Ever since Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007, subscribers have been anxiously awaiting the day that they would be able to find as much original content on Netflix as they could on a cable TV station or even in the movie theater. After years of waiting, 2016 might finally be the year that this pipe dream comes to pass.
Last week, we put together a list of all eleven movies that Netflix has announced it will finance and distribute this year. There are also several movies that Netflix has acquired, thus ensuring that they will launch exclusively on the service.
Now that we have a sizable list to work with, we have decided to pick out five Netflix original movies that we can’t wait to see in 2016:
1. Special Correspondents
As a huge fan of The Office, Extras and pretty much everything else Ricky Gervais has ever done, Special Correspondents easily makes its way to the top of my list. On his blog, Gervais has repeatedly referred to this movie as the most accomplished piece of material he has ever worked on, so I’ve set my expectations appropriately high.
In the film, struggling, arrogant NYC-based radio journalist Frank Bonneville (Eric Bana) attempts to save his career by faking frontline war reports from a hideout in the city. Vera Farmiga, Kelly Macdonald, Kevin Pollack, America Ferrera, Raul Castillo and Benjamin Bratt also star. Special Correspondents will premiere on Netflix on April 29th.
Of the five independent films that Netflix announced it would distribute last week, none caught my eye quite like ARQ. Written and directed by Tony Elliott, one of the writers behind BBC America’s Orphan Black, ARQ is a sci-fi thriller in which an engineer has to protect technology that could provide unlimited energy to the world from a gang of masked intruders, but the technology creates a time loop that forces all of them relive the same day over and over.
The cherry on top? It stars Rachael Taylor, who you might recognize as Trish Walker from Jessica Jones, and Stephen Amell, best known for portraying Green Arrow on The CW. It’s the Marvel/DC crossover we never knew we needed.
3. War Machine
Possibly the highest-profile release to ever appear on Netflix, War Machine is a satirical war comedy starring Brad Pitt as General Stanley McChrystal, a man whose reputation lands him as the commander of the war in Afghanistan.
Here’s the full description from Netflix:
“Inspired by the best-selling book ‘The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan’ by the late Michael Hastings, ‘War Machine’ concerns a four star, ‘rock star’ general whose lethal reputation and impeccable track record vaults him to command the American war in Afghanistan. Determined to win the ‘impossible’ war once and for all with a radical new approach, the general and his motley staff of commanders and press advisers race across the globe navigating delicate international alliances and troop requests, the charged battlefield of Washington politics, the voracious appetite of the media, and the day-to-day management of the war itself — all the while struggling to stay connected to the lives of men and women out in the field.”
This one can’t come soon enough.
After a decade without a new Christopher Guest movie, we’re finally getting one exclusively on Netflix. The latest mundane topic that the director will attempt to make hilarious is the world of mascot competitions, which I refuse to look up to see if they actually exist.
Here’s the summary Netflix tweeted out earlier last year:
“Welcome to all the drama, intrigue, and occasional excitement of The 8th World Mascot Association Championships, where a group of “unusual” men and women, with big heads and furry suits, compete to win the prestigious Gold Fluffy Award and be crowded best mascot in the world.”
Sadly, it looks like Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara will be sitting this production out, but sources have said that talks are underway with Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, and Bob Balaban to star in the film.
Honestly, there aren’t many Netflix original movies I won’t give a shot in 2016, but after seeing the short film that inspired Amateur, it managed to sneak its way into my top five. Watch the prequel short below:
Now that you get the gist, here’s the description of the feature film, as told by writer and director Ryan Koo:
“An amateur video of 13 year-old Terron Forte playing basketball hits the internet and turns his life upside down. Terron is soon nationally ranked among other 7th graders and declared to be “the next Dwayne Wade” despite being in middle school.
As a result of this exposure, free athletic gear and various hangers-on find their way to the doorstep of Terron’s school, and he learns about the youth basketball world and the recruiting machine that powers it. With his newfound fame, he must choose between educational institutes, father figures, and belief systems.
A few years from now Terron could be a millionaire, but right now all he has is basketball. It’s a lot for anyone to handle — much less a 13 year-old.”
And there you have it. Five fascinating Netflix original movies to look forward to in 2016.