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12 great movies leaving Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon at the end of September 2021

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Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, and Sigourney Weaver in Galaxy Quest. Photo: DreamWorks Pictures

Is it just me or is it getting chilly around here? Yes, the first days of fall are finally here, bringing with them a new crop of fresh new movies to watch as others wilt on the vein. There’s only a handful of days left in September, so what should you watch on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video before the month ends? Don’t worry, we got you covered.

We’ve combed through the wave of outgoing streaming releases to bring these platforms have to offer during this long holiday weekend. Here there are, 12 of the best movies leaving the major streaming platforms by Oct. 1.


Blow Out

John Travolta as Jack in Brian De Palma and John G. Fox’s Blow Out Photo: Filmways Pictures

Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, heavily inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni’s acclaimed 1966 film Blowup, is one of the most essential and riveting conspiracy thrillers of the 1980s. Starring John Travolta, the film follows as Jack Terry, a Philadelphia sound technician making a living off of sleazy B-horror films, who inadvertently records proof of a political assassination with his microphone while witnessing a car careen into a nearby creek. After saving Sally Bedina (Nancy Allen), a prostitute who was in the car at the time, Terry’s life is thrown into a tailspin when the conspirators behind the assassination attempt to erase any proof of their involvement and silence anyone who knows the truth. De Palma’s camerawork in this film is phenomenal, with beautiful 360-degree long shots, inventive slip-diopter scenes, and gorgeous colors. John Lithgow, in a surprising bit of against-type casting, place a sincerely menacing assassin who radiates a cool aura of malice every time he’s on screen. Blow Out’s finale is a devastating climax, followed by a final scene that is so eerie and heartbreaking that it’s guaranteed to linger with you well after the credits roll. —Toussaint Egan

Blow Out leaves Criterion Channel on Sept. 30.

Burning

Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) wanders through a field. Photo: Well Go USA Entertainment

Lee Chang-dong’s Burning easily ranks as one of the most engrossing psychological thrillers of the 2010s. Based on a 1992 short story by The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle author Haruki Murakami, the film focuses on the story of Lee Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in), an aspiring writer who reunites with his childhood friend Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo) after years apart ... or does he? Soon after Jong-su meets Ben (Steven Yeun), a “friend” of Hae-mi’s whose extravagant lifestyle, vague occupation, and seemingly iron-clad hold over Hae-mi conjures feelings of suspicion and jealousy within Jong-su. When Hae-mi suddenly disappears one day, Jong-su’s desperate search to find her unearths a web of implications that shake him to his core. Burning is a mystery-thriller that thrives on insinuations conveyed through a triumvirate of masterful performances between Yoo, Lee, and especially Yeun, whose portrayal as Ben sincerely ranks as one of the most unsettling on-screen antagonists in recent memory. —TE

Burning leaves Hulu on Sept. 30.

The Death of Stalin

death of stalin the scene in which stalin dies Photo: IFC Films

In the waning days of the Trump administration, when his Cabinet members begin resigning after the Capitol riot and reports emerged that his White House staff was mostly frantically engaged with seeking their next jobs, plenty of political pundits compared the situation to the one seen in Armando Iannucci’s 2017 political satire, The Death of Stalin. As Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin dies, his ministers and followers scramble to manipulate the situation, trying to perform mourning as publicly and decisively as possible, and simultaneously garner the support that will keep them alive in a particularly treacherous and lethal regime. That probably doesn’t sound funny, but the performances from figures like Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin, Jeffrey Tambor, and Paddy Considine are surprisingly winning, and the whole bleak comedy moves along at breakneck speeds as they all jockey for position. —Tasha Robinson

The Death of Stalin leaves Netflix on Sept. 30.

Galaxy Quest

Missi Pyle, Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Enrico Colantoni, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell in Galaxy Quest. Photo: DreamWorks Pictures

Galaxy Quest follows the story of the disgruntled cast members of the cancelled fictional cancelled sci-fi adventure series “Galaxy Quest” who are abducted by a race of aliens known as the Thermians who mistake the show for reality. Starring Tim Allen (Toy Story), Sigourney Weaver (Alien), Sam Rockwell (Moon), Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Daryl Mitchell (NCIS: New Orleans), and the late Alan Rickman (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Galaxy Quest is a loving parody of Star Trek and the series’ fandom, and even if somehow you’re not familiar with either one of those thing, it’s a hilarious sci-fi comedy that’s earned its status as a cult classic among its own devoted fanbase. —TE

Galaxy Quest leaves Hulu on Sept. 30.

The Karate Kid

Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) preparing a crane kick against his opponent Johnny Lawrence. Photo: Columbia Pictures

Before Cobra Kai, there was The Karate Kid. John G. Avildsen’s classic martial arts drama follows Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who struggles to adjust to his new home in Reseda, California after moving from New Jersey. Taunted by bullies and severely beaten by his adversary Johnny Lawrence (Billy Lawrence), Daniel is taken under the wing of the kindly handyman Mr. Miyagi and taught karate to defend himself and channel his aggression. Pat Morita’s iconic turn as Miyagi would go on to earn him a nomination for best supporting actor at the 57th Academy Awards, the popularization of karate across the US is often attributed to the commercial success of the film itself. More than a sports drama, The Karate Kid is a coming-of-age story about the importance of confidence, self-mastery, and the prioritization of strength of character over sheer physical aggression. —TE

The Karate Kid leaves Netflix on Sept. 30.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Photo: Kino Lorber

Hailed as China’s biggest arthouse hit of all time, Bi Gan’s 2018 drama Long Day’s Journey Into Night is a sultry and scintillating neo-noir that burns slow but bright across it’s two-and-a-half hour runtime. The film follows the story of Luo Hongwu (Huang Jue), a man who returns to his hometown of Kaili to attend his father’s funeral. While there, Luo reminisces on the death of his friend Wildcat and attempts to search for his lost love Wan Qiwen (Tang Wei) whom he lost contact with years prior. Gan’s film is perhaps best remembered for its second half, which takes the form of 59-minute unbroken long take of Luo sitting down to watch a movie before entering a strange otherworldly world conjured out of memory. The film is a strange beast, as much noir as it is a mood piece of dream logic, and undoubtedly one of the most impressive and visually stunning films to utilize 3D camera technology to date. (But it still plays well at home, too.) —TE

Long Day’s Journey Into Night leaves Hulu on Sept. 30.

The Man From Nowhere

Won Bin as widower-turned-vigilante Cha Tae-sik in 2010’s The Man From Nowhere Photo: Well Go Entertainment

Lee Jeong-beom’s 2010 action thriller The Man From Nowhere stars Won Bin as Cha Tae-sik, a laconic widower who forms an unlikely bond with a young girl (Kim Sae-ron) who lives in his apartment complex. When the girl and her mother are kidnapped by a gang of human traffickers attempting to track down a missing package of heroin, Tae-sik sheds his guise as a lowly pawnshop keeper and draws from his experience as a special forces agent in his efforts to rescue her. Filled with intense performances, deft cinematography, amazing fight choreography, and an excellent score by Oldboy composer Hyun-jung Shim, The Man From Nowhere is a film for the discerning action aficionado, a gripping and explosive drama rendered in dark blue hues and awash in an effortless sense of cool. —TE

The Man from Nowhere leaves Hulu on September 30.

On The Waterfront

Eva Marie Saint and Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront. Photo: Columbia Pictures

Elia Kazan is hailed as one of the most influential directors in the history of Hollywood filmmaking, renowned for such films as 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire and 1955’s East of Eden. His 1954 crime drama On The Waterfront is considered by many to be one of his best and, considering the real-life circumstances surrounding its creation, his most controversial. Starring Marlon Brando, the film follows an ex boxer and longshoreman named Terry Malloy who witnesses a murder perpetrated by the henchmen of his union boss. Wracked with remorse and responsibility for saying nothing, Terry is convinced by the murdered man’s sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint) to come forward with what he knows and name names. Brando’s performance is one for the ages, a somber and penitent presence that brings Budd Schulberg’s memorable screenplay fully to life. The controversy of the film is rooted in the fact that On The Waterfront is widely interpreted as Kazan’s answers to those who criticized him for naming eight of his former friends as communist sympathizers to Joseph McCarthy’s House Committee of Un-America Activities in 1952. No less than Orson Welles in 1982 described On The Waterfront as, “a celebration of the informer,” and Kazan himself a “traitor.” For all these reasons and more, On The Waterfront is a significant film in the oeuvre of America’s most celebrated directors and an essential watch. —TE

On The Waterfront leaves Amazon Prime Video on September 30.

Paprika

Paprika falling through the sky Image: Madhouse

Paprika, Satoshi Kon’s 2006 psychological fantasy film and his last before passing away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 46, is a kaleidoscopic journey into the minds of ordinary people via the adventures of Atsuko Chiba, a scientist who moonlights as psychiatric consultant who helps patients by diving into their dreams to unpack their trauma. When several of the machines she uses to perform her dream therapy are stolen, Paprika and her cohorts must find the culprits and retrieve the devices before the lines between reality and the dream world are irrevocably blurred forever. Filled with fantastical imagery, loving homages to films like Roman Holiday and From Russia With Love, and an infectiously memorable score by Berserk composer Susumu Hirasawa, Paprika is a modern anime classic. —TE

Paprika leaves Criterion Channel on September 30.

Pleasantville

Joan Allen and Tobey Maguire in Pleasantville. Photo: New Line Cinema

Garry Ross’ 1998 fantasy comedy-drama Pleasantville stars Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) as David, an introverted high schooler who yearns for the simple idyllic family and social life of his favorite ’50s sitcom Pleasantville. After crossing paths with a mysterious TV repairman, played by the late Don Knotts (The Andy Griffith Show), he and his sister Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) are transported into the world of the show following a freak thunderstorm. As the siblings attempt to meld into the literal black-and-white status quo of their newfound home, the nuances of their behaviors begin to trigger inexplicable consequences that open the small town to a world of brave and terrifying possibilities. —TE

Pleasantville leaves HBO Max on September 30.

Point Blank

Lee Marvin as Walker holding a pistol and staring at a mysterious package floating in a ravine. Photo: MGM

Based on Donald E. Westlake’s 1963 novel The Hunter, John Boorman’s crime thriller Point Blank stars Lee Marvin as Walker, a career gangster who embarks on a quest for revenge after being betrayed and left for dead by his former friend and partner Mal Reese (John Vernon). While ostensibly motivated by the money owed to him for agreeing to help Mal on one last job, Walker’s bloody campaign for retribution takes on a life of its own as he winnows away at the key players of a vast criminal syndicate in his journey to be made whole. With terrific performances, fantastic sound design, remarkable visuals and a propulsive plot, Point Blank is a cult classic among crime films that’s as impressive now as it was back in 1967. —TE

Point Break leaves HBO Max on September 30.

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 HBO Max on September 30.