What to watch on Netflix: your guide to the new TV shows and movies

A still from season four of better call saul
(Image credit: Netflix)

Amazon Prime video might be offering a greater and greater selection of movies and TV shows as time goes on, but in our books Netflix still serves up the best movie streaming experience.  

But even though there's plenty of choice, after a while even the Netflix library can start to feel as stale as your old DVD collection. Especially if the algorithm hasn't quite figured out your tastes and keeps recommending stuff you don't fancy watching. 

Our solution is to focus on what's brand new, rather than trawling through the same titles you've browsed many, many times before. 

[Update: Season 4 of Better Call Saul has arrived on Netflix this week, which makes that our top must-watch movie over the next 7 days until we get our next instalment. That's right, we're only getting one new episode a week, which raises the excitement but is also excruciating in a time when we're used to bingeing on boxsets in one weekend.]

But finding good quality, brand new movies, TV shows and documentaries is often much easier said than done. The 'new releases' section of Netflix still doesn't include all the new stuff. And in our experience, it can take a few days to update. But don't worry, that's why we're here to help. 

If you’re feeling tired of finding only mediocre recommendations that aren’t for you, bookmark this post right away. Every week we'll be bringing you the best-of-the-best to watch on Netflix, from brand new TV series that have just landed on the service, to the best classic movies that have only just been made available, you’ll find it all here. 

We update this list each and every week, so be sure to keep checking in if you want to avoid relying on Netflix's algorithms to show you what's hot and what's not on the streaming service. 

New movies on Netflix this week

A still from the movie Pride and Prejudice

(Image credit: Netflix)

Pride and Prejudice: The 2005 version of Jane Austen's classic tale of romance lands on Netflix this week. This particular treatment of the period drama stars Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen as the young, stubborn and witty Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

A still from the movie hot fuzz

(Image credit: Netflix)

Hot Fuzz: A comedy from the great minds of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, Hot Fuzz is all about a policeman who is transferred to a small town to investigate a series of "accidental" deaths. But, as you can imagine, it turns out they're not all that accidental. 

Recently added movies on Netflix

A still/promo shot from the movie jackie

(Image credit: Netflix)

Jackie: Natalie Portman stars in the lead role in this biographical drama all about the life of Jackie Kennedy in the days after her husband John F. Kennedy’s assassination. As you'd expect, it’s a compelling but difficult watch at times, all about grief, trauma, consoling her children and Jackie’s struggle to create a legacy for her husband after his tragic death. 

a still from the movie a ghost story

(Image credit: netflix)

A Ghost Story: It might be called A Ghost Story, but it's far from the traditional creepy movie about hauntings and more of a meditation on loss, grief and everything in-between. It's an ambitious movie Director David Lowery and received a lot of critical praise for its poignant exploration of love and loss. Maybe not one for after a long day at work thought, it's a tear-jerker.

a still from the movie 30 days of night

(Image credit: netflix)

30 Days of Night: Based on a horror comicbook series of the same name, this super creepy and atmospheric movie is about a town in Alaska that has, you guessed it, 30 days of total darkness. And you know who just looooves darkness? Vampires, that's who.

Star Trek Beyond: The return to Star Trek films in the noughties could have been a horrible mess, but JJ Abrams successfully took the wonder of the original TV series and translated it into a modern sci-fi epic in 2009. Star Trek Beyond in the third film in the series, this time directed by Fast & Furious's Justin Lin. There's plenty of cinema-scale action, held together by the chemistry of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto's take on Spock and Kirk.  

Black Mass: Johnny Depp tends to play attractive oddball characters. But in Black Mass he's scary. And balding. Whitey Bulger is a mobster, a real figure from the days of 70s ruthless gangsterism. Black Mass follows his team-up with the FBI, which gradually spins out of control. It's Depp's best performance in years. Pirates of the Carribbean this is not.

Warcraft: When Warcraft first came out it received mixed reviews and in many ways was a financial disappointment. But this action movie, based on the video game of the same name, from Duncan Jones is really compelling for fans of fantasy, monsters and otherworldly evils. Don’t expect flawless performances, but do expect your fair share of magical spells, orcs and sprawling battle scenes.

A still from the movie Cargo

(Image credit: Netflix)

Cargo: Martin Freeman stars in this Australian post-apocalyptic thriller that's based on a short film of the same name. It's about a world that's been taken over by a zombie virus and a husband and wife who are trying to survive with their young daughter. They've managed to stay uninfected so far because they've been living on a houseboat, but as you can imagine, that all changes. 

It's been mostly praised by critics, who said they enjoyed its refreshing take on the zombie genre, its emotional depth and Freeman's performance.

A still from the movie The Social Network

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Social Network: Before its release, it was hard to imagine that a film about the foundation of Facebook would be all that interesting. It's just going to be about some nerdy-coder kids who got rich quick right?

Wrong. Well, sort of wrong at least. The Facebook story is far more intriguing than you'd imagine – where there's money to be had, there's ambition to follow and backs to be stabbed. Director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin pull together a taut, thrilling look at how the world's biggest network of friends tore apart the lives of those once-pals who built it. 

Taxi Driver: Are you talkin' to me? I said, are you talkin' to me? No? Well, OK then – you should be listenin' instead. If you've never seen Taxi Driver before, it's arrival on Netflix gives you no excuses not to. Unless you don't have a Netflix account, in which case, what are you even doing here?

Taxi Driver is perhaps the quintessential Robert De Niro performance, and arguably the most memorable film of director Martin Scorsese's career. It follows the life of the increasingly-unhinged Travis Bickle, a taxi driver increasingly disillusioned by the harsh reality of New York's post-Vietnam streets. Keep an eye out for an incredibly harrowing early performance from a young Jodie Foster, too.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Want a fun superhero movie to watch? You can’t do better than the first Guardians of the Galaxy. It turned Chris Pratt from a funny TV character actor into an A-list movie star, and has greater of a sci-fi influence than other Marvel films. 

There’s more than a hint of Star Wars-flavoured magic to this 2-hour blockbuster. It’s a great way to show off a high-end TV’s skills. 

Guardians of the Galaxy is also very funny, and Pratt doesn’t hog all the best lines. Dave Bautista’s Drax is hilarious and Vin Diesel makes a surprise appearance as a talking tree. Who can only say “groot”. Trust us, it makes more sense in context. 

The Witch: Some were disappointed when they went to see The Witch at the cinema in 2015. Trailers sold it as a straight-up horror film. But it’s a quieter, more meditative film that relies on the slow development of a creepy mood rather than cheap jump scares. 

The son of a farming family in 1600s New England disappears. Folk tales of a witch who lives in the woods beyond their property lead the parents to think their daughter may be to blame.

Part slow horror, part an exploration of the behaviour around witch trials of centuries past, The Witch is a fantastic watch. Just don’t hit the play button, popcorn in hand, expecting B-movie thrills.

New TV shows on Netflix this week

An image from season 4 of better call saul

(Image credit: Netflix)

Better Call Saul (Season 4): Want to know a not-so-well-kept-secret? Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad. Although that’s a sentence we never thought we would write, it’s now four seasons and it is flawless TV. It doesn’t have the menace or fear that propelled Walter White in Breaking Bad, instead it takes its time to paint a picture of Saul Goodman, someone that was in Bad mainly for comic relief. Although some characters have started to appear from Breaking Bad, the show doesn’t beg for the appearance of Walter White or Jesse - it’s now it’s own thing and we can't wait to get stuck into season 4 now it's finally arrived. 

Recently added TV shows on Netflix

A still from the TV show Amazing Interiors

(Image credit: Netflix)

Amazing Interiors: If you like interior design shows, you’re going to enjoy this new British programme all about quirky homes. The show meets a number of different eccentric homeowners who have houses, apartments and random spaces filled with unexpected surprises, including an indoor aquarium and a rollercoaster in a back garden. We apologise in advance because it’ll make your house feel positively boring by comparison. 

A still from the TV show Dark Tourist

(Image credit: Netflix)

Dark Tourist: A travel show with a twist, Dark Tourist is presented by journalist David Farrier who takes you on a journey to some of the most unusual, scary and downright weird tourism spots on the planet, from a haunted forest to a nuclear lake. 

a still from anthony bourdain's tv show parts unknown

(Image credit: netflix)

Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown: This US food and travel show follows the late chef, author and TV host Anthony Bourdain as he travels the world and samples local cuisine. There are 11 seasons in total, but the first 8 have landed on Netflix this week. 

Luke Cage Season 2: Almost two years on from the original season's air date, Luke Cage is finally back. In case you missed it first time around, Cage is a superhero with great strength and armour-like skin that makes him near-invulnerable. Season two improves upon the first with much better villains. It's a rare case of the second instalment improving on the first. 

The second season of Queer Eye: One of the most positive shows you will ever watch, Queer Eye reboot's the original show but adds one key ingredient: it's not just the person's clothes that get a makeover but their well-being too. Over the course of the first season - which is a far-too short eight episodes - there is nary a criticism in sight, rather than an enforcement of positivity which is welcomed like a warm hug. And FINALLY the second season is here, bringing you attitude, laughs and plenty of fun just in time for summer. 

A promo shot for Arrested Development Season 5

(Image credit: Netflix)

Arrested Development (Season 5): The highly-anticipated TV show is back for a fifth season, which does what it does best: showing us the dysfunctional Bluth family in all its ridiculous and hilarious glory. 

Although most critics have only seen the first half of the season so far, general feelings are that it's a good season. Not the best, but better than some of the more recent seasons as it brings the cast back together again. In many ways it feels like being taken back to the first few seasons, which we think were the best ones anyway.

A still from the TV show 13 Reasons Why

(Image credit: Netflix)

13 Reasons Why (Season 2): The first season of Netflix Original 13 Reasons Why was released in 2017. This week the second season has landed, which looks at the events that unfolded right after the first one.

The show is a US-based high school drama that revolves around a high school student called Clay Jensen and his friend Hannah Baker. Hannah died by suicide, and the first season looked at the 13 reasons why that happened. 

As you'd expect, a lot of the topics and themes in 13 Reasons Why might be distressing for some viewers. So bear that in mind if you're planning on watching it soon - and consider who you're planning on watching it with, too.

Dear White People Vol 2: Hot on the heels of the successful first series (based on the satirical 2014 film of the same name) comes season 2 of Dear White People.

Back on Winchester University campus, it starts with a somewhat more dramatic start than the comedic nature of the series suggests, with the aftermath of Reggie's series one confrontation coming back to haunt him. Don't worry though, the laughs are still here to be had, biting through the US's charged racial discourse of the moment.

Lost in Space: Netflix has remade the 60s sci-fi minor classic Lost in Space. It's a space drama centred around a family rather than your standard starship crew. 

They crash land on an alien planet and have to survive. Netflix has applied its usual high production values to make this reboot far glossier than the 60s original. 

It may not be an instant all-time classic but it's worth a watch and features some excellent sci-fi eye candy.

Looking for more Netflix recommendations? Try these in-depth run downs of the best of the best Netflix content:

Is Netflix better than Amazon Prime Video? Watch our comparison video below.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.