You know how new DVDs and Blu-rays always come out on a Monday? Netflix laughs in the face of such regimented scheduling and instead releases all of its new TV shows and movies whenever the heck it feels like it.
That can make keeping track of all of the new stuff a first-world nightmare of epic proportions.
But help is at hand: here we highlight all of the best new stuff on Netflix. And yes, that does mean we've left out all of the rubbish, so you won't find the likes of Frontier or Sharknado: The 4th Awakens here.
Instead, allow us to guide you, truffle pig-like, to the finest and freshest streaming fungus.
Note: the newest stuff is at the top of the list, with the shows and movies getting progressively less new as you scroll down and switch pages
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
As Breaking Bad’s final episode drew to its cathartic, bittersweet end, Jesse Pinkman sped away into the night – bruised, traumatised, laughing, crying and presumably destined for a law-abiding life far away from New Mexico, meth and murderous narco traffickers.
That was way back in 2013, and six long years later we’re about to find out where Jesse’s drive into the darkness actually led. El Camino is Netflix’s feature-length followup to Breaking Bad, a “what happened next” sequel set after the tumultuous events of the final season. Has Jesse overcome his demons and lived a productive life, or has he “broken bad” himself?
Every now and then a film comes along with a concept so out-there that you can’t believe it got made. Colossal is a perfect example.
From the setup, it seems like we’re in for a well-worn tale: Anne Hathaway stars as a hard-drinking party animal forced to abandon New York life to return to her sleepy, dead-end home town, re-acquaint herself with an old school friend and confront some painful truths. But from about 15 minutes in things take an abrupt swerve off the road to “quirky romantic comedy” and end up in a very different place indeed. To hint where would be spoiling things (although the trailer does just that).
Our advice? Just watch it – it’s one of the most interesting movies of the last few years.
The Politician (S1)
This is Glee! and American Horror Story maestro Ryan Murphy’s first Netflix Original series, and it’s very much “on brand” for him: a sweeping story of American dreams and nightmare with an impressive ensemble cast, musical numbers, shocking twists and dollops of camp throughout, The Politician is the tale of a high stakes high school election – and all the backstabbing, intrigue, heartbreak and self-discovery that it entails.
In the Shadow of the Moon
A sci-fi thriller that has all the makings of a mess – time travel, obsessive cops, serial killers, melting brains – but manages to pull its various strings together to create a surprisingly satisfying and emotionally charged whole, In the Shadow of the Moon is one of those Netflix Original movies that has arrived with little fanfare and will probably be forgotten about in a month or two. If you’re into noirish, mind-bending movies though (think Looper or Inception), it’s well worth a couple of hours of your attention.
John Wick: Chapter 2
If you thought Keanu Reeves’ most iconic character is Neo in The Matrix, his performance as taciturn, principled hitman John Wick will make you think again. Wick is the role Reeves was born to play: a ruthless death-dealer with few words but many, many moves.
Just as in the first movie, Chapter 2 seasons its superb action sequences with great little character moments and just enough self-awareness that it doesn’t feel like a total guilty pleasure.
Call Me By Your Name
Taking place over a glorious early 1980s northern Italian summer, Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age story about an outwardly precocious teenager (the fantastic Timothée Chalamet) who falls for an older American (Armie Hammer) who comes to stay at his family’s holiday home.
To reveal any more would spoil the joy of this wonderful movie, which drifts warmly, hazily and lazily along like the perfect summertime. Evocative, funny and bittersweet, it conveys a universality (this is one of the few popular movies about a queer relationship that doesn’t turn the sexuality of its participants into a plot point) that puts it among the finest films of the past few years.
Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Zach Galifianakis arguably made his comedy bones with Between Two Ferns, a Funny or Die web series where he held stilted, awkward, uncomfortable and utterly hilarious interviews with A-listers in decidedly DIY surroundings.
The best part of a decade hence, Netflix has served up a surprise new instalment – in feature-length form. The setup: Funny or Die founder Will Ferrell sends Zach out on the road with tasked with completing a series of new interviews, which both means (a) more funny interviews (with the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, John Legend and Brie Larson) and (b) an exploration into why Zach (the character, not the real one) is so mean to his guests. Ground-breaking stuff it ain’t, but it’s a pleasantly funny way to spend 90 minutes.
Top Boy (S3)
Netflix, with a little help from Canadian rap superstar Drake, has revived Channel 4’s long-dead crime drama about East London drug dealers. With a seemingly bigger budget and the luxury of Netflix’s “make as many episodes as you want” approach, this third series of Top Boy runs to a leisurely 10 episodes.
The previous two, released in 2011 and 2013, only need four apiece to weave their tales successfully, and at times you feel like creator Ronan Bennett has fixed his focus too wide here – in his efforts to tell the story of modern England, some subplots are introduced then forgotten about an episode later. You get the sense Bennett and co may have always wanted to create a British answer to The Wire, but with the resources to do that, bit off a little more than they could chew: the sheer amount of murder, mayhem and gunplay here feels implausible. That said, the characterisation remains a high point, with even the nastiest villains feeling like real people.
Blade Runner 2049
The sequel to Ridley Scott’s iconic cyberpunk noir has been a long time coming (30 years in fact), but many will find it worth the wait: Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best-looking movies ever made, with Roger Deakins’ masterful camera work bringing director Denis Villeneuve’s nightmarish vision of a future Los Angeles to life.
As a whole, the movie doesn’t feel quite as impactful as its cinematography. Running close to three hours, it’s a little too ponderous for its own good, despite retaining the original Blade Runner’s spirit through a mixture of thrilling action sequences, philosophical pondering and memorable characters. All that is tied together in a compelling detective yarn, in which new-gen replicant Ryan Gosling seeks answers to a deadly riddle.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Based on a graphic novel and the first of an about-to-be trilogy (with 2017’s The Golden Circle and 2020’s The King’s Man), Matthew Vaughn’s action blockbuster about a secretive army of privately-funded spies often treads the line between raucous entertainment and bad taste. Some might find it sexist, overly violent and crass, but treated as pure escapism it’s undeniably diverting.
The story centres on Taron Egerton’s Eggsy, a working class inner city ne’er-do-well whose spirit, intelligence and bravery attract the attention of Colin Firth’s superspy, just as a shady tech billionaire is making some suspicious moves.