Like it or not, gents, summer is out and fall is in. And with the coming of soup and sweater weather also comes a greater desire to Netflix and chill. Luckily, Netflix saw that coming. While we can’t pretend we weren’t hoping for a little more Halloween horror action from Netflix in October, we can say with confidence that this month’s lineup is pretty damn solid and includes the return of one of the streaming giant’s most critically acclaimed shows, a few good documentaries, some great indie stuff, and even a new Quentin Tarantino offering.
Here are the 10 best things coming to Netflix this October:
City of God
Rio de Janiero is a dangerous city, and with rampant poverty and massive criminal reach, it’s not very difficult to understand why. City of God centers around a group of Rio youths who form a gang and, over the span of a decade, become crime lords in the area. The film is violent and quite difficult to watch at times, but it offers an interesting, important, and very realistic look into some of the city’s most dangerous slums, along with the difficulty one might face should they try to rise above them.
The African diamond trade is easily one of the most unscrupulous industries in the world. Blood Diamond stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer, a South African mercenary working in the region; Djimon Hounsou as Solomon Vandy, a Mende fisherman; and Jennifer Connelly as Maddy Bowen, an American journalist profiling the atrociousness of the industry. Archer discovers that Solomon has found an exceptionally rare and extremely valuable pink diamond, and the two men, with the help of Bowen, venture off into rebel-held, civil war-torn Sierra Leone to recover the one thing that could change both of their lives forever.
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown
James Brown completely changed the face of soul and rock and roll music. In fact, at one point, he was playing so often and releasing new music so often that he was dubbed the indisputable “hardest working man in show business.” Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown is an excellent documentary that covers Brown’s ascent to stardom, and it’s made even better because it is the first film of its kind to actually have cooperation from the Brown Estate—meaning never-before-seen footage, photographs, and materials direct from the Brown archives. If you’re a fan of the man—and even if you’re not—this documentary is an excellent watch worth every minute.
You already know we’re a big fan of the outdoors and survivalism, so it’s only natural a movie like The Survivalist catches our attention. However, when we noticed that this indie flick has managed to garner widespread critical acclaim (currently has a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score), we knew this post apocalyptic thriller was right up our alley. A man known only as The Survivalist lives quietly on a small-but-proper piece of land in a post apocalyptic world. He has a rule about not helping travelers or people in danger, which serves him fine until a mother and daughter make him quite the offer he can’t refuse. The two quickly tire of The Survivalist and are planning to kill him when things take an interesting turn. If the plot isn’t compelling enough, rest easy knowing there’s actually some pretty cool survival shit going on throughout the film.
One of those films that we can watch over and over again, Donnie Darko also makes its way back to Netflix on Oct. 11. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie Darko, an average high school student who’s charming and quirky and has an imaginary friend that’s a six-foot bunny named Frank, who convinces him to pull weird and often destructive pranks on his friends and family. Just an average teenage boy, right?
Everybody knows what we mean when we say there’s a strict difference between comedy and “stupid comedy,” and Talladega Nights is one of the absolute stupidest. Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell). America’s number one NASCAR driver, is challenged by a gay, French Formula One racer named Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen). Dealing with the pressure and also going through some growing pains with his best friend and race partner Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly), Bobby must figure out how to keep his number one spot, along with his best friend and smokin’ hot babe of a wife. Shake and Bake, baby!
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Don’t laugh, but Adam Sandler is getting serious awards buzz for his performance in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Directed and written by Noah Baumbach, the film stars Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, and Emma Thompson. Sandler and Stiller play the sons of an aging, strong-willed father (Hoffman), who makes it difficult for both of them to realize their own identities. Yes, that sounds very much like a Baumbach movie, and it is. So if you like The Squid and the Whale and While We’re Young, you’ll love The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).
We were surprised to see not see more buzz about 1922, but as one of our favorite recent works by the great Stephen King, we’re absolutely thrilled to see it receive the Netflix Original treatment. The novella is about a farming family in a small Nebraskan town. The wife, tired of living the farming life, wants to sell her land and move to the big city of Omaha (lol). Her husband would lose the ability to farm his land, and out of greed, convinces his son to help him kill his mother. After the deed is done, she proceeds to haunt them—or so we’re led to believe. It’s set in the style of an American gothic, and from the looks of the trailer, it’s going to be really, really good.
The Hateful Eight
The latest and greatest from Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is a movie about a bounty hunter on his way to turn in a heinous fugitive who’s a member of one of the area’s most violent and infamous crime gangs. However, after stopping to pick up two strangers from the road on their way to Red Rock, the bounty hunter, John Ruth (Kurt Russell), his bounty Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and their two new passengers (Walton Goggins as Chris Mannix and Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren) get caught in a blizzard and are forced to take refuge in a place called Minnie’s Haberdashery. From the onset, however, it is clear that something is off, and as the story plays out, we learn that not everyone at Minnie’s is as innocent as they seem. Incredibly filmed with the kind of timing and tact only Tarantino knows how to pull off, The Hateful 8 is special. Just keep in mind, however, that it does run long, at 167 minutes.
Stranger Things 2
You likely already heard Stranger Things will make its triumphant return this month, but in case you haven’t, let us help you out: HEY, STRANGER THINGS RETURNS IN OCTOBER! This story about a group of kids who befriend a psycho-kinetic mystery girl while searching for their missing friend is one one of the few instances where we’re actually at least a little unhinged by a television show. The entire cast is impeccable, but more important than anything here is the show’s uncanny way of making the unreal plausibility of the super natural seem almost normal. Season 1 left us with a lot of questions, so we’re hoping Season 2 is a good follow up.