If you’re looking for something new to watch on Netflix in August, you’ve come to the right place. From older classics to newer animation and comedy, there should be something for everyone on our curated list of the best movies newly streaming this month. Family films include “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” “Paddington” and “The Monkey King,” and Adam Sandler’s “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” marks a bona fide new release.
Those in the mood for more action can dive into Gal Gadot’s new action movie “Heart of Stone.” Adventures of all kinds await. Here are our picks for some of the best new movies on Netflix in August 2023.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Life comes at us pretty fast, so why not stop and watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?” Perfect for anyone heading back to school now that summer is ending, although it might not be best if you’re already feeling the itch to play hooky. Strangely enough, Matthew Broderick, who stars as the titular character Ferris Bueller, is helming a new Netflix series about the opioid epidemic in America called “Painkiller,” if you want to have a completely opposite double feature of a fun film and a serious show. You can also catch “Succession” star Alan Ruck as Cameron, Ferris’ best friend. Complete with some silly sightseeing in Chicago and a great dance mob parade scene set to “Twist and Shout,” this classic is a must-see for those who haven’t experienced it yet. – Dessi Gomez
Eat Pray Love
Julia Roberts stars as Liz Gilbert in “Eat Pray Love” from director Ryan Murphy, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling book. Gilbert realizes that she is very unhappy in her marriage to Stephen (Billy Crudup), so she embarks on a journey to reconnect with herself In Italy where she eats delicious food, India where she experiences the power of prayer and Bali where she finds love. The ensemble includes Viola Davis as Delia Shiraz, James Franco as David Piccolo, Mike O’Malley as Andy Shiraz and Javier Bardem as Felipe. – Dessi Gomez
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Creativity cannot be forced! “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” proves that. It also speaks to the intentions of corporate executives once they’ve lost touch with their humanity. Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) gets wooed by his scientific hero Chester V (Will Forte), a sinister Steve Jobs-esque figure, to come work for him and, maybe one day, achieve the steep climb to Thinkquanaut. Of course, the first film’s premise of the machine that converts water into food takes something of a backseat in the sequel film, but monstrous, deadly and cute, peaceful food creatures still showcase the imagination of the animators and writers, teaming up to create a wild and flavorful adventure. – Dessi Gomez
Whether he’s covered in Scotch tape or using toothbrushes to clean out his ear wax, the beloved Paddington Bear always manages to get stuck in some kind of tangle. The very polite bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) from Darkest Peru takes the big step of seeking out a new home in London, where his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) and Uncle Pastuzo (Michael Gambon) were once invited by a kindhearted explorer. Once he arrives in the rainy city, he stumbles upon a family of four and Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters), who could all use a little cheering up and marmalade magic in their lives. It takes him some time to get a handle on things, which leads to humorous situations like those previously mentioned, but these sticky situations only grow more perilous when Nicole Kidman’s vengeful taxidermist discovers where he is living and attempts to capture and then stuff him. – Dessi Gomez
Heart of Stone
Ready for a new action franchise? What if we told you that it was starring Gal Gadot and was written by Greg Rucka, who created “The Old Guard” (among other things)? Now you’re in right? That’s where we’re at too. “Heart of Stone,” directed by Tom Harper (“Wild Rose,” “The Aeronauts”), stars Gadot as Rachel Stone, who is tasked with protecting a secret object known as “The Heart.” (Now you see where that title is coming from?) The trailer that Netflix released last month is a ton of fun, featuring all sorts of insane action set pieces and out-of-this-world stunts. (Is it even an action movie if there isn’t a scene in the snow?) Plus the supporting cast is uniformly terrific (including Jamie Dornan, Sophie Okonedo, Matthias Schweighöfer and Alia Bhatt). Basically, this could be the late-summer action blockbuster you’ve been looking for. You just have to find that heart first. – Drew Taylor
The Monkey King
In the latest Netflix animated feature, Jimmy O. Yang voices the titular character, a cocky monkey warrior who takes on demons both real and internal in a vaguely feudal China. (The screenplay is based on the 16th-century novel “Journey to the West.”) The project has a fascinating history, initially being developed by DreamWorks’ Chinese satellite DreamWorks Oriental, before it moved to DreamWorks (DreamWorks Oriental, now named Pearl and no longer properly affiliated with the Western studio, did some production work on the eventual film). After Netflix took over, they assigned Tangent Animation, who was also working on their ambitious miniseries “Maya and the Three,” to provide the animation. But after Netflix became dissatisfied with the studio’s output, they pulled “The Monkey King” from them. (Tangent closed after.) Reel FX, who worked on Netflix’s “Back to the Outback” and “Super Giant Robot Brothers,” took over for Tangent. And now we’re here! The movie is actually a ton of fun, with a winning voice cast that includes Bowen Yang, Stephanie Hsu, BD Wong and Jo Koy. And it’s worth mentioning the film was directed by Anthony Stacchi, who directed “Open Season” and LAIKA’s “The Boxtrolls” and more recently contributed to Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio.” We love animation royalty don’t we folks? – Drew Taylor
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah
Adam Sandler’s latest collaboration with Netflix features not only Adam in a fatherly role but many of the Sandler brood, including Sunny, Jackie and Sadie, along with non-Sandler family members Idina Menzel (who co-starred with Sandler in “Uncut Gems”), “Saturday Night Live” breakout Sarah Sherman as Rabbi Rebecca, Jackie Hoffman (“Only Murders in the Building”) as Irene and Luis Guzmán (“Wednesday”) as Eli Katz. Based on a book of the same name by Fiona Rosenbloom, the film is directed by Sammi Cohen (“Crush”), and it sounds like a really good time. The official logline reads: “Stacy Friedman and Lydia Rodriguez Katz are best friends who have always dreamed about having epic bat mitzvahs, but things start to go comically awry when a popular boy and middle school drama threatens their friendship and their rite of passage.” – Dessi Gomez