As Netflix et al. add more content, it’s difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the newly added titles. So at the start of every month, I publish a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies and TV shows to add to your streaming queues.
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Amazon Prime Video
Coffy (Nov 1)
The iconic Pam Grier is Coffy, an ER nurse who uses her feminine wiles to take out the city’s pimps, pushers, and mob bosses to avenge her sister’s death. One of the most famous “blacksploitation” films, Coffy has garnered acclaim over the years for Grier’s portrayal as a strong, Black female heroine; she would play similar roles in Foxy Brown and Sheba, Baby. Coffy is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movies, and he would later cast Grier in 1997’s Jackie Brown.
High Fidelity (Nov 1)
John Cusack stars as a rumpled and cynical record store owner who decides to try and make sense of his failed relationships by seeking out his old partners. Based on Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name, High Fidelity is filled with music in-jokes, especially when Cusack spars with his employees, and specifically, Jack Black’s extremely annoying Barry Judd.
The Professional (Nov 1)
Léon (Jean Reno) is a deadly assassin content to live a drab and lonesome life. But a burgeoning friendship with his young neighbor Mathilda (Natalie Portman, in her first movie) begins to change that even as the two of them must escape a corrupt DEA officer (Gary Oldman, as his scene-chewing best). Written and directed by Luc Besson, The Professional is a hitman movie with heart — and a lot of style, thanks to Besson’s direction, Thierry Arbogast’s cinematography, and Éric Serra’s soundtrack.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Nov 1)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is one of those movies that feels like it should’ve been bigger than it was, with its original storyline, cutting edge visual effects, and a storyline that pays homage to “B” movies and action serials from the ’40s and ’50s. Sadly, the movie sank at the box office despite ushering in a new era of digital filmmaking, but has since become a cult classic.
The English, Season One (Nov 11)
Emily Blunt plays a woman seeking to avenge her son’s death in the American Old West with the help of a Native American soldier. The English boasts an impressive cast; starring alongside Blunt are Stephen Rea, Toby Jones, and Ciaran Hands, and it looks suitably stylish, bloody, and action-filled.
Here’s everything arriving on Amazon Prime Video in November 2022.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Nov 25)
When the other Guardians notice that Star-Lord is still bummed out over Gamora’s disappearance, they decide to cheer him up by spreading some Christmas cheer — and kidnapping Kevin Bacon. ‘Nuff said.
Willow, Season One (Nov 30)
Warwick Davis reprises his role as Willow Ufgood from the 1988 fantasy film. This time around, the sorcerer must lead a ragtag group of would-be heroes on a dangerous rescue mission to — naturally — save their magical world. I’m always up for more high fantasy, so I’ll definitely be checking this one out.
Here’s everything arriving on Disney+ in November 2022.
Caddyshack (Nov 1)
I consider my first viewing of Caddyshack a foundational experience. Granted, I didn’t understand everything that went on — I just thought it was funny when Bill Murray tried to blow up the golf course — but I’ve since come to appreciate Chevy Chase’s screwball humor, the endless site gags and puns, and of course, that sweet, smooth Kenny Loggins soundtrack.
The Harry Potter Series (Nov 1)
Based on JK Rowling’s best-selling books about a boy wizard and… well… you know the rest, the Harry Potter films represent one of the biggest and most successful film franchises of all time. (To date, the films have earned nearly $8 billion.) And now that we’re drawing ever closer to the holiday season, now seems like a perfect time to watch the adventures of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest of the Hogwarts gang.
Here’s everything arriving on HBO Max in November 2022.
God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty (Nov 1)
In some Christian circles, the Falwell family were like royalty. Their reign, however, came crashing down when allegations surfaced that Becki Falwell had an affair with a younger man with her husband’s knowledge and approval. God Forbid looks at the allegations with an in-depth interview with Giancarlo Granda, Becki’s lover. I really hope this Adam McKay-produced documentary is more than a tawdry, salacious exposé, but instead, offers an insightful look at the Falwells, Christian celebrity culture, and Republican politics.
Office Space (Nov 1)
Peter Gibbons seems to have it made with his cushy job. But the office environment is stifling and his overbearing boss, Bill Lumbergh, drives him nuts. After a hypnosis session goes wrong, Peter finds himself seeing life in a new way — which includes openly rebelling against his office drone lifestyle. Though a box office failure, the film has achieved a cult status over the years. Anyone who has ever sat through a boring meeting, had to come in on the weekends, or dealt with malfunctioning office equipment can relate to Office Space’s humorous absurdities.
Punch-Drunk Love (Nov 1)
After directing the sprawling masterpiece that was Magnolia, Paul Thomas Anderson returned with Punch-Drunk Love. Those expecting more of Magnolia’s moral quandaries and gut-wrenching performances were probably thrown for a loop by the presence of Adam Sandler in the lead role. But Punch-Drunk Love is a delightful film about an intensely angry and confused man who has a sudden encounter with grace and love… and a harmonium.
Say Anything (Nov 1)
Say Anything stars John Cusack in one of his signature roles as Lloyd Dobler, an underachiever who falls for his class’ valedictorian (Ione Skye) and begins an unorthodox relationship with her. But when her father rejects their relationship because of Lloyd’s social status, cue the melodrama. And the Peter Gabriel.
Shaun of the Dead (Nov 1)
In this delightful parody/homage to zombie movies, Simon Pegg plays a lovable loser who’s stuck in a dead-end job and having problems with his girlfriend. But when the zombie apocalypse begins, could this be what he needs to stand up and become a hero? Shaun of the Dead is a perfect blend of humor and horror, but as I wrote in my 2004 review, it has some surprisingly affecting character moments and even a wee bit of social commentary mixed in with the gore.
Ultraviolet (Nov 1)
The studio forced to Kurt Wimmer to cut 30 minutes from Ultraviolet, his followup to the cult favorite Equilibrium. The resulting film is an absolute mess that makes no sense and is filled hyper-stylized visuals and nonsensical special effects. (Not surprisingly, Wimmer and lead actress Milla Jovovich have both disowned the film.) Even so, Ultraviolet — which stars Jovovich as a vampiric supersoldier battling an evil corporation for a potential cure to a vampiric virus — is a fascinating train wreck of a movie, and an interesting exhibit of mid-’00s genre filmmaking.
Here’s everything arriving on Hulu in November 2022.
Blockbuster, Season One (Nov 3)
It’s more than a little ironic that Netflix is making a series about the very last Blockbuster store trying to stay in business, given that Netflix helped drive the company out of business. Will the encroaching threat of Netflix be a plot point? If so, just how meta will things get? Blockbuster was created by Vanessa Ramos, who previously worked on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore, and stars Melissa Fumero, Randall Park, and J.B. Smoove.
The Dragon Prince, Season Four (Nov 3)
Three years have passed since Netflix released The Dragon Prince’s third season. The fourth season will reflect that, jumping ahead two years as our heroes struggle with new responsibilities while preparing to face an otherworldly foe. Expect plenty of magical action alongside drama and humorous hijinks.
Enola Holmes 2 (Nov 4)
2020’s Enola Holmes was a delight, with Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown turning in a fiery performance as the brilliant and very independent younger sister of the world’s most famous detective. In the sequel, Enola is a proper detective whose first case involves tracking down a missing girl. Meanwhile, a conspiracy reunites Enola with her famous older brother. Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham Carter return as Enola’s brother Sherlock and mother Eudoria, respectively, with David Thewlis also joining the cast.
My Father’s Dragon (Nov 11)
Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon has created some of the most acclaimed animated films in recent memory, including Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea, and The Secret of Kells. Their latest film is an adaption of Ruth Stiles Gannett’s 1948 novel about a young boy who travels to Wild Island in search of a baby dragon. The film’s voice cast includes Jacob Tremblay, Gaten Matarazzo, Whoopi Goldberg, Ian McShane, and Chris O’Dowd.
1899, Season One (Nov 17)
Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar’s previous series, Dark, was filled with gloomy atmosphere and a labyrinthine mythology. Their latest series, a 19th century period piece about a group of European immigrants traveling to America who encounter a mysterious ship adrift in the ocean, looks like more of the same, with some Lovecraft-ish elements thrown in. Which is totally fine with me.
Pepsi, Where’s My Jet? (Nov 17)
In 1996, Pepsi ran a promotion where people could collect “Pepsi points” and turn them in for stuff. The top prize, according to their commercials, was a Harrier Jet for the seemingly exorbitant price of 7 million points. It seemed patently absurd, but one enterprising college student took them at their word, setting the stage for one of the craziest legal battles of all time.
Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would (Nov 22)
Trevor Noah will be leaving The Daily Show, which he has hosted for seven years, in December. But he’s not slowing down with this, his third comedy special for Netflix. I think it’s safe to say there will be more humorous anecdotes of his childhood in South Africa, as well as plenty of impressions and piquant observations of American society and politics.
Here’s everything arriving on Netflix in November 2022.
The Roku Channel
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (Nov 4)
In what will undoubtedly be 2022’s most important movie, we finally learn the true story behind the world’s greatest song parodist/accordion player. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as the Weird One himself, the movie follows Yankovic’s unlikely rise to superstardom, as well as his eventual fall into drugs, sex, and debauchery — including a torrid affair with Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood). The movie, which was written by Eric Appel and Yankovic, also stars Rainn Wilson as Dr. Demento and Quinta Brunson as Oprah Winfrey.