Another month, another wave of new Netflix titles hitting the platform. While you wouldn’t be wrong for chalking up the streamer as mostly a source for original binge-able TV series that go from the mind as soon as they enter it, Netflix at least tries to do some good each month with a few classic-ish movies to appeal to film fans.
But this month is also stacked with some of the homegrown Netflix movies they’re pushing into the awards fray, from rookie film director Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Jonathan Larson musical “Tick, Tick…Boom!” to actor Rebecca Hall’s luminous directorial debut “Passing,” which began its journey at Sundance 2021 back in January. While Oscar watchers are about to be up to their eyeballs in awards content — next month, highbrow literary adaptations “The Lost Daughter” and “The Power of the Dog” also drop on Netflix — there are a few bonafide new classics to discover or revisit if you’re not in the mood for something new.
It’s hard to imagine that any of Netflix’s posh fall and winter films can hit the zeitgeist quite as hard as a series like “Squid Game,” or even the enjoyably trashy murder mystery series “You” — two standouts from October. Without a serialized narrative to anchor audiences across multiple episodes, it’s oddly much more challenging to keep their attention (this writer included). If popping on a binge-worthy TV show is the 2021 equivalent to cracking open a great novel, where does that leave movies? Viewers would rather sit and stare at 10 hours of television than, say, absorb a 90-minute black-and-white adaptation of a little-known Nella Larsen book from 1929. And it’s certainly tempting to pause a movie, walk away, check your phone, or head into the next distraction, whereas a TV series is designed to titillate the most fragmented of attention spans.
That’s why IndieWire is here to help you navigate the surfeit of films arriving on the platform this month. Pause, rewind, or speed up the frame rate at your leisure, but these seven films deserve whatever attention you can muster this November.