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The Ringer Guide to Streaming in July

A sampling of the best stuff hitting Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, and more

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Big-budget movies have returned to theaters (Hello, F9) and revitalized the movie industry, but there’s still plenty to watch from the comfort of your home. Whether you want a classic rom-com like Love Actually, a new season of the much-lauded Ted Lasso, or the return of the best sketch comedy show on streaming, there’s a host of options available for your viewing pleasure. Check out everything that’s new on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and more below.

What’s New to Streaming in July

A selected list of movies and TV shows coming this month that The Ringer is very excited about.

No Sudden Move (HBO Max, July 1)

Michael Baumann: No Sudden Move checks all the boxes, from a headline-grabbing cast that combines Steven Soderbergh’s repertory company—Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Bill Duke—with award magnets and zeitgeisty TV stars. Throw in slick production design, a strong sense of place, and a heavy coat of clever dialogue, and maybe this won’t go down as Ocean’s 1955, but you’ll recognize highlights from Soderbergh’s old playbook. And why wouldn’t he play the hits? After all, he’s spent the past 25 years perfecting them.

No Strings Attached (Netflix, July 1)

Sam Donsky: Liz Meriwether’s No Strings script has a bit of a legendary origin story: from “edgy” writer’s draft to “watered-down” studio edit. And yet, it’s the rare case of a script with the integrity to take on that water. It has a strong foundation, and knows what it isn’t: No Strings Attached doesn’t want to be your parents’ rom-com—but it still, at its core, wants to be someone’s. And that makes all the difference. (Oh, and it’s really funny.)

Karate Kid (Netflix, July 1)

Bohemian Rhapsody (Hulu, July 1)

Rob Harvilla: Rami-as-Freddie is excellent—his cheekbones alone deserve a Best Supporting Actor nomination—and somehow only gets better as everything around him gets lousier.

Caddyshack (Hulu, July 1)

Fargo (Hulu, July 1)

Adam Nayman: Fargo was not the first great movie that the Coens made (that’d be their 1984 debut, Blood Simple) or their first award-magnet (Barton Fink swept Cannes in 1991), or even their first hit (Raising Arizona’s good humor and better reviews resulted in a healthy return on investment). But it was the first thing they made after the expensive debacle of The Hudsucker Proxy and its return to basic, blood-simple principles helped its reception as the best and most accessible thing they’d made to date …

Boogie Nights (Netflix, July 1)

The Mask (Hulu, July 1)

Kyle McGovern: The Mask ended up transforming into a bona fide blockbuster. Released on July 29, 1994, the movie made off with $120 million domestically, inspired an animated series, ushered a couple of catchphrases into the lexicon (along with one hall-of-fame meme, a little further down the line), introduced audiences to a young actress named Cameron Diaz, and helped anoint Jim Carrey as the most exciting comedy talent in the movie business at the time. What’s more impressive is that all of this success came long before superhero movies were regularly setting and smashing box office records.

Love Actually (Netflix, July 1)

The Mask of Zorro (Amazon Prime, July 1)

Monica Castillo: The remake follows the transformation of a scruffy outlaw (Antonio Banderas) into a dashing hero under the tutelage of the last man to wear the mask (Anthony Hopkins). Zorro means fox in Spanish, and in turn, Banderas plays him like a sly trickster, slipping through the clutches of all who come after him with acrobatic moves and an impish smile. He’s a bit like Bruce Lee, but with a blade instead of fists—light on his feet, quick to recover his footing, confident in his fighting skills, and capable of taking on more combatants than realistically possible. With his character’s billowing cape, Banderas looks like a matador facing off against corrupt officials or his love interest in this movie, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones).

Bill and Ted Face the Music (Hulu, July 2)

Harvilla: To clarify, you will love Face the Music—directed by Dean Parisot from a script written, like its two predecessors, by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon—specifically for its faults, for its loopy aimlessness, for its familiar concussed bliss, and for its awkward newborn-foal stumbling even though the two foals in question first stumbled on screen more than three decades ago. Bill and Ted, who are tasked here with writing and performing a song that will unite the world throughout recorded and yet-to-be-recorded time, still have a tremendously charming and almost violently effortless rapport. The plot still doesn’t matter; it’s just great to see Winters again, and both jarring and weirdly soothing to see Reeves clean-shaven and goofy-haired and every bit his 55-year-old self.

I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson, Season 2 (Netflix, July 6)

Brain Raferty: It was possible to watch the entire first season in roughly the same amount of time it takes to view a single episode of SNL. Yet no comedy this year has embedded itself as deeply within viewers’ imaginations, not to mention their social feeds, as I Think You Should Leave, a show beloved by everyone from Conan O’Brien to Lin-Manuel Miranda to vocal mega-fan Wale (“funniest shyt ever”).

Grown-ish, Season 4 (Hulu, July 9)

Alison Herman: But Grown-ish still has the look, mood, and confidence of a truly modern college series, an update of erstwhile ABC Family series Greek and Cosby Show spinoff A Different World alike. The dorm rooms are as unrealistically oversize and well-appointed as ever, but the characters and conflicts feel totally of the moment. College students have never been more scrutinized thanks to social media and unfairly maligned as safe space–clamoring children, thanks to endless op-eds. Grown-ish argues the kids are going to be just fine as shrewdly and persuasively as its creators always have.

Love Island, Season 7 (Hulu, July 12)

Andrew Gruttadaro: Pulling in elements of Big Brother, Are You the One?, and Bachelor in Paradise to create a show about a group of strangers who are sequestered in a Spanish villa and forced to couple up and then earn the affection of a voting public, Love Island is both a stunning spectacle, a mind-bending powder keg, and a savage social experiment (that yes, comes with ample baggage). More kindly, it is also a testament to the idea that relationships are better fostered with straightforward honesty and nonstop communication, as the Islanders’ proximity forces them to confront their issues with each other head-on.

Ted Lasso, Season 2 (Apple TV, July 23)

Surrey: There have been plenty of good shows this year, and most of my favorites (Better Call Saul, ZeroZeroZero, Gangs of London) don’t quite renew one’s faith in humanity—frankly, they feel like appropriate 2020 viewing all the more for it. But no series I’ve watched this year has been more rewarding, on an emotional level, than Ted Lasso. I mean this sincerely: The show has struck an optimistic chord in my increasingly cynical heart and made me want to be a better person. Making the pivot from “Oh my god, Apple is trying to turn a character from a couple of commercials into a sitcom” to “I will do right by you, Coach Lasso” sounds startling, but I assure you that it’s inevitable.

All American, Season 3 (Netflix, July 27)

Rodger Sherman: While All American is more steeped in the language of high school recruiting than any show I’ve ever seen, it is happy to invent completely nonsense football scenarios to better service its non-football plotlines. Here are my six favorite ways All American portrays things that sort of resemble real football culture, but swerve with hilarious effects.

Outer Banks, Season 2 (Netflix, July 30)

Gruttadaro: Outer Banks is a show about kids from the wrong side of the tracks; it’s a show about young love; a show about fathers and sons; a show about how we hold on to the summers of our late adolescence so tightly because we know they’re the last vestiges of true freedom. But it’s also a show about a group of friends searching for sunken treasure after the father of one of the friends disappears off the face of the earth.

Some New-ish Things You Might’ve Missed

Because it’s hard to keep up with everything, here are a few things that have premiered somewhat recently that may be worth catching up on.

In the Heights (HBO Max)

Castillo: This is the world In the Heights was released into. Its purpose and impact feel different now. Yes, it’s still a feel-good pushback against bigots who villainize and write off the Latino community. There’s even a newly added story line addressing the plight of “Dreamers,” and the concerns about gentrification and community displacement are as urgent as ever as New York inches toward the end of its eviction moratorium in August. But in the aftermath of the pandemic, In the Heights has also become the hopeful tale of an entire community’s resolve, perseverance, and strength.

Inside (Netflix)

Kevin Can F**k Himself (AMC+)

Herman: Kevin Can F*** Himself’s stylistic split is so compelling that the show initially powers through on concept alone. (Critics were shown four episodes of an eventual eight.) The parallel plots are an ingenious metaphor for both the failings of popular media and the schism in many real-life marriages. It may seem like elitist snobbery for a cable show to skewer a genre its own audience is unlikely to watch. But condescension requires looking down, and as the all-too-recent Kevin Can Wait debacle goes to show, the stale sitcom is nowhere near losing its prime place in culture. Kevin Can F*** Himself is unlikely to put an end to the epidemic of half-assed female characters. It’s a worthy goal nonetheless.

Loki (Disney+)

Daniel Chin: Following the mixed success of two shows that cast former sidekicks and supporting characters into the spotlight in WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki features a former villain and antihero as the main attraction. Following in those series’ footsteps, the six-episode series, directed by Kate Herron, brings Tom Hiddleston’s beloved Prince of Asgard back to life to take a look at his, and the MCU’s, past. But the show also looks ahead to a bigger, stranger future. The stakes are higher than ever—the planetary conquests of Thanos suddenly seem trivial when branching timelines and the entire multiverse are in jeopardy.

Physical (Apple TV+)

Herman: Physical is a specific show about a specific place, one that’s not nearly as well-known as its neighbor to the north. It’s also a more universal story about the emotional needs fulfilled by a frankly silly-looking hobby. Beneath the high knees and hip gyrations, there’s a sense of community, and also control.

Luca (Disney+)

Surrey: The similarities between Luca and Call Me by Your Name are undeniable, but those shared vibes aren’t disqualifying for the former. If anything, being compared to one of the best films of 2017 favors Luca, which still has plenty of distinctive characteristics to stand apart and be celebrated on its own. The movie is an interesting tonal departure for Pixar—less for being Call Me by Your Name–esque and more for having a low-stakes, carefree spirit that evokes Studio Ghibli. Hopefully, in the future, more Pixar films will be as light and breezy as Luca; I don’t need Bing Bong PTSD every time I turn on a kids’ movie.