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
White Lines (S1)
We all have a friend who went to Ibiza a few times and won’t shut up about it. Our advice? Stick them in front of this ludicrously OTT, endlessly enjoyable new series from Money Heist creator Alex Pina, which somehow works as both a raucous celebration and withering critique of the Balearic hedonism hotspot. It’s guaranteed to stop them banging on about seeing Paul Oakenfold DJing at Café Mambo in 2003 – even if it’s only for the duration of its ten episodes.
A murder mystery flitting between the present day and the 1990s, White Lines is about as far removed from Agatha Christie’s genteel drawing rooms as can be – and yet its sun-, sex-, sand- and seriously strong drug-filled plot and cast of colourful characters works in much the same way. You’ll want to find out whodunnit, and you’ll enjoy the journey to get there.
The Last Dance (S1)
Arguably the greatest sporting icon of all time, Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to a string of NBA championship victories in the 1990s. By 1998, however, it seemed like the team’s era of dominance – and Jordan’s place at its heart – was in the balance. This masterful 10-part documentary tells the story not just of that fateful season but of Jordan’s rise from green rookie to globe-spanning superstar, and of how the Bulls built their hegemony after years of underachievement.
Soundtracked and edited to perfection, The Last Dance will appeal not only to basketball and sport fans, but to anybody who appreciates a story well told and a glimpse into the strangely singular mind of mercilessly driven individuals such as Jordan. Those looking for a nostalgic trip back to the 90s won’t be disappointed either.
You’ve Got Mail
One of the great romantic comedies of the era before romantic comedies discovered irony, gross-out jokes and Matthew McConaughey, Nora Ephron’s 1998 follow-up to the similarly beloved When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle remains an involving watch over two decades later.
It features fine performances from Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as rival bookstore owners brought together by fate – and the internet. The two meet in a chatroom, making You’ve Got Mail a movie very much of its time; in fact, it’s practically an ad for AOL. Thankfully, Hanks and Ryan are both so warm and likeable that this film works, and doesn’t just feel like a product placement-packed museum piece about finding love on the nascent world wide web.
Ryan Murphy has been behind some the biggest TV shows of the past few years in Glee, American Horror Story and American Crime Story, as well as last year’s Netflix Original The Politician (soon to get a second season).
Quite how he found time to co-write and co-produce (plus direct the first episode of) this glitzy series about Tinseltown in the post-WWII years, we’ll never know, but Hollywood is packed with the same kind of campy delights, gags and involving drama as his previous shows. Focussing on how Hollywood marginalised and exploited minorities in the early years of its so-called Golden Age, the show shines a light on previously overlooked figures – but never forgets that its first duty is to entertain.
Chris Hemsworth plays a troubled mercenary with the fantastic “movie guy” name of Tyler Rake in this Netflix Original blockbuster, a dead serious action flick in which he’s hired to rescue the teenage son of an Indian drug baron from the clutches of a Bangladeshi drug baron. Along the way plenty of bad dudes get shot, stabbed, maimed and otherwise incapacitated – but Tyler discovers something about himself while he’s doing all the killing, which makes everything OK, we guess.
So Extraction is not going to trouble the Oscars, but Hemsworth is good value as the taciturn merc and the action scenes are strongly reminiscent of the excellent John Wick movies. We’re not quite sure that it had to be as long as it is, and the over-use of a yellow filter to make its South Asian setting look more “other” on camera feels particularly egregious here, but hey: turn off your brain before you hit play and just enjoy the booms, bangs and blood.
A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place is a horror-slash-thriller that racks up huge amounts of tensions, pulling it off via a simple premise: there are horrible monsters roaming the world, and even though they’re totally blind, they’ll find and horribly murder you if you so much as clear your throat.
Real-life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski (who also co-writes and directs) are superb as the parents striving to keep their children safe from these sonar-wielding uglies. Despite barely a word being uttered in the film – most of the dialogue is signed with subtitles – audio becomes a major part of cranking up the fear; a decent set of surround sound speakers goes a long way toward making the viewing experience even more bum-clenchingly stressful, particularly when Blunt’s character goes into labour…
In his infinite wisdom, Stephen King identified the very high creepiness potential of clowns, choosing to propagate this concept via his beloved novel It – here adapted for the screen for a second time by Andy Muschietti in a movie which comes off like a cross between The Goonies and Halloween.
Rich in Kingian tropes (childhood trauma, small town America, loss of innocence, friendship, ancient evil) and a loving homage to the 1980s, this is a fine piece of crowd-pleasing supernatural horror in which seven misfit schoolkids are stalked by an entity that takes the form of their worst fears – and yes, in some cases that’s a clown. While it doesn’t attempt to redefine the genre, it works within horror’s confines to produce a film that’s as rich in heart and soul as it is in scares.
If you haven't already seen this stupendously well directed, impeccably acted, perfectly soundtracked and unforgettably scripted gangster yarn, whaddaya waiting for? Close this page now, fire up Netflix and get settled in for two hours and twenty-five minutes of filmmaking at its very finest.
Martin Scorsese may have claimed his first Best Director Oscar for decent crime thriller The Departed, but Goodfellas – an epic, intoxicating plunge into the realities of life as a New York mobster in the 50s, 60s and 70s – deserved the shiny gold chap so much more. At least Joe Pesci picked up the Best Supporting Actor gong for his turn as pint-sized psychopath Tommy DeVito, one of the great characters of 90s cinema. As for Goodfellas, is it one of the best movies ever made? Fuggedaboudit.
M. Night Shyamalan goes down the found footage route in this creepy (and somewhat comic) horror yarn in which a family emergency sees a pair of young siblings sent to stay at their maternal grandparents’ rural farm. Having never met granny and gramps before, they decide to document the visit on camera – and quickly begin to capture some extreme weirdness amongst the bonding.
Something of a back to basics approach from Shyamalan following a series of big, overblown pieces, The Visit even manages to work in his trademark twist – but even if you’ll probably see it coming a mile off, the film’s tone, plot and performances make it a genuinely enjoyable fright fest.
Netflix’s character-driven drama series about money-laundering couple Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, forced to move from Chicago to Missouri’s Ozark mountains to wash cash for a ruthless drug cartel, returns for a third season of high stakes plotting, menacing rednecks and ever-increasing tension. If you haven’t already binged the first couple of seasons, now is the perfect time to catch up.