Spending some time with Netflix this month? We've scoured the streaming site’s new releases and recommending the best for you, the discerning Empire reader, to mark your diary for. Here are the highlights – movies, TV shows and original programmes – arriving over the next four weeks.
The best TV shows on Netflix
Narcos, Season 2 – 2 September
The season where it all goes a bit Tony Montana for Pablo Escobar and his cartel, this Netflix original promises more blood, guts (some tucked into the trousers of Wagner Moura’s hedonistic drugs kingpin) and white powder as the Colombian authorities’ net tightens and the power shifts away from Medellin. Ten episodes have landed so there’ll be plenty of bleary-looking fanatics who’ve already binged the whole lot. Seems like the appropriate way to watch the show, really.
Easy, Season 1 – 22 September
Mumblecore moviemaker Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies) is introducing his own streaming series to the world this month with Easy, a comedy about sex, love, technology and probably more sex that comprises eight 30-minute episodes. Not too much is known about this one yet, except that it’s full of people we love (Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Jake Johnson, Marc Maron, Hannibal Buress, Emily Ratajkowski, Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and is set in Chicago. Oh, and it’s likely to be pretty racy.
Marvel’s Luke Cage, Season 1 – 30 September
We’ve met Luke Cage already – Mike Colter’s self-healing badass popped up several times during Season 1 of Jessica Jones – but his debut solo season sees him wanting to “be left the hell alone”. Fat chance of that in Netflix’s Big Apple, a rotten-to-the-core cityscape filled with bad men with big dreams and heavies with small-calibre weaponry. Luke Cage moves the Marvel spinoff north from Hell’s Kitchen to Harlem, where there’s peace and tranquility in abundance. Nah, just kidding. It’ll be bloody mayhem orchestrated by the villainous Cornell ‘Cottonmouth' Stokes (Mahershala Ali).
Amanda Knox – 30 September
The kind of event television Netflix will want to be closely associated with, this meticulously researched doc brings fresh insights into the mysterious murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007. Amanda Knox, initially convicted but since completely exonerated, has already been the subject of two movies (the fictionalised Face Of An Angel and TV film Amanda Knox: Murder On Trail In Italy), but this offers audiences the first chance to hear directly from her – as well as her Italian prosecutor. It promises to get social media buzzing when it lands at the end of the month.
The best movies on Netflix
Tangerine – 1 September
If the iPhone has yet to take off as the camera of choice of Hollywood’s big studios, this indie gem showed a new way to aspiring filmmakers working with ideas bigger than their budgets. Sean Baker’s drama lands on Netflix with plenty of critical cachet – Empire’s review likened it to the work of a young Scorsese – and should lose nothing in the transition to the smaller screen. The story follows two transgender prostitutes (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor) as they get high, low and all states in between in LA.
Behind Enemy Lines – 1 September
September sees a Netflix debut for this Bat-21 retread in which Owen Wilson takes the Gene Hackman role as a downed airman and Gene Hackman takes, well, a different role. It’s taut, effective stuff, especially if you can shake the idea that Wilson is perpetually on the verge of turning to his Serbian pursuers and hollering “WHOOAH!” at them. Hackman’s grizzled naval commander tries to get him out alive before those genocidal Serbian paramilitaries can get him him.
Flushed Away – 15 September
Flushed Away may be Aardman’s sole CG-animated feature but it’s no idle dabble in the Hollywood sandpit. The Bristolians, while not quite matching the claymation magic of Wallace and Gromit, have crafted a typically joyous tale that arrives on Netflix this month. In it, Hugh Jackman’s posh rodent travels the sewers of London doing battle with an evil Toad voiced by Ian McKellen. If the idea of Jean Reno playing a chop-socky hench-frog grabs you, this one’s for you.