These days, the streaming cosmos is less about creating original content and more about passing blockbusters back and forth. See, for example, the last-minute addition of the Harry Potter series to HBO Max, which after just a few months is leaving the platform and heading to NBCUniversal’s Peacock.
That means if there are films clogging up your Netflix queue that you’re planning on getting around to eventually, they may leave the service before you get a chance to watch them. Below, we’re rounding up the best movies leaving streaming services at the top of September so you have a chance to knock them out before they disappear. But don’t stress too much — if you miss one of these films it’s very likely to hit another streaming service soon if its not in the lineup already.
Blue is the Warmest Colour
Based on the graphic novel by Julie Maroh, Blue is the Warmest Colour stars Léa Seydoux as Emma, a blue-haired artist who catches the eye of high school student Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) when she passes her on the street. The film follows Adèle over the course of several years as she comes to terms with her sexuality and falls in love with Emma. It’s tender and intimate and raw (both emotionally and sexually — Maroh criticized the sex scenes for looking more like pornography catered towards the male gaze than a convincing depiction of lesbian sex.)
Despite the controversy, Blue is the Warmest Color director Abdellatif Kechiche, Seydoux, and Exarchopoulos won the Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and for good reason.
Blue is the Warmest Colour leaves Netflix on August 24.
With Nia DaCosta’s remake on the way, now’s the perfect time to revisit the 1992 classic, which stars Virginia Madsen as a graduate student researching urban legends who summons an undead slayer, the Candyman, who was murdered in the 1890s by a lynch mob. Bearing a hook hand and followed by a swarm of bees, the Candyman (Tony Todd) is a horror icon alongside Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kruger.
Candyman leaves Netflix on August 30.
Alicia Silverstone stars as Cher Horowitz in Amy Heckerling’s beloved adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. Cher is a wealthy popular girl who can’t help herself from meddling in other people’s lives. She plays matchmaker for her teachers and for her best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash), and gives the “tragically unhip” Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy) a makeover, but her plans tend to backfire. When Tai becomes more popular than Cher, for example, Tai hits Cher with the best insult of all time: “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.” Come for the iconic fashions and one-liners, stay for the sweet (if slightly incestuous) relationship with a young Paul Rudd.
If the only thing you remember about Dirty Dancing is the actual dirty dancing (and, of course, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”) it’s worth a rewatch. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and loosely based on her own childhood as a teenage dancer, Dirty Dancing deals with abortion, classism, and oppressive gender roles. And, yes, there are plenty of fun dance numbers.
Dirty Dancing leaves Amazon Prime on August 30 and Hulu on August 31.
The Harry Potter movies
All eight films in the Harry Potter movie franchise were a surprise last-minute addition to HBO Max’s launch library, but after just a few short months, they’re leaving again. They’ll head to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, in October.
The Harry Potter franchise leaves HBO Max on August 25.
John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum
In the original 2014 John Wick film, Reeves stars as a retired assassin hellbent on revenge against the gangsters who killed his puppy. By 2019’s John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, he’s got a $14 million bounty on his head. Directed by Keanu Reeves’ The Matrix stunt double, Chad Stahelski, the John Wick series is a stunt wonk’s delight, chock full of gorgeously choreographed fight scenes. Parabellum dials that action up to 11, with some gleefully over-the-top set pieces.
John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum leaves HBO on August 31.
The Karate Kid
Pat Morita’s portrayal of the handyman, karate instructor, and widowed Japanese internment camp survivor Mr. Miyagi earned him an Academy Award nomination and a special place in all our hearts. The Karate Kid is even credited with popularizing karate in the U.S. — or at least popularizing “wax on, wax off” and “sweep the leg.”
The Karate Kid leaves Netflix on August 30.
Norman Jewison’s enchanting film is both funner and a little more melancholy than a traditional rom-com, thanks in large part to leading performances from Cher and Nicolas Cage, and a lovely operatic score. This may be your last chance to catch Moonstruck on streaming before it heads to the Criterion Collection in November.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
SpongeBob SquarePants is an uncommonly funny kid’s show and the 2004 movie lives up to the Nickelodeon series, building on its lore while maintaining its signature wacky humor. When Plankton steals King Neptune’s crown and frames his nemesis Mr. Krabs, it’s up to SpongeBob and Patrick to find the crown and bring it back. With guest stars like Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, and David Hasselhoff as himself, The SpongeBob SquarePants movie is just a delight.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie leaves HBO on August 31.
Robin Hardy’s trippy film about an uptight Catholic cop investigating a missing girl’s disappearance and unwittingly stepping into a Celtic-Pagan sacrifice ritual is a classic of folk horror. Christopher Lee is so much fun as the crunchy aristocrat Lord Summerisle, and Paul Giovanni’s folk songs, as sung by the Summerisle residents, add to the creep factor. (The 2006 remake starring Nicolas Cage is fun in a very different kind of way.)
The Wicker Man leaves Netflix on August 28.