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 content is at the top of the list, with the shows and movies getting progressively less new as you scroll down and switch pages
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Clocking in at a bum-numbing 161 minutes, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tends to elicit one of two reactions: unadulterated Tarantino worship or complaints of terminal boredom. For our money, a fair assessment lies somewhere in the middle.
Yes, there are looooong scenes of seemingly inconsequential dialogue that feel needlessly indulgent, QT’s weird obsession with women’s feet is more in-your-face than ever, and you’ll need a strong constitution to stomach the violence when it comes, but when have any of these things put people off his films before? Glossy, glitzy, cool, self-indulgent – it’s an event movie you probably shouldn’t miss.
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (S2)
Netflix’s funniest original series by a country mile, Tim Robinson’s sketch show takes an unconventional and delightfully absurdist approach to the genre. Punchlines and catchphrases go out the window as Robinson and a host of co-stars (cameos this season include Bob Odenkirk) deliver a quickfire burst of surreal characters put in bizarre, often uncomfortable situations, accompanied by often-inappropriate musical cues and bizarre songs.
The humour usually comes from a character “committing to the bit” by taking a social miscue or personality trait to extremes (the opening sketch features a hungry office worker attempting to surreptitiously eat a hot dog during a team meeting); it sounds simple enough, but Robinson and co have done nothing less than reinvent the comedy skit.
A family tragedy leads to young American Dani (Florence Pugh) accompanying her boyfriend and some college buddies on a trip to a remote part of Sweden. Their destination is a folk festival celebrating the summer solstice, but Dani sees the trip as the perfect opportunity to fix her relationship troubles.
The reality turns out to be far weirder, disturbing and ultimately shocking, with director Ari Aster taking the travellers and viewers alike on a sunlit psychedelic trip into ancient pagan rituals, mental trauma and a climax that’s nigh-on impossible to shake off.
The Serpent (S1)
Inspired by a true story, this slick BBC-produced crime drama takes us to Bangkok in the 1970s, a place where open-minded young Westerners came to find enlightenment, wisdom and good old sex, drugs and rock and roll. In the process, many also found themselves drawn into the world of sociopathic conman Charles Sobhraj, a master of robbery, disguise, manipulation and ultimately murder.
While the series is perhaps an episode or two longer than it needs to be, strong performances and a tangible sense of time and place make The Serpent an engaging watch (assuming you missed it on iPlayer).
The 1988 movie that sparked a Western obsession with anime and manga, this Japanese cyberpunk classic – a tale of teenage biker gangs, revolution and creepy wizened psychic children – has finally arrived on a major streaming service. The hand-painted animation is stunning, the grimy, crumbling dystopian setting evocative and the soundtrack unforgettable. Very few animated movies have aged as well as Akira, or proved as influential. Our advice: watch this before the upcoming live action reimagining irrevocably taints your brain.
There Will Be Blood
Paul Thomas Anderson's modern epic is stark and relentless; the first we see of protagonist Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis, never better) is a 20-minute sequence in which he scrabbles silently in the dirt for silver. From there, Plainview levels up to oil drilling; consumed by a relentless pursuit for the black gold, he dispenses homespun charm to townsfolk as he cons them out of their oil rights, his adopted son used as a prop to create the image of a family man.
The only one who sees through him is Eli Sunday, probably because he's equally corrupt; an evangelist who sees Plainview as a threat to the supremacy of his church. The stage is set for a grand clash between religion and capitalism, played out in operatic fashion against the oil wells.
The Dead Don’t Die
Jim Jarmusch’s take on the zombie apocalypse is more Night on Earth than Night of the Living Dead. As you’d expect from the veteran indie auteur, this undead uprising is spiced with quirky, fourth wall-breaking dialogue, a large cast of recognisable faces (including Jarmusch favourites like Bill Murray, RZA, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits) and a plotline that gently meanders along its own wide furrow, seemingly unconcerned with generating tension, pace or dread.
If you’re looking for a standard horror film, this certainly isn’t it – but The Dead Don’t Die might well tickle the funny bones of movie geeks with a taste for postmodernism.
Sophie: A Murder in West Cork (S1)
25 years ago French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier was brutally murdered in West Cork, a tiny enclave of expats, artists, poets and other assorted “blow-ins” on Ireland’s wild and rocky southwest coast; her killer still hasn’t been caught, despite local suspicions surrounding one man. This three-part documentary looks at the case and Sophie’s family’s long fight for justice – and includes several interviews with the prime suspect himself.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
The second Spider-Man movie since the Wallcrawler joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Far From Home is a pretty typical MCU movie: slick, CGI-heavy and satisfying (if you’re into superhero films). Tom Holland’s teenage Spidey is likeably nerdy and human; here he must deal with his grief over Tony Stark, his first crush and the small matter of a world-threatening menace. Jake Gyllenhaal and Zendaya co-star.
Master of None (S3)
Aziz Ansari was the star of the first two seasons of this comedy-drama, but takes a mostly behind-the-camera role for the long-awaited third season, entitled “Moments in Love”. The focus is instead on Lena Waithe’s Denise, a supporting character in previous episodes, and her wife Alicia (played by British actor Naomi Ackie). In five meandering and leisurely episodes, set mainly in their rustic upstate New York cottage, the couple navigate the stresses and complications of a relationship. It’s a cinematic and restrained approach that’s quite different from the more comedic early seasons, but effective and affecting in its own way.