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 25 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. Dog Gone

Netflix Release Date: January 13, 2023
Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Rob Lowe, Johnny Berchtold, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Nick Peine
Genre: Drama
Rating: R

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Gonkers is missing. The Marshall family must rely on each other to find their beloved pet. Based on Pauls Toutonghi’s book, The Dog Gone: A Lost Pet’s Extraordinary Journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home, which itself was based on a true story, the inspirational family film was directed by Stephen Herek, himself no stranger to extraordinary journeys—he directed Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

2. The Pale Blue Eye

Netflix Release Date: January 6, 2023
Director: Scott Cooper
Stars: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Simon McBurney, Timothy Spall, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Fred Hechinger, Joey Brooks, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lucy Boynton, Robert Duvall, Gillian Anderson
Genre: Thriller
Rating: R

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On paper, a movie in which a handsome young Edgar Allan Poe attempts to solve a grueling murder in the blistering cold of the Hudson Valley in the early 1800s sounds like a surefire recipe for success. Sadly, frequent collaborators Scott Cooper and Christian Bale’s newest project, The Pale Blue Eye, suggests that good-on-paper is all that this story will ever be. Based on Louis Bayard’s 2003 novel of the same name, The Pale Blue Eye follows Augustus Land (Bale), a rugged, retired detective whom the U.S. military enlists to help solve the brutal killing of a young West Point cadet. Realizing he can’t solve the head-scratching crime on his own, Augustus enlists the help of who, you might ask? Well, Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling), of course! From there, The Pale Blue Eye does its very best to adopt the sullen, wind-chilled, uneasy tone of a good winter detective story, while also striving to shake things up by adding a couple (debatably) clever twists and, of course, making one of the world’s most famous poets a protagonist. Despite these noble attempts, The Pale Blue Eye never really leaves the ground. Between over-long scenes of inconsequential dialogue that take an eternity to go anywhere if at all, and far too understated performances from the leads—Bale is wonderful and weathered as always, but having him near-whisper the majority of his lines doesn’t do his complex characters any favors—The Pale Blue Eye and its cast lack the energy and momentum required for a truly riveting, compelling mystery. It’s a sluggishly slow murder-mystery without much tension, one holding a candle to Poe’s work Nevermore. —Aurora Amidon

3. White Noise

Netflix Release Date: December 30, 2022
Director: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Raffey Cassidy, André Benjamin, Alessandro Nivola, Jodie Turner-Smith, Don Cheadle
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Rating: R

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It’s 1984 in Don DeLillo’s White Noise, an iconic novel that opens on a highway crammed to a stop with evacuating families. But in writer-director Noah Baumbach’s screen adaptation, we begin somewhere else, a little further back, in a classroom submerged in lecture: “Look past the violence!” It’s a call to action from professor Murray Siskind (Don Cheadle) to his students, and an invitation to satirical logic for us, the viewers, students in the art of DeLillian critique and maximalism for the next two hours and sixteen minutes. This plot, like all plots, “moves deathward,” as founder and professor of Hitler Studies at College-on-the-Hill Jack Gladney (Adam Driver) explains. That’s the nature of all plots, but the phrase applies in excess to White Noise. After a brief spell of normality, an “airborne toxic event” creates a pandemic that hovers ominously in the form of a black cloud over life on Earth, leaving people quarantined and displaced, uprooting the Gladneys’ mild, routine suburban life. Babette (Greta Gerwig) and Jack have seven kids from past marriages, four of whom they’re still rearing: Wilder, Denise (Raffey Cassidy), Heinrich and Steffie (the latter two played by Sam and May Nivola, children of Alessandro Nivola and Emily Mortimer). Baumbach uses a bizarro cast of characters to freshly convey the warmth and comfort that can be found in a partnership or close-knit nuclear family. Guns—and the violence inherent in them—are a huge topic of discourse, often academically discussed as so many things are in White Noise. They kick the film off through a distinctly non-Baumbachian introduction in style—a lecture on the brief history of the weapon, our mass philosophies around it and the violence that stems from it—cut with the zip and punch of a full-fledged action sequence. Historical footage whirs by in a blur of brutality as Murray pounds his lecture into students and the montage unfolds at a breakneck pace, the coming of a new style of Baumbach. The film flexes its budget creatively and responsibly, every department offering sumptuous work, a testament to the collective experience of the creative heads and Baumbach’s keen ability to wed all elements of a film into a unified whole, no matter the style or budget. He doesn’t leave a department unconsidered. t’s tempting to say the story of White Noise—which feels massive for Baumbach—is about more than an individual, or couple, or family in New York, like all of his previous films, but it is just about a family. The setting and characters are so strange and surreal that it seems like a fantasy, or an epic, or something else expensive, but it’s a natural story for Baumbach to make a career transition through.—Luke Hicks

4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Netflix Release Date: December 23, 2022
Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Daniel Craig, Janelle Monae, Ed Norton, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Dave Bautista, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline
Genre: Mystery
Rating: PG-13

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In Rian Johnson’s latest Knives Out mystery, the Glass Onion is as much a metaphor for the nature of the whodunit as it is for the grandeur of the film itself. Resting upon a gorgeous Greek villa (on a billionaire’s private island, no less), the titular emblem is created through a combination of VFX and a practical structure that stands a mighty 20 meters high. Made in the U.K. from all-glass paneling, the Onion’s design was so intricate that it had to be assembled in its birthplace first to ensure that all its pieces fit together, disassembled entirely for its journey to a Serbian studio and then reassembled for the film. This extravagance perfuses beyond budget and set design to inform key elements of the overall work—most notably, its characters, sense of humor and roller coaster narrative. In Glass Onion, everything is more. More jokes. More self-reflexivity. More twists and turns. And, undeniably, more fun. Peeling back the layers of this campy mystery is none other than Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), “The Last of the Gentlemen Sleuths.” He opens a mixed bag of eccentric personalities, including unfiltered fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), Connecticut governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), mysterious scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), men’s rights influencer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), wealthy entrepreneur Miles Bron (Edward Norton) and Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), his estranged business partner. This absurdly delightful cast and gags are accompanied by a narrative that mirrors their chaos and lightheartedness. Where Knives Out is a straight whodunit, this second installment is more of an adoring parody of the subgenre. From recurring jokes about Clue to the utilization of famous novella tropes, the film dives headfirst into all things murder-mystery. It has multiple puzzles layered onto each other to create a viewing experience jam-packed with revelations and shocks—hence its overarching onion metaphor. Glass Onion is the kind of crowd-pleasing entertainment that is best experienced in a group setting, where the film’s topsy-turvy take on the whodunit is sure to keep you guessing (and laughing).—Kathy Michelle Chacón

5. Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Netflix Release Date: December 16, 2022
Director: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
Stars: Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Gregory Mann, Ron Perlman, Finn Wolfhard, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett
Genre: Comedy, drama
Rating: PG

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Iñárritu’s most recent directorial effort, Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, follows esteemed Mexican journalist and documentarian Silverio Gama (Daniel Giménez Cacho), who decides to return to his homeland after receiving a distinguished award. What follows is a thoughtful meditation on identity and fame imbued with both quiet austerity and biting humor. A film about a filmmaker, it is no surprise that Bardo contains undeniable notes of Iñárritu’s own life and filmmaking portfolio. At times a dizzying, absurdist visual feast, the film is reminiscent of Birdman, which often rejects formal filmmaking “rules” by presenting itself in a long, unbroken shot, and by permeating many of its frames with dozens of light sources. On a philosophical level, Bardo seems to be a callback to Iñárritu’s earlier work, touching on death with the same nuance as 21 Grams, and considering identity with the same force as Babel. While Bardo can admittedly be a bit self-indulgent at times, not quite knowing when to cut back on the long pontifications, it is an undeniably empathetic look at the human condition, and one of the director’s most thought-provoking films to date. —Aurora Amidon

6. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Release Date: December 9, 2022
Director: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
Stars: Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Gregory Mann, Ron Perlman, Finn Wolfhard, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett
Genre: Animation, adventure
Rating: PG

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Guillermo del Toro has never shied away from infusing the harsh realities of life and death into the journeys of his young protagonists. His fascination with the intersections of childhood innocence and macabre whimsy are what make him the ideal co-director of Netflix’s newest Pinocchio adaptation, a work that marvelously marries the filmmaker’s flair for dark fantasy with the equally strange fairy tale elements of Carlo Collodi’s 1883 The Adventures of Pinocchio. Like all successful marriages, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio brings out the very best of both parties. The stop-motion musical is an artistic triumph that colors Collodi’s cherished storybook characters with humanity and depth to craft a mature tale about rebellion, mortality and the love between a parent and child. This rendition marks the 22nd film adaptation of the Italian novel, and while it remains true to the grisly nature of Collodi’s original stories, it boldly departs from its dated moral lessons. In The Adventures of Pinocchio (and notable renditions thereafter), Pinnochio’s many escapades are structured as cause-and-effect narratives that serve to caution children against defiant behavior. In Disney’s 1940 animated feature, an evening of fun and relaxation on “Pleasure Island’’ nearly turns the wooden boy into a salt-mining donkey. In the original serial La Storia di un Burattino, delinquent behavior leads him to a gruesome death. These values of compliance and servility are reversed by del Toro’s fascist setting. In his Pinocchio, disobedience is a virtue—not a crime.
These moral examinations are given a sense of urgency in death—a theme that informs so much of the film’s mind and soul. Where previous adaptations are preoccupied with life—with the puppet’s extraordinary consciousness and the hope that he may someday become a “real boy”—del Toro’s Pinocchio is interested in what our mortality can teach us about being human. In the film, death is never too far away from the protagonist or his loved ones. Death touches Carlo, then remains close to Pinocchio throughout his epic journey. The beauty of del Toro’s Pinocchio is that death isn’t treated with the usual dread and cynicism we typically see in the Western world. Here, death is mysterious, ethereal, soaked in gorgeous blue light. Death is not something to be feared, but respected and accepted when the time comes, because the notion that we will someday—maybe unexpectedly—leave this earth is what makes our time here so beautiful. I don’t typically advise listening to crickets, but believe Sebastian J., because the story of Pinocchio has never been told quite like this.—Kathy Michelle Chacón

7. Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

Netflix Release Date: December 9, 2022
Director: Matthew Warchus
Stars: Alisha Weir, Stephen Graham, Andrea Riseborough, Lashana Lynch, Sindhu Vee, Emma Thompson
Genre: Musical
Rating: PG

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Many of Roald Dahl’s fantastical stories include adults being exceptionally malicious to children, and that’s certainly the case in Matilda the Musical. Matilda Wormwood’s (Alisha Weir) parents never wanted her, are casually cruel and neglect her to the point they forget to send her to school. Once at school, called Crunchem Hall where a statue with the words “No Sniveling” greets students and headmistress Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson) delights in torturing children. The school motto is “Children are Maggots.” Nice, right? Orphaned children singing about their troubles while unifying their peers is a musical staple (see: Annie). But Matilda is a decidedly stranger, darker show. Matilda has a vivid imagination and magical powers. When she’s not standing up to Miss Trunchbull or dealing with her garish parents, she tells extraordinary, disturbing stories about an Escapologist (Carl Spencer) and an Acrobat (Lauren Alexandra) to kind traveling librarian Mrs. Phelps (Sindhu Vee). But none of that really matters, because Matilda the Musical, an adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical, is so good. Just give yourself over the utter weirdness. Weir is fantastic, bringing a plucky spunk and some fantastic vocals to the lead, while Thompson leaves all (and I do mean all) vanity behind as the horrific Trunchbull. Lashana Lynch is goodness personified as Matilda’s loving teacher Miss Honey; Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough are tawdry comic relief as Matilda’s awful parents. And wow, those musical numbers. With original music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, the songs and the accompanying choreography, by Ellen Kane, are full of energy and deliciously executed dance moves. The cast of children, many of whom in their film debut, are terrific. And the message of Matilda the Musical is a good one. Children should be listened to. They know and understand more than you think, and today’s children are tomorrow’s adults. Even though they’re little, they can do a lot. Matilda the Musical is a movie for the entire family that will leave you singing and dancing. A movie musical this good is a miracle—you can tell Matilda’s parents I said so. —Amy Amatangelo

8. Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Release Date: December 2, 2022
Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Stars: Emma Corrin, Jack O’Connell, Matthew Duckett, Joely Richardson, Ella Hunt, Faye Marsay
Genre: Romance, drama
Rating: R

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In 1960, Penguin Books was put on trial for its publication of D.H. Lawrence’s 1928 novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Penguin was found not guilty because, in large part, the courts deemed the novel’s sex scenes as entirely necessary. Chatterley’s is not a book about sex. Instead, it uses sex as a method to describe a deeply powerful love. Given this, there is naturally a great deal of pressure that comes with adapting Chatterley’s. After all, how can one do justice to sex scenes that literally got the law involved? But French director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre was willing to take on the challenge, adapting the controversial novel for Netflix with a screenplay from Finding Neverland writer David Magee. Lady Chatterley’s Lover follows Connie Reed (Emma Corrin), a young newlywed whose baronet husband, Sir Clifford Chatterley (Matthew Duckett), recently sustained wartime injuries that left him medically impotent. Still hoping for an heir, Clifford encourages Connie to have an extramarital affair without catching feelings. But it turns out that that last clause is a bit of a tough ask when your gamekeeper is the ruggedly handsome, coolly disaffected Oliver Mellors (Jack O’Connell). As in Lawrence’s novel, Connie and Oliver’s love affair is the beating heart of Clermont-Tonnerre’s film. At face value, Lady Chatterley’s Lover works well enough as a love story: It’s sweet, moderately sexy and sticks pretty religiously to Lawrence’s compelling story. But for a film based on a book that scandalized thousands, it will undoubtedly leave its viewer wanting more. —Aurora Amidon

9. Qala

Release Date: December 2, 2022
Director: Anvitaa Dutt
Starring: Triptii Dimri, Swastika Mukherjee, Babil Khan, Amit Sial, Sameer Kochhar, Girija Oak, Swanand Kirkire, Tasveer Kamil
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV-14

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After enthralling viewers with Bulbbul (2020) that was set in Bengal Presidency era, writer-director Anvita Dutt returns with another sumptuous film set in pre-Independence India. Where her previous film explored ideas of female desire and the male gaze, Qala delves into a complicated mother-daughter relationship—through song. Qala (Tripti Dimri) is a talented singer. However, she is haunted by her mother’s critiques. Turns out that her mother had hoped for Qala’s adopted brother Jagan to carry on the family’s musical legacy. However much Qala strives for her mother’s approval, all she gets are reproachful looks and casual put-downs. While Qala is gorgeous to look at, each frame captured like a painting, it suffers from a one-note performance by its characters. Although they navigate complicated relationships, not much happens to change their circumstances, which can drag an otherwise ethereal looking film. —Aparita Bhandari

10. The Swimmers

Release Date: November 23, 2022
Director: Sally El Hosaini
Starring: Manal Issa, Nathalie Issa, Matthias Schweighöfer, Ahmed Malek, Ali Suliman, Kinda Alloush, James Krishna Floyd, Nahel Tzegai, Akuc Bol
Genre: Sports biopic
Rating: PG-13

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Sisters Manal and Nathalie Issa star as real-life sisters and professional swimmers Yusra and Sara Mardini who escaped war-torn Syria on dinghy across the Aegean Sea, using their swimming skills to drag other refugees to safety. Yusra went on to compete in the Olympics after training in Germany. Matthias Schweighöfer (Army of Thieves) stars as their coach, Sven.

11. Slumberland

Release Date: November 18, 2022
Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jason Momoa, Marlow Barkley, Chris O’Dowd, Kyle Chandler, Weruche Opia, India De Beaufort, Humberly González
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating: PG

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Declaring what our dreams look like, if such a sweeping declaration can be made, is asking for trouble, but I can certainly put forth what I hope our dreams don’t look like: I hope they don’t look a thing like Slumberland. Director Francis Lawrence deadens and dulls Winsor McCay’s classic comic Nemo in Slumberland, updating McCay’s bright and groundbreaking early 20th century absurdity to modern VFX’s best-practice aesthetic—namely, “dark, and in a big room.” Slumberland’s loose adaptation is Disneyfied in plot and theme, and self-smothering of a feeble imagination that barely outpaces its images. Slumberland’s Nemo (Marlow Barkley) lives an idyllic life running a lighthouse with her hot, bearded and cableknit widower dad Kyle Chandler. In the same kind of endearing yet inevitably tragic opening that comes pre-packaged into every children’s movie, Chandler’s perfect parental character is not long for this world. When he dies and Nemo is thrust into the care of her uptight urbanite uncle Philip (Chris O’Dowd), she finds herself escaping time and time again into the dream world, where she can briefly pursue her father alongside a dream-being who was the co-star of many of her father’s bedtime stories. This dream-being, Flip (Jason Momoa), is supposed to be the source of all the film’s energy. Momoa, who looks like Rob Zombie in a Willy Wonka costume, all but has this assignment written on his forehead. He’s growly and eccentric, with plenty of useless wibbly-wobbly Jack Sparrow tics, and has a little trouble talking through his Beauty and the Beast fangs. While Barkley is clearly out of her depth as our wide-eyed heroine, Momoa is equally ill-equipped to bring the Jack Black-like pop his karate moves, heel clicks and heroic poses try to generate. —Jacob Oller

12. The Wonder

Release Date: November 16, 2022
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Stars: Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Elaine Cassidy, Caolán Byrne, Niamh Algar, Toby Jones
Genre: Psychological thriller
Rating: R

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The Wonder, the latest from Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio, begins in a far more meta manner than one might expect from a broody period drama with lights, cameras and other requisite equipment lay neatly assembled on the soundstage. The camera then pans and moves toward a young English nurse (Florence Pugh), whose occupation and nationality is disclosed via voiceover, alongside the film’s time and place: 1862, England bound for Ireland, the Great Famine (known as the “Potato Famine” to most) only tapering off in the past decade or so. “The Irish hold the English responsible for that devastation,” states the narrator. This piece of information, contextless in the greater history of the brutal famine, instantly presents Pugh’s character as a maligned outsider. As The Wonder marches onward, the narrative championing English intervention among a seemingly savage Irish becomes harder to stomach—particularly if one has a tangible connection to the Celtic culture. Adapted from Emma Donoghue’s 2016 novel by the author with Lelio and Alice Birch, The Wonder unfolds from nurse Elizabeth “Lib” Wright’s (Pugh) point of view, beckoned to the dead center of Ireland to conduct a fortnight-long “watch” over young Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy), who claims to have subsisted solely on “manna from heaven” since her 11th birthday four months ago. A staunch agnostic who’s seen first-hand the atrocities of battle while working under Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War, Lib is constantly butting heads with the devoutly Catholic Irish people who’ve summoned her. What the film and Donaghue’s novel unfortunately have in common is the narrative’s reliance on a shocking revelation concerning Anna’s so-called “fast.” —Natalia Keogan

13. My Father’s Dragon

Release Date: November 11, 2022
Director: Nora Twomey
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Gaten Matarazzo, Golshifteh Farahani, Dianne Wiest, Rita Moreno
Genre: Animation, Fantasy
Rating: PG-13

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My Father’s Dragon, the latest film from Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon, is directed by studio co-founder Nora Twomey and based on the beloved children’s book of the same name created by Ruth Stiles Gannett. This adaptation brings to life, in gorgeous 2D animation, a kaleidoscope of surreal visuals and strange creatures encountered by a little boy and his dragon friend. Theirs is an intimate story about processing fear, especially speaking to those children wrestling with the burdens of having to emotionally navigate real-world stresses that invade their lives too soon. Like Gannett’s book, My Father’s Dragon is also narrated (sparsely) by the unseen grown child (Mary Kay Place) of the story’s protagonist, Elmer Elevator (Jacob Tremblay). She sets up an adventure Elmer had in his childhood that not only utilized his talent for finding things, but was also life-changing, involving a talking cat (Whoopi Goldberg) and a dragon (Gaten Matarazzo). Twomey and her artists have done the magic of staying within the illustration aesthetic of their studio’s signature approach, while expanding that into a more surrealistic and fanciful approach that feels individual and unique. It will especially appeal to the sensitive kids (and adults) in your life, and it most definitely meets the high standards Cartoon Saloon continues to make in the medium. —Tara Bennett

14. Falling For Christmas

Netflix Release Date: November 10, 2022
Director: Janeen Damian
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet, George Young, Jack Wagner, Olivia
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: TV-PG

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From the moment this film begins, we’re in a distant-familiar territory with Lindsay Lohan acting the brat. Her character Sierra is a hotel heiress who huffs and stomps her way through life. And though Sierra would like to so bravely shun nepotism forever and strike out on her own, Daddy (Jack Wagner) doesn’t think it’s such a good idea. Undeterred, off Sierra goes on a winter retreat with her influencer fiancé Tad (George Young). On the other side of her holiday destination rests The North Star Lodge. Its owner Jake (Glee graduate Chord Overstreet) is as busy as he is blonde. His folksy retreat is close to shuttering. His daughter (Olivia Perez) is growing up without a mother. And his mother-in-law (Alejandra Flores), is concerned that he hasn’t gotten laid in a while. But The North Star Lodge is a magical place. When wishes and bad weather bring Sierra crashing down the mountains, she awakes in the lodge, unable to remember who she is. But in the oaken cozyland of Jake’s care, and through the spirit of charitable fundraising, Sierra might discover not just who she is but who she is meant to be. Falling for Christmas feels less like a genuine chance to give Lohan a due shot at a re-return to acting as it does like some executive’s opportunity to capitalize on millennial nostalgia. This self-disinterest makes it incredibly hard to understand Lohan the actress, let alone Lindsay the person. And she is both! We have forgotten more about her than we remember. Hollywood needs to treat her as something other than a precious princess. Yet this film makes it quite plain that Hollywood sees Lohan as a decorative angel, one kept in a drawer until the time is right to place her imperfectly on top of the billing. —B.L. Panther

15. Wendell & WildNetflix Release Date: October 28, 2022
Director: Henry Selick
Starring: Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Angela Bassett, Lyric Ross, Ving Rhames
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Rating: PG-13

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Early on, Wendell & Wild feels like it might not be for kids so much as inebriated adults. Over the course of its runtime, that is revealed to be a reductive appraisal—it’s a spooky coming-of-age comedy made of sad and dramatic moments which demonstrate the importance of community resistance to corporate control of the government. The plot has enough going on that it could have been a TV series or a two-parter, but for whatever its flaws or limitations, it flows coherently for 106 minutes to a satisfactory conclusion. All the while, it’s a marvel of artistry and artisanship, with a soundtrack full of Black-fronted rock bands to boot. Kat (Lyric Ross), a young green-haired Black girl, loses her parents—pillars of their community—in a car accident and is roughed up over the years by the juvenile justice system as the film visually summarizes through shadow-puppet illustrations of memories. It’s a nice added layer, artistically and didactically. A grant-funded reintegration program brings Kat back to her now largely-deserted hometown, Rust Bank, and its eponymous private Catholic school. There, Kat discovers her supernatural connection to the underworld through Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Jordan Peele). Wendell & Wild reminded me of Beetlejuice and Nightmare Before Christmas, but it isn’t cribbing from what has come before. It’s building on it, and kids and parents everywhere are lucky to have this film. Selick hasn’t directed a lot of movies, but his films have a lasting impact, etching themselves in the memories of their audiences for decades. —Kevin Fox, Jr.

16. All Quiet on the Western Front

Netflix Release Date: October 28, 2022
Director: Edward Berger
Stars: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus, Edin Hasanoviç, Daniel Brühl
Genre: War
Rating: R

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There are now three major screen adaptations of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front. The first two were grim reflections of the wars of their time, and remain fascinating not just for their treatment of Remarque’s work, but for viewing them in the context of the time in which they were made: Lewis Milestone’s 1930 film landed in the precise middle of the two World Wars that forever reshaped Europe; Delbert Mann’s 1979 television adaptation inescapably called back to the Vietnam War. Edward Berger’s new adaptation, distributed by Netflix, is unique among these in that it’s actually a German-language and German-led production. Despite their clear dedication to paint a universalist picture of the futility and inhumanity of modern war, the previous productions were, on some level, putting an American spin on this tale. Berger (born in then-West Germany in 1970) is not. It’s therefore somewhat perplexing that this adaptation ditches a lot of the particulars of the novel, widens its perspective characters to include top German brass, elides characters and even changes the particulars of major plot points to tell what amounts to an almost completely different story—one with a wider scope. By virtue of including two other characters, it makes an attempt to go beyond the trenches and indict the inhumanity of the people whose words cause wars. It’s wild, compared to the mostly faithful adaptations of the past. It also, inescapably, feels as if it’s more of a war film than the others, with more action scenes and necessarily less of an examination of the effect of war on the individual soldier. It’s a completely different perspective that is exceptionally well-shot and directed and raises its voice about Germany’s part of culpability for the war. It’s therefore profoundly frustrating that All Quiet on the Western Front, at times, bucks against Remarque’s thesis. It is, nonetheless, the first All Quiet on the Western Front adaptation in wide release that we’ve got from an actual German perspective. As we grow more and more distant from the war to end all wars, that kind of reappraisal becomes even more important. —i>Kenneth Lowe

17. Enola Holmes 2

Netflix Release Date: October 27, 2022
Director: Harry Bradbeer
Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, David Thewlis, Louis Partridge, Helena Bonham Carter, Susie Wokoma, Adeel Akhtar, Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Genre: Thriller, Adventure
Rating: PG-13

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Millie Bobby Brown returns as the kid sister of Sherlock Holmes in this sequel to 2020’s Netflix original. This time, she’s a full-fledged private detective trying to solve the mystery of a missing girl.

18. The Good Nurse

Netflix Release Date: October 26, 2022
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Nnamdi Asomugha, Noah Emmerich, Kim Dickens, Malik Yoba
Genre: Thriller
Rating: R

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In an era where true crime content is churned out a mile a minute, it can be hard to differentiate adaptations that exist because their stories are actually worth telling, and those that are just another desperate vie for a spot on Netflix’s venerated Top 10 list. If you’re anything like me, you’ll frequently find yourself considering hard-hitting questions about the matter, such as: Does Jeffrey Dahmer’s backstory actually deserve to be three hours longer than Sátántangó? And, perhaps more to the point: Is there a purpose to any of this output at all? But then, every so often, a movie like The Good Nurse comes out, and it feels like a breath of fresh air. Directed by The Hunt and Another Round writer Tobias Lindholm, The Good Nurse tells the true story of Charles Cullen, a nurse and the most prolific serial killer in New Jersey history. The film centers around Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain), the titular Good Nurse: An overworked single mom who pulls all-nighters to care for sick patients in an effort to pay for her upcoming heart surgery. Enter Charles (Eddie Redmayne), a soft-spoken nurse who appears to have been sent straight from heaven to make sure Amy takes her meds and help her daughter rehearse for the school play. But just as things are looking up for Amy, patients who came into the hospital with relatively minor injuries start mysteriously dying. Once The Good Nurse establishes that something undeniably fishy is going on, it quickly cascades into a perfect amalgam of a tense detective thriller starring dubious officers Danny Baldwin (Nnamdi Asomugha) and Tim Braun (Noah Emmerich), a gut-wrenching psychological drama, and a staggering showcase for Chastain and Redmayne, who deliver two of the finest performances of the year. —Aurora Amidon

19. The School of Good and Evil

Netflix Release Date: October 19, 2022
Director: Paul Feig
Stars: Sofia Wylie, Sophia Anne Caruso, Kit Young, Kerry Washington, Charlize Theron
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Rating: PG-13

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Warner Bros. has Harry Potter. Lionsgate has The Hunger Games. Now, Netflix (regrettably) has The School for Good and Evil. Though the streamer has seen enormous success in adapting Young Adult fiction in recent years, its latest venture into the teen fantasy market is an agonizing two-and-a-half-hour experience drawn out by lackluster VFX and familiar narrative elements. Based on the bestselling children’s book series by Soman Chainani, The School for Good and Evil tells the story of two unlikely companions: Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie). When the duo find themselves clutched between the claws of a giant bird-like creature, they are transported from their quiet town of Gavaldon to the enchanted School for Good and Evil, an institution that has educated legendary storybook characters for ages. Trouble ensues when Sophie is dropped off at the School for Evil and Agatha at the School for Good, a decision the girls are certain is a mistake. As the film progresses, and Sophie becomes influenced by an evil force, the best friends are placed on opposite sides of a magical battle. The School for Good and Evil is juvenile, over-the-top and campy in all the worst ways. It’s too busy trying to combine TikTok fashion with Top 40 music and popular children’s fantasy films to create any visual, musical or narrative distinction for itself. Its final scene teases a sequel, but it’s difficult to imagine The School for Good and Evil becoming even half as bewitching or influential as the YA series it’s trying so hard to be. —Kathy Michelle Chacón

20. The Stranger

Year: 2022
Director: Thomas M. Wright
Stars: Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Jada Alberts, Cormac Wright
Genre: Thriller
Rating: TV-MA

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Based on a real Australian crime and Kate Kyriacou’s book on the subject, The Sting: The Undercover Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer, this Netflix original was written and directed by Top of the Lake actor Thomas M. Wright.

21. The Curse of Bridge Hollow

Year: 2022
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Stars: Marlon Wayans, Priah Ferguson, Kelly Rowland, John Michael Higgins, Lauren Lapkus, Rob Riggle
Genre: Teen Horror Comedy
Rating: TV-14

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Marlon Wayans stars as science teacher Howard Gordon, a Halloween grinch forced to team up with his daughter to fight the evil spirit of Stingy Jack, who’s brought all of the New England town’s creepy holiday decorations to life.

22. Luckiest Girl Alive

Netflix Release Date: October 7, 2022
Director: Mike Barker
Stars: Mila Kunis, Finn Wittrock, Scoot McNairy, Chiara Aurelia, Justine Lupe, Thomas Barbusca, Alex Barone, Carson MacCormac, Isaac Kragten, Gage Munroe, Jennifer Beals, Connie Britton
Genre: Thriller
Rating: R

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Is Luckiest Girl Alive a dark satire? Is it a glorified Lifetime movie? Is it camp? Is it a mystery? Is its central message one of female empowerment? Could it have been the pilot for a WB series 20 years ago? The answer, I’m afraid, is all of the above. Based on the 2015 novel of the same name by Jessica Knoll, Luckiest Girl Alive follows Ani Fanelli (Mila Kunis), a writer at a glossy magazine called The Women’s Bible. She has a glamorous boss LoLo Vincent (Jennifer Beals) and dreams of being an editor for The New York Times Magazine. She’s also got a giant rock on her finger thanks to her swanky fiancé Luke Harrison (Finn Wittrock) who “played D1 lacrosse at Colgate, kite surfs on Nantucket and skis in Vail.” But nothing in Ani’s life is as it seems. She once was TifAni FaNelli (Chiara Aurelia plays the young Ani), a shy high-school student just trying to fit in among her rich classmates. You probably don’t need me to tell you that Ani is harboring a dark past. In 1999, when she was a high schooler, she experienced multiple horrific traumas. (I won’t talk about them here since I don’t want to give the entire plot of the movie away.) Her way of coping was to rebuild her life and bury her well-deserved rage. But 16 years later, a documentary filmmaker is making a movie about what happened all those years ago. Knoll adapted her own novel here, and the majority of the movie features Kunis’ bitter narration. We are supposed to think Ani’s harsh comments belie her inner pain—a defense mechanism. But mostly they just make her seem like an archvillain, a caricature more than a character. It’s a tough performance choice that often undermines any kind of nuance the movie is trying to achieve. —Amy Amatangelo

23. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone

Netflix Release Date: September 30, 2022
Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Jaeden Martell, Joe Tippett, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Cyrus Arnold, Colin O’Brien, Thomas Francis Murphy, Peggy J. Scott
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13

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Written and directed by John Lee Hancock, a genre-agnostic filmmaker who helped get Sandra Bullock her embarrassing Oscar for The Blind Side before turning to other forgettable dramas, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone has several red flags on speed dial. There’s the near-constant voiceover, the first and perhaps most damning sign of a weak-willed adaptor. Craig (Jaeden Martell) just won’t shut up about his time reading novels to local billionaire Harrigan (Donald Sutherland), the deadly fallout that ensued and what that all meant to him, an impressionable youth with a new iPhone. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone doesn’t just dumb down story Stephen King’s story and hold our hand, as nearly every movie made from a book does, but excises King’s talents like a new manager jealously firing the old guard. It might’ve taken a little imagination to make it so Mr. Harrigan’s Phone didn’t involve us listening to an audiobook of Stephen King CliffNotes, or us watching Craig painstakingly recite the novella to a grave, but Hancock demonstrates an impressive lack throughout. His movie is artless and inert—the cinematic equivalent of a bricked iPhone. In King’s story, Craig laments that those at Harrigan’s funeral never knew his human side. His love of country music, his distaste for the blowhard Rush Limbaugh, his dedication to bowel-cleansing oatmeal cookies. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone sins in similar ways: It knows the surface of its source, but none of what matters. —Jacob Oller

24. Blonde

Netflix Release Date: September 28, 2022
Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel, Evan Williams
Rating: NC-17

There are pieces of Marilyn Monroe everywhere: In tributes, parodies and homage; in bits of her movies, sliced into iconic clips rendering them instantly recognizable even to those who haven’t actually watched them; in mournful recollections of stars snuffed out too soon. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, but you’re not the one to put it together,” says the version of Marilyn played by Ana de Armas in Blonde. Not every puzzle piece or image in the Monroe kaleidoscope makes it into Andrew Dominik’s film, which is neither traditional rise-and-fall biopic nor playful I’m Not There-style biographical deconstruction. But this adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel (not biography) is fragmented and visually rich enough to convey what Dominik and Oates seem to be after: How the collective ownership an audience feels over its beloved icons has unseemly origins, and often destructive endings. We see glimpses of Monroe as a thoughtful, well-read young woman; a passionate actress; an optimistic survivor—and for all these reasons and more, people dismiss her, or attempt to take possession of her. After a harrowing childhood sequence ending with the institutionalization of her mother (Julianne Nicholson), Blonde jumps to the early 1950s, with de Armas playing the former Norma Jeane Baker, now a model and up-and-coming actress—which means being treated, in her words, as “meat.” De Armas’ eyes have a pleading desire, and the edge of her accent peeks through her imitation of Monroe’s voice—perfectly appropriate, even lovely, for a figure who has inspired so many broad impressions. This version of Marilyn regards her stage name as a creation separate from her genuine self, and is on a perpetual search for the love that will fill the dual void left by her abusive mother and father she’s never known. Increasingly, she finds that the adulation felt by millions for Marilyn Monroe doesn’t necessarily count for Norma Jeane. Blonde can be a tough sit, for the 166-minute monotony of its images of abuse and misery almost as much as the misery itself. At the same time, its explosion of visual ideas never quite wears out its welcome. Dominik has created his own dark-flipside version of the Norma Jeane/Marilyn bifurcation, perhaps almost too neatly: The movie is both a daring and empathetic deconstruction of Monroe iconography anchored by a beautiful performance from de Armas, as well as a miserabilist wallow in exploitation. Like its fictionalized subject, the lines between the two are sad, blurry and spellbinding.—Jesse Hassenger

25. Athena

Release Date: September 23, 2022
Director: Romain Gavras
Stars: Dali Benssalah, Sami Slimane, Anthony Bajon, Ouassini Embarek, Alexis Manenti
Rating: R

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It’s been more than a decade since Romain Gavras filled his raw music video for “No Church in the Wild” with Molotovs, stolen police horses and dropkicked riot shields—visual motifs of protest heroics—and the only thing that’s changed is our familiarity with the aftermath. The rage behind these images still burns, but we know the cold comfort left behind when the embers are finally stomped out. Yet, the only thing to do is light the blaze again, which Gavras does in the riveting, vital Athena. A war epic between the people and the state, it sprints through a grassroots resistance movement like a brushfire: Blinding, dangerous, all-consuming. The warzone is Athena, a French housing project, where tragedy has assembled a community, grown from a family. Idir, 13 and the youngest of four brothers—Karim (Sami Slimane), Abdel (Dali Benssalah) and Moktar (Ouassini Embarek)—has been beaten to death by police. Someone recorded it on their phone. But we find this out in sprinkled bits of exposition, blown to confetti and wafting through the smoke-filled air. Our immediate attention is on Karim, leading a tracksuited pack of neighbors and like-minded young people, raiding a police station. The opening scene, the first of many incredible feats of planning, camerawork and drone operation, will make you vibrate through your seat. Gavras shoots long tracking shots like caffeine straight into your eyes: Painfully energizing. Athena’s opening is one of the year’s best, a piece of relentless, fist-pumping, jaw-clenching, goosebumping action that doesn’t stop until you’re fully radicalized. It’s then that you start peering through the style, seeing how it mirrors the personalities of its perspective characters. There’s a reason Athena feels like a heart attack in motion. There’s pain and panic. Your heart rate isn’t spiking just from the rush. But until we realize that, Karim and his crew star in a sweeping, large-scale epic—a modern 1917 where the horrifying euphoria of war has come home. Athena isn’t here for subtlety. It’s here to blow the drums out of your ears, the lids off your eyes, the lead from your shoes. With shots that start at “un-fucking-believable” and rocket towards “im-fucking-possible,” its grandiose vision aims to define an international symbol of modernity: Protest As War. Benssalah and Slimane, more political gradients than people, guide us along the mythmaking until we’ve fully grasped the absurdity of Athena being both the God of wisdom and war. But, as Frank Ocean sings in “No Church in the Wild,” what’s a God to a nonbeliever? Athena burns bright and fast, searing its unforgettable battle cry into the screen over just 99 minutes. Its idealistic action will stay with you for far longer.—Jacob Oller