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 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
Want to see Robert Pattinson shed the last vestiges of his Twilight years’ teen heartthrob persona? Then settle down and stream this dirty-as-dog-food indie movie, in which R-Patz – possibly channelling Vincent Gallo – plays a lean, quite possibly deranged bank robber who winds up having one heck of a day when his brother and partner-in-crime ends up being nabbed by the police.
Written and directed by the Safdie brothers, one of whom also co-stars and provides the incredible electronic score, Good Time is a panic-inducing ride through the bowels of New York, which twists and turns in ways you’ll never expect.
The arrival of every episode of the 1990s’ biggest sitcom on Netflix feels like an occasion worthy of fanfare – even if, let’s face it, you’ve probably seen them all multiple times before.
For the two or three readers that don’t know, Friends is a long-running multi-cam sitcom about a sextet of… well, let’s call them “buddies” living in New York. While it’s tightly packed with great gags and compelling, series-arching plots, the show’s true pull is in its sharply-drawn, likeable characters. Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Monica’s travails as they navigate love, career, life and everything in between are sure to suck you in, even if some of the writing can feel a bit dated at times.
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation
The comedy legend’s second batch of two hour-long standup specials made specifically for Netflix has arrived, and it’s fantastic stuff, with Chappelle effortlessly musing on race, politics, fame, wealth and even the controversy surrounding his last two specials in typically hilarious, insightful fashion. An essential watch for any fan of standup comedy who wants to see a true master at work.
Black Mirror (S4)
The latest batch of dystopian tales from Charlie Brooker and friends, Black Mirror is a series that explores our evolving relationship with technology – and finds very little to be optimistic about.
For some, the theme may have become a bit laboured (yeah, we get it: being reliant on social media interactions for your daily dopamine supply will leave you depressed and unfulfilled, and playing too many video games is… also bad), but there’s no doubt that the impeccable casting and high production values work alongside some brilliant idea to make Black Mirror one of the most consistently interesting drama shows on television.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Jerry Seinfeld might not appear on telly much these days (let’s face it, if you’re as rich as him it probably takes a lot of time and effort just getting down the driveway of your mansion), but he did make this passion project for the internet – and now the whole kit and caboodle is available to stream on Netflix.
Yep, all nine seasons – here organised into four “collections” by Netflix – are here, with each 15 minute-ish episode featuring Seinfeld picking up a celebrity (usually a comic or actor) in an interesting car and driving them somewhere to grab a cup o’ joe. It’s like a super-casual chat show, and great to watch when you’re in the mood for watching something light and refreshing.
It takes a lot of tact to make a film about a delicate subject like Boston’s Catholic priest child sex abuse scandal, but the host of nominations and wins Spotlight earned over the 2016 award season should clue you in: director Tom McCarthy absolutely nailed it.
The star-studded cast helps, getting you invested in the hard-working team of Boston Globe investigative journalists right from the off. Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber and Mark Ruffalo steal the show, but there are great performances from Stanley Tucci and Rachel McAdams too.
It’s tough to watch in places, but entirely engrossing and totally worth sticking through to the end – and a powerful reminder of why a free press is an essential part of any democracy.
Bright was Netflix’s big original movie release for the Christmas period – a buddy cop action thriller starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, directed by David “Suicide Squad” Ayer and set in an alternative version of modern day Los Angeles in which humans live alongside orcs, elves, fairies and magic.
There’s so much potential here – gamers and pen and paper RPG fans will realise that the setting is essentially Shadowrun, which has been crying out for some kind of TV series or movie adaptation – but anyone expecting great things will likely find themselves miffed at Bright’s lack of ambition.
The intriguing setup is barely explored beyond a few discussions between characters, and the analogues of orc mistreatment to racism don’t feel particularly inspired. Instead, the film seems more interested in being a standard-issue cop thriller with a slight twist – and that’s fine, but feels like a bit of a waste given the cast, the director and the budget. Perhaps the rumoured sequel, if it pans out, will take a better run at things…
Mad Max: Fury Road
You could fit the entire plot on the back of an Micro SD card, Tom Hardy basically just grunts for two hours and it should be 20 minutes shorter, but none of that really matters when the dystopian desert world Max and his entourage barrel relentlessly through has been so flawlessly realised. Fury Road is one breathless journey you can just strap in for and wait for it to blow your head off.
Back to the Future trilogy
We could mention something about hitting 88mph, or talk about how where we’re going, we won’t need roads, but there’s no point. You’ve heard it all before, and you know all the lines inside out.
Why? Because the Back to the Future trilogy is engrained into all of our heads. It's got it all - time travel, a mad scientist, 80s nostalgia, action, and more easter eggs than you can shake a Gibson ES-345 at. So what if the guitar itself came out two years after Marty’s high school dance? Just enjoy the show, man.