10 Best Movies To Watch On Netflix, HBO Max Before They Leave (August 2022)

10 Best Movies To Watch On Netflix, HBO Max Before They Leave (August 2022)

This month’s list of streaming departures includes some old classics, new favorites, and some hidden gems in between.

For starters, Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy is leaving HBO Max — it’s a good time to catch up on those movies (unless you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen them, in which case I’ve got good news — you get to watch Ocean’s movies for the first time!).

There’s also Spike Lee’s masterful Do the right thingthe classic mystery thriller kluteand a legal thriller from the showrunner of Andoroas well as an action-horror DTV masterclass and much more.

Let’s get into it.

Do the right thing

Image: Universal images

Set during a sweltering day at Bed-Stuy, Spike Lee’s Do the right thing is a masterful drama that follows the simmering racial tensions between a local Italian-American pizzeria and the African-American community that lives next door. With impressive performances from Danny Aiello, Bill Nunn, John Turturro and Lee himself, not to mention a fantastic opening scene with none other than the Rosie Perez – no less in her debut film role – dancing and shadow boxing on Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power”, Do the right thing is an essential milestone of American filmmaking that should not be missed. —Toussaint Egan

Do the right thing to leaf through Peacock August 31th.


Ethan Hawke as Vincent Freeman in Gattaca

Image: Columbia Pictures

Ethan Hawke stars in Andrew Niccol’s 1997 debut Gattaca as Vincent Freeman, a genetically “inferior” man born into a eugenic caste society who aspires to become an astronaut. Assuming the identity of Jerome (Jude Law), a physically gifted athlete paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident, Vincent’s dream is almost within his reach – that is, until the administrator of the Gattaca Aerospace program is murdered. , forcing a swarm of government agents and detectives to descend en masse in their attempt to catch the culprit. Featuring an inimitable retro-futuristic style, scenes shot in and around some of San Francisco’s most iconic minimalist architecture, a rousing score by composer Michael Nyman, and a trio of great supporting performances from Jude Law, Uma Thurman and the late, great Gore Vidal , Gattaca is an absolute sci-fi treasure. -AT

Gattaca leaves Netflix on September 1.


A group of women, including Jane Fonda, sit in a row in front of three paintings.

Image: Warner Home video

One of the best thrillers of an era that was absolutely packed with it, klute is the first of Alan J. Pakula’s thematic ‘paranoia trilogy’, followed by the equally excellent The parallax view and All the President’s Men (which resulted in one of Pakula’s three Oscar nominations).

In klute, Jane Fonda gives a stellar performance as Bree Daniels, a call girl who becomes involved in a detective’s (Donald Sutherland) investigation into a director’s disappearance. A suspenseful thriller with beautiful cinematography from Gordon Willis (the Godfather movies) and a suitably eerie score by frequent Pakula collaborator Michael Small, klute is too beautiful to miss. —Pete Volk

klute to leaf through HBO Max August 31th.

Michael Clayton

George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton.

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Fancy Andoro? Showrunner Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote Rogue One, wrote and directed one of the best legal thrillers of the 21st century in his directorial debut. George Clooney is Michael Clayton, a corporate fixer sent to set a lawyer who suffers from an episode straight. When Clayton discovers a much deeper plan, it threatens everything he knows.

One of Clooney’s best performances, the film also features great supporting twists from Tom Wilkinson (the aforementioned troubled lawyer), Tilda Swinton, and the wonderful Sydney Pollack. It’s a tight, suspenseful conspiracy thriller, reminiscent of the work of Alan J. Pakula and other titans of the genre. —PV

Michael Clayton leaves Netflix September 1.

midnight run

Robert De Niro stands next to a handcuffed Charles Grodin in Midnight Run

Image: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Ah, the simple joys of a comedy road trip movie with friends.

In midnight runRobert De Niro is an ex-cop who has turned to the life of bounty hunting after being expelled from a corrupt police department. When he is sent to fetch an accountant (Charles Grodin) who has embezzled money from the mafia, he has to deal with mobsters, police and general pranks.

A hilarious adventure with two very different people who terrify each other. The incredible chemistry of De Niro and Grodin elevates the film into a delightful, memorable romp. As always, De Niro is great as a cranky ex-cop, but Grodin steals the show as the sensitive, straightforward accountant trying to convince his new boyfriend to let him go.

midnight run also has more depth than your average buddy comedy. De Niro’s ex-cop has left the police force due to a moral conflict and the situation in the film forces him to reconsider his values. Add to that a playful, energetic score from Danny Elfman and you have a great time at the cinema. —PV

midnight run to leaf through Peacock and the Criterion Channel August 31.

The Trilogy of the Ocean

Brad Pitt and George Clooney enjoy a cold drink at Ocean's 13

Image: Warner Home video

Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean movies are everything: great hang-ups with a great cast, funny antics with daring heists, and laugh-out-loud comedies. Your mileage may vary with each episode like the successful franchise balloons, but all three are solid popcorn entertainment. —PV

The Trilogy of the Ocean to leaf through HBO Max August 31th.

Universal Soldier: Judgment Day

Jean Claude Van Damme stands between bowed-headed soldiers in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Regular Polygon readers will know that this is one of my all-time favorite movies (seriously, top 10 type stuff). If you’ve delayed checking out, now’s your chance.

As I wrote when it was added to HBO Max in July:

Universal Soldier: Judgment Day was an awakening for me. I hadn’t (and still haven’t) seen any of the other movies in the franchise, and at the time I wasn’t familiar with the young star, Scott Adkins. But something in John Hyams’ twisted sci-fi/horror/action story took hold in me and never let go.

A soldier (Scott Adkins) awakens from a coma, haunted by memories of the brutal murder of his wife and daughter. He wants nothing more than to track down the man responsible… Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), the main character from the original films of the Universal Soldier franchise. With influences from filmmakers like Gaspar Noé combined with the stark aesthetic of a direct-to-video action horror film, Judgement day is a unique combination of genres and talents and one of my favorite movies ever made. A note: This is a particularly violent film and is not for the squeamish. —PV

Universal Soldier: Judgment Day to leaf through HBO Max August 31th.


The train in Unstoppable is being chased by police cars and ambulances.

Image: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Tony Scott’s latest film is also one of his best, a down-to-earth blue-collar drama that has been plucked from headlines and dramatized. only enough to turn a hard-to-believe true story into a thrilling cinematic event.

unstoppable tells the story of the incident involving the CSX 8888, when a runaway train carrying hazardous materials was stopped by a crew on a second train. In the film version, Denzel Washington is veteran engineer Frank Barnes, while Chris Pine is rookie train conductor Will Colson. unstoppable quickly builds up tension between the two characters – Frank and his friends see Will as an example of young new hires getting higher positions so as not to pay the experienced workers higher wages.

The relationship between Frank and Will, and the depth Washington and Pine bring to these characters, is a major reason why the film works. You see these two guys sorting each other out in real time, especially when they’re in crisis mode. The train sequences are also exciting – Scott borrowed trains from three different railroads for the film, and the tension is palpably poignant. —PV

unstoppable to leaf through hulu August 31th.

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