The November Streaming Guide was originally written for CLTure.org
Halloween may be over, but the holidays are just getting started when it comes to what’s streaming. December is still a month away, but brace yourself – Netflix is already breaking out its slate of new holiday movies and shows, and they’re not the only ones.
If you’re not quite ready for Santa Claus or snowmen, that’s OK. November also means awards season is heating up with new releases hoping to earn nominations for next year’s Oscars, so a few prestige films are still on the way. Plus, plenty of classics are hitting streaming services, too, so there are sure to be more than enough options.
Here are all the best new watches hitting Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+ and Hulu in November.
* = Original streaming content
“A Clockwork Orange” – Nov. 1 (Netflix)
Stanley Kubrick is the mastermind behind some of the most appreciated films of all time, like “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Barry Lyndon” and “The Shining,” and “A Clockwork Orange” most definitely belongs on that legendary list. The 1971 classic earned four Oscar nominations and is a perennial member of any “Greatest Films” list, including the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time.
“Boyz n the Hood” – Nov. 1 (Netflix)
This coming of age story follows three Black men over three decades as they learn the hard truth: it’s dangerous to be a Black man in America. At just 24-years-old, director John Singleton crafted an entertaining and moving masterpiece that earned him Best Director and Best Screenplay nominations at the Oscars. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett and more, “Boyz n the Hood” as a real who’s who of modern superstars.
“The Blair Witch Project” – Nov. 1 (Hulu)
Spooky season is over, but if you’re still looking for some scares, check this one out. Before there were ever any “Paranormal Activity” movies, “The Blair Witch Project” kicked off the found footage craze. Three film students travel to a small town to film a documentary about a legendary local murderer known as the Blair Witch, but their project takes a terrifying turn once they find themselves lost in the woods. Shot in just eight days and on a $60,000 budget, the film made back over $248 million at the worldwide box office.
“Swingers” – Nov. 1 (HBO Max)
Vince Vaughn was a titan of comedy in the late 2010s, but this 1996 dramedy was his big break, and the same for co-star and writer Jon Favreau, who has gone on to revolutionize Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel properties. Favreau is a down on his luck comedian looking to recover from a tough breakup, and Vaughn enters as his charming new wingman. Together, the two get into all sorts of shenanigans across Los Angeles.
The Jason Bourne Trilogy – Nov. 1 (Hulu)
From the early to mid-2000s, there was no action star more badass than Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. Suffering from amnesia, the super spy travels the globe looking for answers about his past, while leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. From start to finish, the “Bourne” movies deliver pulse-pounding action sequences and thrilling international espionage, but also sympathetic and emotional characters, making this trilogy one of the most underrated of the 21st century.
“Ocean’s Eleven” – Nov. 1 (Netflix)
Speaking of Matt Damon and trilogies… This one may not be as complete across the board, but it’s certainly entertaining watching the biggest names in Hollywood come together. Damon is joined by George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and more in a swanky, stylish heist film that launched “Ocean’s 12” and “13” as well as the 2018 spinoff “Ocean’s 8.”
“The Fast and the Furious” – Nov. 1 (HBO Max)
After last month’s announcement that the Fast Franchise would finally come to an end after the series’ 11th film, why not go back to where it all began? Before cars had parachutes attached to them, before anyone was headed to outer space, the original “The Fast and the Furious” actually dealt with street racing and introduced the family of Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez. Not to be confused with 2009’s “Fast & Furious,” who would have thought this movie about stolen VCR players would launch one of the biggest franchises ever?
“A Christmas Carol” – Nov. 6 (Disney+)
It’s a story that’s been told over and over again ever since Charles Dickens first put pen to paper in 1843, but this version has the Disney spin on it. Starring Jim Carrey as the voice of Ebenezer Scrooge, this animated retelling follows the grumpy old man through a night of ghosts and visions as he undergoes a dramatic change of heart. It’s a timeless story and if you’re already looking to get in the Christmas spirit, you can’t go wrong here.
“The Nice Guys” – Nov. 9 (Hulu)
“The Nice Guys” is the best movie you’ve never seen. Starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as a pair of private eyes in 1970s Los Angeles, the buddy comedy follows the duo as they investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a pornstar. Gosling’s charming yet bumbling character plays opposite of Crowe’s stern, no nonsense detective, which creates a delightful pairing. Over the years, “The Nice Guys” has become a cult classic as fans have begged for a sequel. Check it out and you’ll find out why.
“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey”* – Nov. 13 (Netflix)
One of Netflix’s 11 Original films coming as a part of its 2020 holiday slate, “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” may be the most unique. It’s a magical, musical adventure starring Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker as a toymaker whose prized creation is stolen by his apprentice, played by Emmy-winner Keegan-Michael Key. The toymaker’s granddaughter, newcomer Madalen Mills, must then save the day. Featuring new original music from the likes of John Legend and Usher, this one will at least have some quality tunes, if nothing else.
“Run”* – Nov. 20 (Hulu)
Originally set to hit theaters back in May, “Run” is another straight-to-streaming victim of the coronavirus pandemic. Starring Sarah Paulson as an overprotective and controlling mother, the film follows her wheelchair-bound daughter, played by Kiera Allen, as she begins to discover that her mother’s intentions may not be as sincere as she once thought. Paulson has shown her ability to be terrifying time and time again on “American Horror Story,” and this looks to be another chilling outing by her.
“Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square”* – Nov. 22 (Netflix)
Netflix is here with another Christmas musical for those of you who just can’t wait until December. Taking a page out of the classic Scrooge storybook, “Christmas on the Square” tells the story of a bitter woman set on evicting the tenants from her land right before the holidays, until she’s visited by an angel – played by Dolly herself – who changes her mind. The film features 14 new original songs from Parton, so again, at least there’s that.
“Hillbilly Elegy”* – Nov. 24 (Netflix)
If you’ve never heard the term “Oscar bait,” look no further than “Hillbilly Elegy.” They’re films that seem to be created with the sole purpose of earning Oscar nominations – and wins – through a strategic combination of casting, release date and subject matter. Starring two multi-Oscar nominees who have never won in Amy Adams and Glenn Close, and tackling a deeply emotional story of family and the American dream, this movie definitely fits the bill. Throw in Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, and it’s clear this movie could have a good shot at winning over Academy voters.
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” Reunion* – TBD (HBO Max)
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air may have been born and raised in West Philadelphia, but now he’s spending most of his days on HBO Max. The streaming service has all six seasons of the classic show, and they’re even getting Will Smith and the cast back together for a reunion in honor of the show’s 30th anniversary this month. The special will be an unscripted look back at the series and its impact, and it’s due out around Thanksgiving.
“Eater’s Guide to the World”* – Nov. 11 (Hulu)
If you’re a foodie, there’s a high probability you know Eater – Vox’s food brand offering recipes, web series, documentaries and basically everything else a home cook could need. Well, now they’re entering the streaming game with a new food and travel series aiming to explore some of the world’s most legendary culinary destinations.
“American Horror Story: 1984” – Nov. 13 (Netflix)
Whether you’ve been with “American Horror Story” from the start or you’re coming to the series for the first time, there’s never a bad time to get started. As an anthology series, each season starts a brand new story, and this ninth installment throws it back to the campy, ‘80s horror-slasher vibes from classics like “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween.”
“The Crown” (Season 4)* – Nov. 15 (Netflix)
Season 4 of “The Crown” is almost here, and with it comes drama in the Royal Family like you’ve never seen. The new season will chronicle the history of Queen Elizabeth II and Co. from 1977 to 1990 and introduce Elizabeth Debicki’s take on the late Princess Diana, as well as young versions of Prince William and Harry. The first three seasons of the show have been critical darlings, so it’s safe to assume this new season will be, too.
“Survivor” (Seasons 20 and 28) – Nov. 15 (Netflix)
Over the last 20 years, “Survivor” has cranked out 40 seasons, but these two may be the very best they’ve ever done. Everyone knows the premise – a group of strangers split into two tribes on a deserted island for 39 days – but these two seasons added plenty of twists that prove why the show has been able to stay on the air for so long. Season 20’s Heroes vs. Villains theme brought back 10 beloved fan favorites and 10 despised villains to duke it out for the million dollars, while Season 28 featured entirely new players in the Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn theme. These are the first two seasons of “Survivor” to make their way to Netflix, but hopefully they lead to plenty more.
“His Dark Materials”* (Season 2 Premiere) – Nov. 16 (HBO Max)
If you’re looking for a heavy dose of fantasy this month, “His Dark Materials” has you covered. Based on Philip Pullman’s book trilogy of the same name, Season 2 of the HBO Original will chronicle the events of the second book, “The Subtle Knife,” across eight episodes. The show has some serious star power, featuring Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Andrew Scott and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Episodes will air weekly at 9 p.m. on Monday nights.
“The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special”* – Nov. 17 (Disney+)
In 1978, “Star Wars” made its biggest mistake ever: a holiday special based around the fictional celebration of “Life Day.” The spinoff was a disaster hated by even the most loyal fans. Now, 42 years later, Disney is hoping LEGO minifigures can set the story straight. This story takes place after the events of 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker” and will follow Rey as she travels through time and visits different major events from the “Star Wars” universe.
“We Are The Champions”* – Nov. 17 (Netflix)
Thank god sports are back, otherwise we may have found ourselves resorting to the strange competitions featured in this Netflix Original to find entertainment. Narrated by Rainn Wilson of “The Office” fame, this docu-series dives into the world’s strangest competitions – from cheese rolling to chili eating – celebrating the uniqueness of each one. Every episode explores a different challenge, and you’re guaranteed to learn something new each time.
“The Flight Attendant”* – Nov. 26 (HBO Max)
This HBO Max miniseries, based on the novel of the same name, stars Kaley Cuoco in her first big role post-“Big Bang Theory,” and things could not be more different. There are no lovable nerds here, instead it’s a drama-thriller in which Cuoco’s character, a flight attendant, wakes up after a drunken night to find a dead body in bed next to her. As she attempts to remember the events of the night, she has to face a damning question: Could she be the killer?
“I Am Greta”* – Nov. 13 (Hulu)
Last year, 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg’s inspiring movement earned her Time magazine’s Person of the Year. Now, you can learn even more about her international call for climate regulation in order to save the planet before it’s too late. From her early days protesting school on Fridays to her now famous speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, follow Greta every step of the way.
“Whose Streets?” – Nov. 16 (Netflix)
As people across America continue to reckon with police brutality and the systemic racism faced by Black people in this country, Whose Streets? can help teach a few lessons. The documentary examines the police shooting that killed Michael Brown and the subsequent days of protesting and rioting in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2017 and even earned a Critics Choice nomination for Best First Documentary.
“Shawn Mendes: In Wonder:* – Nov. 23 (Netflix)
Ahead of the release of singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes’s fourth album, “Wonder,” take a look back at his life and journey in this feature-length documentary. The film is the latest release in Netflix’s music documentary slate, which also features in-depth looks at Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and more.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”* – Netflix
With titles like “The West Wing,” “The Social Network,” “Moneyball” and “A Few Good Men” to his name, there’s no doubt Aaron Sorkin is one of the greatest film and TV writers ever. Now, he’s once again flexing his directorial skills with “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Chronicling the real-life events of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago riots, and the ensuing trials, the film takes courtroom drama to the next level with thrilling dialogue and storytelling. It’s no wonder “Chicago 7” is an early Best Picture contender for next year’s Oscars.
“The Mandalorian” (Season 2)* – Disney+
Season 2 of Disney’s hit live-action “Star Wars” series kicked off October 30, and now new episodes are coming every Friday. This season has promised to dive deeper into the unknown corners of the galaxy, adding both new and familiar faces, places and plot lines to the show – and yes, we’ll be learning more about Baby Yoda’s mysterious origins. The new season picks up right where the first left off, so make sure you’re all caught up on the Western-style adventures of Mando and The Child by binging Season 1.
“Schitt’s Creek” (Season 6) – Netflix
There’s a reason “Schitt’s Creek” swept the Emmys in September – it’s just that good. Now you can finally see why there was so much hype surrounding the comedy’s sixth and final season, in case you haven’t already splurged to buy the episodes on another streaming site. If you’re not getting the “Schitt’s Creek”craze, don’t worry, you can binge seasons one through five of the series on Netflix.
“Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm” – Amazon Prime
Technically this one is on Amazon Prime, but it’s impossible not to mention the long-awaited “Borat” sequel. Sacha Baron Cohen is back, but this time he can’t operate the same way he did back in 2006. Now that everyone recognizes the mustachioed prankster, he must go undercover to pull his tricks, and that can mean anything from a paper bag on his head to a Donald Trump costume. Shot during the midst of the coronavirus lockdowns, “Borat 2” dives into the pandemic, quarantining, and of course, the upcoming presidential election. Very nice!
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Charlotte, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.