August is almost upon us and with it comes another wave of new Netflix titles. While summer has certainly passed its scorching peak of hot new arrivals, though, the streaming service is taking deceptively big steps with its line-up.
Netflix has established itself as a go-to destination for non-fiction films, with original titles The Square and Virunga both earning award nominations. That focus continues to build momentum with the arrival of several new documentaries, not all released in UK cinemas.
But the VOD giant is also in the middle of heated battle to grab the attention of younger viewers – and with school out until September, Netflix is wasting no time in attracting as wide an audience as possible with its latest original series, from tween girl spies to Dinotrux, which are as awesome as they sound.
For adults, diversity is just as crucial, as Netflix’s original slate becomes increasingly international to match its expanding worldwide presence. If the premiere of its first non-English-language original series weren’t enough, next month also sees the return of From Dusk Till Dawn and the debut of drug-busting thriller Narcos.
All that and the arrival of Gotham hot on the heels of its Channel 5 broadcast? Here the biggest new releases coming soon to Netflix UK in August.
Note: Release dates are subject to change. Keep checking back because we will be updating this as new titles are confirmed.
Maidentrip – Saturday 1st August
This documentary about 14-year-old Laura Dekker, who set out to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone, never drifted into UK cinemas, but – like many documentary projects – catches the SVOD current into Netflix’s non-fiction-friendly waters.
Utopia: Season 1 – TBC
“It’s a graphic novel. It’s about a scientist who makes a deal with the devil.” That’s Dennis Kelly’s TV show in a nutshell. Spanning just six tight episodes, it’s a conspiracy thriller about a gang of Brits on the run from a shadowy network after discovering a comic book manuscript that contains the secrets to the disasters of the 21st Century. Violent, bleak and funny, it’s a coldly logical look at modern humanity, which is unafraid to hit us with hard truth – mankind is screwed – and dazzle us with bright colours. Shot with sickly yellows and vibrant reds and performed with an eerie calm (watch out for Neil Maskell as a warped hitman), it’s a British series that surprises and shocks in equal measure. Concise, grim and 100% original, this is television at its most graphic and novel.
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Adam Schwartz – 1st August
Brian Knappenberger’s 2014 biographic doc about US programmer, writer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz premiered in the UK over a year ago at Sheffield Doc/Fest. Now, after screening on the BBC as part of its Storyville strand, the exploration of his life and sad early death arrives on Netflix to find a wider audience.
Dior and I – Saturday 1st August
“I think about teams, I share their joys and sorrows,” says Raf Simons, the newly appointed creative director at Dior. This documentary, which follows his first days on the job in 2012 shows us these feelings of his employees – an inclusive approach that makes this fashion flick interesting for both designer lovers and loathers; it’s the workers, not the work that matters.
The Grandmaster – Saturday 1st August
Wong Kar Wai’s epic telling of the story of the legendary Ip Man, who trained Bruce Lee, has been chopped to bits by Harvey Weinstein for its international release, but there are moments of martial arts beauty amid the mess.
Mouse Hunt – Saturday 1st August
Nathan Lane. Lee Evans. A mouse. What more do you need? Christopher Walken as an eccentric exterminator? Go on then.
Hero – Saturday 1st August
Zhang Yimou’s 2002 martial arts film stars Jet Li as an unnamed fighter credited for defeating three of the king’s most dangerous enemies. The simple structure gives way to a complex string of mini visual masterpieces, with colour-coded flashbacks full of accomplished choreography.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Saturday 1st August
Mira Nair’s thriller, based on the 2007 novel of the same name, stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and Liev Schreiber and explores the impact of 9/11 upon one man, whose life is upturned in a way he never could have imagined.
Gotham: Season 1 – Sunday 2nd August
After its initial broadcast on Channel 5, this Batman spin-off series – following a young Jim Gordon in the corrupt Gotham police department – has its debut on Netflix, in a landmark multi-territory deal with Warner Bros. that sees a DC show (which normally belong on Amazon Prime) sit alongside Netflix’s ever-growing collection of original Marvel series.
Project Mc² – Thursday 6th August
In partnership with AwesomenessTV, Netflix’s new original tween series follows four smart and science-savvy girls, who are recruited join a spy organisation and catch bad guys with intelligence, technology and, sometimes, Instagram.
Club de Cuervos – Friday 7th August
Netflix’s first original Spanish-language show is a family comedy set in the world of futbol from Mexican filmmaker Gaz Alazraki.
Kick-Ass 2 – Sunday 9th August
This sequel to the comic book hit continues to build the world of Kick-Ass and co, upping the graphic quota, if not always the novelty.
Dinotrux – Friday 14th August
Is there a better word in the history of palaeontology and construction work than “Dinotrux”? DreamWorks Animation and Netflix are bulldozing back to a prehistoric world of epic proportions with this new original series, based on Chris Galls’ award-winning books, which features hybrid dinosaur-construction characters, who are half-dinosaur, half-mechanical vehicle. We’re in.
Ever After High: Spring Unsprung – Friday 14th August
A new kids’ TV series based on Mattel’s franchise Ever After High, Netflix’s original show follows the teenage sons and daughters of well-known fairytale legends, from Apple White (daughter of Snow White) to Raven Queen (daughter of the Evil Queen), each of whom have already been immortalised as dolls. The new animated series will span 12 episodes.
The Babadook – Sunday 16th August
As anybody who has tried to pretend that “there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo” will know, the best contemporary children’s stories are a conspiratorial, cheeky wink to the child whose imagination can summon up and cast aside monsters at will. In ye olden days, of course, fairytales were altogether more serious, a Grimm bloodbath of warnings against stranger danger and other real-world perils. The Babadook astutely unites the wry, modern storybook incarnation with the genre’s disturbing past.
November Man – Sunday 16th August
This 2014 spy thriller, based on Bill Granger’s novel, reunites Pierce Brosnan and Dante’s Peak director Roger Donaldson to tell the story of veteran CIA officer Peter Devereaux, who is in retirement after an operation with his young agent protege went wrong.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thursday 20th August
Peter Jackson’s extension of The Hobbit from one book into three films reaches its larger-than-life climax with this battle-fuelled finale.
Horns – Sunday 23rd August
Daniel Radcliffe grows horns in Alexandre Aja’s horror fantasy, which sees our hero accused of killing his girlfriend, only to discover that the unusual protusions from his head force those around him to tell him their darkest secrets.
Peter Pan (2003) – Wednesday 26th August
P.J. Hogan’s take on the now-familiar legend of Peter Pan and the Darling family is worth watching just for Jason Isaacs as the moustached Captain Hook.
From Dusk Till Dawn: Season 2 – Wednesday 26th August
From Dusk Till Dawn Season 2 continues building a new world in the supernatural crime universe inspired by Robert Rodriguez’s original film, with the characters now spread out following the events of the first season.
12 Angry Men – Wednesday 26th August
Sidney Lumet’s drama about a jury trying to decide whether a defendant is innocent or guilty never gets old.
Wuthering Heights (1970) – Wednesday 26th August
As Pierce Brosnan continues his career after James Bond in November Man, Wuthering Heights takes us back to Timothy Dalton’s pre-007 days, when he went full heart-throb to play Heathcliff in this take on the Bronte classic.
Colors – Wednesday 26th August
Dennis Hopper directs Sean Penn and Roberty Duvall in Colors, which follows an experienced cop and his rookie partner in Los Angeles, where they try to keep gangs under control.
Appleseed Alpha – Thursday 27th August
Netflix adds to its growing anime library with Shinji Aramaki’s 2014 sci-fi based on the comic book Appleseed by Masamune Shirow, creator of Ghost in the Shell.
Narcos – Friday 28th August
Netflix saves perhaps the best of August for last with the premiere of its new original series, Narcos. It chronicles the gripping real-life stories of US and Colombian efforts in the 1980s to battle the infamous Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug cartel.
The series re-partners creator and executive producer Jose Padilha (Elite Squad, RoboCop) with Brazilian actor Wanger Moura (Elite Squad, Elysium) as Pablo Escobar, alongside Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl) and Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) as real-life DEA agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena.
Other new releases on Netflix UK in August 2015
Saturday 1st August
Vexed: Season 1 and 2
Antarctic Edge: 70º South
Son of God
Sunday 2nd August
World’s Fattest Man
Monday 3rd August
Chronic-Con: Episode 420: A New Dope
Tuesday 4th August
I Dream of Wires
Wednesday 5th August
Thursday 6th August
Space Station 76
Friday 7th August
Motivation 2: The Chris Cole Story
A Goofy Movie
Sunday 9th August
The Best of Me
Wednesday 12th August
Sleeping with the Enemy
Saturday 15th August
How to Sell a Banksy
Heidi Season I
Sunday 16th August
Monday 17th August
It’s All Gone Pete Tong
Wednesday 19th August
The Legend of Billie Jean
The Mountain Men
Sunday 23rd August
Wednesday 26th August
My Little Pony: Friends Are Never Far Away
The Beast Within
The Long Riders
Friday 28th August
Man of the House
An American Haunting
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