It’s getting to the point in the year where it’s difficult to keep up with all the new shows, miniseries and movies being released. We understand if you’re still trying to catch up with some of the titles we recommended last month or even in June.
But if you’ve already devoured all of Part 2 of Lupin, the entire first season of Loki and are impatiently waiting for new episodes of Ted Lasso and The White Lotus, here’s what August has to offer in terms of new releases.
And like in previous months, we’ve included not only TV shows, but also documentaries and movies released on streaming or only in theaters.
August’s Must-Watch Shows
Reservation Dogs (August 9), FX on Hulu: This half-hour comedy series from co-producers Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) and Sterlin Harjo tells the story of a group of Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma who dream of getting to California. And yes, their method of saving to make their plan a reality may involve stealing. Excitingly, every writer, director and series regular on this show is an Indigenous person.
Nine Perfect Strangers (August 18), Hulu: From Australian author Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) arrives this new miniseries adaptation. Nicole Kidman plays Masha, the woman in charge of the boutique health resort Tranquilum House where nine perfect strangers gather in search of relaxation and healing. Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall, Samara Weaving and Tiffany Boone round out the cast. Big Little Lies’ creator David E. Kelley serves as co-writer and co-showrunner of the eight-episode series.
The Chair (August 20), Netflix: With a cast led by Sandra Oh, Holland Taylor and Bob Balaban, it’s difficult to not be intrigued by this six-episode half-hour show, in which Oh plays the new Chair of the English Department at Pembroke University. She’s the first woman to become chair of the department and one of the few people of color at the university. Actress-turned-writer Amanda Peet (The Good Wife) writes and serves as showrunner here. Peet’s husband, David Benioff, and his frequent collaborator D.B. Weiss — they made Game of Thrones together — are executive producers.
Only Murders in the Building (August 31), Hulu: This 10-episode murder mystery comedy stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez. They play the neighbors at an exclusive Upper West Side apartment building where someone turns up dead. The trio suspects murder and they even end up producing their own true-crime podcast while investigating the death. Martin is also one of the co-creators of the show, which features a stellar cast that includes Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan, Jane Lynch, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and a cameo from Sting.
Other Must-See TV on Streaming
Mr. Corman (August 6), Apple TV+: This 10-episode dramedy is written, directed, produced by and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon), who plays Josh Corman. He’s an artist at heart who wanted to make a career in music but ends up having to settle for teaching fifth grade. His fiancé has left him and his best friend from high school has moved in. The show explores what it is to feel anxiety and loneliness as well as how difficult adulting can be when you’re a 30-something whose life doesn’t necessarily look like you thought it would.
What If…? (August 11), Disney+: Marvel Studios’ first animated series reimagines famous events from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s films, focusing on different heroes. Actors Michael B. Jordan, Mark Ruffalo, Hayley Atwell and Natalie Portman, among many others, are reprising their Marvel roles and voicing these alternate timeline stories. Jeffrey Wright voices The Watcher, a non-earthly being who observes the multiverse, occasionally intervenes, and guides the viewer through these new realities.
Modern Love, Season 2 (August 13), Prime Video: This anthology series inspired by The New York Times column of the same name gets a new batch of episodes and love stories for its second season. Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody), Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting), Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Garrett Hedlund (Mudbound), Tobias Menzies (The Crown), Anna Paquin (True Blood) and Miranda Richardson (Good Omens) are a few of the names joining the star-studded cast this season.
American Horror Story: Double Feature (August 25), FX and FX on Hulu: Season 10 of the Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk-created anthology series tries to redefine horror once again in a new installment — which we still don’t know much about other than it’ll probably be best watched with the lights on.
Movies and Documentaries on Streaming
The Suicide Squad (August 6), HBO Max and theaters: James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) writes and directs this much-anticipated sequel to David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (2016). The team is assembled once again for a super-secret mission in which the super-villains get dropped on a remote island. Margot Robbie reprises her role as Harley Quinn and Viola Davis is once again mastermind Amanda Waller in a movie that also features Idris Elba as the grumpy Bloodsport.
Val (August 6), Prime Video: This documentary about actor Val Kilmer (The Doors) first received a limited-release in theaters on July 23 before coming to streaming on Amazon. The movie follows Kilmer throughout his life and career thanks to the fact that the actor documented his life for decades through home movies made with his brothers.
Vivo (August 6), Netflix: We’ve already established this is the year of peak Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Hamilton and In the Heights creator has written all the songs for this animated movie, which was penned by his frequent collaborator Quiara Alegría Hudes. The musical follows Vivo, a kinkajou who tries to deliver a very special song to his owner’s long-lost love.
Homeroom (August 12), Hulu: Executive produced by Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), this documentary feature follows Oakland High School’s class of 2020 as they confront college applications amid the anxiety of the developing pandemic. “Efforts to eliminate the school district’s police force unfold against the backdrop of growing nationwide demands for systemic change,” adds Hulu’s official synopsis.
CODA (August 13), Apple TV+: CODA, which stands for Child of Deaf Adults, won four awards at the Sundance Film Festival — including the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize. It stars Emilia Jones as Ruby, a 17-year-old who is the sole hearing member of a deaf family. Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God) and Troy Kotsur play Ruby’s parents. Encouraged by the choirmaster at her high school, played by Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included), Ruby decides to apply to a prestigious music school.
Beckett (August 13), Netflix: Directed by Italian filmmaker Ferdinando Cito Filomarino and produced by Cito Filomarino’s former romantic partner, Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name), Beckett stars John David Washington (Tenet). An American tourist vacationing in Greece, he soon becomes the target of a manhunt after a tragic car accident, which means he’ll desperately try to get to the American embassy and clear his name.
Annette (August 20), Prime Video: One of the revelations at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, this musical movie stars Adam Driver (Marriage Story) and Marion Cotillard (La vie en rose) and is directed by Leos Carax (Holy Motors) in his English-language debut. Driver plays a stand-up comedian and Cotillard an opera singer. Their life together as a married couple changes with the arrival of their first child.
Reminiscence (August 20), HBO Max and theaters: Lisa Joy (Westworld) writes and makes her feature directorial debut with this action thriller starring Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson and Thandiwe Newton. Jackman plays Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind who helps clients access lost memories. Ferguson plays Mae, one of Bannister’s new clients. He becomes obsessed with the idea of finding out the truth about her disappearance.
And a Few Movies You’ll Only Be Able to Watch in Theaters
Free Guy (August 13): Ryan Reynolds stars in this action-comedy where he plays a bank teller who realizes he is actually a background character in an open-world video game. He decides to become the hero of his own story and rewrites himself.
Respect (August 13): Academy Award-winner and singer Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) plays the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, in this biopic directed by the Tony-nominated Liesl Tommy. Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige round out the stellar cast of the second story centering on Franklin that we’ve seen this year. The limited series Genius: Aretha starring Cynthia Erivo in the titular role debuted on National Geographic in March.
Candyman (August 27): Jordan Peele (Get Out) produces this contemporary take on the urban legend of Candyman. Filmmaker Nia DaCosta (upcoming Captain Marvel 2) directs this story starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen). He plays a visual artist dealing with a career on the brink of stalling. He’ll start exploring the story of Candyman, a killer with a hook for a hand and someone who legend says can be summoned by repeating his name five times while looking into a mirror.