Looking for things to watch when your extended family runs out of small talk at the Thanksgiving table? Better yet, looking for things to watch to avoid the small take in the first place? Netflix — and your friendly neighborhood Collider curators — have got your back.
This November, Netflix has added a ton of quality-looking movies to their service, covering a wide swath of genres, movie stars, form-busting experimentation, and right-down-the-middle satisfaction. No matter what your weird uncle might think about the vaccines you made him take to sit down at the Thanksgiving table in the first place, this list of excellent new Netflix movies will have something for everyone.
Check out our list of the best new movies on Netflix in November 2021 below.
A Boy Called Christmas
Director: Gil Kenan
Writers: Ol Parker, Gil Kenan
Cast: Henry Lawfull, Toby Jones, Sally Hawkins, Kristen Wiig, Michiel Huisman, Zoe Colletti, Stephen Merchant, Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith
Hello, would you like a warm, British, heart-swelling-sure-to-make-you-cry Netflix gift for Christmas? A Boy Called Christmas, adapted from the Matt Haig children’s book, features a cavalcade of recognizable UK talent (and Kristen Wiig with a magic wizard’s scepter, which is always appreciated) telling a new, fantasy-influenced take on the origin story of “Father Christmas,” here played by Henry Lawfull as Nikolas. Last year, Netflix gave us the wondrous gift of Jingle Jangle, an emotional Christmas film full of scrumptious production design and uncommonly deep themes. With 2021’s A Boy Called Christmas, they’re looking to go two for two on their gift-giving streak.
A Cop Movie
Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios
Cast: Mónica Del Carmen, Raúl Briones
To navigate an unprecedentedly pervasive, volatile discussion about the police, Alonso Ruizpalacios made an unprecedentedly metafictional, provocative documentary. A Cop Movie blends all kinds of film techniques into its unique purview, using more traditionally fictional devices within its nonfictional framework to examine what our culture says about the system of “the police,” and whether any one individual can do anything about it. A mind-bender of the highest order.
Director: Halle Berry
Writer: Michelle Rosenfarb
Cast: Halle Berry, Shamier Anderson, Adan Canto, Sheila Atim, Stephen McKinley Henderson
Halle Berry is making her directorial debut with a bruiser of a sports picture. Bruised stars Berry as a disgraced mixed martial arts fighter who decides to return to the octagon for one last fight against a vicious opponent (real MMA fighter Valentina Shevchenko) as her estranged son returns into her life. Berry has a history of committed, physical performances, with this role fitting nicely and toughly into that CV. It will be interesting to see how her directorial voice follows suit; will this feel like Rocky, Creed, The Fighter, or its own beast entirely?
The Harder They Fall
Director: Jeymes Samuel
Writers: Jeymes Samuel, Boaz Yakin
Cast: Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Lakeith Stanfield, RJ Cyler, Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, Deon Cole
Look at this goddamn cast. Don’t you wanna see this goddamn cast in a hardboiled, fists swingin’ guns blazin’ neo-western based on the incredible stories of real people? Friggin’ of course you do.
The Harder They Fall stars Jonathan Majors as Nat Love, a real man who got freedom from slavery and became a reverently regarded cowboy, who gathers a gang of fellow adventurers and gunslingers (i.e. this goddamn incredible cast) to get revenge on the man who killed his parents. Even if westerns don’t typically do it for you, this Black-created and centered focus on the typically white-centered genre should be worth your time for the unique perspectives found therein.
Director/Writer: Rebecca Hall
Cast: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland, Bill Camp, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Alexander Skarsgård
Actor Rebecca Hall makes her directorial debut with Passing, a drama based on the 1929 Nella Larsen novel. Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga star as good, long friends whose mixed-race identities provide different paths of societal assimilation: Thompson “presents” as being Black, whereas Negga “passes” as being white. Photographed in gorgeous-looking black and white, Hall’s film looks to examine a particularly knotted form of race relations in America via two outstanding performances from two outstanding actors. Passing is sure to be a stimulating, engaging watch.
Director: Robert Greene
Procession aims to give victims a voice. The documentary follows six men who were sexually abused by Catholic priests when they were children. Through recreated, fictionalized scenes of their experiences, these men work with therapists and filmmakers to try and reclaim their stories, experiences, and humanities, while at times doubting if this process will only re-traumatize them, if they will ever find a kind of peace. Power, pain, and the procession toward healing all present themselves in Robert Greene‘s impassioned work of documentary filmmaking.
Director/Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot
How’s this for a slice of classic Hollywood entertainment? Red Notice smashes together Dwayne Johnson, as an FBI profiler, with Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds as a pair of rival criminals. The odd trio must band together to investigate the titular red notice and bag the world’s most wanted criminals, while an orchestrated heist complicates matters profusely. I simply cannot think of a better time at the movies than plopping on your couch, popping some popcorn, and letting these professional heat-seeking missiles of entertainment give you a professionally made action-heist-comedy. What a time to be alive!
KEEP READING: The 15 Best Family and Kids Movies on Netflix Right Now (October 2021)