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
The Gray Man
The Gray Man had a $200 million budget, making it the streaming service’s priciest original film yet (so that’s why your Netflix subscription fee just jumped). That money has gone a long way, though: not only does this action-thriller star Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans as duelling assassins, its extended cast includes Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton and Regé-Jean Page and its directors are the Russo brothers – previously best known for the final two Avengers movies.
Gosling’s highly skilled merc stumbles across some CIA dirty laundry, making himself a prime target for a host of international hitmen – headed up by Evans, a psychotic killer sporting the grossest-looking on-screen moustache since Justin Bieber made an attempt to grow a mo. As a big-budget blockbuster action movie, it does its job and ticks its boxes, even if there are very few surprises in store.
Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for this film, in which he plays a man in the throes of dementia. At turns confused, cruel, angry, lonely, stubborn, childish, suspicious and devious, Hopkins’ character becomes a stand-in for the audience: we are shown supporting characters, locations and plot points in the same contradictory and piecemeal way he experiences them, leaving us similarly perplexed and uncertain. It’s a powerful method of putting us in the shoes of a person suffering with this awful affliction.
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
A compelling and moving portrait of much-missed writer, chef and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain, Morgan Neville’s 2021 film attempts to get to the heart of the man through interviews with friends and family – and perhaps find some reasoning for his 2018 death by suicide. A beloved public figure who seemed to have no enemies and no shortage of admirers, Bourdain nevertheless comes across in the film as an unsettled soul with a predisposition towards successive addictions – be they constructive or self-destructive – and a tragic inability to find peace and happiness. A sad but fascinating watch.
Resident Evil (S1)
The iconic survival horror video game has had seven live-action movie adaptations already but, much like the T-Virus, it’s constantly mutating and moving to a new host – Netflix, in this case. This eight-part series attempts to forge its own identity by setting itself in the far-off future and focussing on all-new characters, which risks alienating fans of the games – but don’t worry: there are still zombie dogs in this one.
D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!
In 1971, a man hijacked a Boeing 727 flying from Portland to Seattle, using a bomb in a briefcase to extort $200,000 before ordering the pilot to take off fly to Mexico – only to don a parachute and bail out shortly after take-off. The man, now known as D.B. Cooper, was never caught, found or identified, and has become something of a folk legend and the subject of investigation for thousands of budding internet sleuths. This slick four-part documentary series details the case and outlines a number of theories as to Cooper’s identity – but if you’re looking for definitive answers, get set for disappointment.
Girl in the Picture
If you’re not sick of watching polished, enthralling but incredibly disturbing true crime documentaries by now, do make time for this terrifying feature-length film about an apparent hit and run victim whose death sparked a nationwide manhunt involving kidnapping, murder and false identities.
To even begin to explain the ins and out of this bizarre real-life tale is difficult – just when you think you’ve developed some understanding of it another twist is uncovered, and the rug is pulled out from under you once again. A happy ending would be too much to hope for – the story is far too dark for that – but by the time the credits there is at least some small sense of closure and renewal for the victim’s family.
Stranger Things (S4 Part 2)
The final tranche of this (supposedly penultimate) season of Stranger Things has landed, so clear your diaries, prep a mountain of snacks and settle down for two of the longest and costliest episodes of television ever created (the running times are 85 minutes and 150 minutes respectively).
You can argue that Netflix giving the show’s creators carte blanche has resulted in a once fast-moving and exciting series becoming a bloated, sluggish cruise liner, struggling under the weight of an ever-increasing cast and a need to drop more and more nostalgia-baiting references (comedian Limmy’s comment that “even the 80s wasn’t as 80s” as Stranger Things rings true), but it’s still watchable, entertaining, full of emotional highs and lows, and one of the best-looking TV shows ever made. It’s also going to smash all sorts of streaming records. Roll on season five.
True Grit (2010)
The Coen brothers’ adaptation of Charles Portis’ classic novel has the dubious honour of being the film nominated for the most Oscars without walking off with a single one – and watching it a few years on from its release, it’s clear that the Academy made a mistake (not with the nominations, but with the… not winning thing). This is a truly outstanding modern day Western, an exploration of how heroism (aka “true grit”) comes in many forms, as well as being thrilling and funny in equal measure.
Jeff Bridges impresses as gruff alcoholic marshal Rooster Cogburn, tasked with hunting down an on-the-run murderer, but it’s young a Hailee Steinfeld as his spirited 14-year-old employer whose performance arguably steals the show.
In some ways, this is Quentin Tarantino at his least Tarantino-esque. Unlike everything else he’s written and directed, Jackie Brown is an adaptation (of Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch). A fast-moving crime thriller with a relatively small cast and relatively short running time, it’s also free of the bloat and self-indulgence that characterise many a QT movie. That said, this story of a middle-aged flight attendant smuggling on behalf of a ruthless arms dealer bears some of the director’s most admirable hallmarks: excellent casting, stylish camerawork and editing, an evocative soundtrack and a rock-solid sense of cool. We think it’s among his best films, so don’t miss this opportunity to catch it on Netflix.
Man Vs Bee (S1)
Rowan Atkinson returns to solid Mr Bean territory with this family-friendly slapstick comedy series, playing a professional house-sitter whose first ever job – looking after an ultra-modern London pad full of lavish artwork and baffling gadgets – is hampered by the appearance of a mischievous bumblebee. Even if you can see the pratfalls and gags coming a mile off (which is deliberate, and part of the charm) this is expertly crafted physical comedy from one of the best around. It’s not super-sophisticated, edgy or innovative, but it works.
Modern Adam Sandler movies can go one of two ways, but thankfully this Netflix-produced sports drama is closer to Uncut Gems than Hubie Halloween. Don’t expect anything ground-breaking – at its heart it’s a capable and fast-moving rehash of the underdog tale we’ve seen play out a thousand times on the silver screen – but it’s full of charm and Sandler (a huge basketball fan) is clearly enjoying himself for once. He plays an out-of-favour basketball scout who unearths a rare talent in Spain and brings him back to the USA – without the approval of his team. Queen Latifah and Robert Duvall co-star.
Borgen: Power & Glory (S5)
A standalone spin-off of the compelling Scandi political drama, Power & Glory brings back a bunch of familiar faces. The ambitious Birgitte Nyborg finds herself appointed Danish Foreign Minister just as a huge oilfield is discovered in Greenland. With hungry superpowers sniffing around, Nyborg faces a delicate situation act in the Arctic while rivals vie for power at home.
Killing Eve (S1)
Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and based on Luke Jennings’ Villanelle novels, this BBC series revolves around the relationship between a psychopathic international assassin (Jodie Comer’s Villanelle) and Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), an MI5 agent trying to track her down. As the pair dodge and chase each other, they develop a mutual obsession that threatens both of their careers – not to mention their lives. At present, just the first of the four seasons is available on Netflix; you can watch the rest on BBC iPlayer, however.
The picturesque, quaint Belgian city of Bruges is a wonderful place to be at Christmas time. Except in the opinion of Irish hitman Ray (Colin Farrell), who promptly deems it a “sh*thole” on arrival. There’s little evidence of the festive spirit elsewhere either, as Ray and fellow killer-for-hire Ken (played wonderfully by Brendan Gleeson) blunder their way through the darker recesses of the Venice of the North.
Norm MacDonald: Nothing Special
Due to the COVID pandemic, the late Norm MacDonald’s final stand-up special wasn’t able to be recorded in front of a live audience. Instead, just prior to undergoing an operation in 2020, MacDonald decided to record it at home, alone in his living room. He died of cancer about a year later, having never had the chance to perform this material live – and the lack of a crowd’s laughter after each one of his (killer – he’s still so funny) jokes lands is eerie and poignant. But even without an audience there’s so much to appreciate here, and MacDonald’s way with words and folksy charm are somehow enhanced by the ability to so closely read his facial expressions.
The hour-long set is followed by a discussion by some of MacDonald’s famous peers, which feels more like a wake as they discuss his work and their relationships with him. All in all, it’s a fitting send-off for one of stand-up’s finest practitioners.
Stranger Things (S4.1)
While convincing us that its coterie of stars (most now well into early adulthood) are still schoolchildren might be the new series’ biggest challenge, let’s face it: if there’s more Stranger Things on the menu, we’re going to be tucking in while blithely ignoring that they’re now all six feet tall.
This fourth season is being delivered in two batches: one now, and the other on 1 July. With our heroes now spread across the country, they must face perils both novel and old. In Hawkins, teenagers are dying in horrific fashion, while Eleven and Will find themselves struggling to settle into their new life in California. It’s grittier and grimmer this time around, with lots of action, horror and relationship stuff to dig your teeth into, but we’re not sure the running times really needed to increase in line with the young actors’ heights: most episodes now rival a feature-length movie for length.
Jackass 4.5 is something of an oddity – but then what else would you expect from the team Jackass? Serving both as a compilation of the best stunts and pranks that didn’t make it into Jackass Forever and a documentary about the making of the film, it’s unfocussed and lengthy – but infectiously funny with it. Your mileage may vary, as they say, but if you’ve ever enjoyed the sight of grown men being slammed in the testicles by bowling balls, tennis balls and all sorts of other balls, you’re in for a treat.
Love, Death + Robots (S3)
Do you like androids, ultra-violence and philosophising about intelligence, free will and the very meaning of life itself? Then we’ve got good news: a third batch of short animated films – executive produced by Tim Miller and David Fincher, no less – exploring all of the above has just arrived on Netflix.
While some of the stories (the longest of which are about 20 minutes, with most much shorter) are far more interesting than others, the pace at which they come, and the breadth of subject matter and tone showcased, mean one old adage is true: there really is something for everyone here. Everyone that likes robots, anyway.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Norfolk’s favourite son (Bernard Matthews aside) hits the silver screen in typical Partridge style – singing along to Roachford’s “Cuddly Toy” whilst driving to work at his digital radio station. Alpha Papa might not win over non-fans, but anyone who’s adored Steve Coogan’s past work will get a huge kick out of seeing how Alan Partridge works on a bigger-than-normal budget (spoiler: surprisingly well). It’s a comedy movie rich with all the awkwardness, pathos and lack of self-awareness you’d expect from one of telly’s most brilliantly cringy characters.
The most expensive Indian film ever made, this historical epic is an absolute blast. Fictionalising the lives of two pre-independence revolutionary heroes, it’s far more interested in action, excitement, emotion and ‘vibes’ than it is historical accuracy – and make no mistake, there’s plenty of all of the above packed into its three-hour running time. The portrayal of India’s British colonial overlords couldn’t be called nuanced (they’re all sneering, murderous bullies or worse), but that makes seeing them getting their comeuppance at the hands of our heroes all the more enjoyable.
Martin Scorsese’s first Best Director Oscar came courtesy of this slick and stylish 2006 thriller (technically a remake of the cult Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs), in which bent coppers and undercover moles vie for dominance in the Boston criminal underworld. With a weighty ensemble cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson, and a plot full of twists and turns, The Departed is a well-crafted, stylish and gripping crime thriller– even if Scorsese has directed far more interesting (and Oscar-worthy) films before and since.
Kate Winslet gives an understated but exceptional performance as early Victorian fossil hunter Mary Anning in Francis Lee’s film. Anning combs the beaches near the cramped Dorset home she shares with her ailing mother, digging out rocks bearing ancient treasure; despite having one of her finds displayed in the British Museum, she finds herself largely overlooked by the scientific community and lives a quiet, lonely life. That all changes when she meets a young woman (Saoirse Ronan) sent to convalesce in the sea air.
Stephen King’s long-awaited sequel to The Shining gets an enjoyable movie adaptation by horror maestro Mike Flanagan – which actually serves more as a sequel to Kubrick’s Shining film rather than King’s book. Anyway, Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Danny (now just Dan) Torrance, an alcoholic who drinks to block out the trauma he experienced all those years ago at the Overlook Hotel; he still has his sixth sense ‘shining’, restricting its use to helping dying pensioners find some peace in the nursing home in which he works. But he discovers a young girl with a gift even more powerful than his own, and that she’s being tracked by a gang of insidious psychic killers, he realises he can’t run from his past forever.
Bill Skarsgard plays Swedish criminal Clark Olofsson in Jonas Akerland’s riotous drama series – a hectic and heady true-life Scandi tale that feels like The Wolf of Wall Street by way of Dog Day Afternoon. But in Swedish.
Even if you haven’t heard of Olofsson himself, you’ve probably heard of the psychological phenomenon named after his antics during a bank robbery: Stockholm Syndrome. This series, which is frenetically edited and outrageously funny, deserves some attention as one of the few recent Netflix Originals that feels genuinely fresh.
Kill Bill Vol. 1
Time has been surprisingly kind to Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 action-thriller, in which Uma Thurman’s Bride wakes from a coma and vows bloody vengeance on the former friends who turned her wedding into a massacre. It’s self-indulgent at times (like everything Tarantino has ever made) but also effortlessly cool and electrifyingly entertaining (also like everything Tarantino has ever made). Somewhat annoyingly, Vol. 2 isn’t streaming on Netflix at the moment, so you may have to look elsewhere if you want to complete the Bride’s tale.
Blade Runner 2049
The sequel to Ridley Scott’s visionary cyberpunk thriller took 30 years to materialise, but it was worth the wait: Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best-looking movies ever made, with Roger Deakins’ cinematography bringing director Denis Villeneuve’s nightmarish vision of a future California to life.
As a whole, the film doesn’t hit quite as hard as its visuals. At almost three hours it’s a touch too ponderous for its own good, despite retaining the original Blade Runner’s spirit through a mixture of riveting action sequences, philosophical pondering and memorable characters – including some old faces. It’s all tied together by a compelling detective yarn, in which Ryan Gosling’s replicant seeks answers to a deadly riddle.
Better Call Saul (S6)
At long last, it’s here: following an agonising two-year wait the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul arrives – and with it, we suspect, an end to the story and characters kindled all the way back in 2007 with the arrival of Breaking Bad.
Over 13 episodes, split into two parts (look out for the second half of the season in July), we’ll discover the fates of Nacho, Lalo, Howard and Kim, as well as find out how Jimmy McGill’s story ties in with events of Breaking Bad. And unless the teasers are one of the cruellest fake-outs of all time, we’ll also see a familiar meth-cooking duo making at least a cameo appearance.
Russian Doll (S2)
A Netflix original in more ways than one, this clever existentialist comedy-drama, in which sardonic New Yorker Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) finds herself trapped in a Groundhog Day-style time loop, returns for a second season set four years after the first. Nadia may have escaped her temporal prison, but she quickly discovers a fate that makes endless death look fairly cosy.
It’s a Sin (S1)
If you missed Russell T. Davies’ drama series when it first aired last year on Channel 4, we suggest you take this second chance provided by Netflix. Set in 1980s London, it follows a group of young gay men and their friends and families during the AIDS epidemic. Funny, moving and utterly heart-breaking, it’s an absolute shocker that it was snubbed at the TV BAFTAs this year. British TV at its best – and something we’re in danger of losing should the government follow through on its threat to sell Channel 4 to the highest bidder.
The King of Staten Island
Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson – who it’s currently impossible to escape, being that he’s in a relationship with Kim Kardashian – stars in this film inspired by his own early 20s, when he was a depressed, directionless stoner whose dreams didn’t amount to much beyond a vague interesting in being a tattoo artist. If that sounds like navel-gazing 101, fear not: in the ever-capable hands of director Judd Apatow, it’s actually an affecting comedy-drama with a fantastic supporting cast.
Joaquin Phoenix delivers a typical tour-de-force performance in this Oscar-winning origin story. How did an aspiring stand-up comedian become Gotham City’s most notorious villain? Director Todd Phillips crafts a much more nuanced and tragic superhero movie than we’ve seen from recent DC Comics-derived efforts; this is far closer to Taxi Driver than it is to Man of Steel, and all the better for it.
Old Enough (S1)
A bizarre Japanese TV show in which genuine toddlers are sent out of the house to run errands whilst a camera crew discreetly records their every move. If it sounds like something Chris Morris might have invented for The Day Today, Old Enough is actually a surprisingly sweet and entertaining break from reality. If that seems strange given that it’s a reality show, it’s because it’s not one we could ever see being recreated in this country.
Call Me By Your Name
Taking place in the early 1980s over one magical northern Italian summer, Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age story about an outwardly precocious teenager (a fantastic Timothée Chalamet) who falls for an older American visitor (Armie Hammer) at his family’s holiday home.
To reveal any more would spoil the joy of this wonderful movie, which drifts warmly, hazily and lazily along like the perfect summertime. Evocative, funny and bittersweet, it conveys a universality and humanity that puts it among the finest films of the past few years.
Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story (S1)
A two-part documentary series that manages to tell the story of Jimmy Savile’s rise and fall, without being salacious or exploitative. Well-researched and authoritative, the first part recounts the broadcaster’s long career and role as a ubiquitous Santa Claus-style figure in British life – DJ, presenter, charitable dynamo and friend of Margaret Thatcher, The Beatles and Prince Charles. The second details the exposure of his shocking history of abuse, manipulation and exploitation, and how journalists were prevented from getting to the truth of it until after Savile’s death.
Martin Scorsese’s much-lauded exploration of isolation, obsession and mania remains a riveting watch today, as we follow Vietnam veteran and yellow cab driver Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro, in one of his defining roles) through the grimy streets 1970s New York. Bickle is a sensitive soul with a burning desire to make a difference in what he sees as an increasingly corrupt and sinful world – but as the film goes on it becomes clear that any action he might take could cause more harm than good.
Bad Vegan (S1)
The makers of Fyre deliver another compelling documentary about shady practices and fraud among hip New York trendsetters. Even if Bad Vegan isn’t quite as spectacularly meme-worthy as its predecessor, this four-part tale of “the world’s best raw vegan restaurant”, its famous female owner, a conman who claims to be an elite black ops operator despite being massively overweight, a dog that can live forever and, er, Alec Baldwin is a compelling and slick true crime ride.
Mercifully, COVID-19 hasn’t inspired a great many navel-gazing Hollywood movies. The studios, wisely, seem to understand that we’d all rather be thinking about something else, whether that’s a zombie apocalypse, international espionage or babies that are also bosses. The Bubble isn’t one of them: this star-studded satirical comedy from Judd Apatow leans into the pandemic, being set in the quarantined “bubble” created for the cast and crew of Cliff Beasts, a dumb major movie franchise about to get its sixth entry.
Preening actors, TikTok stars, dictatorial executives and surly crew members – nobody escapes mockery here, and there’s some genuinely funny stuff at times. In general though, with so many unlikeable characters on show, it lacks a bit of the warmth that usually marks out Apatow’s movies, and once the pandemic is far in our rear-view mirror we can’t imagine wanting to watch it again.
Pet Sematary (1989)
Speaking of animals that can live forever, here’s a Stephen King adaptation about the mysterious woodland grove with the powers of resurrection – but bringing back a beloved pet (or something else) comes with a price to pay. Yes, there’s a much fresher-looking modern remake, but we found this 1980s original to be far creepier. Just remember: sometimes, dead is better.
This much-anticipated second series of Netflix’s glitzy, glossy drama set in Regency England shifts focus from Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings to the former’s brother: the rakish young Lord Anthony Bridgerton.
After spending the first series waltzing around London boozing and sowing his wild oats, Anthony has now decided to settle down for the good of his family – not that he believes a true love match is possible, of course. He’s merely looking for a woman who’s pretty, pleasant, kind and won’t bore his pants off over a lifetime of marriage – and he thinks he’s found one in the beautiful, sweet Edwina Sharma. His only problem? Her over-protective and headstrong older sister Kate, who knows exactly what he’s up to.
This brilliant one-shot, no-cuts film shows an evening in the life of an under-pressure London chef with a mounting pile of professional and personal problems (Stephen Graham, great as always). With its frenetic pace, documentary-style approach and a fantastic supporting cast, Boiling Point makes the stresses and strains of running a restaurant feel all too real. Wonderful stuff.