Happy July, readers of Polygon.
Summer is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to have an outdoor BBQ, hit the beach or stay home and watch the Tour de France. But in between all those fun activities, there are plenty of fun opportunities to watch fun summer movies at home.
Each month, we pick five thrillers from the Netflix catalog to highlight that month as particularly good viewing picks. Maybe they’re new releases, maybe they fit the season, maybe they’re in conversation with what’s going on in the world right now, or maybe they’re just good.
Here are our five picks for this month. To enjoy!
Duration: 2 hours 2 minutes
Director: Sam Hargrave
Form: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Bessa
Chris Hemsworth’s partnership with stuntman-turned-director Sam Hargrave has been fruitful for both the staff and Netflix. extraction was one of the biggest successes in the history of the streaming platform’s original productions, and Extraction 2 followed by being a much better movie.
Gone is the piss-yellow filter that was meant to indicate that the first movie took place in South Asia. Instead of, Extraction 2 is an action-packed stunt show featuring Chris Hemsworth punching guys on fire, blasting a helicopter with a minigun while standing on top of a moving train, and much more. It’s about 122 minutes of non-stop action, including a breathtaking 21-minute action sequence that was incredibly difficult to film.
Extraction 2 also gives a bigger role to breakout star Golshifteh Farahani, who plays one half of a dynamic brother duo (alongside Adam Bessa) that brings an extra dimension to this new group of action stars. It’s one of the standout action movies of the year, and the ending makes for a pretty intriguing premise for a potential Extraction 3. —Piet Volk
Run Rabbit run
Duration: 1h 40m
Director: Diana Reid
Form: Sarah Snook, Lily LaTorre, Neil Melville
If you’re looking for a psychological horror that deals with maternal anguish and barely repressed family trauma à la The Babadookthis new film from director Daina Reid (The Handmaid’s Tale) is definitely for you.
Run Rabbit run stars Sarah Snook (Succession) as Sarah, a fertility doctor and single mother grieving the recent loss of her father. When Sarah’s daughter Mia (Lily LaTorre) begins displaying strange behavior identical to her late sister Alice, who disappeared years earlier, Sarah’s mental and emotional state quickly begins to unravel as she tries to understand her daughter and reconcile her own conflicted past . While it’s rather standard in its adherence to the time-tested tropes of trauma-focused horror, Run Rabbit run certainly stands out as one of the better recent entries in the subgenre, wholly on some of the power of Snook’s performance, with anguished expressions and piercing dialogue delivered with quivering affection that draws audiences in and holds them to the heartbreaking conclusion of the movie . —Toussaint Egan
Duration: 1h 55m
Director: Alex Garland
Form: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez
Alex Garland’s adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s critically acclaimed Southern Reach trilogy is a compelling work of psychological horror that forces the viewer to consider not only the boundaries of love (and human biology), but also the future of a species that may is threatened with extinction. Natalie Portman stars as Lena, a biologist whose soldier husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) has been missing for over a year on a classified mission. Upon his miraculous return, Lena discovers that Kane’s mission involved exploring the Shimmer, an anomalous zone in Florida filled with hostile entities mutated by the radiation of a nearby meteor. Fearing for her husband’s life, Lena volunteers to explore the Shimmer with a new expedition team in search of answers, but comes face to face with a world beyond her wildest fears.
Like the meteor hitting the lighthouse in the opening moments of the film, Garland’s Destruction transforms the source text into a cinematic experience full of phantasmagorical wonder and existential dread. It’s a horror film that exists entirely within the territory of thrillers, one that keeps you on your toes and drawn to the screen every minute. -AT
Duration: 1h 46m
Director: Christopher Nolan
Form: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden
Is Christopher Nolan’s 2017 war drama the best film of his career? Maybe. Is it one of the best thrillers on Netflix? No doubt. With Nolan’s historical drama Oppenheimer will debut later this month, what better time than now to watch Dunkirk?
The film depicts the true story of the evacuations of thousands of British soldiers trying to escape the French beaches of Dunkirk during the start of World War II. As resources dwindle and Nazi forces close in, Dunkirk follows the point of view of several soldiers as they try to survive one of the most devastating battles of the 20th century.
Even if you don’t count yourself a history buff, Nolan’s film is an exciting watch. Featuring brilliant set-pieces conveyed through deft cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema, a thrilling and compelling score by Hans Zimmer that brilliantly repeats on the leitmotif of a ticking clock to convey the desperation of the film’s characters as they race against the clock, and outstanding performance by an ensemble of actors including Fionn Whitehead, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy, Dunkirk is an exquisite war drama that finds hope in the midst of despair and triumph simply by surviving. -AT
Duration: 1h 56m
Director: Clint Eastwood
Form: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, and Laurence Fishburne
Clint Eastwood’s recent films are among his most empathetic and thoughtful, often unfairly dismissed based on perceptions of Eastwood or his age. Loosely based on a true story, The mule is a deft and nuanced portrayal of humanity, aware of our prejudices but refusing to give in to them.
In The muleEastwood is a famous horticulturist who is forced to retire when his company goes bankrupt. With his home foreclosed on and his family no longer speaking to him after years of putting his work ahead of them, he is recruited as a drug runner by a cartel – they reason that a white man in his 80s with no criminal record is one of the least. likely candidates are apprehended by the police.
The mule is a striking example in a strong series that has extended from that of 2014 Jersey Boys until 2021 Cry Macho – for my money, it’s right behind Tarnish And Richard Juwell as the strongest films from this period of Eastwood’s career. The legend is currently being worked on juror #2, which will be the last film of his illustrious career, so there’s no better time than now to catch up on some of his great recent work. —PV
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