Stranger Things, Netflix
Six years after Stranger Things launched on Netflix and became an unexpected global smash, it’s back with the concluding part of its fourth and final season. The final two episodes dropped together at the start of the month and hopes for them were high. The first half of season four made maximum use of a bigger-than-ever budget, going deeper and darker into the small town of Hawkins, Indiana than ever before. What used to be a vaguely spooky show about geeky kids fighting monsters has become something more chilling and grown-up. Leave some room behind the sofa.
Out 1st July
King of Stonks, Netflix
Financial whizz Felix Armand will do whatever it takes to turn his startup into the most successful fintech company of all time. But just as CableCash prepares to launch on the stock market, some small issues around money laundering, investor deception and internet porn rear their heads. Oh, and Felix also has to free his eccentric boss Magnus from the clutches of the Sicilian Mafia. As this German comedy shows, that’s enough to turn anyone from a regular tech bro into the biggest swindler in Germany’s post-war history. Did we mention it’s based on true events?
Out 6th July
The Baby, Now
Thirty-something Natasha never wanted a baby. And she was probably right. Because when she is unexpectedly landed with one, her life of doing what she wants, when she wants, changes forever. Controlling, manipulative and with violent powers, the infant turns her life into a comic horror show. This eight-part Sky-HBO co-production is a darkly funny, raw examination of motherhood from the perspective of a very reluctant participant.
Out 7th July
Black Bird, Apple TV+
Liked David Fincher’s Mindhunter? You’ll love Black Bird. Inspired by actual events, it tells the story of high-school football hero and decorated policeman’s son Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton). When he is sentenced to ten years in a minimum-security prison, he is given the choice of a lifetime: enter a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane and befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) or stay where he is and serve his full sentence with no possibility of parole. Keene quickly realises his only way out is to elicit a confession and find out where the bodies of several young girls are buried before Hall’s appeal goes through. But is the suspected killer telling the truth? Or is it just another tale from a serial liar?
Out 8th July
Best international film, best animated feature, best documentary – Flee earned a flock of nominations at this year’s Oscars. Using an original combination of animation and archive footage, it tells the story of Amin, an Afghan refugee grappling with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years, but that now threatens to derail the life he has built for himself in Denmark with his soon-to-be husband. Directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen – a friend of Amin’s – Flee is a special, unforgettable film that befits a brave man and his incredible story.
Out 15th July
Dakota Johnson takes the lead in this sharply modern take on Jane Austen’s classic novel. Like Fleabag before her, protagonist Anne Elliot breaks the fourth wall and makes the viewer a confidante as she navigates Regency-era Bath – and fights a nagging doubt that she might just be over the hill. Cosmo Jarvis plays Frederick Wentworth, the dashing man of humble origins who Anne rejected years earlier. Henry Golding is William Elliot, her cousin and alternative marriage target. Look out too for Richard E. Grant as Anne’s overspending father.
Out 15th July
The Gray Man, Netflix
This new action thriller features a genuinely A-list cast. Ryan Gosling is the Gray Man, a CIA operative plucked from a federal penitentiary by his handler Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton). Gentry was once a highly skilled merchant of death operating on behalf of the agency. But he discovered some secrets and now the tables have turned. He’s pursued across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a sociopathic old colleague who will stop at nothing to take him out. At least agent Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) has the Gray Man’s back…
Out 22nd July
Under The Banner Of Heaven, Disney+
Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar-Jones star in this series inspired by Jon Krakauer’s true crime bestseller. Under The Banner Of Heaven tracks the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (Edgar-Jones) and her baby daughter in a suburb in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley. As Detective Jeb Pyre (Garfield) investigates events that transpired within the Lafferty family, he uncovers buried truths about the origins of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the violent consequences of unyielding faith. Pyre, a devout Mormon, is forced to question his own faith as a result. Directed by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, the seven episodes also feature Sam Worthington, Denise Gough, Wyatt Russell and Rory Culkin.
Out 27th July
Purple Hearts, Netflix
Sparks fly between singer-actress Sofia Carson (Descendants) and Nicholas Galitzine (Cinderella) in this ardent musical romance. Carson is an aspiring musician who agrees to a marriage of convenience with a soon-to-deploy Marine, but a tragedy soon turns their fake relationship all too real. Adapted from Tess Wakefield’s novel of the same name, Purple Hearts features a soundtrack written and produced by Carson.
Out 29th July
The Resort, Now
Mr Robot showrunner Sam Esmail is just one of the big names behind this new series you’ll find on Peacock, which is free to NOW and Sky subscribers. Written by Andy Siara (Palm Springs), The Resort is a true-crime love story. In Mexico, a marriage comes under strain when an anniversary trip embroils Noah and Emma in a bizarre unsolved crime that took place 15 years earlier. The unlucky couple are played by William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) and Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother, Fargo).
Out 28th July
Surface, Apple TV+
In San Francisco, a head trauma has left Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, The Morning Show) with extreme memory loss. The trauma might have been caused by a suicide attempt, but Sophie isn’t completely ready to accept everything she’s being told by friends and family. Across eight episodes, this psychological thriller asks big questions about identity – and how free we are to define our own. Surface was created by Veronica West, who made her name working on Ugly Betty and produced High Fidelity a couple of years ago.
Out 29th July
This new eight-episode rom-com was created by Darren Star (Emily In Paris and Sex And The City). Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) is Michael, a New York real estate broker whose hedge-fund manager husband of 17 years walks out the door. Once he’s got over the shock, Michael must face the prospect of starting over – and dating again – in his 40s.
Out 29th July
Trying, Apple TV+
After a dramatic end to season two, the eight-episode third season of Trying picks up with Nikki (Bafta nominee Esther Smith) and Jason (SAG Award nominee Rafe Spall) waking up as new parents to two children they are still getting to know. Now they just have to keep hold of them, which proves to be trickier than they initially thought. Thrown straight in at the deep end, Nikki and Jason’s relationships with each other and with their nearest and dearest are tested as they desperately try to navigate the ups and downs of parenting – while hanging onto their kids and sanity.
Out 22nd July.
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