Your August 2020 Watchlist: From romance to period dramas to uplifting dramas and even to new Hallmark premieres, these movies and shows are the best of what’s new to streaming, theaters, and TV this month.


Finding what new movies and shows to watch has been challenging this year. Movie studios delayed movie premieres (sometimes indefinitely), film and TV productions temporarily shut down, and yet, new premieres continue to come.

To help you know what’s new this upcoming month, I’ve compiled a list of the top new movies and shows to watch this August with a few extra streaming picks at the end!


AUGUST 2020 WATCHLIST: BEST NEW MOVIES AND SHOWS

(in alphabetical order)


1. ENDEAVOUR, SEASON 7

Endeavour season 7 promotional image
Credit: Courtesy of (C) Mammoth Screen

Official PBS Synopsis: “As Morse sees in the new year at an opera house in Venice, a murder in Oxford puts Thursday on a quest to find the man responsible. Returning home, Morse makes a new acquaintance, and old friendships show signs of strain.”

Genre: Period Drama, Crime, Mystery

Why You Should Watch: Endeavour is one of the best British historical mystery series, and it has some romance too!

Content Note: TV-14

Premiere Date: August 9, 2020at 9:00 PM/8 c.

How to Watch: Watch on PBS, or stream on PBS Passport, PBS Masterpiece Amazon Channel. 

2. ENDLESS 

Official Synopsis: “Endless follows love struck high school graduates Riley (Alexandra Shipp) and Chris (Nicholas Hamilton). When they are separated by a tragic car accident, Riley blames herself for her boyfriend’s death while Chris is stranded in limbo. Miraculously, the two find a way to connect. In a love story that transcends life and death, both Riley and Chris are forced to learn the hardest lesson of all: letting go.”

Endless movie poster; best new movies and shows in August 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Drama

Why You Should Watch: If you love romantic ghost stories, this one looks sweet and uplifting with an excellent cast, including Famke Janssen. It looks like one of the best new movies this month.

Content Note: NR (content unclear)

Premiere Date: August 14, 2020

How to Watch: Video on Demand

3. FATIMA

Official Synopsis: “A powerful and uplifting drama about the power of faith, Fatima tells the story of a 10-year old shepherd and her two young cousins in Fátima, Portugal, who report seeing visions of the Virgin Mary. Their revelations inspire believers but anger officials of both the Church and the secular government, who try to force them to recant their story. As word of their prophecy spreads, tens of thousands of religious pilgrims flock to the site in hopes of witnessing a miracle. What they experience will change their lives forever.”

Genre: Historical Drama

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy uplifting historical dramas, Fatima looks excellent. Plus, Goran Visnjic (Timeless) stars.

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: August 28, 2020

How to Watch: In theaters (limited release)

4. FLOWER OF EVIL

Flower of Evil k-drama poster

IMDb SynopsisFlower of Evil is a suspense melodrama about a man who hides his cruel past and changes his identity, while his detective wife tracks down his past.”

Genre: Korean Drama, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Romance

Why You Should Watch: Lee Joon-gi (Scarlet Heart Ryeo) stars and is one of the most popular K-drama actors. He’s brilliant at playing dark characters, so this series should be an exciting watch.

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: The first episode premiered on July 29th. New episodes will air every week until the finale.

How to Watch: Stream on Viki

5. GREENLAND

Official Synopsis: “Greenland is the story of a family’s fight for survival in the face of a cataclysmic natural disaster.”

Genre: Action & Adventure, Disaster, Suspense

Why You Should Watch: If you’re in the mood for a good, old-fashioned disaster flick, this one should fit the bill. Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin star. 

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: August 14, 2020

How to Watch: In theaters (limited release)

6. HALLMARK SUMMER NIGHTS (THREE NEW MOVIES)

Romance is in the Air (Hallmark Summer Nights poster); best new movies and shows in August 2020
Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Courtesy Candlelight Media Group 

Official Hallmark Synopsis of Romance in the Air: “After learning her job is on the line, Eden returns to Lake Tahoe where she used to spend her summers growing up. There she’s reunited with her childhood friend Riley and finds that the draw of her past might direct her future to a happiness she’s been missing in her life. Starring Cindy Busby and Torrance Coombs.”

Official Hallmark Synopsis of Love on Harbor Island: “When Seattle interior designer Lily Summers returns to her hometown to help her Aunt Maggie run her bed and breakfast by the marina, she meets Marcus, the handsome seaplane pilot whose life’s work delivering rescue dogs helps Lily discover that home really is where the heart is. Starring Morgan Kohan and Marcus Rosner.”

Official Hallmark Synopsis of Wedding Every Weekend: “Nate and Brooke are going to the same four weddings, four weekends in a row. To avoid the singles tables and set-ups, they agree to go together as “wedding buddies.” But what starts as a friendship soon becomes something deeper. Starring Kimberley Sustad and Paul Campbell.”

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Why You Should Watch: If you love wholesome romance movies, you won’t want to miss Hallmark’s new summer movie premieres!

Content Note: Likely TV G/PG

Premiere Dates: Romance in the Air premieres August 1 9/8c. Love on Harbor Island premieres August 8 9/8c. Wedding Every Weekend premieres August 15, 9/8c.

How to Watch: Watch on the Hallmark Channel.

7. HIGH SEAS, Season 3

SynopsisFollowing the death of their father, sisters Eva and Carolina Villanueva travel on the ocean liner, Bárbara de Braganza (formerly Covadonga), en route from Spain to Brazil in the late 1940s. They become embroiled in investigating mysterious deaths that occur at sea.

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Period Drama, Romance, Supernatural

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoyed the addictive period drama, Grand Hotel, then you’ll likely love this binge-worthy Spanish drama series too. It’s romantic and full of suspense.

Content Note: TV-MA but feels more like TV-14

Premiere Date: August 7, 2020

How to Watch: Netflix

8. IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC 

IMDb Synopsis: “In the Life of Music, a story told in three chapters, tells the story of how one song ‘Champa Battambang,’ a song made famous by Sinn Sisamuth (the King of Khmer Music), plays a role in the lives of three different generations.”

Genre: Drama, Family, Historical Drama, Romance, War

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy foreign films, this Cambodian drama looks beautiful about music’s power. There is also a love story in it. 

Content Note: NR (content unclear)

Premiere Date: August 14, 2020

How to Watch: Video on Demand

9. LOVECRAFT COUNTRY

Official HBO Synopsis: “Based on Matt Ruff ‘s novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he meets up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.”

Genre: Drama, Historical Fantasy, Horror

Why You Should Watch: The historical fantasy series looks intriguing as well as timely. With an all-star cast, a mysterious premise, and JJ Abrams producing, this could be a great new series.

Content Note: The rating is not available yet, so I’m unsure of the type of content. However, it is an HBO original series, so I’d imagine this will likely be TV-MA.

Premiere Date: August 16, 2020

How to Watch: HBO, HBO MAX

10. LUCIFER, SEASON 5 – Part 1

Lucifer season 5 poster; best new movies and shows in August 2020

IMDb Synopsis“Lucifer Morningstar has decided he’s had enough of being the dutiful servant in Hell and decides to spend some time on Earth to better understand humanity. He settles in Los Angeles – the City of Angels.”

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Crime

Why You Should Watch: The urban fantasy series is so much fun to watch! Tom Ellis is fantastic in the lead role, and the romance between Lucifer and Chloe is perfect. The last episode left on a massive cliffhanger, so I can’t wait for the new episodes to drop.

Content Note: TV-14

Premiere Date: August 21, 2020

How to Watch: Netflix

11. MADE IN ITALY 

IMDb Synopsis: “A bohemian artist who travels from London to Italy with his estranged son to sell the house they inherited from his late wife.”

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy uplifting family dramedies or films like Under the Tuscan Sun, this one looks promising. Plus, there’s Liam Neeson and Lindsay Duncan, who are both always good!

Content Note: Rated R for language, although the movie looks uplifting.

Premiere Date: August 7, 2020

How to Watch: Video on Demand

12. THE NEW MUTANTS 

Official Synopsis“In this terrifying, action-fueled film based on the MARVEL comic series, five young people who demonstrate special powers are brought to a secret institution to undergo treatments they are told will cure them of the dangers of their powers.”

Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror, Sci-fi

Why You Should Watch: Okay, so this movie’s been delayed for a couple of years, but it still looks like a fun film – kind of a throwback to ‘90s movies – or even a vintage L.J. Smith teen book. So, if you enjoy superhero films or teen movies, this could be an amusing escape.

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: August 28, 2020

How to Watch: In theaters

13. THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN 

Official Disney Synopsis: “An adaptation of the award-winning book about one very special gorilla, Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan” is an unforgettable tale about the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization and the significance of the place one calls home.”

Genre: Action & Adventure, Family film, Comedy, Animation

Why You Should Watch: If you’re looking for a movie to watch with the entire family, this one looks cute! Plus, it has great actors in it, including Angelina Jolie, Danny Devito, and Helen Mirren.

Content Note: PG

Premiere Date: August 14, 2020

How to Watch: Disney +

14. THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD

Official SynopsisFrom birth to infancy, from adolescence to adulthood, the good-hearted David Copperfield is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth, as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian England. As David sets out to be a writer, in his quest for family, friendship, romance and status, the story of his life is the most seductive tale of all.

The Personal History of David Copperfield Movie Poster; best new movies and shows in August 2020

Genre: Period Drama, Comedy, Romance

Why You Should Watch: It looks like a unique adaptation of Dicken’s beloved novel. It also seems quite funny. David Copperfield is at the top of my watchlist, for sure! Here’s to hoping this one’s good.

Content Note: PG

Premiere Date: August 28, 2020

How to Watch: In theaters

15. THE SECRET GARDEN (2020)

Official Synopsis: “Set in England during a new time period in 1947, the film follows a young orphan girl who, after being sent to live with her uncle, discovers a magical garden on the grounds of his estate.”

The Secret Garden movie poster; best new movies and shows in August 2020

Genre: Period Drama, Family, Fantasy

Why You Should Watch: Based on a beloved classic children’s novel? Check. Stars Colin Firth? Check. Yeah, I’m watching this the day it comes out. If you love the classic story, this looks like a fantastic adaptation with gorgeous visuals.

Content Note: PG

Premiere Date: August 7, 2020

How to Watch: Video on Demand

16. SUMMERLAND

Synopsis: “During World War II, an Englishwoman (Gemma Arterton) opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him in this moving journey of womanhood, love and friendship.”

Genre: Period Drama, War, Romance

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy cozy British period dramas, then the trailer looks encouraging. With excellent actors and an uplifting premise, it seems like must-see entertainment.

Content Note: PG

Premiere Date: August 7, 2020

How to Watch: Video on Demand

17. TESLA 

Official Synopsis: “Brilliant, brooding inventor Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition. Increasingly displeased by the greed of fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan), Tesla forges his own virtuous but arduous path toward creating the innovative alternate-current motor. His European nature is at odds with budding American industrialism, and the landscape of intellectual property is treacherous—and Tesla slowly becomes jailed in his overactive mind. His associate Anne Morgan (Eve Hewson) analyzes and presents his story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice in this scientific period drama.”

Tesla movie poster; best new movies and shows in August 2020

Genre: Historical Drama, Biopic

Why You Should Watch: Ethan Hawke stars in this unique-looking historical drama. If you’re a fan of biopics, Tesla looks like a must-watch movie. I’m especially intrigued by the modernist elements with a female character telling the story.

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: August 21, 2020

How to Watch: In theaters (limited), Video on Demand

18. THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY, SEASON 2

IMDb SynopsisA family of former child heroes, now grown apart, must reunite to continue to protect the world.

Genre: Action & Adventure, Fantasy

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy superhero shows or time travel, you’ll probably enjoy this show. It has interesting characters, engaging romances, and good plot twists.

Content Note: TV-14

Premiere Date: July 31, 2020

How to Watch: Netflix

19. WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS 

Waiting for the Barbarians movie poster

IMDb SynopsisA Magistrate working in a distant outpost begins to question his loyalty to the empire.

Genre: Period Drama

Why You Should Watch: Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson both star in what looks like a compelling historical drama about the effects of colonialism.

Content Note: NR (content unclear)

Premiere Date: August 7, 2020

How to Watch: In theaters (limited) and VOD

20. WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS 

IMDb Synopsis: A teenager coping with paranoid schizophrenia hopes his new experimental drug treatment will help him navigate high school and the outside world.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Why You Should Watch: This looks like a sweet teen romance film about mental illness. It also reunites two cast members from Lost in Space!

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: August 21, 2020

How to Watch: In theaters (limited release)

Bonus Streaming Picks: 

The Promise poster

(These are a few standout movies and shows coming to streaming in August)

Before Sunrise/Before Sunset (These romantic drama films come to HBO Max on August 1)

The Brilliant Bronte Sisters (The documentary comes to Acorn TV on August 17)

The Holiday (The rom-com comes to Prime Video on August 1)

The Promise (The romantic period drama comes to Netflix on August 8)

Remember Me (The romantic drama comes to Netflix on August 1)

What new movies and shows do you plan to check out in August? Let me know in the comments!

Featured image credit: The Secret Garden (STXfilms), The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight Pictures), and Lucifer (Netflix).

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