Every month, streaming services in Australia add a new batch of movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for November.
New to Netflix
‘A Cop Movie’
An inventive and tricky hybrid of fiction and nonfiction, the documentary “A Cop Movie” tells the mostly true story of two Mexico City police officers: a man and woman who briefly dated and were dubbed “the love patrol” by their colleagues. The director Alonso Ruizpalacios defies expectations throughout, using dramatic recreations, surprise reversals and raw interviews to keep the audience guessing about whether this is an earnest film about the challenges of being a cop or an exposé of institutional corruption.
Based on Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, “Passing” stars Tessa Thompson as Irene and Ruth Negga as Clare, two Black women who were friends when they were younger and who meet again later in life. Irene is a social activist, living with her husband (André Holland) in an upscale Harlem brownstone. Clare is passing as white, and is married to a rich, racist businessman (Alexander Skarsgard). Written and directed by Rebecca Hall — herself biracial — this handsome-looking black-and-white period drama examines the boundaries of race and class in early 20th century New York.
‘Cowboy Bebop’ Season 1
This live-action remake of the popular anime series “Cowboy Bebop” retains what made the original so beloved: a genre-bending story about planet-hopping bounty hunters, an eye-catching style that draws on old westerns and film noir, and a jazzy up-tempo Yoko Kanno score. John Cho stars as Spike Spiegel, who, alongside his partner Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), chases criminals across the colonies built by the refugees of a post-apocalyptic Earth. The heroes add allies and enemies with each new adventure, in a show that mixes action, comedy and science-fiction weirdness.
‘tick, tick … BOOM!’
The “Hamilton” creator and star Lin Manuel-Miranda makes his feature film-directing debut, paying homage to one of his biggest influences: the late “Rent” writer and composer Jonathan Larson.In this adaptation of Larson’s lesser-known, semi-autobiographical theater piece, Andrew Garfield playsan aspiring Broadway composer named Jon, still working at a diner and waiting on his big break at the dawn of the 1990s. Miranda and the screenwriter Steven Levenson tinker a little with the stage production (which originated as a concert, before being turned into a small-scaled musical by David Auburn), turning “tick, tick … BOOM!” into more of a straight biopic with catchy songs.
Halle Berry both directs and stars in this underdog sports melodrama, about a down-and-out MMA fighter named Jackie Justice who comes out of retirement after the son she gave up for adoption shows up on her doorstep. Berry had to train hard to play an experienced, hardened athlete, and to take on this role of a woman trying to shake herself out of a fog and prove to her family and her sport that she’s still a winner.
This half-hour Christmas special comes from the team at Aardman Animations, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. “Robin Robin” tells the story of a small bird (voiced by Bronte Carmichael) who was raised by a family of mice, and who goes on an adventure during the holiday season where her unusual upbringing proves to be an asset. The adorable character-designs and the voice performances of Richard E. Grant (as a magpie) and Gillian Anderson (as a cat) accent what should be another of Aardman’s classy, funny, cleverly constructed family comedies.
Also arriving: “The Claus Family” (Nov. 1), “The Harder They Fall” (Nov. 3), “The Club” Season 1 (Nov. 5), “Love Hard” (Nov. 5), “Narcos: Mexico” Season 3 (Nov. 5), “The Unlikely Murderer” (Nov. 5), “Father Christmas Is Back” (Nov. 7), “Swap Shop: Dash for Cash” Season 1 (Nov. 9), “Gentefied” Season 2 (Nov. 10), “Red Notice” (Nov. 12), “Christmas Flow” Season 1 (Nov. 17), “Tiger King” Season 2 (Nov. 17), “The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star” (Nov. 18), “Blown Away: Christmas” Season 1 (Nov. 19), “Waffles + Mochi’s Holiday Feast” (Nov. 23), “A Boy Called Christmas” (Nov. 24), “True Story” (Nov. 24), “A Castle for Christmas” (Nov. 26), “School of Chocolate” Season 1 (Nov. 26), “Charlie’s Colorforms City: Snowy Stories” (Nov. 30).
New to Stan
Sometimes written as “Bo66y” — to commemorate England’s 1966 World Cup championship — the title of this documentary refers to Bobby Moore, the star defender and team captain whose creativity and doggedness electrified his home country. After his pro career ended, Moore struggled with money and health woes, and at times felt like a forgotten man. “Bobby” is an attempt to right some of those wrongs, telling a triumphant and tragic story via thrilling vintage footage and impassioned testimonials from teammates and fans.
‘Yellowstone’ Season 4
One of TV’s most popular dramas returns, after a season three finale which saw the Montana ranching family the Duttons facing multiple threats. Will the “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan actually kill off any of his leads? Probably not. (Sheridan’s central antihero, the grizzled cowboy power-broker John Dutton, is played by Kevin Costner, one of the show’s producers.) After a season which saw the Duttons beset by investment bankers, environmental activists and revenge-minded outlaws, a few bombs and machine-guns shouldn’t keep them down too long.
‘The Great’ Season 2
Elle Fanning returns as Catherine II and Nicholas Hoult as Peter III in season two of the satirical dramedy “The Great,” an “occasionally true” look back at the tumultuous marriage between a cruel Russian emperor and his ambitious, coup-minded young bride. Gillian Anderson joins the cast this season, playing Catherine’s mother, who tries to manipulate things behind the scenes as her daughter prepares to become a mother herself. Expect more of the creator Tony McNamara’s puckish mix of purposeful anachronisms and courtly intrigue.
Five Movies to Watch This Winter
1. “The Power of the Dog”: Benedict Cumberbatch is earning high praise for his performance in Jane Campion’s new psychodrama. Here’s what it took for the actor to become a seething alpha-male cowboy.
2. “Don’t Look Up” : Meryl Streep plays a self-centered scoundrel in Adam McKay’s apocalyptic satire. She turned to the “Real Housewives” franchise for inspiration.
3. “King Richard”: Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Venus and Serena Williams’s mother in the biopic, shares how she turned the supporting role into a talker.
4. “Tick, Tick … Boom!”: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut is an adaptation of a show by Jonathan Larson, creator of “Rent.” This guide can help you unpack its many layers.
5. “The Tragedy of Macbeth”: Several upcoming movies are in black and white, including Joel Coen’s new spin on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”
In this moody drama, the director Justin Kurzel — best-known for “Snowtown” and “True History of the Kelly Gang” — and the screenwriter Shaun Grant tell a fictionalized version of the events leading up to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. Caleb Landry Jones won a Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance as the title character: a lonely and disturbed young man who lives in the Tasmanian suburbs with his parents (Judy Davis and Anthony LaPaglia), and who strikes up a fateful friendship with an eccentric heiress. The actual violence remains offscreen, as “Nitram” presents an intimate portrait of a damaged soul.
Also arriving: “Animaniacs” Season 2 (Nov. 6), “Shark with Steve Backshall” (Nov. 8), “Finding Jack Charlton” (Nov. 12), “The Big Bang Theory” Seasons 1-12 (Nov. 19), “The Mindy Project” Seasons 1-6 (Nov. 19), “Two and a Half Men” Seasons 1-12 (Nov. 19), “Power Book II: Ghost” Season 2 (Nov. 21), “Saved By the Bell” Season 2 (Nov. 25), “Trolls: Holiday in Harmony” (Nov. 27).
New to Amazon
‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the biopic “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain,” playing a late 19th and early 20th century artist known for his unusual illustrations of cats. Cultural historians have long debated whether Wain suffered from mental illness or a neurological disorder, or if he was just an eccentric with a gift for making felines look colorfully, whimsically odd. The writer-director Will Sharpe and his co-writer Simon Stephenson do show how Wain’s singularity sometimes made his career difficult — but this movie is just as much about a marriage, focusing on Wain’s relationship with his beloved wife Emily (Claire Foy).
This four-part documentary offers a close look at a modern small town New Jersey family, in which multiple generations support each other as they pursue their dreams. At the center of the story is Jane Noury, a transgender teenager preparing to graduate from high school and to embark on a career in modeling while attending college. The director Jonathan C. Hyde doesn’t ignore the challenges Jane faces, but this series is more about how the warmth and comfort of a loving family can be transformative.
‘The Wheel of Time’ Season 1
The long-awaited TV adaptation of Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” fantasy novels begins with the simple story of a magic-wielding guardian named Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), who becomes the protector and guide for a handful of young people from a rural community. Jordan’s saga (completed after his death by his colleague Brandon Sanderson) eventually builds into a much more complex epic, but the TV version starts with a handful of characters and quickly becomes a life-or-death fight against the ancient forces of evil.
In this quietly impassioned documentary, the director Eva Orner looks back at the 2019-20 “Black Summer,” when bushfires raged across Australia, damaging over 50 million acres of land (as well as its property and residents). “Burning” charts the terrifying progression of the fire, with disturbing footage of people fleeing the devastation. But Orner also considers the root causes, directly accusing the politicians who have refused to take any action to protect against climate change. The film is heartbreaking but not devoid of hope, as Orner talks to the activists and young people determined to take action.
Also arriving: “Tampa Baes” (Nov. 5), “Mayor Pete” (Nov. 12), “Everyone Loves Natti” (Nov. 19).