New Movies on Netflix

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New Movies on Netflix

Netflix has been adding so many new movies to its menu of offerings that it can be tough to keep up with all of their latest films. The following list includes 20 of the biggest movies the streaming service has released in the last few months.

Some we recommend more than others, but we’ve listed them all in order of release date, starting with the newest movies on Netflix. We’ll update this as Netflix continues to add new original films to the streaming service.

1. Carter

Netflix Release Date: August 5, 2022
Director: Jung Byung-gil
Stars: Joo Won, Lee Sung-jae, Jeong So-ri, Kim Bo-min
Genre: Action
Rating: TV-MA
Paste Review Score: 8.3

Watch on Netflix

Carter is the proverbial nonstop action thrill ride that every blockbuster claims to be. When Scorsese compared Marvel favorably to theme-park attractions, this is the experience he should have been talking about. Directed by Jung Byung-gil, this action movie stars Joo Won as Carter, a mysterious amnesiac that, depending on who you believe, works for either the CIA or the DPRK military. The main technical gimmicks are the utilization of drones for an artificially endless one-shot and a running clock like High Noon. My first thought when I saw the trailer was of Hardcore Henry, a first-person sci-fi action film also about an amnesiac. Carter is a bit more grounded, despite a zombie-adjacent infection arising out of Korea’s demilitarized zone, spurring the plot as he must rescue and transport a research scientist’s daughter whose blood contains a natural resistance to the infection. Carter is one of the most fun movies of 2022. It’s also easily the most violent and visceral, on par at least with The Northman, but at a higher rate of corpses-per-minute. Carter hacks through a bathhouse mob of Yakuza with their own bladed weapons. Carter creates comedic beats solely through the occasional absurdity and suddenness of its frequently brutal violence. The revelation of deep covers and double-crosses could almost be out of a Bourne film with less exposition; Netflix should push this harder than The Gray Man. Carter may not unify the peninsula, but if you want to be entertained, I’ve sure got the film for you. —Kevin Fox, Jr.

2. Purple Hearts

Netflix Release Date: July 29, 2022
Director: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Starring: Sofia Carson, Nicholas Galitzine, Chosen Jacobs
Genre: Romance, Drama
Rating: TV-14

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This Netflix original romantic drama could only happen in America. A marriage of convenience is the only path forward for struggling musician Cassie (Sofia Carson) when she finds out she’s got diabetes and no health care. She doesn’t like military men, but (Nicholas Galitzine) is in the marines, and that means he comes with healthcare. He also comes with a large debt to a drug dealer. Their meet-not-so-cute gets further complicated when he’s wounded in Iraq and their planned one-year-apart marriage becomes something more intimate as they must fool Luke’s family as well as the government.

3. The Gray Man

Netflix Release Date: July 22, 2022
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick, Wagner Moura, Dhanush, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfre Woodard, Regé-Jean Page
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating: PG-13
Paste Review Score: 5.8

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Longtime Marvel directors Anthony and Joe Russo have a track record more established by marketing than technical achievement, and the muddy mediocrity associated with CG-filled frames carries over to The Gray Man. None of the new film’s still-Bourne thrills are executed with the precise elegance of John Wick, the winking doggery of James Bond or the joyful craftsmanship of Mission: Impossible. Rather, its chaotic Grand Theft Auto filmmaking skates by with the sloppy sufficiency of its own protagonist. Loosely based on the Mark Greaney novel (and similarly hoping to kick off a franchise), The Gray Man proves that the Russo brothers don’t need superpowers to turn massive budgets into mush. CIA operative Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling) goes rogue after learning Too Much. His ex-bosses sic murderous nutcase military contractor Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) on him. There’s an important USB drive that could bring down the baddies if leaked to the press (a brightly naïve notion in 2022), an assortment of background characters and none of the book’s oil-based geopolitics, capitalist critique or moral ambiguity. Six might kill people in The Gray Man as easily and sleepily as you might fix your morning coffee, but he’s a soft-hearted goody two-shoes who’s the Hollywood ideal of a killer you can root for. Yes, the Russos have found themselves the perfect protagonist: An inhumanly numb scab of a man who only speaks snark. Gosling is good at a dry gag, physical or verbal, and is the best part of a film that doesn’t seem to know how lucky it is to have him.The Russos messy filmmaking and messier politics collude to create a factory-issue assassin with a heart, adorned with none of the genre specialties that make his peers stand out. He’s not unwatchable, nor will he be the next big hit. He’s just enough to sustain two hours; just enough to keep the Russos going, their bland blockbusters all the more obvious when stripped of spandex. He’s not much more. Just Gray. —Jacob Oller

4. Persuasion

Netflix Release Date: July 15, 2022
Director: Carrie Cracknell
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Richard E. Grant, Henry Golding
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: PG

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When the first trailer for Netflix’s new adaptation of Persuasion dropped, many Jane Austen fans were naturally skeptical. Nervous even. Because while the clip boasted a charmingly colorful aesthetic and slick Fleabag-style narration, it was jarringly and distinctly at odds with the original novel’s tone. It pains me to confirm that many of our initial concerns were not only valid—they probably did not go far enough. Because this Persuasion will likely be nigh-on unrecognizable to those who love the original novel, simply because it refuses to wrestle with the book’s most important themes of loss, regret and recovery. Instead, we get a story that feels like Jane Austen cosplay. It’s clear where the impetus for this adaptation came from. With its colorblind casting, modern slang and colorful aesthetics, it’s attempting to do Austen in a more Bridgerton style, but the problem appears to be that in the rush to find another Regency romance to adapt, no one bothered to explore whether the movie they were making was the same story that the book it purports to be based on was telling. A more serious and less confident figure than Emma Woodhouse or Lizzie Bennett, Anne is probably the least aggressively witty of Austen’s heroines, yet Netflix has chosen to reimagine her as a stereotypical adorkable girl, a quirky outsider who smirks and snarks and engages in deliberately performative gestures like constantly turning to the audience to roll her eyes or drop sly observational asides about those around her and society at large. This Anne is many things: Acerbic, impatient and awkward. Honestly, she’s fun, and somebody I think most of us would probably enjoy hanging out with. The problem is that whatever character Dakota Johnson is playing is not Jane Austen’s Anne Elliott. To be fair, if you sat down to watch this movie with no idea of what it was based on or what kind of story it was supposed to be, it’s honestly kind of fun—a glibly snarky Regency comedy bursting with attractive people judging one another and breaking the fourth wall to drop sly asides to the camera. If you have no particular emotional attachment to or preexisting ideas about these characters, Persuasion is a fairly serviceable period romantic comedy about a pair of exes with great chemistry pining for one another amid their cadre of snarky, ridiculous friends. —Lacy Baugher Milas

5. The Sea Beast

Netflix Release Date: July 8, 2022
Director: Chris Williams
Stars: Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dan Stevens, Kathy Burke
Rating: PG
Paste Review Score: 8.5

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When cartographers allowed their senses of imagination and self-preservation to fill the unexplored regions of their maps, they used to warn of creatures like lions, elephants and walruses. Creatures beyond understanding, with teeth and trunks and tusks easy to caricature into danger. But we mostly remember that when you sail to the faded edge of knowledge, there be dragons. The Sea Beast deftly hones this ancient human fear into a sharpened spear tip, striking at ignorance. Its swashbuckling adventure navigates a sea filled with massive critters sure to whet kids’ appetites for piracy, Godzilla films and exciting animation. The first movie from longtime Disney story staple Chris Williams after leaving the House of Mouse for Netflix, The Sea Beast is, to paraphrase Jared Harris’ Ahab-like Captain Crow, all piss and vinegar. That the film even alludes to the phrase, and drops a few other lightly-salted lines you might expect from some seasoned sea dogs, is indicative of its separation from the sanitized juggernaut. It looks violence in the eye; it isn’t afraid to make its threats real. All rightfully so. Telling a tall tale of hunters—mercenary crews funded by a colonialist crown to take out the kaijus populating the ocean—wouldn’t be right without at least a little edge. Our way into the world, the young Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator), has experienced its dangerous realities firsthand: Her parents went down with a ship, leaving her as one of dozens of hunter orphans. But that hasn’t stopped her from lionizing her martyred family (something explicitly encouraged by the monarchy) and seeking her own glory. Stowing away on Crow’s ship, the Inevitable, she and the capable Jacob (Karl Urban) find themselves confronting the legendary ambitions they’ve built up in their own heads. Williams and co-writer Nell Benjamin immediately drop us into the Inevitable’s quest to take out Crow’s toothy and horned Red Whale, dubbed the Red Bluster, with total confidence that there’s no time like maritime. As our eyes roll and pitch across the impressively realistic waves and our ears try to follow the meticulously detailed helmsmanship, the hunting scenes ensnare us like the catch of the day. We understand the hierarchy of the diverse crew, the honor code among hunters, the tactics needed to take down imposing creatures that look like Toho turned their greatest hits into Pokémon. It’s savvy and respectful writing, put into legible action by Williams’ skilled hand, that trusts in its setting and subject matter to be inherently cool, and in its audience to greedily follow along. By the time the lances are flying, the cannons are firing and the creatures are dying—or are they?—you’re as deeply hooked as any dad watching Master and Commander. A delightful new-school deconstruction of old-school Romantic adventure that never compromises on the lushness of setting, color and emotion inherent in the latter, The Sea Beast rises to the front of Netflix’s animated offerings like a high tide.—Jacob Oller

6. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Netflix Release Date: July 6, 2022
Director: Michael Lewen
Stars: Talia Ryder, Jordan Fisher, Ayo Edebiri, Nico Hiraga, Jennifer Robertson, Patrick Sabongui
Rating: TV-14
Paste Review Score: 6.6

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Sparks instantly fly when Clare (Talia Ryder) and Aidan (Jordan Fisher) meet at a rowdy high-school party. They share somber secrets, recreate childhood bliss on a playground swing set and even have a magical first kiss. There’s one problem, though. They are about to head to college, and Clare wants to have a true hot girl freshman fall. So they do what any normal couple would do: Form a breakup pact for the day before they depart for college. What could possibly go wrong? The bulk of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, Michael Lewen’s directorial debut based on Jennifer E. Smith’s young adult novel of the same name, takes place on the night of Clare and Aidan’s final date. Over the course of the evening, Aidan plots for them to relive all of their special moments: Their meet-cute, the time Clare catapulted off the back of a boat, the prom that they missed—the list goes on. Clare is confident that the break will be more-or-less clean; she loves Aidan, but her parents were high-school sweethearts and, as she reminds us around 30 times over the course of the film, their relationship didn’t work out. Aidan, on the other hand, secretly believes that his carefully crafted night-long trip down memory lane will convince Clare to do long distance. Again, what could possibly go wrong The next 70 minutes or so compose an over-produced, over-lit film with big, immaculate setpieces and even bigger melodramatic fights. Sadly, the screenplay, written by Ben York Jones and Amy Reed, is similarly overdone. While Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between boasts a solid premise (Who doesn’t want to see two charismatic teens embark on a breakup date?) there is no way in hell anyone could sit down and not predict how the thing is going to play out. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention just how sweet Hello, Goodbye really is. Ryder and Fisher have true chemistry, and it’s hard not to root for their relationship. And while the script is so cheesy that the lactose intolerant should stay far away, it does include some poignant messages—such as, for the right person, you don’t have to lose yourself. Ironically, the film could’ve taken that message and tried a little less hard to be like every other rom-com in existence. —Aurora Amidon

7. The Man From Toronto

man-toronto.jpg Netflix Release Date: June 24, 2022
Director: Patrick Hughes
Stars: Kevin Hart, Woody Harrelson, Ellen Barkin, Jasmine Mathews, Kaley Cuoco, Jencarlos Canela
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Paste Review Score: 5.5

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Director Patrick Hughes (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) returns for another action-oriented comedy with The Man from Toronto, similarly featuring an unlikely (if endearing) central duo that’s tasked with defeating a nefarious criminal force. While the Netflix Original film manages to sneak in a few genuinely funny moments, it’s not nearly as action-packed, suspenseful or humorous as it aims to be. For a film that’s largely about a fearsome globe-trotting assassin, it lacks guts. It flinches from the violence that defines its title character, then fails to make up for this underwhelming lack of tension with compelling action sequences or pyrotechnic flair. It’s also guilty of leaning on tired tropes, particularly when it comes to reductive depictions of women. In an attempt to orchestrate an elaborate birthday getaway for his wife Lori (Jasmine Mathews), struggling fitness entrepreneur Teddy (Kevin Hart) drops her off at a day spa in Onacock, Virginia while he gets a nearby cabin rental ready for their weekend stay. However, the confirmation email he physically printed out (in 2022…) is smudged. As it turns out, the goon who answered the door mistook Teddy’s identity. In reality, he was expecting The Man from Toronto (Woody Harrelson), an assassin notorious for his brutal torture methods that always get political captives to spill their confidential intel. As a breezy, popcorn-compatible streaming selection, The Man from Toronto delivers a tried-and-true buddy comedy formula that is far from revelatory, but reduces the unlikely duo trope to its most likable qualities—a feat that’s only pulled off due to the competence of its leads. —Natalia Keogan

8. Blasted

blasted.jpg Netflix Release Date: June 28, 2022
Director: Martin Sofiedal
Stars: Axel Boyum, Fredrik Skogsrud, Mathias Luppichini, Eirik Hallert, André Sorum, Evelyn Rasmussen Osazuwa, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Ingar Helge Gimle, Cecilie Svendsen
Genre: Sci-fi, Comedy
Rating: TV-MA

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From Norwegian director Martin Sofiedal and writer Emanuel Nordrum, Netflix’s Blasted is the first feature film to tackle a decades-old Norwegian curiosity. In the remote valley of Hessdalen, reports of glowing orbs floating in the sky have been documented since the early ’80s. Several scientific theories have circulated since, none of which are taken very seriously by the film. As these hypotheses involve heady terminology concerning ionization, radon decay and piezoelectricity, the film’s substitution of scientific study for slapstick comedy is far from an egregious narrative choice. Where Blasted does falter, however, is in its overlong runtime, burdened by a subplot involving a Fargo-esque pregnant police officer that detracts from the already flimsy central friendship dynamic. However, what’s most perplexing about the film is the general lack of evidence concerning its own existence. Silently dumped onto Netflix and non-existent as an entry on Letterboxd, Blasted is a perfectly fine sci-fi comedy destined to fade into obscurity. —Natalia Keogan

9. Spiderhead

spiderhead-poster.jpg Netflix Release Date: June 17, 2022
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Miles Teller, Chris Hemsworth, Jurnee Smollett, Mark Paguio, Tess Haubrich
Rating: R
Runtime: 107 minutes

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Paste’s Steven Petite called George Saunders “a master of creating worlds that are close enough to mirroring our own to be deemed realistic while not familiar enough to entirely resemble the world we live in” and “perhaps the greatest living English language short story writer, whose bizarre brand of humor is both dark and refreshing.” Netflix’s Spiderhead, adapted from Saunders’s 2010 short story “Escape from Spiderhead,” is darker than it is funny (or fun), but it is refreshing to watch Chris Hemsworth drop his superhero persona to play a mad genius running an unorthodox prison where the inmates have volunteered as lab rats in exchange for good meals and personal space. Directed by Tron: Legacy’s Joseph Kosinski, the film imagines a future where changing someone’s mood and perception is as easy as an iPhone app and oversight of our private prisons is—well, even less than it is today. Miles Teller and Jurnee Smollett star as inmates who begin to question whether life back in gen pop was actually better. —Josh Jackson

10. Hustle

hustle.jpg Netflix Release Date: June 8, 2022
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Starring: Adam Sandler, Juancho Hernangómez, Queen Latifah, Ben Foster
Genre: Sports Drama
Rating: R
Paste Review Score: 7.0

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Hustle is unlike any other Adam Sandler movie. Mind, it’s quite like any number of other movies: An underdog coach figure takes on an immensely talented athlete whose background nonetheless makes him an underdog, too. There are training montages, supportive-yet-worried family members and clearly delineated antagonists. Counterintuitively, Hustle is possibly the most normal movie Sandler has ever made; it’s practically an alternate history where he fits himself into classic Hollywood star vehicles rather than building his own out of NYU and SNL buddies. He plays Stanley Sugerman, a longtime scout for the Philadelphia 76ers whose dream of coaching basketball seems further away as he moves through his 50s. On a scouting trip in Spain, he has a chance meeting with Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez)—an enormous, undiscovered raw talent—and brings him back to the U.S., convinced that Bo has a future in the NBA. The slickster (Ben Foster) newly placed in charge of the team isn’t sold; will this friction cause Stanley to strike out on his own? This is not a suspenseful movie, at least not regarding its final outcome. In the moment, though, Hustle is an involving sports drama with a pulse and sense of humor. It seems strange at first, to consider how many basketball movies focus on wheeling, dealing and behind-the-scenes maneuvering, rather than the climactic, bombastic gameplay of baseball or football. But like He Got Game and High Flying Bird (if not in their league), Hustle understands that the impossible speed and grace of basketball is difficult to capture cinematically. Instead, the movie concentrates on how an adrenalized love for the sport spills over to everyone in the orbit of these gifted players. If it’s no longer surprising that Sandler is a good, steady actor, it’s still fun to find out he can find new ways to play to the cheap seats. —Jesse Hassenger

11. RRR

rrr.jpg Netflix Release Date: May 20, 2022
Director: S.S. Rajamouli
Stars: Victoria Justice, Adam Demos, Luca Sardelis, Samantha Cain
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: TV-14

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This action-packed historical drama is the most expensive film in Indian history and already one of the biggest box office hits. N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan play two Indian revolutionaries pitted against the imperial British Raj. Released in March of 2022, RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt) follows the two men and their very different paths to revolution. Komaram Bheem (Rao) is the champion for a rural tribe trying to rescue a stolen daughter and Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) is the police officer tasked with catching him when the pair form an unwitting friendship after teaming together in a daring rescue of a young boy. But this is Bollywood, so while trying to fulfill their opposing missions, they also show up arrogant British officers with a full-fledged dance off. It’s a riotously fun and twisty journey celebrating two heroes of Indian independence.

12. F*ck Love Too

fck-love-too.jpg Netflix Release Date: May 20, 2022
Director: Aram van de Rest, Appie Boudellah
Stars: Bo Maerten, Géza Weisz, Yolanthe Cabau, Maurits, Delchot
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: TV-MA

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F*ck Love Too is a follow-up to the poorly-received 2019 Dutch comedy F*ck de liefde, directed by Appie Boudellah and Aram van de Rest. The sequel follows an ensemble cast who just can’t seem to crack the mysteries of love and, as a result, engage in an impressive series of social gaffes. At the center of this anarchic cast is level-headed Lisa (Bo Maerten), who unwittingly finds herself in the center of a love triangle with two smooth-talking fellas while on her less put-together friend Kiki’s (Nienke Plas) tasteful Ibiza bachelorette party. Only a small fraction of F*ck Love Too examines this unforeseen triad, though, because the film has more characters than one could possibly keep track of. There’s Lisa’s ex, the pig-headed, egotistical Jack (Edwin Jonker), who has managed to get not one but two women pregnant at the same time, (unbeknownst to one another, of course): His new wife/Lisa’s ex-best-friend Cindy (Victoria Koblenko) and short-term fling Monica (Anouk Maas). Jack’s best friend Said (Maurits Delchot) is having marital problems of his own with successful and stubborn Bo (Yolanthe Cabau). Oh, and there’s also an island escort, a quirky couple’s counselor, a hapless bachelorette and more. You get the picture, right? There’s a reason that this multiple-storyline device is so popular in the rom-com genre. It maximizes potential for humor and romantic catharsis, easily highlighting just how messy the game of love can really get. For this to work, though, you have to have at least a few couples that have chemistry or, at the bare minimum, are compelling on their own. F*ck Love Too has a grand total of zero of these things. It’s depressing to see a film miss the mark in so many ways within such a by-the-numbers genre, but who knows? Perhaps by F*ck Love Three, this directing duo and writing quartet will finally have a grasp on what makes a rom-com tick. —Aurora Amidon

13. Senior Year

senior-year.jpg Netflix Release Date: May 13, 2022
Director: Alex Hardcastle
Stars: Rebel Wilson, Mary Holland, Sam Richardson, Angourie Rice, Chris Parnell, Jade Bender, Zoë Chao, Avantika Vandanapu
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R

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In its opening minutes, Senior Year tracks the journey of teenager Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice) from insecure underclassman nerd in 1999 to popular (though still secretly insecure) queen bee in 2002. While the movie isn’t explicit about tracking the cultural changes that saw the end of alt-rock give way to the lip-glossed, boy-banded poptimism of the early ’00s, there’s a tremor of recognition in watching Stephanie contort herself to fit into the model of the plastic, self-aware teen movies of that era. But after a grim cheerleading accident, Stephanie falls into a coma, where she stays for 20 years. Now played by Rebel Wilson, she wakes up in 2022 to a vastly different world, and feels understandably robbed of the prom-queen glory she was poised for back in ’02. Her displacement fits with the initial turn-of-the-century time period: Stephanie’s She’s All That transformation and Bring It On lifestyle have become, instead, a more promiscuous version of Never Been Kissed—because she insists on re-enrolling in high school to finish out her final month and reclaim her crown, metaphorically and literally. She assembles a multi-step plan to become popular, head the cheerleading squad and win prom queen. It’s absurd, of course, that a 37-year-old would be allowed to step back into her alma mater, interacting with a bunch of underage classmates, including Brie (Jade Bender), the daughter of Stephanie’s old nemesis Tiffany (Zoë Chao). But Stephanie’s less-popular bestie Martha (Mary Holland) has become principal of their old high school, while their friend Seth (Sam Richardson) has just started working as a librarian, and they gingerly support her efforts to restart her life while attempting to steer her away from her most superficial fantasies. For a while, the movie fills out the caricatured high-concept ridiculousness of its premise with surprising nuance that refuses to indulge pronouns-in-bio sneering at the younger generation. If Senior Year had been willing to further develop its affectionate social satire, it might have been a surprise 2020s classic of the teen-movie genre. Instead, it’s dead set on proving it has heart, too, and in the process becomes as thirsty for likes as any teenager’s Insta. Unfortunately it rambles on for nearly two hours, with most of its best moments spent by the halfway mark. —Jesse Hassenger

14. Operation Mincemeat

operation-mincemeat.jpg Netflix Release Date: May 11, 2022
Director: John Madden
Star: Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Penelope Wilton, Johnny Flynn, Jason Isaacs
Genre: War Drama
Rating: PG-13

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Oscar winner John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) directs this retelling of the 1943 British operation to deceive the Nazis about the Allied invasion of Sicily by disguising a corpse as a fictitious Royal Marine officer carrying plans for a fake Allied invasion of Greece and Sardina. Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen star as the masterminds behind the wild ruse, with a little help from future James Bond creator Ian Fleming (Johnny Flynn).

15. Our Father

our-father.jpg Netflix Release Date: May 11, 2022
Director: Lucie Jourdan
Genre: True Crime Documentary
Rating: TV-MA

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Our Father, first-time director Lucie Jourdan’s Netflix documentary, manages to find the worst of all worlds: A fraud captivating enough to fill a news segment, half-heartedly unfolded to the detriment of all parties involved. The case of Donald Cline, an Indianapolis fertility doctor who decided to personally impregnate his patients instead of using whatever samples they’d been promised (be they donor sperm or that of their husbands), is made as repetitive and uninspired as a creepy old quack masturbating day in and day out behind closed office doors. Sure, it’s seriously gross. Our Father’s failures aren’t in its lurid source material, but in its leering execution. Jourdan’s a reality TV mainstay, overseeing everything from the thematically related sextuplet series Six Little McGhees to shlock like Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy and Ghost Hunters Academy. This familiarity with short-and-sweet, overproduced-to-get-you-through-the-commercials episodic narrative is stretched to its limit over Our Father’s 90 minutes. The Cline case is far too simple to be spread so thin, especially with so little interest in or access to the main players. Cline illicitly fathered a small Aryan militia’s worth of blonde, blue-eyed Indianans, but we mostly devote our time to embarrassing reenactments (with an aesthetic somewhere between Z-grade horror and Z-grade porn) and an unending procession of half-siblings with the same sad story. —Jacob Oller

16. The Takedown

the-takedown.jpg Netflix Release Date: May 6, 2022
Director: Louis Leterrier
Stars: Omar Sy, Laurent Lafitte, Izïa Higelin
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rating: TV-MA

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How smart does an action movie have to be to be smarter than a Hollywood action movie? It doesn’t have to be inaccessible. It doesn’t have to be dull either. The quick-firing, quick-witted The Takedown stars Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte (reprising their roles from 2012’s On the Other Side of the Tracks) and is directed by Louis Leterrier. It’s a buddy cop movie about two former partners reunited in Paris to solve a murder in the French country, discovering a white supremacist terrorist conspiracy along the way. It reminds me of Bad Boys, Rush Hour and Hobbes and Shaw, but it’s slightly more critical of police than the former two and far more grounded than the last one. The Takedown is a very good time: A solid action comedy and a window into how a French director with a lot of American projects can turn eclectic influences into an artistic sensibility with wide-ranging appeal, all while directing actors to beat up Nazis. If you’re familiar with the genre, you’ll recognize familiar components. Two leading men with complementary/contradictory personalities and skill sets, and a relatively no-nonsense leading lady that one or both guys are romantically interested in. Sy’s Chief Ousmane Diakité is a sharp investigator and a relentless, sometimes reckless, fighter, but he can be squeamish and isn’t smooth. Lafitte’s Lt. Francois Monge is a lonely but successful and self-assured narcissist, meticulous about protocol and folding his clothes, and an incorrigible womanizer. Izïa Higelin plays Alice, the local police officer guiding them around town and helping them with their investigation, with an apparent mutual attraction to Ousmane—while Francois imagines himself to be a magnet. The Takedown marks a fruitful continuing collaboration between Sy and Leterrier, who directed the first three episodes of Sy’s successful Netflix series Lupin and is set to replace Justin Lin as the director of Fast X. It isn’t a radical or revolutionary movie (it is still about good-guy cops), but it’s refreshing relative to its genre contemporaries. Oh, and watch it in French with English subtitles, which feels a lot more natural than the English dub. —Kevin Fox, Jr.

17. White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

white-hot.jpg Netflix Release Date: April 19, 2022
Directors: Alison Klayman
Genre: Documentary
Rating: TV-14
Paste Review Score: 6.4

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In White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, director Alison Klayman examines the “coolness by exclusion” brand through an analysis of the company from an insider perspective—but doesn’t expect to provide answers. It would rather that we simply sit with the consequences of that exclusion. As someone who’d like to send the brand an emotional damages receipt, I’m a fan of that approach because, at this point, there’s nothing left to do with the cultural era other than lay it bare. The documentary follows former brand CEO Mike Jeffries’ timeline with the company, and his influence on its business practices at both the store and corporate level worldwide. During his tenure with the brand, he built it into the elitist, preppy cool zone for hotties only that most of us remember it to be. Using nostalgia to unite us, White Hot reframes the discriminatory actions taken by a company that had a monopoly on determining what was deemed cool in impressionable, early ’00s circles of young adults. White Hot does a great job analyzing a house of cards, composed of societal failings, that allowed Abercrombie & Fitch to monopolize a generation’s adolescence through mind, body and spirit. However, I wish this reckoning touched more on where my own trauma surrounding the brand stemmed from: Its treatment of plus-sized customers. White Hot could’ve broadened its scope to bring Abercrombie’s body-shaming transgressions into the frame, but the documentary mostly gets the main job done. It interrogates the foundations of a company we allowed to rule our subconscious through that strange chokehold: The need to be liked. The movie is a worthy examination of the culture surrounding Abercrombie and why it became so toxic—and how we followed suit—but it could’ve been a slightly more rounded-out story had it focused on all elements of the company’s biases. —Lex Briscuso

18. Choose or Die

choose-or-die.jpg Netflix Release Date: April 15, 2022
Director: Toby Meakins
Star: Asa Butterfield, Iola Evans, Eddie Marsan, Kate Fleetwood, Robert Englund
Genre: Horror
Rating: PG-13

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Gaming nostalgia is a fountain of cheap pathos that can never really be depleted, and if the first trailer for Netflix’s Choose or Die is any indication, it’s also fertile material for shlocky horror cinema. The British psychological horror thriller is the feature debut of director Toby Meakins, and hit Netflix on April 15. Choose or Die, previously titled CURS>R, is a throwback digital horror flick, evocative on some levels of the early 2000s era of clumsy internet horror that brought us the likes of FeardotCom. However, this is an evolved take on such a digital horror concept, in which a lost relic of 1980s gaming proves to be capable of warping reality around it as it forces players into a game of life and death. We’re getting definite vibes of Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch,” with a more subtle twist of the classic Polybius urban legend) of a supposedly sinister arcade cabinet. Choose or Die stars former Hugo and Ender’s Game star Asa Butterfield, alongside Iola Evans, Eddie Marsan, Kate Fleetwood and apparently the legendary Robert Englund, who is playing … himself? As anyone who has ever seen Wes Craven’s New Nightmare can tell you, that’s always a good time. —Jim Vorel

19. Metal Lords

metal-lords.jpg Netflix Release Date: April 8, 2022
Director: Peter Sollett
Stars: Jaeden Martell, Isis Hainsworth, Adrian Greensmith, Brett Gelman, Sufe Bradshaw, Noah Urrea, Analesa Fisher, Michelle Fang, Phelan Davis, Joe Manganiello
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R
Paste Review Score: 6.5

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Director Peter Sollett (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and writer D.B. Weiss (co-creator of Game of Thrones) team up to tell an unlikely (yet oh-so-relatable) tale of teenage rebellion in Netflix’s Metal Lords. Centering around a high school trio who don’t fit in for their own personal reasons—whether it be due to scrawny stature, niche cultural interests or fluctuating mental health issues—and, as a result, form a pretty kick-ass heavy metal band. The stakes are raised when the school announces a battle of the bands, accelerating their motivation to ditch their repertoire of Black Sabbath covers in favor of original songs. Before they can seriously improve, though, the pressure of constant practice and young romance drives a wedge between the friends, threatening to break up the band all together. Though much of the film feels like a heavy metal rip-off of School of Rock, Metal Lords reveals a deep-seated sincerity. Sure, the motivations of these characters are totally inane, and the narrative may appear desperately contrived. But the film’s lightheartedness and palpable high school schadenfreude keep Metal Lords from tipping over into uninspired pastiche. —Natalia Keogan

20. Return to Space

return-to-space.jpg Netflix Release Date: April 7, 2022
Directors: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
Genre: Documentary
Rating: TV-MA
Paste Review Score: 7.9

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It’s difficult to think of someone with a more bizarre public persona than billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. You know, the guy who claimed that we are almost definitely living in a videogame and smoked a blunt in the same Joe Rogan interview, tweeted that he used to be an alien, and named his and pop star Grimes’ baby X Æ A-Xii. Incidentally, Musk is also largely responsible for the commercialization of modern space travel. In Return to Space, Academy Award-winning documentarians Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin outline the creation of the aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, which Musk founded in 2002 with the intention of eventually colonizing Mars. In the past two decades, SpaceX has lowered the cost of space travel drastically by designing reusable spacecrafts, and has become an integral supplier for NASA because of this. While spearheading SpaceX in its embryonic stage, Musk knew that space travel was a popularity contest, a contest that he eventually won over fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos, the Amazon boss who strove to commercialize space travel with his company Blue Origin and lost a $2.9 billion lunar-landing contract to SpaceX. That’s just the cost of business these days, and Musk is exceptionally good at playing the game. This kind of business model might seem like a relatively modern phenomenon, but the filmmakers do a great job at outlining the fact that charisma, excitement, and adoration has always been at the forefront of space travel. Embedded in Return to Space is footage from NASA and SpaceX that plays out less like a documentary and more like narrative features such as The Right Stuff or First Man. And of course, a space flick wouldn’t be that without its stoic and heroic all-American heroes. Return to Space quickly establishes its heroes not as Musk and Bezos, but as Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley—the first American astronauts to fly into space from Cape Canaveral in a decade. Return to Space is also highly informative considering the complex subject matter and doesn’t shy away from discussing the ins-and-outs of SpaceX, how it is funded, why it is so difficult to fund space travel, and why we’ve only been to the moon a couple of times. These kinds of explanations are always welcome, especially at the level of efficiency found here—even if the tone does verge on “infomercial” from time to time. —Aurora Amidon