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What to Watch: The 20 Best New Movies and Shows on Streaming, TV, and Theaters This July

Your July 2021 Watchlist: Find out what new romances, period dramas, Hallmark premieres, and more to watch on streaming, TV, and movie theaters this month.

Summer is here – and with it comes many new movie releases, TV premieres, with some content going to theaters and others going to streaming. Yeah, it’s more than a little confusing knowing what to watch! So, we’re here to help with the confusion and recommend some great content coming your way.

july 2021 what to watch featured image; photo collage of new movies and shows
Photo: Crashing Through the Snow (Crown Media), The Pursuit of Love (BBC/Amazon Studios), Resort to Love (Netflix), Jungle Cruise (Disney), and The Last Letter From My Lover (Netflix)

We’ve selected new movies and shows for the top 20 rather than everything coming to streaming for this what to watch breakdown. We also mainly focused on period dramas and romances, but there is also some fantasy, adventure, mystery, documentaries, and more! However, at the bottom, we included a bonus section of streaming picks focused on period dramas and romance!

Here is a list of what to watch this July, plus when and how for each movie and show.

NOTE: Premiere dates for the new movies and shows are subject to change. Also, as these are new movies and shows, how explicit a movie or show is may be unknown for some of the titles. 


WHAT TO WATCH: THE JULY 2021 WATCHLIST – BEST NEW MOVIES & SHOWS

(in alphabetical order)


#1 BLACK WIDOW

black widow promotional poster
Photo Credit: Marvel/Disney

Official Synopsis:

In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

Genre: Adventure, Action, Spy

Why You Should Watch: Black Widow finally gets the chance to shine as the main character of a Marvel movie. It looks like great fun with a fantastic cast and an entertaining plot.

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: July 9, 2021

How to Watch: Wide release in movie theaters and Disney+ (for an extra fee).

#2 THE COOK OF CASTAMAR

The Cook of Castamar photo

Netflix Synopsis: 

In 1720 Madrid, a talented cook catches the eye of a widowed duke just as he returns to aristocratic society. Based on the novel by Fernando J. Munez. 

Genre: Romantic Drama, Spanish Drama

Why You Should Watch: 

If you’re a fan of epic romantic Spanish dramas, this period drama series looks like a grand example with soapy plot twists and swoony romance scenes. However, this one may be on the steamier side than the more wholesome Grand Hotel

Content Note: TV-MA for sex and nudity (unclear how explicit this show will be).

Premiere Date: July 9, 2021

How to Watch: Netflix

#3 CRASHING THROUGH THE SNOW

Hallmark's Crashing Through the Snow promotional photo with Amy Acker
Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Steven Ackerman

Hallmark Synopsis: 

Maggie and Sam are crashing Christmas. When he proposes they team up against his sister’s perfect Christmas, neither of them are prepared for the blended family challenges that lie ahead.

Genre: Romance, Drama

Why You Should Watch: If you love Hallmark Christmas movies and their sweet flavor of romance, this new TV movie starring the always likable Amy Acker looks promising.

Content Note: TV-G

Premiere Date: SAT July 10, 2021, 9/8c 

How to Watch: Watch on the Hallmark channel.

#4 CW PREMIERES (THE OUTPOST SEASON 3: PART 2, ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO SEASON 3)

The Outpost publicity still
The Outpost. Photo: Electric Entertainment/CW

Genres: The Outpost (Fantasy, Drama, Adventure, Romance), Roswell, New Mexico (Fantasy, Sci-fi, Drama, Romance)

Why You Should Watch The Outpost: 

The Outpost is an underrated romantic fantasy series that gets better with each episode. If you haven’t watched it before, you can stream the previous seasons (first two seasons on IMDB TV, first half of season 3 on CW) and be ready to watch the second half of season 3 when it premieres soon – especially since it left on quite a cliffhanger. If you love shows like Legend of the Seeker, you should like this one.

Roswell New Mexico photo with Max and Liz
Roswell, New Mexico. Photo: CBS Television/Warner Bros.

Why You Should Watch Roswell, New MexicoIf you’re a fan of star-crossed romance, then you should give this show a chance. It’s not nearly as good as the original 1999 series, but it still has much to recommend it. I’m excited to see what the new showrunner will do with the series, as there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Content Note: TV 14 

Premiere Dates: The Outpost (July 15, 2021), Roswell, New Mexico (July 26)

How to Watch: Watch on the CW or watch new episodes the next day on the CW streaming app. 

#5 GOSSIP GIRL, SEASON 1 (2021)

Gossip Girl 2021 cast photo
Photo: CBS/Warner Bros.

HBO Max Synopsis: 

A new generation of privileged New Yorkers are introduced to ruthless social surveillance eight years after the original blogger’s website went dark. Kristen Bell returns as the voice of the titular Gossip Girl.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Why You Should Watch: Gossip Girl is back. Now, this is a continuation/spinoff rather than a remake of the original CW series. While I have no idea what to expect from it, Kristen Bell is continuing the narration of the series, which is a good sign.

Content Note: Unknown rating, content unclear.

Premiere Date: July 8, 2021

How to Watch: HBO Max

#6 THE GREEN KNIGHT

The Green Knight movie poster

Official Synopsis: 

An epic fantasy adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. 

Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger. From visionary filmmaker David Lowery comes a fresh and bold spin on a classic tale from the knights of the round table.

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Why You Should Watch: Dev Patel stars in what looks like a very cool reimagining of the story. The Green Knight looks to be a promising addition to Arthurian movies.

Content Note: R for nudity, sexuality, violence (unclear how explicit the movie will be).

Premiere Date: July 30, 2021

How to Watch: In theaters – although it is only in a limited release.

#7 JUNGLE CRUISE

Jungle Cruise promo photo
Photo: Disney

Disney+ Synopsis:

Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” is a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. 

Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat—to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities.

Genre: Adventure, Period Fantasy

Why You Should Watch: It looks like a whole lot of fun for the entire family in a Pirates of the Caribbean/The Mummy kind of way with adventure and romance.

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: July 30, 2021

How to Watch: Wide release in theaters. You can also watch it on Disney+ for an extra fee.

#8 THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER

The Last Letter from Your Lover promo photo; couple in the rain with umbrella
Photo Credit: Blueprint Pictures/The Film Farm/Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: 

After finding a trove of love letters from 1965, a reporter sets out to solve the mystery of a secret affair—while embarking on a romance of her own. 

Genre: Drama, Romance

Why You Should Watch: It’s based on the novel by Jojo Moyes and looks to be an excellent romance film Possession fans might enjoy! The all-star cast doesn’t hurt either.

Content Note: TV-MA for language

Premiere Date: July 23, 2021

How to Watch: Netflix

#9 LOVE, FOR REAL

Love, For Real Hallmark promo photo
Credit: Crown Media

Hallmark Synopsis: 

Hayley and her best friend Bree go on a reality dating show to publicize her fashion line, but nothing goes as planned when love, friendship, and careers are on the line. 

Genre: Romance

Why You Should Watch: Scott Michael Foster (Chasing Life) in a new Hallmark romance should be a nice treat! 

Content Note: Likely TV-G

Premiere Date: July 31, 2021, 9/8c

How to Watch: Hallmark Channel

#10 MS. FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES, SEASON 2 FINALE

Ms Fisher promo photo season 2
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Acorn TV

Episode 8 Official Synopsis: 

It’s New Year’s Eve at the Adventuresses’ Club, and dead on the floor is the singer of Melbourne’s hottest pop band. Earlier that night, as Peregrine welcomes guests to the Adventuresses’ Club for a lavish New Year’s Eve party.

Before long, the shot rings out again, and Peregrine realizes she’s been looking at the murderer all night without even knowing it.

Genre: Period Drama, Mystery, Crime, Romance

Why You Should Watch: All fans of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries should watch this delightful spinoff about her niece! The season finale is sure to be a good episode.

Content Note: NR but TV-14-like

Premiere Date: July 19, 2021

How to Watch: Acorn TV. All episodes will be available to watch!

#11 THE PURSUIT OF LOVE

The Pursuit of Love photo with Lily James
Photo: BBC/Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

The Pursuit of Love follows the friendship between cousins Linda and Fanny, which will be put to the test as Fanny settles for a steady life and Linda decides to follow her heart.

Genre: Period Drama, Romance

Why You Should Watch: It’s based on a lovely classic novel and has a brilliant cast, including Lily James, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Emily Mortimer, and Andrew Scott.

Content Note: TV-PG

Premiere Date: July 30, 2021

How to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

#12 RESORT TO LOVE

Resort to Love
Photo Credit: Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: 

Reeling from a broken engagement and career meltdown, a singer takes a gig at a swanky island resort — where her ex-fiance happens to be getting married.

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Why You Should Watch: It looks like the perfect escapist rom-com for the summer! We can’t wait for this one.

Content Note: TV-PG

Premiere Date: July 29, 2021

How to Watch: Netflix

#13 RHS TATTON PARK FLOWER SHOW 2021

Genre: Documentary/Reality

Why You Should Watch: This is an unusual choice we know, but we love gardens and flowers and feels it fits well into our Romantic Living section here at Silver Petticoat.

So, watch this if you love gardens and everything British and need something relaxing to enjoy. Who knows, maybe it will inspire you to go to this fabulous event in person one day.

Content Note: Likely TV-G based on past flower shows. 

Premiere Date: July 23, 2021

How to Watch: BritBox

#14 SCHMIGADOON!

Apple TV Synopsis: 

In this parody of 1940s musicals, backpacking couple Melissa and Josh get trapped in Schmigadoon, a magical town filled with singing and dancing townspeople, and learn they can’t leave without finding true love—which they thought they already had.

Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance

Why You Should Watch: This looks like the perfect show for musical lovers! It looks hilarious, romantic, and a lot of fun – not to mention the fantastic cast. 

Content Note: TV-14

Premiere Date: July 16, 2021

How to Watch: Apple TV+

#15 THE TOMORROW WAR

The Tomorrow War promo photo
Photo Credit: Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

Time travelers arrive from 2051 to deliver an urgent message: 30 years in the future mankind is losing a war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians to be transported to the future and join the fight. 

Determined to save the world for his daughter, Dan Forester teams up with a brilliant scientist and his estranged father to rewrite the planet’s fate.

Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-fi

Why You Should Watch: If you’re in the mood for a Blockbuster from the comfort of your home, this alien sci-fi movie looks promising. And Chris Pratt is usually an entertaining lead.

Content Note: PG-13

Premiere Date: July 2, 2021 (now available)

How to Watch: Prime Video

#16 TURNER & HOOCH

turner & hooch poster

Disney+ Synopsis: 

Uptight young Deputy Marshal Scott Turner’s life is turned upside down when he inherits Hooch, a slobbery mess of a dog. His new pet is aggravating, but he turns out to be quite good at helping Scott catch criminals, find love, and maybe even solve the mystery of Scott’s Dad’s last case.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family

Why You Should Watch: If you liked the original movie with Tom Hanks, then this could be a fun continuation for the entire family. Plus, the Disney Plus original TV shows have been surprisingly good so far. 

Content Note: TV-PG

Premiere Date: July 21, 2021

How to Watch: Disney+

#17 UNFORGOTTEN, SEASON FOUR

Unforgotten promo photo
Credit: Courtesy of (C) Mainstreet Pictures LTD

PBS Synopsis of Season 4, Episode 1: 

Parts of a body are found in a scrapyard. Meanwhile, after making the decision to retire from the police force, Cassie faces a dilemma when she learns she isn’t entitled to her full pension payment unless she completes her 30 years of service.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Why You Should Watch: If you’re as big a fan of British crime shows as we are, then you’ll probably love Unforgotten. Season four premieres on PBS Mystery, and it has already received good reviews. 

Content Note: TV-MA for moderate language, moderate violence, and primarily mild sexuality.

Premiere Date: July 11, 2021

How to Watch: PBS, PBS Passport

#18 VIRGIN RIVER, SEASON 3

Genre: Drama, Romance

Why You Should Watch: Virgin River is an excellent romantic drama series with memorable characters, fantastic love stories, and small-town charm. Season 2 left on a massive cliffhanger, so season 3 can’t get here soon enough! If you haven’t watched the first two seasons yet, you can quickly catch up on Netflix. It’s definitely worth it.

Virgin River season 3 photo with Jack and Mel
Photo Credit: Netflix

Content Note: TV-14

Premiere Date: July 9, 2021

How to Watch: Netflix

#19 WEDDING OF THE CENTURY

Wedding of the Century on BritBox
Photo Credit: Netflix

Photo Credit: BritBox

About:

A new feature-length documentary from Touchdown Films marks the 40th anniversary of Charles and Diana’s wedding, featuring beautifully restored high-definition film and exclusive interviews with those who worked behind the scenes.”

Genre: Documentary

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy documentaries about the British royal family, this sounds like a lovely one. 

Content Note: Unknown – but likely to be mild.

Premiere Date: July 29, 2021

How to Watch: BritBox

#20 YOU ARE MY SPRING

Netflix Synopsis: 

A hotel concierge and a psychiatrist with traumatic childhoods form a heartfelt bond when they become entangled in a perplexing local murder case.

Genre: Romance, Drama, Korean Drama

Why You Should Watch: This latest romantic Kdrama looks cute, so if you’re a fan of the k-drama-style, and enjoy a bit of murder mystery and romance, give this one a try! 

Content Note: TV-14

Premiere Date: July 5, 2021

How to Watch: Netflix

MORE NEW MOVIES & SHOWS TO WATCH: 

  • A Perfect Fit (Indonesian Rom-Com; Netflix – 7/15)
  • BritBox’s Annual Mystery Month (Started 7/1)
  • Cousins (Drama; Netflix – 7/22)
  • CW Shows (The latest seasons of Charmed, The Flash, All-American, Batwoman, and Nancy Drew are coming this month to either Netflix or HBO Max. Legacies should be coming soon, but no announcement has been made yet.)
  • Dr. Death (Drama; Peacock – 7/15)
  • The First Wives Club, Season 2 (Comedy; BET+ – 7/15)
  • Grey’s Anatomy, Season 17 (Romance, Drama; Netflix – 7/3)
  • The Heart Guy, Season 5 (Drama, Comedy; Acorn TV – 7/26)
  • Jack Irish, Season 3 (Crime, Drama; Acorn TV – 7/12)
  • The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52 (Documentary; Limited Theaters – 7/9)
  • My Amanda (Filipino Romance; Netflix – 7/15)
  • Old (Drama, Mystery, Thriller; Wide Release Theaters – 7/23)
  • Once I Was Engaged (Rom-com; Limited Theaters – 7/21)
  • Professor T, season 3 (Crime, Mystery; PBS – 7/9)
  • Smother (Thriller; Peacock – 7/1 – now available)
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy (Adventure, Family; Wide Release in Theaters and Streaming – 7/16)
  • This Little Love of Mine (Rom-com; Netflix – 7/7)
  • Young Royals (Drama, Romance; Netflix – 7/1 – now available)

BONUS STREAMING PICKS (ROMANCE, ROMANTICISM, & PERIOD DRAMA): 

AMAZON PRIME VIDEO:

July 1 – now available

  •  Across The Universe 
  •  Big Fish 
  •  Burlesque 
  •  Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner 
  •  Julie & Julia 
  •  Marie Antoinette 
  •  Midnight In Paris 
  •  On The Waterfront 
  •  Rear Window 
  •  The Family Stone 
  •  The Mask Of Zorro 
  •  Vertigo 

 July 16

  •  Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day 

 IMDB TV

 July 1 – now available

  •  A Beautiful Mind
  •  Bridge of Spies
  •  Forever My Girl
  •  Hope Floats
  •  La Bamba
  •  Love Actually
  •  Meet Joe Black
  •  Sense and Sensibility
  •  Soul Food
  •  The Nanny Diaries

 July 15

  •  Devious Maids: Seasons 1-4

HULU: 

July 1 – now available

  • Australia 
  •  Big Fish 
  •  Bohemian Rhapsody 
  •  Chaplin 
  •  Confessions Of A Shopaholic 
  •  Rebel in the Rye 
  •  Seabiscuit 
  •  Something’s Gotta Give 
  •  Stand by Me 
  •  William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet 

July 3

  •  Flower of Evil Season 1

July 8

  •  Murdoch Mysteries Season 13

July 26

  •  The Artist 

HBO MAX

July 1 – now available

  •  Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks
  •  Joe Versus the Volcano
  •  Laws Of Attraction
  •  Maid in Manhattan 
  •  Monster-In-Law
  •  Reds 
  •  Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman 
  •  The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep 

NETFLIX: 

July 1 – now available

  • Dreamy Eyes 
  • Hampstead 
  • Life as we Know It 
  • Love Actually 
  • Mary Magdalene 
  • Memoirs of a Geisha 
  • Ophelia 
  • The Beguiled 
  • What Dreams May Come 

July 8

  • Home Again 

July 9

  • Finding Hubby 

July 16

  • The Twilight Saga Movies

PARAMOUNT PLUS: 

July 1 – now available

  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Love Story
  • Something’s Gotta Give
  • The Queen
  • William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet

FURTHER INFORMATION

· To find out the times for the many romances and period dramas on TCM, check out the full schedule HERE.

· For current shows airing on Viki (Asian Dramas), go HERE.

What new movies and shows do you plan to watch this July? Let me know in the comments!


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By on July 2nd, 2021

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a blogger/writer full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

More posts by this author.

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