September 27, 2023

Clicks & Likes

News, Arts, and Entertainment

16 best movies to watch on Netflix, HBO, Amazon before they leave (Nov 2021)

November is nearly over! The leaves have fallen, the frosty chill of winter is nipping at our necks, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has thoroughly infiltrated every storefront and public area imaginable. You know what that means … that’s right, there’s a whole bunch of new movies coming to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video in just a few short days! Before that though, you won’t want to miss out on the best movies leaving streaming at the end of month, including Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, Richard Linklater’s School of Rock, 2015’s Tangerine, and more!

After poring over all the outgoing films for this month, here are the 16 of the best movies leaving the major streaming platforms by August 1.

500 Days Of Summer

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Zooey Deschanel has a reputation for playing Manic Pixie Dream Girls, and while (500) Days of Summer seems to paint her as a quirky, love interest there to fill the main character’s heart with love, it actually does the opposite. Directed by Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man) and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber (The Spectacular Now), the film completely dismantles the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, repeatedly reminding Tom, the male lead (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), that just because a pretty girl likes the same stuff he does and does some quirky things doesn’t mean that she’s his soulmate. The film explores the 500 days Tom knows Summer, jumping back and forth between various points of time, as his feelings for her change from complete adoration to contempt to finally accepting that she isn’t his dream girl but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a person of her own.

Like the narrator promises, it’s not a love story, but a story about love. —Petrana Radulovic

500 Days of Summer leaves Amazon Prime on Nov. 30.

The Fifth Element

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Luc Besson’s cult sci-fi action thriller The Fifth Element stars Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas, a former special forces commando-turned-cab driver in 23rd century New York City, who finds himself smack dab in the middle of a century’s long conflict between the forces of good and evil. When a mysterious woman named Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) crashes into his cab one day, Korben is charged by the wise space-priest Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm) to protect her from the machinations of industrialist Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) who believes Leeloo possesses the key to ancient weapon of untold power. Features creatures, costumes, and designs by legendary French comic artists Jean “Moebius” Giraud and Jean-Claude Mézières, The Fifth Element is an outlandishly memorable and action-packed action film bursting with personality. —TE

The Fifth Element leaves Hulu on Nov. 30.

A Knight’s Tale

Heath Ledger and Rufus Sewell in A Knight’s Tale

Image: Columbia Pictures

Inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale,” Brian Helgeland’s semi-anachronistic medieval adventure comedy A Knight’s Tale stars Heath Ledger as William, a young peasant with a gift for jousting who poses as a knight and embarks on a quest for fame and glory alongside his friends Roland (Mark Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk). Along the way the trio meet Geoffrey Chaucer himself (Paul Bettany), a loquacious writer with a gift for theatrics who aids William on his journey of self-made fame and notoriety. An oddball comedy filled with surprising needle-drops, colorful characters, and a smoldering romance plot featuring Shannyn Sossamon as William’s love interest, A Knight’s Tale may have critically bombed when it premiered back in 2001, but has since become a cult favorite among a loyal contingent of fans. —TE

A Knight’s Tale leaves Netflix on Nov. 30.

The Lincoln Lawyer

Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe in The Lincoln Lawyer

Photo: Lionsgate

Based on Michael Connelly’s 2005 novel, Brad Furman’s 2011 legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer stars Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller, a charismatic defense attorney who does business literally from the back of his black Lincoln sedan. Don’t get it twisted though; working-class Cosmopolis this is not. After a career of mostly defending petty criminals, Haller gets his big break in the form of Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), a hotshot Beverly Hills playboy accused of beating a sex worker. What at first seems like an open-and-shut case and a quick payday unravels into a murderous conspiracy that threatens the lives of his ex-wife Maggie (Marisa Tomei) and his young daughter. The Lincoln Lawyer marks the beginning of what many at the time characterized as the McConaissance, a period in McConaughey’s career in which the actor embraced a string of captivating dramatic roles which ultimately culminated in winning the Oscar for best actor in 2014. The Lincoln Lawyer may not have been the performance to win him that accolade, but it certainly set the groundwork for his later success. —TE

The Lincoln Lawyer leaves Netflix and Amazon Prime on Nov. 30.

Mean Streets

Charlie (Harvey Keitel) praying in a church in Mean Streets.

Image: Warner Bros.

Martin Scorsese’s 1973 crime drama Mean Streets stars Harvey Keitel as Charlie Cappa, a young Italian-American man torn between his sense of duty to his Mafioso uncle Giovanni, his loyalty to his roughneck gambler friend “Johnny Boy” (Robert De Niro), and his devout Catholic faith. When Johnny ends up on the wrong side of loan sharks without the means to pay them back, Charlie takes it upon himself to save his friend’s life as a means to his own personal redemption. De Niro and Keitel are electrifying in their on-screen synergy with one another; an agent of chaos barreling heedless towards his own self-destruction and his loyal friend trying to walk a long and narrow path between temptation and righteousness. As much a fable of thwarted morality as it is a gritty New York crime film, Mean Streets is a must-watch. —TE

Mean Streets leaves HBO Max on Nov. 30.

Minority Report

tom cruise looks at a futuristic screen

Image: 20th Century Fox

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story introduced audiences to the idea of hand gesture-assisted augmented reality and wall-scaling automobiles. Minority Report stars Tom Cruise as Pre-Crime captain John Anderton, leader of a police organization dedicated to apprehending criminals before they’ve even committed a crime using a trio of psychics who invasively pore over the unconscious minds of every hapless American in the future. When Anderton himself is preemptively accused of committing a murder, he must flee from the very system he had dedicated his life to uphold and undercover the dark secret behind its origins. —TE

Minority Report leaves Hulu on Nov. 30.

Orange County

Colin Hanks stars in the 2002 young adult comedy Orange County as Shaun Brumder, an intelligent yet underachieving teenager growing up in California whose life is radically changed after discovering a novel by Marcus Skinner, an English professor at Stanford University. Aspiring to become a writer, Shaun devotes the remainder of his high school career to applying to Stanford — only for his dreams to be dashed by a guidance counselor who mistakenly sends the wrong transcripts under his name. Determined to correct this mistake, Shaun embarks on a road trip to Stanford alongside Ashley (Schuyler Fisk), his supportive girlfriend and Lance (Jack Black), his dim-witted stoner brother. With supporting performances by John Lithgow and Catherine O’Hara as Shaun’s romantically volatile parents, and a particularly memorable performance by Kevin Kline as Professor Skinner himself, Orange County is a raucous comedy with genuinely memorable jokes that remain as hilarious now as they were over two decades ago. —TE

Orange County leaves HBO Max on Nov. 30.

The Prestige

a man holds a glowing orb in The Prestige

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

Nolan’s 2006 The Prestige, much like a magic trick, is (roughly) composed of three parts, or acts. The first part is exposition, where we’re introduced to the film’s protagonists in the form of two rival illusionists played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale vie to become the greatest living magician of their time. The second part is the premise, where things sour in the wake of a devastating on-stage accident, pitting the two men on a life-long collision course that transforms their professional rivalry into a perilous blood feud. The third part is the climax, where the film takes everything we thought we knew about these characters and turns those assumptions on their head to pull off the single greatest cinematic twist of Christopher Nolan’s career. Oh, and David Bowie is here dressed up like Nikola Tesla. Are you watching closely? —TE

The Prestige leaves Hulu on Nov. 30.

The Princess Bride

Westley (Cary Elwes) and Buttercup (Robin Wright) in The Princess Bride

Image: Twentieth Century Fox

The Princess Bride has it all — swashbucklers, epic adventures, incredibly quotable humor, Cary Elwes, and a lovely romance that ties it all together. It’s a fairytale fantasy that plays with familiar tropes and breathes new life into them. The amount of pop culture references and quotes birthed from this movie is frankly inconceivable. Witty, funny, and deeply romantic, The Princess Bride is a fun fantasy romp with a very sweet framing device of a grandfather reading his grandson a bedtime story, which preserves the narrative of the William Goldman book a little better than a straightforward adaptation. —PR

The Princess Bride leaves Amazon Prime on Nov. 30.

School of Rock

Dewey Finn (Jack Black) in School of Rock

Image: Paramount Pictures

Richard Linklater’s 2003 comedy School of Rock stars Jack Black as Dewey Finn, a struggling rock guitarist who accepts a job as substitute teacher at a private elementary school in order to earn rent money. After overhearing his students playing their instruments in music class, Dewey hatches a hare-brained scheme to form a new band among the kids and enter an upcoming local Battle of the Bands contest to win the $10,000 prize money. Powered almost entirely by Black’s infectious charisma and eccentricity, School of Rock is raucous and heartwarming comedy about a man who grows as both a musician and a person through his relationship to students he mentors, aligning his love of rock in a new direction that spurs him to find his true calling in life. In a 2019 video interview with GQ, Jack Black went so far as to describe School of Rock as the movie he’s most proud to have been a part of. If that’s not a stirring endorsement, I don’t know what is. —TE

School of Rock leaves Netflix on Nov. 30.


Photo: Universal Pictures

Sneakers is the feel-good crime comedy of the 1990s. With a cast to rival Ocean’s 11, including Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, and David Strathairn, matches old-school career criminals with whiz-bang hackers on a quest to procure a Thing. But the Thing an the plot machinations aren’t really the hook here — Sneakers is like a big, ’90s hangout movie full of retro tech and a dash of cynical Cold War sentiment. The banter is witty, the plans are elaborate, and by the end, the Republican National Committee will become completely defunded. If you’ve seen every heist movie masterpiece, it’s finally time to open your heart to the chill alternative of Sneakers. —Matt Patches

Sneakers leaves HBO Max on Nov. 30.

State of Play

Rachel McAdams and Russel Crowe in State of Play

Photo: Universal Pictures

State of Play stars Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams as Cal McAffrey and Della Fyre, two investigative journalists working to uncover the mystery behind the murder of Sonia Baker (Maria Thayer), a close aide and chief researcher for U.S. Representative Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck). As the two reporters’ butt heads with regard to their respective approaches to pursuing the case, their investigation points to a shadowy corporation whose machinations threaten the lives of all those involved— McAffrey and Fyre included. —TE

State of Play leaves Netflix on Nov. 30.

Talk to Her

Javier Camara, Leonor Watling, Dario Grandinetti, and Rosario Flores in Talk to Her.

Image: Sony Pictures Classics

Pedro Almodóvar 2002 drama Talk to Her follows the story of Benigno (Javier Cámara) and Marco (Darío Grandinetti), two men who by a quirk of fate meet at a private clinic following a chance encounter at a theater months prior. United by tragedy, the two diligently care for the women they love who are both in a coma. While Benigno and Marco share this inexplicable circumstance in common, the differences in their respective views on life, love, and relationships will divert the course of these men’s lives along starkly different trajectories. With achingly tender performances, whimsically bizarre imagery, a beautiful score by composer Alberto Iglesias, and a heart wrenching and memorable finale, Talk to Her is a phenomenal movie on the meaning and perseverance of love in all its forms. —TE

Talk to Her leaves Amazon Prime on Nov. 30.


(Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor) in Tangerine.

Image: Magnolia Pictures

Filmed entirely with iPhone cameras, Sean Baker’s 2015 comedy-drama Tangerine follows Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), two trans sex workers who set out to find Chester (James Ransone), Sin-Dee’s boyfriend/pimp and get to the bottom of a salacious rumor that he cheated on her while she was serving a 28 day stint in prison. Set during Christmas Eve and filmed entirely on the streets of Los Angeles, Tangerine is a raw, uproariously surprising, touching, heartbreaking, and thoroughly engrossing experience that offers an affecting glimpse into the emotional trials and tribulations of sex work while constructing a portrait of Los Angeles in all its many-splendored chaos. —TE

Tangerine leaves Amazon Prime on Nov. 29.

The Warriors

The Warriors standing side-by-side on a darkened road

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Based on Sol Yurick’s 1976 novel of the same name, 1979’s The Warriors is a gripping urban action thriller and darkly whimsical interpretation of the real-life gang violence that gripped New York City throughout much of the mid-to late ’70s. Inspired by Xenophon of Athens’ Anabasis, the film follows the titular Warriors gang who, after being framed for the murder of a beloved gang elder known as Cyrus, must journey from the heart of North End of the Bronx back to their home turf of Coney Island in southern Brooklyn. Despite an initially lukewarm critical reception and plagued with controversy in the immediate wake of its release, The Warriors has gone on to achieve cult status as a touchstone of ’70s pop culture. —TE

The Warriors leaves Amazon Prime on Nov. 30.

Young Frankenstein

Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’s Gene Wilder stars in Mel Brooks’ cult comedy horror spoof film Young Frankenstein as the mad scientist Frankenstein (er, Fronk-en-steen) in his dogged pursuit to reanimate his misbegotten creation (Peter Boyle) from the dead. —TE

Young Frankenstein leaves Amazon Prime on Nov. 30.