Each month, loads of new films and TV shows are added to Netflix Australia‘s library. Critic Craig Mathieson presents his picks for titles worth watching. For the full list of everything arriving on the platform, scroll down. Also, check out Craig’s top 50 movies on Netflix list.
Top Picks: TV
How much Catherine Tate would you like on your screen? In this mockumentary set inside the fictional Her Majesty’s Prison Woldsley, the British comic, writer and Doctor Who companion plays half a dozen different roles in a comedy she created.
It’s Tate’s first series for Netflix, and as with her breakthrough sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show, she highlights her range with a selection of characters that include a reform-minded governor, a top dog enforcer, and a narcissistic male guard. The Office behind bars might be a comparison, although not even Ricky Gervais played multiple parts.
The prolific David E. Kelley (creator of The Practice, Ally McBeal, Big Little Lies, The Undoing and many more) shifts his eye towards female duress and shifting identities to Britain, debuting a first season of what is intended to be an anthology series about controversies and crimes atop the class-bound British system.
The first season lays down a marker with the plot and the cast: when government minister James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend) is accused of an appalling crime, his wife Sophie Whitehouse (Sienna Miller) tries to prove his innocence even as a prosecutor, Kate Woodcroft QC (Michelle Dockery), sets out to convict him. Expect a massive twist or two, at the very least.
Be honest: has there been a more perfect limited series that didn’t need a second season than this captivating existential screwball comedy from 2019? Everything about the life, death and live again misadventures of an acerbic game coder played by Natasha Lyonne was near to note-perfect.
Nonetheless Lyonne and her fellow creators, Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler, have reunited for a second go around, with Lyonne’s Nadia and her fellow time loop traveller, Alan (Charlie Barnett), going in circles once more. Fingers crossed that lightning strikes twice, although if nothing else Nadia remains a glorious protagonist. “When the universe fucks with you, let it!” is her sole line in the new season’s teaser.
Netflix is definitely rethinking its trademark “every episode at once” release philosophy, which led to the creation of binge viewing as a defining trait of streaming culture. To get a bigger boost in terms of publicity and anticipation it’s been cutting seasons in half, as it did with the final batch of episodes for this knotty crime drama about a family ensconced in a money laundering venture for a drug cartel.
The final seven episodes of Ozark find Jason Bateman and Laura Linney’s conflicted couple, Marty and Wendy Byrde, ever more ensconced in both criminal machinations and the cinematography’s signature blue hues, with their own children now involved alongside Julia Garner’s memorable Ruth Langmore.
Top Picks: Movies + Specials
Remember how every film that got made during the pre-vaccinated heights of the pandemic came with a bubble production tale? The story was invariably of professionalism and dedication, but Judd Apatow is done with that. His new comedy is set on the locked down British set of Cliff Beasts 6, the latest edition of a hit Hollywood franchise, where everything goes out of control.
Co-written with South Park veteran Pam Brady, it’s got a typically eclectic Apatow cast as the movie stars and key creatives: David Duchovny), Karen Gillan, Keegan-Michael Key, Pedro Pascal and Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann. That’s a lot of PCR tests, even before Kate McKinnon zooms in as the demanding studio boss.
Netflix acquired this independent British horror film last year, attracted by the presence of one of its signature stars, Sex Education’s Asa Butterfield, and a creepy concept. A pair of teenagers—Butterfield and Iola Evans—load up an obscure 1980s video game that has an unclaimed prize for anyone who completes it, only to discover that the gameplay starts to threaten their everyday lives off the screen. And in a nod to 1980s as a seminal decade for teen horror, the supporting cast includes Robert Englund—better known as Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger.
The Vietnam War has been examined from nearly every angle of American cinema, but Australian depictions remain few. As a counterpoint to 1979’s larrikin comic drama The Odd Angry Shot, this against-the-odds combat epic from the eternally versatile director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, Kill Me Three Times) recreates the bloody 1966 battle between Australian and New Zealand troops and a significantly larger force of North Vietnamese troops and Vietcong insurgents.
It draws on the long lineage of war movies, including some hoary tropes, but the cast led by Travis Fimmel (Vikings) brings a commitment to the immersive and expertly-staged battles.
All titles arriving on Netflix Australia in April
Get Organized with The Home Edit: Season 2
The Last Bus
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood
Forever Out of My League
Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain
Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy
Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story
Michela Giraud: the Truth, I Swear!
Green Mothers’ Club
Return to Space
Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star
Elite: Season 5
Dancing on Glass
Yaksha: Ruthless Operations
Green Eggs and Ham: Season 2
My Liberation Notes
The Creature Cases
Almost Happy: Season 2
Space Jam: A New Legacy
Our Great National Parks
Ultraman: Season 2
Heirs to the Land
Anatomy of a Scandal
Choose or Die
Man of God
White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch
Pacific Rim: The Black: Season 2
Russian Doll: Season 2
The Marked Heart
The Turning Point
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan
All About Gila
The Seven Lives of Lea
Selling Sunset: Season 5
Along for the Ride
David Spade: Nothing Personal
Bullsh*t The Gameshow
The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes
Tiger & Bunny 2
Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles
Ozark: Season 4 Part 2
Grace and Frankie: Season 7 – The Final Episodes
Honeymoon with My Mother
Release date TBC
The Taming of The Shrew
Release date TBC
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