMix Wave Films, are returning to a similar emotional place with “Flavors of Youth,” an anthology conceit that unfolds over three chapters set in three different cities in China. Plot details are vague to the extreme, but the images look ravishingly beautiful.

‘I Kill Giants’
Starts streaming: Aug. 6

In an unfortunate accident of timing, “I Kill Giants” premiered at the same 2017 Toronto Film Festival where “A Monster Calls,” a splashier and bigger-budget children’s fantasy of a similar ilk, was destined to get most of the attention. After bombing out in theaters earlier this year, “I Kill Giants” comes to Netflix ripe for discovery, a resourceful slice of magical realism that works out adolescent strife through monster-slaying action. Madison Wolfe stars as a bespectacled 12-year-old outcast who escapes her glum life by entering an imaginary world where she protects her small town from encroaching beasts.

‘Sully’
Starts streaming: Aug. 6

The story of the pilot Chesley Sullenberger is a great one, but it would also seem too short for the movies: Hero pilot safely lands a commercial airliner in the Hudson River after a flock of geese knock out the engines. Yet Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” justifies the length, returning to the same flight multiple times to examine technical issues as well as and emotional ones, like the deep responsibility Sully (Tom Hanks) feels for the safety of the passengers on board. Eastwood relishes the opportunity to take potshots at the government bureaucrats who question Sully’s decision-making, but the film mainly exists in homage to Sully’s calm professionalism.

‘The Commuter’
Starts streaming: Aug. 10

At this point, it isn’t easy to separate one generically titled Liam Neeson thriller from another, but virtually all of them are satisfying regardless, especially in the low-stakes realm of home video. “The Commuter” reunites Neeson with the gifted director Jaume Collet-Serra (“The Shallows”), whose “Non-Stop” set Neeson loose on a plane with an active killer. Now the two take their collaboration to a moving train, where Neeson’s ex-cop turned insurance salesman faces another deadly threat on his daily commute into New York City. As with “Non-Stop,” he needs to figure out the location of a single passenger, but he has plenty to keep him occupied in the meantime.

‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’
Starts streaming: Aug. 10

Based on the epistolary novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’ epistolary novel, this prestige drama from Mike Newell, who directed of “Enchanted April” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” looks admiringly at the resilience of an island community that survived German occupation. Our guide into this world is Juliet Ashton (Lily James), an author in postwar London who picks up a correspondence with members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, who tell her stories about living under Nazis on their tiny island. She is inspired enough to travel to Guernsey to work on a book about them, but the experience changes the course of her life in ways she couldn’t have anticipated.

‘Don’t Breathe’
Starts streaming: Aug. 15

Easily one of the best-directed studio horror films in years, “Don’t Breathe” follows three young burglars who try to rob a fortune from the home of a blind veteran but discover that he’s not the easy mark they’d assumed him to be. Limiting the action primarily to the victim’s isolated home in a boarded-up Detroit neighborhood, director Fede Alvarez makes it clear early that the man has secured his home like a booby-trapped fortress and possesses a batlike sense of hearing to compensate for his lack of sight. As the title suggests, the slightest sound will set him off, and Alvarez turns every creak of the hardwood into a potentially deadly mistake. The film gets ugly in the final act — the extreme violence makes it a hard-R — but it sustains maximum tension for most of the way.

‘Downsizing’
Starts streaming: Aug. 24

With “Downsizing,” the reliably excellent comedy director Alexander Payne (“Election,” “Sideways”) had his first major slip with critics and audiences, both of whom rejected his satirical sci-fi about a future in which people have the option of shrinking by five inches in order to get more value for their home-buying dollar. But time may be kind to the film’s central insight on modern-day capitalism, which leaves working people with few options other than reducing themselves in size and living in mansions that look like dollhouses to the fully grown. Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig star as a financially struggling couple from Omaha who agree to downsize together, but one opts not to go through with it at the last minute.

TV New to Netflix

‘I am a Killer’
Starts streaming: Aug. 3

Perhaps still riding high off the success of its serial-killer series “Mindhunter,” Netflix has partnered with A&E on a 10-part true-crime series that profiles a new death row inmate each week. All of the inmates have been convicted of capital murder and all are asked to recount their actions in detail and express their feelings about the crime, then and now. “I am a Killer” promises a greater understanding of their motivations and the decisions that changed their lives and the lives of the victims and their families forever.

‘Disenchantment’
Starts streaming: Aug. 17

The last two times the cartoonist Matt Groening created a TV show, the results were “The Simpsons” and “Futurama,” two of the most beloved animated shows ever televised. So anticipation is high for Groening’s Netflix series, “Disenchantment,” which brings his sensibility to the medieval realm. Abbi Jacobson of “Broad City” voices Princess Bean, an alcoholic royal whose chief companions including a tiny elf (Nat Faxon) and her own “personal demon” (Eric Andre). Her episodic adventures will no doubt give Groening and his writers ample space to riff on medieval conventions and introduce some 21st century anachronisms.

‘Ghoul’
Starts streaming: Aug. 24

With horror series like “The Purge,” “Insidious” and “Sinister,” Blumhouse Productions has become a dominant force in the genre, and it is looking to expand its business to other territories. In collaboration with an Indian production company called Phantom Films, Blumhouse has created the three-episode series “Ghoul,” an Indian-language mini-anthology that spins stories off military interrogators who discover that the terrorist they’re interviewing has the power to turn dark secrets against them.

Also of interest: “Along Came Polly” (Aug. 1), “Dragonheart” (Aug. 1), “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” (Aug. 1), “Julie & Julia” (Aug. 1), “The Land Before Time (Aug. 1), “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” (Aug. 1), “Marching Orders” (Aug. 3), “Homeland” Season 6 (Aug. 15), “Den of Thieves” (Aug. 17), “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (Aug. 17), “Death at a Funeral” (Aug. 20), “How to Get Away with Murder” Season 4 (Aug. 22), “Follow This” (Aug. 23) and “Ozark” Season 2 (Aug. 31).

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