The temperatures outside might be beginning to cool off, but Netflix is coming in hot with over 30 new pieces of Original Content in November, including full-on films, series, documentaries, and stand-up specials. For the first time ever, more than half of our selects for this month are Netflix Originals, which is a great sign for the future of the service. If this many new shows are this exciting, Netflix stands a great chance of finally making the transition from online streaming/binging everyone else’s stuff to streaming/binging tons of originals.
This “legal thriller” is tough to follow, but it’s worth the brainpower. George Clooney stars as Michael Clayton, a big time New York City attorney whose job it is to “fix” people’s’ problems using connections and legal loopholes. Clayton has a terrible gambling problem and finds himself $75k in debt after the restaurant he started with his brother Timmy fails (his brother was also abusing restaurant profits for his own addiction). The loan sharks from whom he borrowed the money give him a week to raise the money. While this is going on, Clayton’s colleague has a severe mental breakdown in Milwaukee and he has to go out there and help. It turns out, Michael’s colleague had come across a document that proved U-North was manufacturing a weed killer that was known to be carcinogenic. Like we said it can be difficult to follow, but if you put the effort in, this is a thriller worth your time.
The Pursuit of Happyness
One of the few entrants on this list that isn’t a Netflix Original, The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 biographical film centered on the real life trials, tribulations, and successes of entrepreneur Chris Gardner as he struggled with homelessness before finding a job at a brokerage firm. Starring Will Smith as Gardner and his real-life son Jaden Smith as Christopher Gardner, Jr., The Pursuit of Happyness is really one of those films that tugs your heartstrings in all the right places without getting cheesy or overbearing. Being able to see firsthand some of the things Gardner actually went through in order to make a living for he and his son—and knowing that it’s not fiction—is extremely powerful.
Fifteen-year-old Michael Berg (David Kross) falls ill on his way home from school one day and is rescued by an older woman named Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet). After he is nursed back to health, he returns to Schmitz with flowers to thank her for her help, and the two wind up engaging in a romantic affair. When Schmitz inexplicably disappears one day, Berg is heart broken. Years later, Berg is a young law student observing Nazi war criminal trials when he’s shocked to see Schmitz on trial for crimes she committed while a guard at a concentration camp. The movie is absolutely brilliant and is told in hindsight as older Berg (Ralph Fiennes) visits one of Schmitz’s victims with money and an apology after Schmitz kills herself in prison before her release. While there’s an element of romance to it, it’s really more of a historical drama than anything.
Alias Grace, based on the award-winning novel of the same name, centers around the real-life trial of Irish-Canadian servant and convicted murderer Grace Marks, who in 1843 was alleged to have killed her employer, Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper/mistress, Nancy Montgomery. The six-part series covers the motives of both Marks (Sarah Gadon) and her alleged accomplice James McDermott (Kerr Logan), as well as the events leading up to and immediately following the murder. The entire story is told in hindsight from the perspective of Marks, while giving an interview to a Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft), a man trying to get her conviction reconsidered. It received rave reviews before being picked up by Netflix to receive a full treatment, so we’re hopeful.
Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton
When Jim Carrey took the role of his idol and inspiration Andy Kaufman in the 1999 hit Man on the Moon, he didn’t realize doing so would quite literally change his life. The general reception was good: “A standard biopic made extraordinary by Carrey’s mastery of Kaufman’s incredibly unique personality and mannerisms.” But how far did Carrey go to make Man on the Moon his life’s most prolific work? Director Chris Smith dives deep into Carrey’s time as Kaufman and his preparation for the role, and Jim and Andy shows just how remarkable and enveloping of a journey it was for him. It’s made even better by the fact Carrey also narrates large portions of the film, and even says that he honestly thought he’d completely lost all semblance of himself by becoming Kaufman.
Everyone is hyping Mudbound up as Netflix’s most likely Oscar contender, and while we’ve only been able to see the trailer, we don’t doubt it’ll be anything short of extraordinary. The film revolves around two families—one black, and one white—trying to survive America’s post-WWII era rural South, while navigating the treacherous socioeconomic hierarchy of the time. The film is a challenging portrait of America’s Jim Crow South, and explores the effects of war on a man’s psyche, and how people—regardless of history, heritage, and skin color—all have dreams. More importantly, it tells a powerful story about loyalty, friendship, and brotherhood in the face of adversity. We can’t wait to check it out.
Marvel’s The Punisher
Marvel’s The Punisher will make its long-awaited debut to Netflix this month, after Jon Bernthal took on the role in season two of Daredevil way back in 2016. For those of you in the dark, The Punisher is a man named Frank Castle who resorts to vigilantism to bring criminals to justice in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s New York City. His main focus is exacting revenge on the people responsible for killing his family, but in the process, Castle becomes an unstoppable force of justice for those in need. Of course, if you’re excited for this debut, you already know all that. And if you’ve never heard of The Punisher before, you’ve got some catching up to do! It will be the sixth collaboration in a successful relationship between the legendary entertainment company and the world’s largest streaming service, and we’re really excited for it.
Longmire: Season 6
The final season of the critically acclaimed Longmire also debuts on November 17, finally resolving Season 5’s insane cliffhanger. We’re not trying to spoil anything for anyone, so here’s a general roundup of the show. Modern western crime drama about a sheriff, Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor), in a fictional town in Wyoming trying to do the best job he can while working with his friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), to work with members of the local Indian reservation. Through the series, these two deal with various crimes, including gambling and alcoholism on the reservation, protecting people and land rights, prosecuting crimes, etc. It’s actually a solid TV show that doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves—and that’s why it’s here.
We love a good Western, so when the trailer for Netflix mini-series Godless made its rounds a couple months back, we were giddy as school girls over it. Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) is an injured outlaw on the run from his former boss, Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) after growing sick of his awful schemes. On the hunt for Goode, Griffin terrorizes every town he rolls through, until he finds out Goode is holed up in a town filled with… Women. The men from the town were killed off in what appears to be a mining incident, and the women were left to fend for themselves. Of course, these badass girls are something to be reckoned with, and the extent to which they go to harbor Goode and protect themselves is nothing short of awe-inspiring (or fear-inducing, depending on how intimidated you are by strong women). Either way, we’ll be watching.
Cuba and the Cameraman
We couldn’t find anything about this Netflix Original series other than this: “This revealing portrait of Cuba follows the lives of Fidel Castro and three Cuban families affected by his policies over the last four decades.” That’s good enough though. Sign us up!
While you’re here, why not check out what’s coming to Amazon Prime this month?