Let’s breathe a sigh of relief; we’ve all made it through the winter. The worst is past, the sun is coming, and spring is here. We no longer need to sit in front of our phones or tablets or laptops or curved TVs to pass the time, we can actually go outside and do things!
But here’s the thing: Netflix exists.
Yep, nature might be beautiful and sunshine may be tempting, but a new month means a ton of new content being dumped on Netflix for you to enjoy. And enjoy it you will! Stop pretending you’re going to go outside. You’re not. Not when April is bringing so many amazing new shows and movies to our eyeballs.
So sit back, close the curtains to block out that pesky sun, and find out the 10 New Netflix Additions You Should Watch This April.
10 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – April 1
Get your fill of seemingly endless and seemingly meaningless ape-filled cinematography this month by watching 2001: A Space Odyseey. Enjoy everything about it, knowing that you’re expanding your understanding of film history, as well as probably the world, since Kubrick’s masterpiece is essential viewing that will make you feel stupid for not “getting.”
Regardless of everything you may or may not know about the film it’s worth either a first watch or a re-watch if for no reason other than getting your required hours of “important cinema” in for the month. After all, life can’t be all fun and games. Sometimes you need revolutionary scenes of apes banging rocks to round things out a little.
9 Bob’s Burgers: Season 5 – April 1
If you want a quick history of primetime cartoons, here it is: The Simpsons was good, then it wasn’t. Family Guy came along to replace The Simpsons, but that got even worse than The Simpsons is now. Just in the nick of time to save animated comedy, Bob’s Burgers came riding in on its weirdly drawn horse and stellar voice cast to save us all.
Bob’s Burgers is currently holding the gauntlet for the best animated show on television, and its fifth season raises the bar even further. Filled with the same dysfunctional family dynamics as the best primetime comedies, Bob’s Burgers relishes in its own weirdness, often taking everything that its cast can give and spinning it into the strangest half-hour on TV. Sweet, dirty, sentimental, and cold, Bob’s Burgers is the rare show that can do it all.
8 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) – April 1
Don’t get your hopes too high, this isn’t 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder. Rather, this is 2005’s less-than-great adaptation of the famous Roald Dahl book as brought to you by director Tim Burton and (gasp!) Johhny Depp in some sort of wig.
Watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, if only to fully appreciate the original. While there are moments of inventiveness and classic Burton-esque whimsy on display here, this entire remake feels wrong on a few levels, most of all being Depp’s weirdly dark and twisted take on Willy Wonka. But still, this was definitely a movie that was made, and now it’s on Netflix, so there’s no reason not to see what you haven’t been missing.
7 The Princess Bride (1987) – April 1
If you’re one of the seemingly many people that has never seen The Princess Bride because the title has turned you off, you need to rectify that mistake immediately. The Princess Bride is not necessarily about princesses, or brides, and it isn’t some candy-coated Disney film that you need to be embarrassed about loving. No, The Princess Bride is a comedy classic, created specifically for you, despite what gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or movie preferences you may have.
It’s a perfect film filled with perfect performances. It’s a fairy-tale parody, without ever swaying too hard to one side of fairy-tale or parody. It’s downright perfection, and if you consider yourself a movie fan at all, you need to immediately familiarize yourself with one of cinema’s most important films.
6 The Ranch: Season 1 – April 1
Is Netflix trolling us, or are they really releasing a multi-camera sitcom starring Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson? With the first 10 episodes to be released on April 1st, we might expect this is one big April Fool’s Day joke, especially considering Netflix’s past commitment to breaking the traditional TV model and making risky and creatively rewarding content.
But then there’s the fact that 10 more episodes are coming in the first season, and those will be released on a date that isn’t April 1st. So that would be a pretty weird April Fool’s Day joke. Maybe it isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke. We don’t know. We’ll all have to watch – or not watch – to find out.
5 The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – April 1
How many times have you seen The Shawshank Redemption? Whatever. Doesn’t matter. Your answer is useless. It’s not enough. You need to watch The Shawshank Redemption again.
Nothing can prepare you for the amount of time that you’ll spend in your life getting sucked into The Shawshank Redemption. As soon as you hear the sweet sounds of Morgan Freeman’s voice going on about the first time he met Andy Dufresne, you’re stuck in front of that TV and you’re not getting anything done until Andy is redeemed from Shawshank. It’s a blessing and a curse. And you can now relive that curse every minute of your life thanks to Netflix.
4 Look Who’s Back (2015) – April 9
In 2015, a movie was released in Germany that made tons of money at the box office and was a huge critical success. Now, knowing what you know about Germany, if you guessed that movie was about Hitler you’d be correct. However, if you didn’t guess that the movie was about Hitler waking up in present day Berlin and trying to acclimate to modern times, then you didn’t guess the plot of the movie, because that’s exactly what Look Who’s Back is about.
Making its worldwide debut, Look Who’s Back is a deeply comedic satire about Hitler turning up in a multicultural German society and beginning a career on television; as a comedian. And if you can pass up watching this movie after that description, congratulations, you are very powerful. Meanwhile, the rest of us will be watching this with awe and fascination on April 9th.
3 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 2 – April 15
If you’ve seen the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt then there’s only one thing that you’re thinking of right now. It’s not all the amazing jokes that made the first season one of last year’s best comedies. It’s not the breathtakingly fresh characters or pitch-perfect tone that established Kimmy Schmidt as a future-TV classic. You’re not even thinking “oh boy, I’m going to quit my job just to binge Kimmy Schmidt and then when I’m done I’ll probably regret quitting and beg to be re-hired.” No, you’re not thinking any of that if you’ve seen Kimmy Schmidt.
The only thing you’re thinking of is this… “UN-BREAK-able!” Yep. That damn, catchy, amazing, stupid, annoying, catchy, idiotic, perfect, catchy, amazing, catchy theme song. They’re alive dammit, and we can’t wait to see what Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been up to since last year.
2 Minions (2015) – April 24
If you’re a human person with eyes and a brain then you’ve seen Minions take over the world since last year. They’re everywhere. You can’t get away from them, but you don’t exactly know why. As the aforementioned human person with eyes and a brain you understand that these Minions came from Despicable Me, but they really took off with the box-office shattering release of last year’s Minions.
So, maybe it’s time for you to see Minions? At least give it a shot now that it’s free on Netflix and no one can judge you. Maybe you’ll find it as delightfully charming as everyone else in the world seems to find it. You’ll never know until you try.
1 Special Correspondents (2016) – April 29
Written, directed, and co-starring Ricky Gervais, Special Correspondents is Netflix’s latest foray into original features. Also starring Eric Bana and Vera Farmiga, the film is about two radio journalists meant to be on assignment in Ecuador that avoid conflict by hiding out in a New York City apartment and filing their fake stories a block away from their radio station.
Special Correspondents looks to be a hilarious comedy that returns Gervais to the heights of the dramatically underrated The Invention of Lying, and Bana to his comedic height in Funny People. Both actors seem to lend charisma to two very slimy characters, and the mix of satire and international conspiracy should make for a compelling film that, as Netflix subscribers, we get to watch immediately and for free on April 29th.
Which new release are you most looking forward to? Sound off in the comments!