Netflix has given us an embarrassment of riches over the past few months that we’ve only just now begun to crawl out from underneath of. If you’re like the rest of us Netflix faithful, you’re finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Lady Dynamite, Bloodline, and Chef’s Table. You’ve streamed all the amazing new episodes and you’re ready to enjoy a beautiful June full of sun and warm weather and healthy human relationships.
But like every new month that the calendar brings us, Netflix is conspiring to keep us glued to our screens and to prevent us from enjoying anything other than their own content. But when their content is so good – as is the case with Netflix’s new additions this June – we’re strangely okay with that. Forget summer, all we need is a decent internet connection and a screen that’s 3 inches wide, at least.
Let the summer streaming begin with 10 New Netflix Additions You Need to Watch This June.
Breaking the Magician’s Code (Season 1-2) – June 1
There’s something about campy magic specials that really scream “summer,” and Breaking the Magician’s Code is no exception. It’s the perfect way to throw away an entire lazy summer afternoon. Originally released to controversy and excitement, both seasons of this amazing FOX series reveal the secrets of famous magic illusions via the silent Masked Magician. It’s all done with a brilliant over-dramatic voice-over and the type of spectacle that you just don’t see on TV anymore, and that’s what makes it the perfect show to binge in one day.
Spend a too-hot day inside with the lights dimmed, learning how to accomplish one ridiculously elaborate feat after another, and amaze your friends with knowledge that will almost certainly never come in handy. Did you ever wonder how a magician can teleport from one locked box to the next? Have you tried to figure out how a magician can make a semi-truck disappear? Finally, you can have the answers with Breaking the Magician’s Code!
J. Edgar (2011) – June 1
Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio stars! Oscar winner Clint Eastwood directs! Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black writes! And it all comes together in J. Edgar, the forgettable 2011 film that didn’t get nominated for a single Oscar. But could a film with so much pedigree really be as bland as history would have you believe, or is there something worth watching in J. Edgar now that it’s available for free on Netflix?
J. Edgar is most certainly worth watching, if for no reason other than another fascinating DiCaprio performance that doesn’t get enough credit. The film follows J. Edgar Hoover and his relationship with Clyde Tolson (played by an excellent Armie Hammer), and is the kind of period biography that makes for an entertaining film regardless of how much you know about the subject matter. It’s an interesting look into the life of a man that was famously private, and when viewing it a few years removed from the failed Oscar campaign or the talent in front of and behind the camera, it makes for a fascinating look at a film that had everything going for it and – for whatever reason – failed to catch on with audiences in any noticeable way.
Jurassic Park Trilogy – June 1
The Jurassic Park trilogy should be required viewing for all millennials and/or people who have been in a coma for 20 years. Because it’s a known fact that all millennials and/or coma patients now have a Netflix subscription, there’s no reason all three films shouldn’t be watched by these two groups of people on June 1st. Starting with 1994’s Jurassic Park, then going into the (also Spielberg directed, and mostly good) The Lost World, then the vastly inferior Jurassic Park III, viewers should be able to get a sense of what led to last year’s box-office breaking Jurassic World, and then try to figure out how Hollywood can possibly keep making these films.
Regardless of curiosities such as “why would this park keep opening after all these tragedies?,” the Jurassic Park trilogy is pure spectacle in a way that only the most enjoyable movies can be. Decades later – and when comparing to the CGI-filled rollercoaster that is Jurassic World – the films still hold their own with effects work and awe-inspiring scenes, and the storytelling (on the first one at least) is as (nearly) perfect as ever. Whether you’re watching for the first time or the first time this week, you can’t go wrong with throwing a classic up on Netflix, and then following it up with a less-than-classic and a instantly-forgettable-non-classic. It’s fun for the whole family!
Bo Burnham: Make Happy – June 3
Bo Burnham broke out nearly a decade ago as a teen sensation on YouTube, mixing elements of music and theatre into his comedy. Since then he’s remained on the fringes of stand-up comedy yet firmly entrenched in the alt-comedy world, and if you haven’t heard of him you’re about to right now: his newest special Bo Burnham: Make Happy is coming to Netflix on June 3rd. You should watch it.
Sticking with the style that gave him fans around the world, Make Happy mixes traditional stand-up with the singing and keyboard playing that made him famous, but it’s all elevated into a decidedly more professional Netflix-looking package; this ain’t no YouTube video. Bo Burnham’s newest material is existential dread mixed with intelligent jokes and upbeat musical influences, which makes it stand among the best comedy specials that Netflix has released in recent years. It’s quirky and cool and hip and you’ll look like a real comedy connoisseur if your friends see this in your Recently Watched list.
Me Him Her (2016) – June 11
One of the things Netflix does best is bring subscribers indie films that we haven’t heard of or wouldn’t have had a chance to watch otherwise. Such is the case with 2016’s Me Him Her, a film that was released in a handful of theatres back in March but unfortunately didn’t get the marketing push it deserved to become a widely acclaimed (or seen) hit. Although you may have heard of the film through writer/director Max Landis’ own social media marketing (something the distribution company paid him $100 to do rather than market the film themselves), most people wouldn’t have had the chance to watch the film anywhere until now; so you definitely should watch it now.
Following the story of an actor that requests his friend’s help so that he can come out as gay, only for his friend to accidentally out him to the press, Me Him Her is Max Landis’ (Chronicle, American Ultra) directing debut, which makes it worth watching just for that reason alone. As one of the most visible and polarizing (perhaps unfairly?) screenwriters in recent memory, Landis’ personality and style explodes from Me Him Her throughout its running time, filling every scene with a unique tone and direction that makes the film a worthwhile experience regardless of whether you think the final product is any good. But now that it’s on Netflix, that’s a call you can make for yourself, and all it will cost you is an hour and 37 minutes of your time.
The League (Season 7) – June 14
If it seems like it’s been forever since you burned your way through a laugh-out-loud comedy, instantly regretting watching it so fast once the final episode ends, now’s the perfect time to do it all over again with The League. With the seventh and final season on Netflix as of June 14th, it’s the perfect time to start and finish the FX comedy that stars all of your favorite people.
Sure, many may be bored by The League’s subject matter. It is after all about a group of friends that have a fantasy football league together. So, rightfully so, those that don’t care about football or fantasy sports may think that this show isn’t for them. But those people are wrong. The League is a show for everyone, as it’s less about fantasy football than it is about the relationships between deeply deranged people that take one stupid thing (fantasy football) way too seriously. It’s also a show for anyone who loves comedy or has ever loved comedy in the past. In fact, even if you’ve never been a fan of comedy or laughed in your life, The League will get you to laugh and show you what you’ve been missing out on. Also, go to a doctor, person who has never laughed; what’s wrong with you?
Orange is the New Black (Season 4) – June 17
If you thought Orange is the New Black couldn’t last past its first season – what with the entire premise based around one woman going to prison for a short period of time – you’d be very wrong. Now in its fourth season, Orange has emerged from its first season hype, built up two additional seasons worth of awards accolades and even more hype, and has turned into a critically loved ensemble show about the diverse and endlessly interesting people in a women’s prison. And it’s better than ever.
With each episode profiling a new facet of the life of a Litchfield inmate, Orange is the New Black has evolved from a traditional drama into one of the most compelling shows of any genre, in any medium. Never afraid to weave between laugh out loud comedy or heartbreaking drama, Orange defies traditional television standards and has truly become the gold standard for what a streaming series should be. As it enters its fourth season OITNB seems as fresh as ever, with a seemingly endless supply of stories under the hood and a huge cast of characters that will keep you binging one episode after the next until there’s nothing left.
Spotlight (2015) – June 22
In 2015 director Tom McCarthy released a film that shined a light on an ancient institution that had been overlooked for far too long. That institution was the shoe cobbling business and the film was The Cobbler, starring Adam Sandler. That film was widely panned and quickly forgotten, which is lucky for Tom McCarthy because a few months later he released another film that shined a light on an ancient institution that had been overlooked for far too long; and this time the institution was the Catholic Church, the film was Spotlight, and – unlike The Cobbler – it went on to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.
This Very Important Film isn’t just a well-acted look at the horrific and unbelievable cover-ups regarding the Catholic Church as discovered by journalists at Boston Globe; it’s also a spectacularly directed film that is as riveting as it is equal parts inspiring and horrifying. Spotlight is old-fashioned storytelling at its finest as it takes a well told story and throws it together with some of the best acting of the past decade. The entire film from start to finish is a must-see, as it conveys everything it needs to in the most simple and stripped down sense, not hiding behind any flashy techniques or filmmaking tricks; it’s a movie that gets out of the way so that you can sit there and watch it, allowing itself to wash over you and affect you in the most subtle ways imaginable.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) – June 22
After Sin City rocked the world in 2005 and gave audiences a new kind of comic book film, directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller took their time before delivering a sequel. Finally, nearly a decade later, that sequel came in the form of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and despite the unwieldy title it’s a movie that any fan of the original will come to love. With most of the original cast returning and an even larger ensemble cast that’s new to the series, A Dame to Kill For is still a low-budget movie at its core, but it delivers a big-budget action-heavy punch and has more than enough entertainment value to be worthwhile.
Perfect for those stormy summer nights when you just want to unwind and watch something fun, A Dame to Kill For is separated into small and easy to digest chapters that are based on the second book in the Sin City series by Frank Miller. Still rocking a very cool visual style, gore, and nudity, the indie sensibilities of Sin City are on full display here; they’re just amped up by 10 years of expectation and new technologies. But expectation or not – in fact, regardless of whether you’ve seen the first film or not – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is nothing if not a fun time.
Life (2015) – June 29
End June on an intellectual note by streaming Life, a biographical drama about the friendship between legendary actor James Dean and Life Magazine photographer Dennis Stock. Life is the kind of slow moving character piece that you have to really be in the mood for before you turn it on, but watch it and you’ll be rewarded with a well-acted and well-written film that delivers on its simple promise to show you a slice of life of a legend and the guy behind the scenes that you’ve probably never heard of.
Starring the always compelling Dane DeHaan as Dean and the surprisingly fantastic Robert Pattinson as Stock, Life is another film to watch for the performances and stay when you realize that an hour has passed, nothing has happened, but you’re still weirdly invested in what comes next. A low-key movie in every sense, Life may be the perfect Netflix movie thanks to Netflix’s ability to stop a movie at any point and resume it whenever and wherever you’re in the mood to finish. It’s the type of movie that slows down an already slow summer afternoon, but by the time it’s over you’ll feel more human and perhaps a little inspired to make something of your life.
But then you’ll realize that two days from now is July, and that means Netflix will be shoving more content in front of your face. So you push making something of your life to some other time down the road, and you come back here to see what’s new for July. Up next: BoJack Horseman: Season 3 and more. Until then, Happy Binging!
Which new release are you most excited about? Is there anything you’re dying to see Netflix add? Let us know in the comments!
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