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10 Great Films Available to Stream This July

Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

For those wanting a little more variety in their viewing diet, we’ve selected ten quality films coming this month to some of the most popular streaming platforms

In terms of theatrical releases, July is a month dominated by red hot franchises and revived blockbusters. This month visits from ghosts, aliens, and friendly giants are set to dominate the big screen, providing the perfect platform for sunny escapism. For those wanting a little more variety in their viewing diet, however, we’ve selected ten quality films coming to some of the most popular streaming platforms this month. Spanning across eras and genres, these eclectic picks will provide a diversity of summer entertainment.

1. Dirty Harry

Don Siegel, 1971

The godfather of modern movie cops, “Dirty” Harry Callahan shoots his way to righteousness with this 1971 classic. Starring Clint Eastwood in the role that solidified his star status, the film follows Callahan in the pursuit of Scorpio (Andy Robinson), a serial killer modeled after the real life Zodiac case. Fact authenticity proves sparse, however, as Eastwood and director Don Siegel instead use the story to churn through an obstacle course of Bay Area landmarks with exaggerated abandon. Action sequences may view as tame by today’s standards, but Siegel’s dogged portrayal of a tough cop seeking justice remains just as powerful as it was 40 years ago. The first, and still the best of the five Dirty Harry films, this vigilante punch remains the perfect project for action purists and unlucky punks. (HBO NOW, July 1st)

2. Punch-Drunk Love

Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002

Punch-Drunk Love (2002) is a charming cinematic soufflé, delicate in flavor and delightfully styled. It is, in many ways, a Paul Thomas Anderson anomaly, as the grandiose director sought to create an intimate 90 minute story in lieu of lengthy epics like Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999). As a result, Anderson’s quirks bleed through the film’s whimsical tone, often leading to moments of unabashed sincerity and tender reflection. Approaching romantic comedy from a cockeyed angle, the tale of an emotionally repressed salesman (Adam Sandler) caught between love and extortion is nothing if not unique, especially with Sandler’s spastic performance leading the way. Both bizarre and compelling, the actor joins his director in delivering a colorful paean to the lovesick loner in all of us. (Showtime, July 1st)

3. Trainspotting

Danny Boyle, 1996

Fueled by irrepressible style and a chic soundtrack, Trainspotting (1996) retains its eccentricity even two decades later. The film’s premise, focusing upon a group of heroin addicts living in Edinburgh, is far from the status quo of mainstream cinema, but director Danny Boyle pursues his content with such vivid panache that the fun is infectious. From carefully selected songs to the techno edits that connect each memorable sequence, Trainspotting plugs the viewer into the brains of Boyle’s addicts and follows them through a series of outlandish encounters. Aiding in this impressive display are the film’s core performers—Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle—who masterfully convey the humor behind such a horrific topic. Trainspotting 2 is set to arrive next year, so the opportunity to stream this cult classic is timelier than ever. (Hulu, July 1st)

4. Finding Neverland

Marc Forster, 2004

Adapted from a 1998 off-Broadway play, Finding Neverland (2004) tenderly examines the line between childhood and adulthood. Centered on the life and times of Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp), Neverland details the playwright’s affiliation with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet) and her four children who served as the inspiration behind his famed story. In doing so, the film excels in bringing the spirit of its source material to life, anchored by a blend of moist-eyed nostalgia and melancholy disappointment. Director Marc Forster balances these differing moods with a fine hand, but it is Depp’s lead performance that truly captivates. As a man who dared to look at a bleak world with an open heart, his Barrie supplies Finding Neverland with an optimism that feels truly inspired. (Hulu, July 1st)

5. Best in Show

Christopher Guest, 2000

The second of Christopher Guest’s mockumentary series, Best in Show (2000) focuses upon a topic tailor-made for the genre: dog shows. Circling the prize-winning pups and their owners throughout various competitions, the film approaches its content with a straight face and a non-judgmental mood. Instead, Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy (both of whom star) concoct laughter by simply letting their characters speak for themselves, whether through über-confident brags or interactions with their pet that often seem too honest to be staged. The cast is made up of Guest regulars including Parker Posey, Michael McKean, and Catherine O’Hara, though even in these collaborative comfort zones, each manage to go above and beyond in the realm of comedic acting. Sporting laughter and a profound sense of kinship with its characters, Best in Show finds humanity in the fumbling oddballs that rarely get big screen attention. (Amazon Prime, July 1st)

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