This month’s exiting Netflix titles are rather comfort-food heavy: early entries in venerable franchises, classic romances and comedies, and endlessly re-watchable ’80s faves. Or is it just that everything feels like comfort food these days? (Dates indicate the final day a title is available.)

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The long-awaited third installment in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-fronted action-comedy “Bad Boys” franchise was one of the last big blockbusters to play theaters before lockdown, so you’ve got one more month to remember where it all started: the heady, innocent days of 1995, when Michael Bay was an ambitious young director of commercials and music videos, making his feature debut with a buddy cop movie originally written for Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz. Some fans prefer the unrestrained “Bay-hem” of “Bad Boys II” from 2003 (also departing Netflix this month), but the original is funnier, more coherent and boosted considerably by Téa Leoni’s charismatic supporting turn.

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Were it not for the pandemic, we would all be talking about Nia DaCosta’s remake of this 1992 horror favorite, originally slated for release in June; instead, you’ll just have to revisit the original. Written and directed Bernard Rose and based on a Clive Barker story, it concerns two graduate students (Virginia Madsen and Kasi Lemmons) who are investigating the urban legend of a killer who supposedly haunts a Chicago housing project. Rose delivers the gore, scares and terrifying imagery expected of the genre while exploring the fertile subtext of contemporary folklore and gentrification. Tony Todd is a genuinely chilling presence in the title role while the musical score by Philip Glass gives the picture an unexpected highbrow polish.

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This sly update by Amy Heckerling of Jane Austen’s “Emma” just passed the 25th anniversary of its release, and it remains one of the most influential films of the 1990s; it kicked off a wave of teen-friendly re-imaginings of classic literature, as well as the careers of several of its stars (including Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Donald Faison and Paul Rudd). Its genius remains its duality — Heckerling’s whip-smart screenplay maintains the themes and structure of Austen’s classic while inserting enough of her own voice and style to make it a memorable, quotable comedy in its own right.

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Harold Ramis begins his 1993 comedy with a delicious (and oft-replicated) premise: What if you were stuck living the exact same terrible day, over and over, no matter what you did? The “Caddyshack” director and his frequent collaborator Bill Murray ingeniously work through the possibilities of their “time loop” and then go a step further, pondering existential questions about the nature of humanity — and about the ways in which a selfish jerk might turn his dilemma into a teachable moment. It’s both uproariously funny and surprisingly warm, featuring some of Murray’s best work.

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The writer and director Cameron Crowe nabbed five Oscar nominations for this wise, charming romantic comedy about a slick sports agent (Tom Cruise) whose crisis of conscience changes the way he conducts his work — and by extension, his life. Cuba Gooding Jr. picked up the trophy for best supporting actor for his top-notch turn as Jerry’s star client, Regina King is magnificent as that client’s no-nonsense wife, and Renée Zellweger’s heart-on-her-sleeve performance as his unlikely romantic interest turned the then-unknown ingénue into a major star.

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This 1984 sports drama has been so thoroughly embedded into popular culture, it’s easy to forget that it was once as much of a scrappy underdog as its hero, a New Jersey teenager who moves to California and stumbles into the cross-hairs of a gang of local bullies. Its director, John G. Avildsen, was an old hand at stories like this; he directed the original “Rocky,” and as with that classic, the power of “The Karate Kid” lies less in the conflict at its conclusion than in the complex relationships that lead its characters there.

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This 2009 story of an unhinged mall security guard followed “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” into theaters by just three months, and audiences expecting similar slapstick shenanigans were knocked sideways by this pitch-black comedy whose “hero” hewed closer to Travis Bickle than to Paul Blart. Seth Rogen doesn’t softball the character’s considerable darkness while still finding the humor in his desperation and self-delusion. The writer and director Jody Hill perceptively explores the toxic masculinity and blowhard delusion that also defined his next project, HBO’s “Eastbound and Down.”

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Michael Mann’s dramatization of the pursuit and capture of the Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger left some critics (and audiences) scratching their heads back in 2009, baffled by the digital video photography that gave this period film a decidedly contemporary look. But in retrospect, Mann’s decision was a masterstroke, shaking off the dust of the 1930s costume drama and lending this historical story a buzzy, vibrant sense of now. Johnny Depp is magnetic in the lead while Christian Bale, Billy Crudup and Marion Cotillard shine in support.

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This sophomore feature from Spike Lee is an ambitious, provocative, thoughtful and frequently funny musical-comedy, chronicling the comings and goings at a Historically Black College (inspired by his own experiences as an undergrad at Morehouse). Lee uses the insular setting to closely examine conflicts within the Black community, taking on colorism, class resentment and gender roles in both dialogue and song. Keep an eye out for early appearances by Laurence Fishburne, Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito and more.

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Dustin Hoffman memorably sent up his own image and reputation with this 1982 comedy, starring as a struggling New York actor whose demands and perfectionism render him unemployable — so he dresses as a woman to get a plum role on a daytime drama. The plot is worked out to screwball perfection, with Larry Gelbart’s uproarious screenplay masterfully overlapping romances, pursuits and deceptions. But the director, Sydney Pollack, wisely gives the picture a post-Women’s Liberation edge, anchoring the high jinks to the emotional journey of man who comes to realize how poorly he treats women.

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Five years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the director Paul Greengrass crafted this minute-by-minute dramatization of that morning’s horrors, focused primarily on the story of United flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania. Greengrass is best known for directing several of the “Bourne” adventures, but his work here recalls his breakthrough 2002 film, “Bloody Sunday”; both films use the stylistic tools of documentary (hand-held camera, jagged editing, unknown and nonactors in key roles) to tell their tragic, true stories with harrowing, you-are-there immediacy.

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A deadly virus outbreak, mass protests that escalate into violence, a totalitarian government that’s losing control: Hey, who’s up for some relaxing, escapist entertainment? The Wachowskis tackled the screenplay adaptation of the graphic novel “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore, and the film is a thrilling synthesis of their sensibilities, intermingling the cinematic flourishes of their “Matrix” series with Moore’s “burn it all down” spirit. (James McTeigue directs.) Hugo Weaving is fiery and charismatic as the resistance firebrand “V,” while Natalie Portman pairs heart-rending vulnerability with fierce resolve as the young woman he drafts into the struggle.



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