Struggling with what to watch on Netflix tonight? Look no further than the WIRED guide to the best new Netflix TV shows in 2019. Netflix has something for everyone, but there’s plenty of rubbish padding its catalogue of classic TV shows everyone has heard about. Our guide to the best TV series on Netflix UK is updated weekly to help you avoid the mediocre ones and find the best things to watch. We try and pick out the less obvious gems, too, so we’re confident you’ll find a show you don’t already know about.
Ava DuVernay’s documentary is named after the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended slavery. Her brilliant nonfiction work outlines the way that slavery has simply been reshaped and reformed into other societal elements, particularly imbalanced prison sentences and enforcement of laws that more directly impact minorities. It’s a searing, powerful piece of work.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Judd Apatow’s hit comedy helped turn Steve Carell into a household name and really reformed a brand of dad-bod comedy that is still influencing movies to this day (for better and for worse). As with all Apatovian productions, there are certainly elements here one could quibble with, but it remains rewatchable thanks to Carell’s genuinely sweet performance and memorable supporting turns from Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Catherine Keener.
Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar winner is one of the best films of the 2010s, a powerful examination of the impact of one couple’s separation on those around them, including their daughter and a caregiver hired by the man to watch over his father. It’s the first Iranian film to win the Oscar for Foreign Language Film, and a great introduction to that country’s excellent film industry.
About a Boy
Containing possibly Hugh Grant’s best performance, this delicate adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel tells the story of a grown man who learns how to behave in life through his friendship with a young boy. With great performances by Nicholas Hoult and Toni Collette, along with a script nominated for an Oscar, this is a movie that young viewers may not have caught up with yet but shouldn’t miss.
Across the Universe
Love it or hate it, you really need to see Julie Taymor’s romantic drama inspired by the music of the Beatles. There aren’t many big-screen musicals out there quite like this trippy, dreamy flick starring Jim Sturgess and Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood, and Taymor’s theatrical background gives the whole film a larger-than-life magical quality, especially if you’re a fan of Paul, John, George, and Ringo.
All the President’s Men
Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford star in this retelling of the chain of events that led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon through the vantage point of the journalists who broke the story. More of an ode to the importance of journalism than anything else, this movie cast reporters in a light that made them feel like pioneers of justice. Think of the number of people who enrolled in journalism school because of it. And you have to love the tagline: “The most devastating detective story of this century.”
Andrea Arnold’s 2016 teen epic about a runaway (Sasha Lane) who finds herself a part of a crew of young people bouncing their way across the country — including Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough — is the best movie on Netflix that you probably haven’t seen. With propulsive energy, an amazing soundtrack, and beautiful cinematography of the heart of America, this is a fascinating movie that deserves a look.
The public opinion of Woody Allen has certainly changed over the years, but this 1977 romantic comedy remains one of the most essential American films of its era, winning Oscars for Best Picture, Actress, Director, and Screenplay.
Just as First Man is celebrating an Oscar win and Apollo 11 is hitting theaters, Netflix drops the Best Picture–nominated Ron Howard movie about the harrowing Apollo 13 mission, starring Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. It’s Howard’s best movie, a solid tale of the heroism required to do the seemingly impossible.
As Good As It Gets
Very few films have won Oscars for both Best Actor and Best Actress. In fact, this romantic comedy, for which stars Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both took home the big trophies, is the last time it happened. It’s a great example of a film that plays perfectly to the strengths of both of its stars.
Netflix is clearly prepping subscribers for Martin Scorcese’s upcoming Netflix-exclusive film The Irishman by including several of his most beloved films (see: The Departed, also on this list). This one has slid a bit under the history’s radar, not being talked about as much as it should. It’s a technical marvel for the plane-crash scene alone and includes one of Scorsese’s best ensembles, including his old pal Leo alongside Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, and Jude Law, just to name a few.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Joel and Ethan Coen’s Western anthology series was a part of Netflix’s brand-redefining 2018. Sure, Netflix still has a bunch of junk, but it also landed the latest from Alfonso Cuaron, the Coens, and even Orson Welles. This brilliant Western works as comedy, drama, and even a commentary on the Coens themselves. Don’t miss it.
Take advantage of this opportunity before Disney+ guts all the Marvel and Disney movie options from every streaming service on the planet. The first MCU movie to win an Oscar is one of the best superhero movies of all time, and a movie that holds up incredibly well on repeat viewing. This isn’t just an action movie, it’s a cultural event — something that redefined and reshaped the superhero genre for the rest of time.