Though movie theaters are starting to allow patrons these days, the safer option remains streaming. Those who choose to stay home and stream are constantly rewarded with so much new content it’s mind-boggling. At the start of each month, most streamers—Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Disney+, and HBO Max—do a little shuffle, adding new movies and taking some away. io9 is here to help you narrow down your decision-making.
Welcome to the Nerd’s Watch, our monthly column where we curate the most interesting sci-fi, fantasy, and horror movies (and shows) coming to the biggest streaming services. There is lots of new content to be had for June 2021, so let’s get to it.
Streets of Fire - Somehow, I’ve never seen this 1984 rock musical directed by the legendary Walter Hill, but from what I’ve read it seems like a mix of Hill’s The Warriors mixed with West Side Story, plus Rick Moranis and Bill Paxton are in it. I’m excited to catch up.
Swordfish - This 2001 hacker movie isn’t the best, but the opening scene is an all-timer and the cast—Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, and John Travolta—are all having a lot of fun. It’s a great film to catch up with on streaming.
Sweet Tooth - I’ve seen a few episodes of this family, fantasy adventure show based on Jeff Lemire’s DC comic and I can’t wait to watch more. It’s about a post-apocalyptic world where a deadly disease, and hybrid children, have changed everything, and one deer-boy who goes on an epic quest.
Adaptation - Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman’s weird, wonderful masterpiece with Nicolas Cage as two brothers adapting a book about flowers. To put it very simply: just an all-timer.
An American Werewolf in London - This 1981 horror classic is a must-see for any film fan. It’s gross, fun, and purely awesome.
Chicken Run - Aardman’s action-packed animated film starring a bunch of chickens is so good you almost forget Mel Gibson is voicing the main one.
Fight Club - Wait so, technically, if we go by the rules of Fight Club, I shouldn’t be telling you about this right?
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - Steve Carell and Keira Knightley star as two strangers who meet, as the title suggests, as the world is about to end. It’s a nice little romance even though it’s not all that happy.
Signs - M. Night Shyalaman had one of the great runs in the late 1990s/early 2000s with The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and this cool alien mystery about something that’s leaving crop circles. In fact, it might be the best of the bunch.
Take Shelter - Michael Shannon gives a tour-de-force performance as a man who is either mentally disturbed or can actually predict that a huge disaster is coming. It’s a slow burn but totally worth the ride.
The Adventures of Tintin - Steven Spielberg’s performance capture adaptation of the classic comic book series is better than it has any right to be, but largely gets overlooked because of its look. If you haven’t seen it though and are interested in big adventure and action from one of the best filmmakers ever, you should watch. Oh, Peter Jackson produced too.
Across the Universe - A stunningly beautiful, dreamlike musical set to the tunes of the Beatles. Great to watch and enjoy or put on in the background and marvel at.
Anacondas: The Hunt For the Blood Orchid, Anaconda 3: Offspring, Anacondas: Trail of Blood - I’ve never seen any of these Anaconda sequels but that there are so many of them, all arriving on Hulu simultaneously, felt hilarious and noteworthy. Don’t forget: there’s a new one on the way.
Arachnophobia - We guess creatures are coming to Hulu this month. Killer anacondas and also killer spiders, in this darkly hilarious 1990 film starring John Goodman and Jeff Daniels. Guess what? This one is getting a remake.
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight- More creatures! Well, specifically, men who watch their parents die, go off into the mountains to become a vigilante and then dress like creatures. These Christopher Nolan classics are always worth a watch.
The Blair Witch Project and The Blair Witch Project: Book of Shadows - One of the most influential (and still very scary) horror movies of all time comes to Hulu along with its very different sequel that still has a cult following.
Charlotte’s Web - Seriously, what’s with all the creature movies, Hulu? Though, of course, this 1973 animated film is only partially about a spider and also about the other animals on the farm. Guaranteed to spark some nostalgia and probably some tears as well.
Face/Off - With a sequel/remake in the works, now is exactly the right time to revisit this 1997 John Woo film about a cop and a criminal—John Travolta and Nicolas Cage—who swap faces. Great action, lots of humor, just an excellent film.
Jennifer’s Body - Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama, this film wasn’t a huge hit on release, but its unique blend of horror, humor, and social commentary have made it a cult favorite in the years since. It stars Megan Fox as a high school girl who gets possessed by a demon and begins to kill men who make inappropriate advances toward her. As demons do.
Kick-Ass - The movie where the two Quicksilvers, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Evan Peters, are friends. Oh, and it’s also a violent, fun adaptation of the Mark Millar/John Romita Jr. comic book series with Chloë Grace Moritz, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, and others.
Richie Rich - Coming off Home Alone, I’ll never forget thinking how huge of a casting coup it was to get Macauley Culkin for this live-action adaptation of the comic book series about a super-rich child. It was Culkin’s last movie for a while and a favorite of kids who were eight years old when it was released.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Johnny Depp aside, Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical remains one of the director’s most underrated films.
Wayne’s World 2 - They communicate with the ghost of Jim Morrison, it’s obviously a sci-fi film.
A Glitch in the Matrix - You probably haven’t seen (or maybe even heard) of this recent documentary but it’s worth checking out. It’s by Rodney Ascher, who made The Shining doc Room 237, and it basically explores the possibility that we’re living in a simulation.
Dragonheart, Dragonheart: A New Beginning, Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse, Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire - We can’t vouch for the three sequels, but the 1996 original starring Dennis Quaid and a dragon voiced by Sean Connery is a fairly entertaining action fantasy. I mean “dragon voiced by Sean Connery” is pretty tough to beat.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - When Hawkeye Jeremy Renner was a witch hunter along with Gemma Arterton.
Raya and the Last Dragon - If you didn’t pay for Premier Access earlier this year, the latest film from Disney Animation will become free to all on June 4. It’s an excellent, thrilling, beautiful, and emotional film. You can read our review here.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - OK so, obviously, this movie stinks. One of the worst X-Men movies by far. But it did give us Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (albeit it a very different Deadpool) and now it’s where it belongs, with all the other X-Men stuff on Disney+.
Loki - Another month, another new Marvel Cinematic Universe show. How spoiled are we? This one has the potential to be the best yet, as it explores the repercussions of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stealing the Tesseract from The Avengers in an alternate timeline. New episodes come out every Wednesday so you’ll also get them on June 16, 23, and 30 this month too. (There are six total.)
Luca - For the second film in a row, Pixar’s latest creation is going straight to Disney+. This film is about two beings who live underwater who end up transforming into human boys and exploring all life has to offer on the Italian countryside. Let the gelato flow.
The Conjuring 2 - With the third film coming out later in the month, it’s time to catch up on the excellent sequel featuring everyone’s favorite paranormal investigators, Lorraine and Ed Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. It’s a sequel that’s almost as good as the original. Read about our visit to the set here.
Doctor Sleep - Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining is both a love letter to King’s novels and Stanley Kubrick’s film. It’s scary and cool and this director’s cut is even better than the theatrical.
The Green Mile - Speaking of Stephen King adaptations, this excellent film by Frank Darabont features Tom Hanks as a prison guard who realizes one of his inmates should not be on death row. It’s a great mix of creepy and wondrous, thanks in large part to the performance of the late Michael Clarke Duncan.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -Part 2- The Potter movies jump around streaming services like a golden snitch and, at least for a little bit, will be on HBO Max.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - There was no way Douglas Adams’ legendary book was going to get a film adaptation half as good as the source material, but this 2005 movie is maybe a third as good, which still makes it pretty damned incredible. Don’t panic, grab a towel, and enjoy.
The Manhattan Project - John Lithgow stars in this movie that I almost thought I dreamed up because it never gets mentioned—but it does, in fact, exist. It’s about a high school kid who makes an atomic bomb. I’m gonna rewatch this one myself.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - I’ve definitely said this before but it’s worth saying again. Every generation has its Robin Hood. Errol Flynn. Sean Connery. An animated fox. For my generation, it was Kevin Costner, thanks to this star-studded epic.
Shazam - Wait, this wasn’t on HBO Max? That’s weird. Well, now it is, and if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing one of the best DC movies to come out in recent years. The exciting, funny, heartwarming story of a boy who is given the powers of a god.
Sherlock Holmes - Guy Ritchie’s gritty, energetic take on Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law is one of those movies most people like but, for some reason, just don’t talk about too much. There’s even a sequel. All of this means it’s probably a fun one to revisit.
Stoker - Legendary filmmaker Park Chan-wook did the creepy, gothic genre proud with this 2013 film starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, and Nicole Kidman.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It - Released on Max on the same day as theaters, this is the third film in the main Conjuring world, which once again stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. It’s definitely the weakest of the three and I’m not sure I’d go to the theater to watch it but, if you’re paying for Max, you’re likely to enjoy it.
Super Friends - It’s unclear which version of this great DC animated franchise is coming to HBO Max but, really, whichever one is pretty exciting.
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