Netflix subscribers are losing quite a bit this month. Among the most memorable are every season of Shameless, along with E.T., Almost Famous, and every season of The Boondocks. Yeah, it’s going to be a rough one.
Luckily, as per usual, Netflix is softening the blows with plenty of awesome content. Classics, originals, horror movies, standup comedy specials, thrillers, dramas, great documentaries—they’re all there this month, and we encourage you to give them a look. In the meantime, here are our 10 favorite things coming to Netflix in November.
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
You may not be familiar with the TV legend known as Norman Lear, but you do know his work—Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, All in the Family, Sanford and Son, and One Day at a Time. Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is an incredible and compelling look into the life and career of one of the world’s most prolific “creative instigators,” and how he not only how he used TV to impact peoples’ lives, but also how he practically single-handedly invented the modern sitcom. Featuring commentary from Lear, as well as some of the most familiar faces in Hollywood (George Clooney and Jon Stewart among them), Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is an absolute must-watch.
This particular film got mixed reviews upon its Box Office debut, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t know why. Directed by Oliver Stone, this biographical film takes a look at one of the most influential psychedelic rock and roll bands of all time—The Doors. Starring Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison and Meg Ryan as Pamela Courson, the film takes a pretty wild jump into Morrison’s larger-than-life rock and roll lifestyle. Cinematically speaking, it’s kind of like a fireworks show—blues, greens, oranges, etc. It’s certainly not typical, and plays perfect homage to not just Jim Morrison and The Doors, but also the time period of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in which they managed to thrive.
The African Queen
As far as the American action/adventure film genre goes, The African Queen is a classically perfect example of it. Made in 1951 and directed by the one and only John Huston, The African Queen tells the story of a tiny supply ship captain, Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart), and Rose Sayer (Katherine Hepburn) trapped on an East African river in the middle of World War I. Sayer, a British spinster, finds herself aboard Allnut’s ship after her brother is killed by the Germans. As the tiny steamer floats down the waters of East Africa trying to get supplies to the people there, sparks (and bullets) fly, and Sayer and Allnut eventually fall in love. Danger and passion, and an incredible tale of love, survival, and adventure ensues. If it sounds cheesy, that’s because it kind of is, but it’s an excellent classic, nonetheless. After all, it did win Bogart an Oscar.
The Crown is a highly anticipated Netflix Original that centers around a 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth, as she makes her attempt to navigate the responsibilities of being a young Queen of a country, while proving her trust to her subordinates and countrymen (and women), but also not allowing her private life to interfere with (or get lost in) her duties as the crown. Fascinating, provocative, and given the marketing budget for the series, we think it may be one of Netflix’s heavy hitters from here on out.
The Ivory Game
Billiard balls, piano keys, jewelry, hairbrushes, dominoes—ivory is used for a lot of things in this world, and all of it is shit we don’t need. The Ivory Game is a tremendous documentary film that takes an in-depth look at the horrifying and absolutely fucking infuriating worldwide illegal ivory trade. Showcasing the depths of human greed in a world where quality hairbrush handles mean more than an animal’s life, The Ivory Game is an open-book look at the extinction of an entire species of animal and the awful people responsible, but also the incredible people who work day in and day out to fight (sometimes literally) against these atrocities. Watch this film.
Burn After Reading
God damn it, the Coen Brothers can do no wrong. Part comedy, part thriller, but wholly wonderful and ridiculous, Burn After Reading, starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton, is one of our favorite entries on this list. CIA agents, love affairs, stolen information, personal trainers—it’s kind of like a James Bond movie, but done in a way that only the Coen Brothers know how. Ugh. So good.
We featured lovesick last month in our 10 Best Binge-Worthy British Shows to Watch on Netflix list, and it appears here today because Season 2 of this hysterical and fascinating British TV show (now a Netflix Original) is coming out—and we’re pumped!
Dylan (Johnny Flynn), finds out that he has chlamydia. Being the responsible guy he is, Dylan does his best to recount every woman he’s ever slept with so that he can track them down and tell them about his… Affectation. Essentially, the show is presented as a series of flashbacks of every sexual encounter Dylan has ever had. The show’s premise is exceptionally unique and we loved Season 1, so now that it’s been picked up as a Netflix Original, we imagine Season 2 will only be better.
We’re taking a chance on this one. No reviews, no synopses; just a trailer that looks super, super good. But, it’s also a Netflix Original, so we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt. From what we can see, it’s a survival thriller involving a family trying to care for their ailing mother. We aren’t really sure how to reconcile the concepts of dying family members with being stalked and killed by a bunch of mask-clad psychotic people, but if anyone can do it, we’re sure it’s Netflix. Watch the trailer here.
Have you ever heard about the film that took 12 years to make because the director wanted to use an actual boy growing up through his actual adolescence? Well, this is that movie. Filmed over 12 years using the same cast—Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawk, Lorelei Linklater, Elijah Smith, and Steven Prince—Boyhood is the definitive tale of male childhood. Not the boyscout trips or birthday parties, or learning how to ride a bikes or high school proms… Boyhood shows us an incredible and intimate peek at what it’s like to actually grow up as an American boy—and we love it. There is seriously no other film like this on the planet.
The Jungle Book
Finally! A remake we don’t absolutely hate! Whether or not you’re a fan of this popular childhood classic (But if you’re not a fan of Baloo singing “Bare Necessities” to Mowgli, you’re an asshole), The Jungle Book is an incredible visual display of CGI and how computers are changing the face of digital storytelling. With voice work by incredible actors like Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley, and others, you won’t find any goofy song and dance (for the most part), but you will find an incredible childhood classic, retold in a way that everyone—old and young—can enjoy.