September is another great month for Netflix subscribers. The world’s preeminent streaming service is easing up on the original feature films and heavy-hitter series this month (you’ve got Luke Cage, but we’re skeptical after the trailer), but there are some real classics, some solid original programming, and a few promising documentaries. Are we losing 2 Fast 2 Furious, Crocodile Dundee, Zoolander, and Roboshark (yes, that’s an actual fucking film)? We sure are. And we’ll miss them. But we’re gaining so, so much more. Here are the 10 best things coming to Netflix in September:
Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan is just one of those films that never, ever gets old, no matter how many times you see it. It currently holds a staggering 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was the recipient of several Academy Awards (including Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Film Editing), and was even archived in the National Film Registry for its cultural and aesthetic significance.
Saving Private Ryan tells the epic story of U.S. Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller and his squad as they embark on a journey to locate a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), in order to send him home after it is discovered that he was the last-surviving brother of four proud servicemen. War is hell, and WWII was no exception. Saving Private Ryan provides a harrowing look into events like D-Day, and the subsequent battles for France. It is nothing short of cinematographic gold.
Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker
James Booker didn’t pioneer rhythm and blues, but he did leave his mark on the world with his incredibly unique brand of music, and his incredibly unique personality. Dr. John famously called him the “best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” If that single sentence doesn’t give you enough inspiration to check out this documentary, we don’t know what will.
Easily regarded as one of the best American action films of all time (by anyone who isn’t a complete idiot), Top Gun stars Tom Cruise as rowdy navy pilot Pete Mitchell, along with Val Kilmer as fellow pilot Tom Kasansky. The film tells the story of the pilots as they vie for the top position as “Top Gun” at the academy. Some classic ’80s action montages, gnarly vertigo-inducing aerial maneuvers, some romantic shit, and more thumbs ups than a Goddamn Bill Clinton speech—Top Gun has it all.
Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3, Jaws: The Revenge
The Jaws franchise is one of the most successful film series of all time. The original, released in 1975, is based on a novel and loosely on a true story of the 1916 Jersey Shore shark attacks that left four dead and one injured. The first film was also directed by Steven Spielberg. If you’ve never seen the movies before—and even if you have—this is an excellent opportunity to see some of the most popular American movies of all time (including the complete fucking train wreck that is Jaws 3), starting September 1.
True Grit (1969)
Considered by many to be one of the best performances of John Wayne’s career, True Grit is an Academy Award-winning American Western. An adaptation of a novel of the same name by Charles Portis, True Grit tells the story of a girl named Mattie (Kim Darby) whose father, Frank Ross (John Pickard), is killed by his own hired hand, Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey). Mattie travels to Fort Smith, Arkansas, to hire U.S. Marshal Reuban “Rooster” J. Cogburn to catch Chaney and his accomplices. What follows is an incredible story that is funny, suspenseful, action-packed, and even touching at times. The film received a re-boot in 2010 that starred Jeff Bridges as Rooster and Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie, and while it was good, it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the original. Think we’re lying? Check it out!
Man on Wire
This biographical documentary film tells the story of Philippe Petit, a French high-wire artist who in 1974 hatched an elaborate plan to walk on an unsecured high-wire between the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. Even though it was made nearly 35 years after Petit’s original feat, the film, which is presented as a kind of heist film setup, is suspenseful, beautiful, and shows a ton of rare and even never-before-seen footage of the preparations that went into pulling off such a crazy stunt. If you’re going to watch any of the selections on this list, make it this one.
The Wicker Man
Nicholas Cage makes a pretty fucking terrible appearance in the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man. There’s really not much to say about this film other than it is absolutely, positively, so horrendously God-awful, that it has become somewhat of a cult classic over the last few years. Cage’s performance is absolutely ridiculous, and pairs perfectly with Neil LaBute’s absurdly comical directing. At no point is this film not completely fucking laughable, and for that, it makes our list as an absolute “must-see” entry.
Narcos Season 2
Available Sept. 2
When Narcos first debuted on Netflix last August, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t at least a little skeptical. However, as we delved into the season, it became one of our favorite Netflix originals of all time. Narcos covers the rise and fall of infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the federal agents who waged war against his empire. We love it because it’s historically accurate, exceptionally well-produced, and comprises a cast of truly great actors and actresses. The trailer for Season 2 dropped a few weeks back, and it looks like it’s going to come out with a bang—we’re excited, for sure.
Chef’s Table: France
Available Sept. 2
The Chef’s Table series has been a big hit with Netflix subscribers, and on September 2, the newest installment, Chef’s Table: France, makes its debut. The format is going to be a little different for this four-episode season, and will cover world-renowned French chefs Alain Passard, Adeline Grattard, Alexandre Couillon, and Michel Troisgros. The series will take an in-depth and intimate look into the day-to-day lives of these four culinary masters, and will delve deep into what inspires them and how it is reflected in their individual styles.
Available Sept. 30
These days, Amanda Knox is a household name, but not for her athleticism, artistic prowess, financial success, or any of the other reasons we often ascribe to public figures. Knox was a key figure in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher. She was at first tried and convicted for the crime, but then got acquitted of the crime in a subsequent appeal. The mystery of Kercher’s tragic and graphic murder has never been solved definitively, and Knox’s, uhhh, “interesting” testimony hasn’t made getting to the bottom of it any easier. Fans of Making a Murderer will love this in-depth analysis of the trial as Netflix bravely asks the question: “Is Amanda Knox Guilty?”