New Movies on Netflix – Paste – Paste Magazine

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 10 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.
Netflix Release Date: Dec. 3, 2021
Director: Valerie Weiss
Stars: Beverly Moody, Julie Bowen, Jackson Rathbone, Olga Petsa, Audrey Hsieh, Diego Mercado, Nick Thune
Rating: TV-PG
Runtime: 97 minutes

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The songs that a person has in their music library can tell you pretty much everything you need to know about them. Mixtape, a new Netflix film directed by Valerie Weiss (The Archer) and written by Stacey Menear (The Boy), takes that notion to the extreme. Set in the late ’90s, Mixtape follows Beverly Moody (Gemma Brooke Allen), a middle-schooler who never got to know her parents, because they died when she was a baby. When Beverly finds a busted mixtape they made, she realizes this is her opportunity to finally get to know them by reconstructing it. What ensues is a quirky coming-of-age comedy with enough ’90s jams to really take you back. Also in the cast is Julie Bowen as Gail, Beverly’s grandma, Jackson Rathbone, Olga Petsa, Audrey Hsieh, and Diego Mercado. —Aurora Amidon
Netflix Release Date: Dec. 2, 2021
Director: Michael Mayer
Stars: Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Kathy Najimy, Luke MacFarlane, Jennifer Coolidge, Barry Bostwick
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: TV-PG
Runtime: 101 minutes

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Netflix’s first Christmas film focused on a gay romance, Single All The Way, bundles up the tried and tested rom-com formula and re-wraps it in some modern wrapping paper to deliver a joyous gift of open-armed acceptance. All the familiar beats are refreshed by Peter (Michael Urie) and Nick (Philemon Chambers), two best friends spending Christmas at Peter’s family’s home. However, as soon as they walk through the door, festive shenanigans begin: Peter’s mother has set her son up on a blind date, but one by one, the rest of the family begins to see Nick as the more perfect match. A jovial, entertaining watch for all, Single All The Way’s seasonal splendor is heightened by the iconic Jennifer Coolidge playing Aunt Sandy, who is on a mission to make the nativity a theatrical showcase. —Emily Maskell
the-power-of-the-dog-poster.jpg Netflix Release Date: Dec. 1, 2021
Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie, Genevieve Lemon, Keith Carradine, Frances Conroy
Rating: R
Runtime: 126 minutes

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Based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage, Jane Campion’s long-awaited return to the medium of film—following 2009’s Bright Star and her subsequent years spent working in television—feels apt for a director who has demonstrated prowess at crafting an atmosphere of acute disquiet. And so it goes for The Power of the Dog, a film with a perpetual twitching vein, carried by the ubiquitous feeling that someone could snap at any moment—until they do. In 1925 Montana, brothers Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Burbank (Jesse Plemons) are prosperous cattle ranchers but incompatible siblings. Phil is the ultimate image of machismo, brooding around the ranch ever adorned in his cowboy outfit and a thick layer of grime on his face, a rolled cigarette hanging against his lower lip; a character that acts in defiance of Cumberbatch’s past work. Phil is so opposed to anything even adjacent to what could be considered “feminine” that things like bathing, playing an instrument that isn’t a banjo and just being nice to women are the kinds of activities which might lead Phil to inquire “Fellas, is it gay if…?” on Twitter. From the castration of the bulls on the Burbank ranch, to Phil’s status as the black sheep of his respectable family, to the nature of the western landscape tied to Phil’s performance of masculinity, the subtext is so visually hamfisted that it remains subtextual only by virtue of it not being directly spoken out loud. But the clumsiness in the film’s approach to its subject matter is propped up by the compelling performances across the board—notably from Cumberbatch, whose embodiment of a gruff and grubby rancher is at first sort of laughably unbelievable in relation to the performances that have defined the Englishman’s career. But it is, perhaps, because of this very contrast to his past roles that Cumberbatch manages to fit into the character of Phil so acutely, carrying with him an inherent awkwardness and unrest in his own skin despite the terror that he strikes in the heart of someone like Rose. He’s matched by the chilling score, composed by the inimitable Johnny Greenwood (The Master, Phantom Thread), and impeccable cinematography from Ari Wegner (Zola, The True History of the Kelly Gang), which form a perfect union of tension, intimacy and isolation in a film where the sound of every slice, snip and click evokes the same distressing sensation regardless of the source. What does it mean to be a man? The Power of the Dog considers the question but never answers it. Instead, it is preoccupied with a timeless phenomenon: The suffering endured for the very sake of manhood itself. —Brianna Zigler
bruised.jpg Netflix Release Date: Nov. 24, 2021
Director: Halle Berry
Stars: Halle Berry, Shamier Anderson, Adan Canto, Sheila Atim
Genre: Drama
Rating: R
Runtime: 132 minutes
Paste Review Score: N/A

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Oscar winner Halle Berry makes her directorial debut with Bruised, a drama about the world of mixed martial arts fighting in which she also stars. Written by Michelle Rosenfarb, Bruised follows Jackie “Justice,” a disgraced MMA fighter dealing with the sudden reappearance of her six-year-old son, Manny, whom she walked out on years ago. In Bruised, Jackie must not only face her own demons and compete with one of the fiercest rising stars in the MMA world, but also fight to become the mother her child deserves. Berry, who starred in John Wick 3: Parabellum opposite Keanu Reeves, reunites here with John Wick producer Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road Pictures, along with Entertainment 360, Linda Gottlieb and the team behind the fight choreography in John Wick. —Stephan Cho
tick-tick.jpg Netflix Release Date: Nov. 19, 2021
Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Robin de Jesús, Alexandra Shipp, Joshua Henry, Judith Light, Vanessa Hudgens
Genre: Musical, Drama
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 115 minutes
Paste Review Score: 8.2

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When Jonathan Larson’s Rent debuted on Broadway in 1996, there was one thing all audiences could agree on: It was a totally unorthodox entry into the world of musical theater. Larson was anything but predictable. It’s only fair, then, that his biopic, tick, tick… BOOM! follows the same design. Perhaps the person best suited to tell Larson’s story is Broadway’s own Lin-Manuel Miranda. Creator of the strange, idiosyncratic, rebellious—and yet absolutely venerated—Hamilton, Miranda knows better than anyone what it’s like to permanently rupture theatrical convention. tick, tick… BOOM! is based around Larson’s one-man show of the same name, which he performed in 1990. It tells the story of his life, and what it’s like to be a struggling, aspiring composer in New York City. (Spoiler alert: It’s not easy). The film is structured around the show itself, performed by a disheveled and charismatic Andrew Garfield. From there, we weave between the show and vibrant flashbacks that illustrate exactly what Jonathan is talking (well, singing) about. Rent was successful largely because it is steeped so profoundly in real life. It’s a show about ordinary people struggling in New York, and Larson wasn’t afraid to depict subjects that were considered taboo in order to commit to that realism: Drug addiction, suicide, exotic dancing. He also didn’t shy away from showing the mundanity of real life. Miranda does justice to Larson’s life by mimicking that sensibility, particularly through the film’s performances. From the flitting, kinetic energy Andrew Garfield brings to his musical numbers to the surprising softness and watchfulness in every expression, this is the actor’s best performance since he smashed Mark Zuckerberg’s computer in The Social Network. Robin de Jesús, who plays Jonathan’s best friend, Michael, also stuns as he navigates the life of a struggling artist with much less intensity than Garfield. His performance breathes a pleasantly surprising air of subtlety into the role. And so we’ve got tick, tick… BOOM!, a film jam-packed with melancholy, powerhouse performances, and told with a somber, realistic storytelling structure that is at first jarring to the senses, but ultimately pays off. The joy of these musical ellipses is infectious, and that only makes it more tragic when real life comes crashing down. —Aurora Amidon
red-notice.jpg Netflix Release Date: Nov. 12, 2021
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya, Chris Diamantopoulos
Genre: Action Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 117 minutes
Paste Review Score: 2.9

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What happens when Hollywood’s marquee trio has the combined charisma of a wet paper towel? This question is inadvertently posed by Red Notice, Netflix’s latest blockbuster, which is ripe with CGI and plays like it was written by one of those AI-trained bots—with this particular one having been fed hundreds of hours of soulless, money-wasting heist flicks. The film follows FBI criminal profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson), as he attempts to catch one of the world’s leading art thieves, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds), who is on a mission to steal Cleopatra’s mythic sparkling eggs. But the two get outsmarted by femme fatale art thief The Bishop (Gal Gadot) and end up in prison while she attempts to snag the eggs for herself. Where does that leave the duo? They’ve got to break out of prison and take the relics for themselves, of course. When the three leads are together, one can’t help but wonder if they’ve ever been in the same room. In fact, their intense lack of chemistry makes me suspect that their scenes are actually a composite of three people acting in different studios. Gadot’s glaring lack of comedic timing clashes with Reynolds’ expertise in that area, and Johnson and Reynolds seem only minimally invested in one another, which makes the film’s quasi-buddy-cop undertone a hard sell. All three act like they’re in their own movie—whether it’s Deadpool or Wonder Woman or Furious 7—and none seem to have gotten the memo that no one else is in that movie with them. What’s most concerning, though, is that the powers that be at Netflix put their heads together—using their advanced algorithms and personal data—and came to the conclusion that this is what will pull the masses in: A lifeless, impersonal movie with three great stars at their most lifeless and impersonal, is ultimately what will resonate with society the most. Yes, this is worth the streamer’s biggest budget to date. And that’s a scary, scary thought. —Aurora Amidon
passing.jpg Netflix Release Date: Nov. 10, 2021
Director: Rebecca Hall
Stars: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland, Bill Camp, Alexander Skarsgård
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG
Runtime: 99 minutes
Paste Review Score: 6.8

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Most actors making their feature directorial debut tend to focus on, well, other actors—and it’s certainly the case that Passing, the feature debut for the wonderful actress Rebecca Hall, is attuned to the performers at its center. Hall, who can bring a sense of gravity to even the cheerfully ridiculous likes of Godzilla vs. Kong, here gets to work with a pair of performers with similarly assured-yet-grounding talent: Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, playing childhood friends who unexpectedly reunite as adults in 1920s New York City. Irene (Thompson), nicknamed “Reenie,” is married to Brian (André Holland), has two young children, and is firmly ensconced in the upper middle class. Clare (Negga) is married, too—to a man who has no idea that she, like Reenie, is Black. Both Reenie and Clare are light-skinned enough to “pass,” and while Reenie has episodes where she allows incorrect assumptions about her race, Clare has made a whole life out of pretending to be white. It’s rich material for two talented actors, but Hall shows formal ambition in the story’s telling, too. She shoots in boxy 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in high-contrast black-and-white, blasting and fuzzing out the whiter patches of the image—which makes the skin tones look grayer by comparison. After establishing the characters with such elegance and grace, the movie proceeds to nudge them toward an endpoint that is beautifully shot but curiously chilly, lacking the catharsis of something more old-fashioned. There’s strain in the movie’s restraint, frozen as it is between the melodrama of the past and the fire of the present. —Jesse Hassenger
love-hard.jpg Netflix Release Date: Nov. 5, 2021
Director: Hernán Jiménez
Stars: Nina Dobrev, Jimmy O. Yang, Darren Barnet
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 105 minutes
Paste Review Score: N/A

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Jimmy O. Yang charmed us all as Jian-Yang in HBO’s Silicon Valley, but not in the rom-com leading-man sort of way. The comedian stars as Josh, the nerdy underdog who catfishes beautiful Natalie (Nina Dobrev), enticing her to travel across the country for Christmas. He promises to set up her up with her crush Tag (Darren Barnet) if she’ll pose as his girlfriend for the holidays. Hijnks—we assume—ensue.
the-harder-they-fall-poster.jpg Netflix Release Date: Nov. 3, 2021
Director: Jeymes Samuel
Stars: Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Lakeith Stanfield, RJ Cyler, Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, Deon Cole
Genre: Western, Action
Rating: R
Runtime: 139 minutes
Paste Review Score: 7.0

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The importance of Black folks to the “taming” of the West is a central thrust to The Harder They Fall, both as a motivation for first-time feature director Jeymes Samuel, who grew up watching Westerns and wanted to see one starring Black people, and for the plot. The actors, visual style and musical choices elevate an imperfect script with memorable if not completely unique dialogue and scenes. The cast and performances are remarkable and it’s an aesthetically striking film with great set, sound and costume design. Real-life historical figures are treated like folk heroes, for better and for worse. The Harder They Fall has its problems, but it’s a testament to the idea that there are still interesting things to be done in familiar genres, like inserting color aesthetically and demographically. It’s worth watching at least once for the spectacle of the vibrant colors and great performances, and to be introduced to real historical characters, even if audiences must look far from the film to figure out what they were actually like. It does a great job reinserting Black people into the story of the U.S. western expansion, but it’s a qualified success because the film ignores the people the U.S. was stolen from, in places and among people where they could still be found. —Kevin Fox, Jr.
army-of-thieves-poster.jpg Netflix Release Date: Oct. 29, 2021
Director: Matthias Schweighöfer
Stars: Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Stuart Martin, Guz Khan, Ruby O. Fee, Jonathan Cohen
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 129 minutes
Paste Review Score: 7.3

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Army of the Dead is a film full of pleasant surprises, but Matthias Schweighöfer, playing a German safecracker with a hair-trigger for impassioned speeches about locks and bolts, is perhaps the most pleasant surprise of them all. The man has a twitchy sort of charm easily misidentified as “quirkiness.” In reality he’s well-mannered to a fault and polite to the point of timidity, but with one other propulsive quality buried beneath the affable veneer: Intensity. Everything Schweighöfer does in Army of the Dead is informed by a vigor belied by his nervousness. He’s a squirrely burglar, quivering one moment over flesh-eating ghouls and doing a heroic sacrifice the next. This intensity carries over into Army of Thieves, the prequel film to Army of the Dead, where Schweighöfer replaces Zack Snyder in the director’s chair. To allay any fears that Schweighöfer might copy Snyder’s style, don’t worry: Schweighöfer is not Zack Snyder, because nobody is. Everything that singled out Schweighöfer’s work under Snyder’s guidance is infused into Army of Thieves on a molecular level, as if he managed to get his hands on Shay Hatten’s screenplay and bleed all over its pages. Army of Thieves replaces the doom, gloom and zombie chaos with deep-rooted joy, as if Schweighöfer, behind the camera, can scarcely believe he’s directing a film this big established by a filmmaker like Snyder. It’s impossible to resist that sort of bubbly, crackling enthusiasm, which makes Army of Thieves’ predictable elements easier to countenance. —Andy Crump
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