10 things to watch in August 2021 on Netflix, HBO Max and Disney Plus

The Suicide squad
(Image credit: Jessica Miglio/™ & © DC Comics)

This August there is a whole load of new shows and movies to watch across a range of streaming services. Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus and more have got a huge amount of can’t-miss content dropping over the next month.

The summer movies are still coming thick and fast as studios rush to get as many summer movies that were delayed due to the pandemic onto streaming platforms and into theaters as possible. Big blockbusters like The Suicide Squad and Free Guy release this month as well as the highly-anticipated horror movie Candyman.

Meanwhile, the summer TV season continues with Disney Plus launching the first animated Marvel series, What If?. Plus, beloved hits Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Walking Dead begin their final seasons this month.

There’s plenty to watch this month so here’s our guide for the best new shows and movies to watch this August on Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus and more. 

Best new shows and movies to watch in August 2021

The Suicide Squad (HBO Max, August 6) 

The Suicide Squad

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures & DC Comics)

Aiming to wash away the disappointment of 2016’s Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad is a new take on the motley band of villains from James Gunn, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy. While most of the old cast is out — though Margot Robbie is returning as Harley Quinn — new faces to the team include Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Peacemaker (John Cena), plus there’s a humanoid shark voiced by Sylvester Stallone. It all looks deliriously odd and comes to HBO Max on August 6.  

What if…? (Disney Plus, August 11) 

New on Disney Plus August 2021: What If ...

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

The first animated series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe premiers this month and aims to answer the titular question. What if certain events in the MCU had played out slightly differently. Like Peggy Carter being given the super-solider serum instead of Steve Rogers, or what if our favorite Marvel heroes became zombies? This anthology series will be non-cannon but should still give fans a unique perspective on the much-loved Marvel universe. The voice cast is also extremely impressive with the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman and Tom Hiddleston all reprising their MCU roles.  

The Kissing Booth 3 (Netflix, August 11)  

the kissing booth 3

(Image credit: Netflix)

The wildly popular Kissing Booth trilogy concludes in August as Elle finds herself torn between her best friend Lee and boyfriend Noah — wasn’t that pretty much the plot of the last two movies? Nevertheless, while the franchise has never been much of a critical darling, it’s earned a legion of passionate fans who no doubt will have the tissues at the ready for the emotional finale of this tween love story. The Kissing Booth 3 hits Netflix on August 11.  

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, August 12) 

brooklyn nine-nine

(Image credit: John P. Fleenor/NBC)

Beloved sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine begins its swansong this month. The show has always had an underdog spirit to it and came perilously close to cancellation on a few occasions, but the door on the police precinct will permanently close this year. Season 8 will be comprised of just 10 episodes, but that should be enough time for fans to say goodbye to the beloved Nine-Nine squad. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the best sitcoms of the last decade, so if you missed out on its original run over the last several years now is a great time to get caught up ahead of the finale.  

Free Guy (In theaters, August 13) 

Free Guy

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

After seeing its release date pushed back three times due to the pandemic, Free Guy is finally getting released this month. Opting to launch exclusively in theaters, which feels like a relic from a previous era at this point, you’ll need to venture beyond your living room to see this one. It might be worth the trip as the high-concept comedy sees Ryan Reynolds play an average man who discovers he’s actually a character in a video game and must save his world from being shut down by its developer.  

Beckett (Netflix, August 13) 


(Image credit: Netflix)

Starring John David Washington, star of last summer’s Tenet and son of cinematic legend Denzel Washington, Beckett sees an American tourist become the target of a manhunter after a devastating accident. Alicia Vikander will co-star and Netflix is likely hoping this will be another action-thriller that explodes in popularity just like the Chris Hemsworth-lead Extraction did last April.  

Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu, August 18)

nine perfect strangers

(Image credit: Hulu)

Nicole Kidman and writer/producer David E. Kelley team up again after the success of Big Little Lies to adapt another novel by Liane Moriarty: Nine Perfect Strangers. The series follows a group of people who attend a wellness retreat where things aren’t quite what they seem — sounds pretty intriguing. The cast also includes Luke Evans, Michael Shannon and Melissa McCarthy, and the series will hit Hulu in mid-August.  

The Walking Dead (AMC, August 22) 

The Walking Dead seaosn 11

(Image credit: AMC)

All good things must come to an end, and to be honest The Walking Dead has long been a zombie of the formerly great thriller series it once was. It’ll end this year with its 11th season. Once the biggest show on television, its popularity has seriously waned in recent years but it still enjoys a horde of dedicated fans who will no doubt be sad to see this one shuffle off our screens. Don’t worry if you’re not ready for the end; there are still multiple spin-off shows and the Rick Grimes-focused movie remains in production. The flagship may finally be reaching its end, but The Walking Dead franchise has plenty of life left in it yet. 

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (Netflix, August 23) 

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf characters

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher Season 2 will premier in December, but to hold us over Netflix offers the feature-length The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. This animated movie focuses on Vesemir, Geralt’s mentor and fellow Witcher. Not a huge amount is known about the plot but the first teaser trailer definitely caught our attention. Expect a dark tale crammed full of hideous monsters, this won’t be one for the kids. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf will begin streaming on Netflix on August 23.  

Candyman (In theaters, August 27) 


(Image credit: Universal)

This follow-up to the 1992 cult classic is another film that has had its release date pushed back multiple times but Universal has finally settled on August 27. Co-written by Jordan Peele, this reimaging of the Candyman is technically a spiritual sequel to the original although it should still be accessible to newcomers. The trailers look absolutely terrifying, and though it’s not yet Halloween season this might be the scariest film you’ll see all year. It’s only releasing in theaters so at least you won’t have to watch this one alone.  

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.