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Watch these 5 movies before they leave Netflix in July

Each month, a plethora of TV shows and movies are added to and taken away from almost all streaming platforms. It can be hard to keep track of what’s available and what’s not. Time goes by quickly as the options continue to grow both on streaming services and in theaters, and that’s never been more true than this June with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse dazzling audiences with its groundbreaking animation.

For Netflix subscribers, these five movies will be leaving the popular streamer on July 1. From a 1990s comedy that produced one of pop culture’s most enduring characters to an Oscar-winning thriller directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, these films are worth a watch before they leave Netflix forever (or, at the very least, for a long period of time).

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

A Man dances in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Everyone knows who Austin Powers is. The character was ubiquitous in the late 1990s and early 2000s, to the point where everyone got sick of the character’s pseudo-1960s catchphrases like “Oh, behave!” and “Yeah, baby!” We’re far enough removed from the backlash he received to appreciate just how funny and, well, charming, the original Austin Powers movie is — and that’s all due to Mike Myers.

As the titular time-displaced hero, Myers is randy, offensive, and slightly annoying, but that’s the point. The movie satirized the outdated sexual and cultural institutions that Austin worshipped in the 1960s and argued that 1990s-era political correctness and safe sex were, in their own ways, more liberating and fulfilling. The movie is also just plain hilarious, with plenty of giddy, lowbrow humor (Alotta Fagina, anyone?) and dumb gags (“This is my wife … Oprah” always gets a laugh from me) that generate a high laugh-per-minute ratio. Ignore the awful, calculated sequels and rewatch the original to understand why everyone fell in love with a fictional British spy with bad teeth and a hairy back in 1997.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery leaves Netflix on July 1.

The Birds (1963)

A woman is trapped in a phone booth in The Birds.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A trio of Alfred Hitchcock classics — Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie — are leaving Netflix on July 1, and you should try to watch all of them. Yet if I had to pick one right now that is worth your time, I’d select The Birds. Why? Well, it’s perfect summer viewing. Set in the beautiful California coastal town of Bodega Bay, the movie offers the kind of laid-back summertime thrills that used to be Hollywood’s specialty before CGI took over.

More importantly, The Birds is just an all-around great movie. The premise is simple: a flighty heiress arrives in a small town to play a practical joke on a male admirer and somehow upsets the laws of nature. Nature’s birds freak out, and decide to attack humans at random intervals. This is one of Hitch’s darkest movies, and the apocalyptic ending is one of his very best. The Oscar-nominated 1963 special effects are still effective today, and the scenic cinematography somehow makes you want to be in the middle of all the chaos.

The Birds leaves Netflix on July 1.

Resident Evil (2002)

Alice poses with her gun in Resident Evil.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If Resident Evil wasn’t called Resident Evil, it would be a cult classic. As it is, it has its admirers, but still has the stain of being a failed movie adaptation of a beloved video game franchise. Resident Evil stars former model-turned-actress Milla Jovovich as Alice, who wakes nude up in an abandoned mansion with her memory wiped clean. Soon, she finds a slinky red gown, some clues to her past (who is that man in the picture?), and a cadre of soldiers, who all are running for their lives from the zombified inhabitants of a secret underground laboratory.

Is the movie a faithful adaptation of its video game source material? No. Are the sequels terrible and almost unwatchable? Absolutely. But from its intriguing opening to its relentless second and third acts, Resident Evil is immensely watchable zombie action movie fun. Jovovich makes for a great heroine, and some of the kills are absolutely brutal. The movie is so good, it makes you wish the sequels, reboots, and shows were half as bold and fun as the original.

Resident Evil leaves Netflix on July 1.

The Departed (2006)

A man aims a gun at another man in The Departed.
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Departed is Martin Scorsese at his crowd-pleasing best, as he blends Mean Streets-type violence with a commercial slickness that makes the movie hugely enjoyable. Adapted from the fine Hong Kong action movie Infernal Affairs, The Departed concerns Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), an undercover cop who infiltrates crime boss Frank Costello’s (Jack Nicholson) organization. At the same time, Costello installs his own spy, Colin Sullivan (Air‘s Matt Damon), in the Boston Police Department. Both sides discovers there’s a rat in their midst, and try to eliminate their secret enemy before it’s too late.

If that premise wasn’t enough to make you watch this movie, the stacked cast should do the trick. In addition to DiCaprio, Damon, and Nicholson, the movie stars Mark Wahlberg (who earned an Oscar nomination for his performance), Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Martin Sheen, and Ray Winstone. Scorsese is a masterful filmmaker, and while The Departed isn’t one of his best, it’s still one of the best crime thrillers of the 2000s and the rare Best Picture winner that has improved in people’s eyes over the years.

The Departed leaves Netflix on July 1.

Closer (2004)

A woman in a pink wig looks at a man in Closer.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The battle of the sexes has never been more brutal orwatchable as it is in Closer. Adapted from Patrick Marber’s play by director Mike Nichols, the movie focuses on four messed-up people: Dan (Jude Law), a London obituary writer; Alice (Natalie Portman), an American waitress; Anna (Julia Roberts), a photographer; and Larry, a British dermatologist. Throughout the film, this foursome will meet each other, in aquariums, sex chat rooms, and strip clubs, and couple, decouple, and switch partners to stave off a loneliness that comes with being either emotionally immature or severely damaged.

The movie sounds bleak, but trust me, it’s not, and that’s due in part to the effortless direction and the actors’ performances. Portman and Owen received the bulk of the praise at the time (and Oscar nominations) for their work, and they deserve it, but it’s Roberts’ quiet turn as Anna that is the most memorable. Nichols keeps things playful, funny (“Are you flirting with me?” always gets a laugh), and surprisingly sexy, but the end result is in line with his earlier, more celebrated work, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Love hurts, the movie argues, and as one of the character’s discovers at the end, sometimes you’re better off being alone than being close to anyone.

Closer leaves Netflix on July 1.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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