You know how new DVDs and Blu-rays always come out on a Monday? Netflix laughs in the face of such regimented scheduling and instead releases all of its new TV shows and movies whenever the heck it feels like it.
That can make keeping track of all of the new stuff a first-world nightmare of epic proportions.
But help is at hand: here we highlight all of the best new stuff on Netflix. And yes, that does mean we've left out all of the rubbish, so you won't find the likes of Frontier, Santa Clarita Diet or Sharknado: The 4th Awakens here.
Instead, allow us to guide you, truffle pig-like, to the finest and freshest streaming fungus.
Note: the newest stuff is at the top of the list, with the shows and movies getting progressively less new as you scroll down and switch pages
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Imbued with the same sense of windswept Scandinavian desolation so associated with TV shows such as The Killing, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo finds Daniel Craig’s dishonoured journalist working for hire to solve the historic, unexplained disappearance of a businessman’s grand-niece.
Enlisting the help of Rooney Mara’s angsty hacker to unearth the truth, the deeper he searches through the stories, photos and memories of those still around, the darker things become.
Themes including rape, murder and torture (not to mention a thick-in-the-chest sense of tension that will make your palms sweat throughout) make this Swedish picture tricky viewing, but it’s a thriller of a thriller all the same.
Watch it for the sinister story, stay for Craig’s surprise turn of form, remember it for Rooney Mara’s astounding commitment to her role. The soundtrack is impeccable, too.
As Good As It Gets
Jack Nicholson has a face that lends itself naturally to playing grumpy old buggers who hate everyone. He already had it in the ’70s, when he was making classics like Five Easy Pieces and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and the shrivelling effects of age have just made it better. By the time he made this – it came out in 1997, when he was 60 – he was just about hitting peak curmudgeon.
As Good As It Gets is technically a bittersweet romcom, but it’s not very sweet and it’s certainly not very rom. Even so, we’re not giving too much away if we tell you he’s a slightly less grumpy old bugger at the end than he is at the beginning.
Love - season 2
"Created, written and executive produced by Judd Apatow" is a phrase that's a lot more exciting to some people than to others, but if you're even slightly drawn to his particular brand of mumbly, honest, relationship-based humour, you'll almost certainly enjoy this new 10-part Netflix Original.
Love is a story of two useless, directionless, loveless people at opposite ends of the loser spectrum, who bumble into each other's lives and begin a relationship that at many times isn't particularly good for either of them. This isn't laugh-a-minute stuff, but spending time with the substance-abusing Mickey (Community's Gillian Jacobs) and pathetic pushover Gus (Paul Rust) is an occasionally painfully awkward, occasionally guffaw-inducing pleasure.
The second series, just added, refines the formula. It's still far from a TV show for everyone, but if you liked the first series you'll love the second.
Well this is a bit weird: rather than one of those one-off stand-up specials that Netflix is so keen on commissioning these days, here we have the first two of a series of three stand-up specials. But then this is Dave Chappelle; the enigma, the legend, the king of self-destruction.
This is a man who was always fond of pushing peoples' buttons, who walked out on $50m TV deal, and who has spent the last decade only occasionally stepping into the spotlight to be furious about the entertainment industry - but if you're expecting fireworks you might be disappointed.
That's not to say these aren't enjoyable sets. On the contrary, there are chuckles aplenty as Chappelle riffs on topics close to his heart such as Bill Cosby, the comedy scene, racial inequality and OJ Simpson, but the two shows are also lacking the sort of bite that many will be expecting.
Other than some 'bits' on LGBQT themes that some will find insensitive at best, this is enjoyable but safe stand-up. Which would be fine - but this is Dave Chappelle. Hopefully the third, yet to be released, show will be a little more progressive and edgy.
American Crime Story: The People V OJ Simpson
It’s a testament to the slick brilliance of this docu-drama that despite EVERYONE IN THE WORLD KNOWING WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END it’s still shot through with near-constant tension and moments of utter disbelief. Truly, you finish almost every episode thinking ‘That’d never happen in real-life’ before remembering that yes, it did.
Maybe it’s the story we should be crediting, because it has everything: murder, sex, fame, money, race, power and John Travolta’s really odd-looking face. But at the same time it feels wrong to be positive about it, because the events depicted here are almost uniformly tawdry and leave almost all of the major players looking distinctly flawed. And, y’know, two people got killed.
Outside of the story itself, the reason why it all works is that the the script is razer-sharp and the acting excellent - Sarah Paulson is particularly good as lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, and Cuba Gooding Jr, David Schwimmer and Sterling K. Brown all shine too. The period detail also helps; despite the fact that these events took place only 20-odd years ago, it might as well have been 200, and you’re swiftly plunged back into a world of perms and mullets. Joy.
Loosely based on real-life events in 2009, when Somali pirates hijacked a US cargo ship and took Captain Richard Phillips hostage, this thriller is now available in 4K. So you’ll be able to see every sweaty pore on Tom Hanks’ face as he attempts to negotiate with the hijackers and save his crew hidden below deck.
As a logical viewer you know the American hero will likely survive, especially when the US Navy turns up, but even so, watching Captain Phillips is still an exercise in coping with stress. The tension zigzags throughout, so keep on holding your cushion.
Everybody’s favourite part-time cereal refuser and full-time dreamboat, Ryan Gosling, dons a snazzy jacket to play an unnamed getaway driver of very few words. When his neighbour’s husband returns from prison with a hefty debt to the local mob, the Driver offers to help out in a robbery that’ll pay it off. But you’ll never guess what – it doesn’t quite go as planned.
Drive is director Nicolas Winding Refn’s best film by far but it’s very much a case of style over substance. Still, when that style is as sharp as this, with its pulsing (if now completely overplayed) soundtrack; moody, noirish feel; and heart-thumping driving sequences, we’re not complaining. Certainly not to the Driver’s face. Have you seen what he does with a hammer and nail?
Kingsman: The Secret Service
We’d all like to be James Bond for the day, drinking martinis and driving Aston Martins as part of our day job. Luckily for Welsh star Taron Egerton, he came pretty close when he starred as a British secret agent in Kingsman.
This spy film isn’t as serious as Daniel Craig’s frown though, with cheeky humour and over-the-top fight scenes that look like something out of a Tarantino flick. Plus, central character Eggsy is noticeably more relatable than the steely Bond, having been brought up on the backstreets of London rather than the elitist Eton College.
Factor in a cast that oozes British class, including Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Mark Strong, and you have the perfect action-flick to watch while sipping your tea and humming God Save the Queen.
The Big Lebowski
Does anyone not like the Coen brothers? Maybe there’s a woman somewhere in Minnesota who refuses to watch their films because Joel didn’t ask her to the prom in 1971. Maybe there’s a man somewhere in Cheshire who’s never seen any of them because Ethan looks like the sod who ran over his dog. But the rest of us are all on board, right?
Fargo (1996) was the breakthrough movie that made their reputation for somehow managing to be funny, warm, dark and grotesque all at the same time. The Big Lebowski came two years later and it’s every bit as watchable, with John Goodman and Jeff Bridges in a ramblingly daft story of money, revenge and bowling.
This Brazilian Netflix Original takes the intriguing concept of a world where the lucky few live in an Earthly paradise of gleaming spires and incredible technology, inhabited by beautiful people eating the best food and enjoying free healthcare - while the other 97% of the population reside in slums. Yes, it’s Broken Britain 2017. Ahem.
To enter this paradise the slum dwellers must pass a series of gruelling tests designed to separate the human wheat from the sub-human chaff and it’s this process that the first season of 3% follows. It all quickly goes a bit Battle Royale, with factions forming and alliances breaking as the desperate teens compete to earn themselves a better life.
Concept-wise it might sound a bit young adult fiction, but 3% is a superior take on the genre, thanks to some really well-rounded characters and quite a few genuine surprises. Here’s hoping it gets the second series it deserves.