From critically acclaimed indies to commercial smashes, Netflix’s streaming slate for May has a little something for everyone. In honor of Cinco De Mayo, the online service has already launched a quartet of Spanish-language classics, including the international 2013 hit “Instructions Not Included.” But still to come is a Tarantino favorite, an auspicious directorial debut and a whole lot of Reese Witherspoon. Read on for all of the films set to launch, plus some recommendations for what’s worth checking out.
“Heroes del Norte” (2001)
“Instructions Not Included” (2013)
“Like Water for Chocolate” (1992)
Indiewire Pick: “Legally Blonde” (2001) and “Legally Blonde 2” (2003)
As far as Reese Witherspoon roles go, it’s hard to get more iconic or memorable than Elle Woods of “Legally Blonde.” After premiering to great reviews and even better commercial response, the first film went on to earn two Golden Globe nominations and a special place in the hearts of romantic comedy fans everywhere. While the sequel could hardly live up to the promise of the original, there’s still plenty of quote-worthy material to sift through. Basically, if you want to spend three hours with Witherspoon’s most famous creation, Netflix now has you covered.
Indiewire Pick: “Fruitvale Station” (2013)
Ryan Coogler’s Sundance-winning directorial debut is a penetrating, humane account of the final day in the life of Oscar Grant, who’s played superbly by Michael B. Jordan. Certainly prescient in regards to the conversation surrounding racially-motivated police brutality, “Fruitvale Station” is that rare film that triumphs both as social activism and artistic expression. Named among the American Film Institute’s Top 10 Films of 2013, the movie premiered to universal acclaim among critics and established Coogler as a major new talent.
“Dawg Fight” (2015)
Indiewire Pick: “Inglorious Basterds” (2009)
Quentin Tarantino’s star-studded, Oscar-winning war epic is as thrilling as it is eccentric. The film tells the fictional story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany’s political leadership, one of which is planned by a French Jewish cinema proprietor (Mélanie Laurent), and the other by a team of Jewish-American soldiers led by Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt). The film established Christoph Waltz as a major star, winning his first of two Oscars for his scene-stealing role in the film. More broadly, “Inglorious Basterds” is quintessential Tarantino: blackly comic, plenty bloody and completely idiosyncratic.
Indiewire Pick: “The Boxtrolls” (2014)
From the creators of “Coraline” comes “The Boxtrolls,” a fun adventure about a boy, raised by a group of loveable yet quirky creatures, who must fight the town’s villain to save his family. Noted for its stunning stop-motion animation, the film earned strong reviews and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. “The Boxtrolls” also features a stand-out voice cast including Oscar winner Ben Kingsley, Oscar nominee Toni Collette and Emmy nominee Tracy Morgan.
“Hot Girls Wanted” (2015)