After Amy Adams starred in HBO’s Sharp Objects this summer, November sees yet another giant movie star making the transition to the increasingly prestigious small screen. On November 2, Julia Roberts comes to Amazon Prime as the star of Homecoming, a creepy psychological thriller directed by the creator of Mr. Robot. Yeah, TV is where it’s at.
That’s just one of the biggest new treats on offer this month in streaming—there’s other fun stuff to be had across Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, including the third season of The Expanse and Gotti, arguably the worst movie of the year, if you’re into that sort of thing. To see what else November has in store, check out The Ringer’s streaming guide below, as well as some random recommendations from staffers that are more off the beaten path.
What’s New to Streaming in November
A selected list of movies and TV shows coming this month that The Ringer is very excited about.
Homecoming (coming to Amazon Prime on November 2)
Miles Surrey: Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail brings his distinct framing and paranoia-infused aesthetic to Amazon Prime as the director of the entire first season of the new series Homecoming. Based on the narrative podcast of the same name, Homecoming sees Julia Roberts star in a TV show for the very first time as Heidi Bergman, a case worker at a treatment center that aims to help transition soldiers back to civilian life; nothing, of course, is as it seems. With Esmail’s clever, occasionally Hitchcockian direction and a slow-burn mystery that’s easy to digest—all 10 episodes are roughly half an hour long—Homecoming is perfectly suited for a weekend binge.
House of Cards Season 6 (coming to Netflix on November 2)
Alison Herman: As ever, Robin Wright embodies Claire with chilly comportment, nigh on impenetrable. And as ever, House of Cards doesn’t intend for the audience to take her words, or any other, at face value. This reflexive, empty cynicism had diminishing returns in prior seasons: When everyone lies to everyone, eventually you take the hint and stop paying attention. But while Claire’s unreliability is a given, House of Cards also seems to be relatively earnest in its insistence that this antihero is different.
The Expanse Season 3 (Amazon Prime, November 15)
Surrey: The Expanse’s most surprising moments also happen to be its most subversive — a main character in Season 2, who in most shows might seem infinitely protected by plot armor, is suddenly in mortal danger and might not make it out alive. It feels as though the novels’ coauthor [Daniel] Abraham adopted these strategies from his collaborations with [George R.R.] Martin — moments like Ned Stark’s death come to mind — and applied them to a space opera. Watching The Expanse when it’s firing on all cylinders and executing its twists is like witnessing J.R. Smith have one of his scorched-earth shooting runs: You can’t just look away.
Green Room (Netflix, November 12)
Lindsay Zoladz: Green Room was a typical, atypical choice for [late actor Anton Yelchin]; he seemed to have a range and a sense of curiosity all too rare for an actor of his generation. By sheer coincidence, [Patrick] Stewart’s presence in Green Room serves as a reminder that it takes a particularly talented actor to be believable as both a Trekkie and a punk. We just lost one of them way too soon.
Gotti (Amazon Prime, November 15)
Rob Harvilla: Much has been made of the fact that 40 percent of Gotti’s opening-weekend audience (including myself) came via MoviePass, which took a financial stake in the film’s production; in particularly dull or confounding moments, I took to imagining Travolta-as-Gotti barking, “What the fuck is MoviePass?” in his very convincing Maximum Bronx accent. I found this activity preferable, anyway, to watching him interact with anyone on-screen; his blunt and uncouth repartee with all those interchangeable mob goons works as neither poetry nor street poetry.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Netflix, November 22)
Harvilla: Think of [Mystery Science Theater 3000] as an early version of the disquieting modern phenomenon where everyone watches TV with Twitter at the ready, eager to prove they’re funnier and cooler than whatever crap they’re watching.
Dietland (Hulu, November 2)
Herman: This is a feminist awakening–cum–revenge story in which a lecherous fashion photographer is summarily executed and shoved out of a plane by Episode 2. To miss this series’s lessons about body image, cultural conditioning, and the patriarchy, you’d have to be as oblivious as Kitty Montgomery (Julianna Margulies), the villainous fashion editor who makes impassioned statements like “Daisy Chain’s cover will be ‘30 Days to Sexy: Products for Every Problem,’ end of discussion!” with zero sense of irony.
Good Will Hunting (Netflix, November 1)
Shea Serrano: Good Will Hunting feels important and impactful because of its big moments and big scenes—the ones identifiable by a single setting or line: the Harvard Bar Argument scene, the park bench scene, the “Say you don’t love me” scene, the “Do you know how easy this is for me?” scene, the “It’s not your fault” scene, the “The best part of my day” scene, etc. But what makes the movie feel truly alive and special are the smaller things, the tiny things—all of its “wonderful idiosyncrasies,” as it were.
Downsizing (Hulu and Amazon Prime, November 24)
Adam Nayman: [Director Alexander Payne] makes movies that are hard to reduce, and so it goes with Downsizing, a film that simultaneously satirizes and stumps for reducibility as a worldview. It’s a study of minimalism and its discontents.
The Great British Baking Show Season 6 (Netflix, November 9)
Alyssa Bereznak: The reality series has often been lauded for its soothing, low-stakes format, but its true strength lies in its encyclopedic presentation of and serious dedication to the craft of baking. Contestants face very few consequences for underperforming on the show—there is no prize money or idyllic true love to lose out on—and yet there’s an impressive list of things they can do wrong.
Some New-ish Things You Might’ve Missed
Because it’s hard to keep up with everything, here are a few things that have premiered somewhat recently that may be worth catching up on.
Bodyguard (on Netflix)
Herman: The House of Cards parallels [to Bodyguard] work to both its benefit and its detriment. The tension is expertly managed and manipulated; the cinematography has a chilly, crisp quality that gives the proceedings a sheen of seriousness; the on-location shooting around London adds to the feeling of both realism and expense. On the other hand, as with so many narratives about terrorism and cops gone rogue, the politics are muddled at best and outright reactionary at worst; the cynicism is unrelenting, quickly curdling from savvy to reflexive; the female character who ought to be a proper co-lead is ultimately underserved.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (on Netflix)
Herman: Chilling Adventures is the second show in as many years to adapt an Archie Comics title for the small screen, and while it shares a literal universe with Riverdale, the smash hit teen soap airing on the CW, the two shows also operate within the same tonal register. They’re a little bit dark, a lot bit camp, and altogether a very different kind of teen TV than generations past first projected their hormone-stoked feelings onto.
100% Fresh (on Netflix)
Harvilla: Whatever your opinion of those is, 100% Fresh is without question the best thing [Adam Sandler]’s done for Netflix to date, because it’s mostly just him being his operatically crass and childlike self, with no ludicrous plot to distract him and no racial-stereotype costars to flummox you.
The Haunting of Hill House (on Netflix)
Surrey: Though Netflix has no shortage of original content, Hill House is the streamer’s first true horror series. Whereas Stranger Things and Black Mirror are horror/science-fiction hybrids, and ... Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a teen drama—essentially a spookier Riverdale—[Mike] Flanagan’s show is a classic psychological horror and ghost story, spread out over 10 hours. Like The Terror, Hill House is not just an affecting character-focused drama, but one that takes advantage of your investment in its intricately drawn-out story to produce scares that are twice as effective.
The Romanoffs (on Amazon Prime)
Herman: The Romanoffs won’t actively alienate you; [creator Matthew Weiner]’s dialogue and repertory players are too solid for that. It just won’t register as more than an exercise, either, a writer trying on genres mostly because he can. There’s little time to form a relationship with the characters, and so the characters largely stay on the page.
Salt Fat Acid Heat (on Netflix)
Danny Chau: Salt Fat Acid Heat is difficult to summarize. It is a cooking show that is resolute in its lack of recipes and eschews everything that could lead to instructional mimicry. It is a travel show that, while beautifully shot in locales like the Liguria region of Italy, the Shodo island of Japan, and the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico, does not offer much of a road map for aspirational mimicry, either. It is a show that has a very simple goal in mind—to convince the audience that they are capable of cooking great food—while honoring the laissez-faire ethos of the book upon which it’s based.
The Night Comes for Us (on Netflix)
Tom Breihan: The Night Comes for Us is one of the out-and-out craziest martial arts movies I have ever seen. It amps the gore up to Evil Dead levels. All of the characters are unkillable slasher-movie villains, and all of them are geniuses at finding creative ways to kill each other. Joe Taslim, who played a stone-faced police sergeant in The Raid and who went on to play henchmen in Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek: Beyond, stars as an elite hitman who decides he can’t kill a little girl and turns against his triad bosses instead. Later on, that same little girl stabs a dude in the neck multiple times. It’s nuts.
A random collection of movies and TV shows available to stream that Ringer staffers can’t get enough of, for when you’re in a certain kind of mood.
What to Watch If the New Halloween Got You in a Slasher Mood (and You Also Like ’80s Bangers): The new Halloween’s massive box office success may spur a slasher movie renaissance—no sooner did the movie make bank than was there news that LeBron friggin’ James will produce a Friday the 13th reboot. But that doesn’t help you in the immediate, and while it’s far from a classic, The Strangers: Prey at Night can satisfy your slasher itch on Amazon Prime. It’s a departure from its 2008 predecessor in tone; yes, there’s still a trio of masked killers terrorizing a family, but Prey at Night provides some catharsis by letting its victims fight back and occasionally kick ass to the score of ’80s hits like “Cambodia” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” (The latter is used in the best scene of the movie, a showdown at an abandoned trailer park’s community pool.) In lieu of The Strangers’ most infamous line, when a killer explains to Liv Tyler’s character that she and her husband are being tormented “because you were home,” an assailant in Prey at Night simply says “Why not?” Turns out, that’s a pretty good summation for considering this enticing little thriller. — Surrey
What to Watch If You Can’t Get Enough of Keira Knightley in Fancy Costumes: If you’re in the mood for a wintery drama and the incoming glut of Netflix Christmas movies aren’t your thing, take advantage of the two weeks before it disappears from the platform and watch Joe Wright’s bizarrely beautiful adaptation of Anna Karenina. Keira Knightley in gorgeous costumes? Check! Visuals more in line with a trippy night at the opera than any period drama you’ve ever seen? Check! An extremely far-fetched plot in which someone leaves Jude Law for Aaron Taylor-Johnson? Check! It’s weirder than I can prepare you for, a solid hour too long, and I can’t recommend it enough. — Kate Halliwell
What to Watch If You’d Like Your SVU to Be a Touch More British: Don’t get me wrong, Mariska Hargitay is perfect, and Stabler and Benson are an iconic duo. But it’s an undeniable fact that the central pair of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit possesses one glaring flaw: They are not British. Therefore, may I introduce you to Scott & Bailey, an ITV cop drama that aired from 2011 to 2016 and now streams on Hulu? The show follows two female investigators (Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp) in Manchester’s Major Incident Team—MIT, which is SVU, but British—as they solve brutal murders and navigate the trappings of their very dramatic personal lives. The show is, in many ways, quite similar to SVU, but in many more important ways, it’s far more sophisticated, featuring deeper story lines that stretch over multiple episodes and far better character development. It’s also British, which is the point here. — Andrew Gruttadaro
What to Watch If You Want a Great New Comedy With an Iconic Cast: I forgot Game Night existed before it resurfaced on HBO. It didn’t seem like that long ago that I was rolling my eyes through a trailer of adult shenanigans performed by Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman, Jesse Plemons, Lamorne Morris, and Kyle Chandler—which hurt me more than anything. I love all of them—Coach Taylor forever! I assumed Game Night was another adult comedy that was halfway funny and unavoidably cringy—like the Grown Ups movies, and the several others that had rolled out in the past couple of years. I was only partially right. Game Night is unavoidably cringy, but purposefully so. It’s also a delightful, hilarious, and fast-paced movie that lets those aforementioned beloved actors be funny, which they’re all capable of being. Game Night works because it pulled off what teenage comedies nearly always do: It makes you want to hang out with these people. And for an hour and 40 minutes on a Wednesday night, you can. — Haley O’Shaughnessy