Here’s the bad news of April 2020: most everyone is locked down in a protective quarantine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So unless you’re roaming the streets to loot supplies of toilet paper, or worse, are headed to Florida for spring break, your entertainment options are limited. Which only makes the fact that Netflix has more great movies coming than ever all the more appropriate in these trying times.
Looking at the April 2020 lineup, it’s clear that either by design or coincidence, the new movies coming online are part of one of the most ambitious lineups of Netflix titles in quite a while. So since we have all this extra time to spare, let’s run down the best and brightest titles heading to a streaming queue near you this April!
Okay, so a huge disaster movie like Deep Impact might not be the most obvious option for quarantine entertainment. But if people are going to be prone to watching Contagion and Outbreak at a time like this, then surely there’s room for a movie about the more personal side of an asteroid crisis. Also, if you are watching Outbreak, consider this the other half of your “Morgan Freeman in a time of crisis” double feature.
There’s still no word about whether or not Fox’s Free Guy, or any other movie for that matter, will still be making its big debut in theaters this July. So just in case there’s an off chance that Ryan Reynolds’ latest movie gets delayed, you can always revisit one of his best films with Just Friends. Yeah, it’s a Christmas themed movie, but that doesn’t stop the jokes from still being funny in any season.
The Lethal Weapon Franchise
What’s better than watching one Lethal Weapon movie during your quarantine? Apparently being able to watch every film from the Richard Donner-directed franchise. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s legendary run of buddy cop films are all presented as a complete unit on Netflix, which may or may not prompt the public to hope even harder that Lethal Weapon 5 gets under way as soon as safely possible.
In 2002, Steven Spielberg hit a double play out of the park that’s still well regarded to this very day. In that summer, he made Minority Report a blockbuster name, with Tom Cruise trying to solve a crime he hasn’t committed yet. That fall, Catch Me If You Can teamed Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio for an adventure of high crimes and emotional lows. While the latter film recently left the library, that former film is now available to take the edge off of your social distancing habits.
Road To Perdition
Okay, that was a foul trick mentioning Catch Me If You Can when it’s no longer available on Netflix. But allow me to make up for that absence with the fact that a very underrated Tom Hanks movie is coming very soon: director Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition. Providing one of Hanks’ best performances, it’s a bittersweet story of family bonding between a mafia hitman and his son during a most dangerous time in their lives.
Some sequels feel like they’re always on the edge of starting and being cancelled, and Sherlock Holmes 3 is one of the most prevalent examples of such a state. We can’t blame fans for wanting that film to happen, as director Guy Ritchie’s original Sherlock Holmes adventure was so damned good, one sequel didn’t feel like enough. If you agree, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law will be there to help us all deal with this endless delay real soon.
Netflix is in the Martin Scorsese business, as evidenced by its work with the director on his awards season darling The Irishman. The streaming giant has also been known to have quite a few of the iconic director’s films on its service, and Taxi Driver is one of those titles that’s been here before, only to come back again. Now you can watch one of Robert De Niro’s most memorable film performances and compare it to the film most feel should have nailed him another Academy Award nomination.
The Death Of Stalin
If the world was progressing as previously scheduled, we’d be seeing director Armando Iannucci’s latest film, The Personal History of David Copperfield, opening in domestic theaters this May. While that release is now put on hold, fans of Iannucci’s flavor of witty humor will still have cause to celebrate, as The Death of Stalin unleashes an all-star cast of comedic talent in this adaptation of the darkly comic graphic novel of the same name. Fans of Veep and Avenue 5, rejoice!
The Matrix Trilogy
How’s this for a glitch in The Matrix? Not too long ago, the entire trilogy of The Wachowski’s sci-fi masterwork was removed from the Netflix library. So just as The Matrix 4 is ready to send fans back to the world of Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus’s struggle to save humanity, all three of their classic exploits will be returning to the queue, and not a moment too soon. Whoa!
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a powerful story of getting to know oneself through the power of friendship and dealing with trauma. It’s also a good opportunity to set up a joke about how one of the actual perks of being a wallflower is that social distancing is something you’re already really good at. Now that the joke is out of the way, prepare to feel wrapped in a warm blanket of adolescence with this beautiful portrait of those vulnerable days known as high school.
The Social Network
Almost a full decade ago, director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin chronicled the origins of Facebook in The Social Network. After all these years that have passed, the relevance of this particular movie has not dimmed one iota. The performances still shine, the dialogue still sparks and the desired effect always hits as intended. Only a decade stands between this movie and its classic status, but you won’t have to wait that long to watch it again on Netflix.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Director Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western classic, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, has been a certified classic for about 34 years. Which means there’s plenty of you folks out there that have discussed the film with your friends, but may not have actually experienced Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name for yourselves. What better time to finally sit down and watch this three-hour epic than a time of quarantined entertainment?
Fans of The Coen Bros may debate whether or not Hail, Caesar! is a good or bad entry in their overall canon. But in a time of urgent entertainment, it feels fitting that the matter can be discussed yet again, with the film’s entry into the streaming world of Netflix’s library. At the very least, can we all agree that Channing Tatum’s big musical number is a thing of beauty?
The key to any good movie marathon is variety, and there are lots of titles that have one key factor in common: they all have spoken dialogue. So should you want a little bit of a break from words in your ears, the beauty of past Best Picture winner The Artist is something you definitely need to have in your rotation. Also, if you’re a fan of black and white films, your eyes will thank you for the change of pace.
No matter what sort of marathon you want to run in your place of quarantine, you'll need an explosive finale. Obviously Quentin Tarantino is good for such a big bang, and while Inglorious Basterds and The Hateful Eight are already on Netflix, Django Unchained is heading back to the fold to serve this very need. Though as a note of suggestion, you should probably spread those Tarantino adventures out through the entire schedule of your quarantine adventures.
Still, no matter how you enjoy these films, or anything else in the Netflix library, we suggest that you stream responsibly and stay safe from the elements in the comfort of your own home. Who knows what next month will bring, and whether or not the suggestion of quarantining will still be in effect. Whatever happens, you can count on us to be back here this time next month, with a list of the best titles coming to the Netflix galaxy in May!
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.