The summer’s best movies that streaming companies don’t really want you to know about, for some reason

Juancho Hernangomez, left, and Adam Sandler in a scene from “Hustle.”Scott Yamano/Netflix/The Associated Press

If you can’t beat the heat and want to head to a cinema this weekend to see the handful of titles the studios have released over the last few weeks of summer, there’s good news: there are a handful of excellent new movies out there right now that streamed have for some reason gone almost completely unnoticed by the streamers’ marketing departments. Here are the best but underrated movies of the summer.

carter: When a colleague emailed me about this new South Korean film with the subject “Good God!” I knew my summer movie prayers had been answered. (Thanks Massimo!) A breakneck thriller from director Jung Byung-gil, a filmmaker well versed in explosives on screen thanks to his 2008 stuntman doc Action Boys, carter follows an amnesia-stricken secret agent as he must complete a mission amid a raging pandemic that has turned the populace into zombies. Released this month on Netflix to exactly zero fanfare, carter is like John WickZack Snyders Dawn of the Dead and the eye-changing work of Russian madman Timur Bekmambetov (hardcore henry, night watch) thrown into a blender. (streaming on Netflix)

The princess: For reasons of corporate history too complicated and/or tedious to fully explain, Disney has thrown a lot of movies straight into its various streaming divisions this year, most titles being developed under Twentieth Century Fox, including this one Maushaus acquired in 2019. One such victim is this fun and fresh action comedy starring Joey King, which was released in July with a misleading title (this is a Die Hard-style affair with medieval trappings, no middle-class rom-com) and only the slightest bit of marketing awareness. Come for King’s charming performance, stay for Vietnamese director Le-Van Kiet’s excellent action scenes. (Streaming on Disney+ with Star)

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Hurry: For all the many hundreds of millions of dollars Netflix has pumped into The gray manat least half a percentage point of those resources could not be dedicated to Adam Sandler’s best project since Unpolished gems? Do not confuse the basketball drama Hurry for a Safdie Brothers level achievement à la gems – Director Jeremiah Zagar’s new film is a mostly straight-forward underdog sports story with some stylistic flourishes. But there’s enough to admire here, including an endearing twist from Sandler that makes it all Hurry a stand-up-and-cheer crowd pleaser. (streaming on Netflix)

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