As 2021 keeps rolling, March brings the year’s biggest films and television shows yet, from mega-monster clashes to superhero series and plenty of thrilling documentaries. This month’s slate is filled with theater-worthy productions, but the best thing is, you can stream them all from the comfort of your own home.
Here are all the best new watches hitting Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+ and Hulu in March:
* = Original Streaming Content
I Am Legend – March 1 (Netflix)
If you want to look on the bright side, at least the pandemic we’re currently living through hasn’t turned anyone into zombies. The same can’t be said for the one plaguing Will Smith in 2007’s I Am Legend. The post-apocalyptic zombie thriller stars Smith as the last man on Earth fending off waves of the undead as he searches to find a cure. A tremendous blend of genres, I Am Legend is packed with emotion, laughs and plenty of scares.
Training Day – March 1 (Netflix)
If Denzel Washington’s crime drama The Little Things didn’t do it for you back in January, you can always fall back on a classic like Training Day. The film earned Washington his second Oscar, as he plays Alonzo Harris, a rogue detective stuck showing a rookie cop the ropes. As Washington ventures over to the dark side, this movie will show things aren’t necessarily black and white when it comes to what’s right and wrong on the streets.
Raya and the Last Dragon – March 5 (Disney+)
Disney is back again with the Premiere Access on Disney+ for a new release, and this time it’s for Raya and the a Dragon. The latest from Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind hits like Moana and Frozen, Raya ditches the musical numbers for intense animated action. Kelly Marie Tran stars as the voice of Raya, a warrior in search of – you guessed it – the last dragon, in order to help restore her decimated realm to its former glory. Raya marks a major win for diversity and representation on screen, as the majority Asian-American voice cast is anchored by Tran, as well as stars like Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh and Benedict Wong, and the story and setting heavily draw influence and inspiration from Southeast Asia.
Boss Level* – March 5 (Hulu)
Everybody loves a good time-loop movie, and Hulu is back again with an action packed entry into the genre. Frank Grillo’s special forces agent Roy Pulver is stuck reliving the day of his murder, but each time he reawakens, he finds another piece of the puzzle and gets one step closer to figuring out who is responsible for his death – and most importantly – how he can prevent it. If this sounds too hardcore, then check out Hulu’s other time-loop hit Palm Springs instead.
The Rocky Franchise – March 6 (HBO Max)
Looking for a marathon? Maybe an afternoon binge with dad? Throw on the Rocky movies and make a day of it. All six of Sly Stallone’s heavyweight bouts are hitting HBO Max, from his early days in the ring to his decision to come out of retirement for one last fight. The franchise has its highs and lows, so feel free to skip a few and maybe check out the reboot in Creed instead.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League – March 18 (HBO Max)
For four years, die-hard fans loyal to director Zack Snyder campaigned for the release of the mythical “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League. Now, it has finally arrived. Coming in with a whopping four hour runtime, the superhero epic restores the true vision Snyder had for the film before a family tragedy caused the director to step away. The film ultimately became a major flop at the hands of stand-in director Joss Whedon, who was rumored to have drastically re-cut the finished product, so fans of Batman and Superman are eager for a bit of redemption.
Godzilla vs. Kong – March 31 (HBO Max)
Two of cinema’s most iconic beasts are squaring off in a legendary monster-on-monster clash. Do you really need any more of a reason to tune in? After building up the creatures in their own films, like Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, it’s time for the showdown, and there’s guaranteed to be carnage. This marks the latest of Warner Bros. and HBO’s simultaneous releases, so if your own TV isn’t epic enough, feel free to head to the theaters for this one.
Last Chance U: Basketball* – March 10 (Netflix)
Who said the rags to riches stories could only be told on the gridiron? After five seasons on the football field, the docuseries is trading in its cleats for sneakers as the new season heads to the basketball courts of East Los Angeles College. Packed with former D1 prospects, the Huskies look to secure a California state basketball title, all while the players try to prove they have what it takes to play at the next level. As always, there will be plenty of strong characters, emotional breakdowns and adversity along the way.
The One* – March 12 (Netflix)
We’ve all seen plenty of gimmick reality dating shows promising to find the perfect match, but this Netflix Original drama is taking things to the next level. In the near future, a technology has been developed capable of DNA matching people with their soulmate, but the implications that come along with the new tech are shockingly dark. From broken hearts to a murder investigation, The One takes what sounds like an intriguing Black Mirror episode and dives deep into the concept across eight episodes.
Waffles + Mochi* – March 16 (Netflix)
What do puppets, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and global cuisine have in common? Turns out, quite a bit! In the new Netflix educational cooking show Waffles + Mochi, the former First Lady teams up with two puppets known as Waffles and Mochi on a culinary adventure to introduce children to a brand new world of food. Renowned chefs, celebrities and more guests will join Obama and the puppets to whip up delicious meals and serve up knowledge, too.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier* – March 19 (Disney+)
When one Marvel show ends, another begins! WandaVision was certainly out there, but this looks to be closer to home for the MCU, promising the same gritty espionage and action that made the Captain America movies a hit. In the wake of Cap’s decision to hang up the shield, Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) must come together to pick up the mantle of Captain America, all while villains both new and familiar cause trouble. The series kicks off March 19 and new episodes will release every Friday through April 23.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers* – March 26 (Disney+)
Nearly 30 years after the Mighty Ducks first hit the ice, the team is back – only this time there’s a whole new generation of hockey players. Long gone are the days when the Ducks were at the bottom of the league. Now the team is an elitist powerhouse, which leads 12-year-old Evan (Brady Noon) to start his own team with the help of legendary Ducks coach Gordon Bombay. Emilio Estevez returns as the coach, as he tries to lead another crew of underdogs to a title.
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell* – March 1 (Netflix)
The Notorious B.I.G. has continued to make headlines in the over two decades since his tragic death, from his posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last November, and now with a new Netflix documentary. Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell examines the life of Christopher Wallace from the viewpoint of those who knew him best, featuring never-before-seen footage filmed by the rapper’s best friend, Damion “D-Roc” Butler, as well as new interviews with close friends and family. Even the greatest Biggie Smalls fans will walk away from this documentary having learned something new.
kid 90* – March 12 (Hulu)
Growing up, every kid wanted to live the life of the child stars they idolized on TV. But what was it really like being a teenage celebrity in the 1990s? Soleil Moon Frye, star of the NBC sitcom Punky Brewster, is about to let everyone know. Back in the ‘90s Frye carried a video camera everywhere she went, documenting her and her friends’ everyday activities. Now, 30 years later, Frye and a host of other stars are opening the vault and looking back on the trials and tribulations of teen stardom.
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal – March 17 (Netflix)
In 2019, news broke about a group of wealthy celebrities bribing universities to accept their high-profile children, and thus the college admissions scandal was born. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before the dramatic saga was put on screen, and now the folks behind the bingeable trainwreck documentaries like Tiger King and Fyre are here to break it all down. Operation Varsity Blues explores the role of scandal’s mastermind, Rick Singer, through interviews and dramatic reenactments.
Tina* – March 27 (HBO Max)
Get ready for an intimate and revealing look at the life and career of music legend Tina Turner. From her early days to her improbable rise to fame, public downfall, and subsequent resurgence, Tina has been through everything, and this doc tackles it all. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin (Undefeated), Tina features a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos, and new interviews, including with the singer herself.
Judas and the Black Messiah – HBO Max
Judas and the Black Messiah hit HBO Max last month, and it has immediately become a top Oscars contender. Telling the infuriating and heartbreaking true story of the U.S. government’s efforts to take down the Black Panther Party and its leader Fred Hampton, this film feels incredibly timely after the political and civil unrest of the last four years. Stars Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You) have garnered high praise for their performances and are both expected to be contenders for acting nominations. Judas is another of Warner Bros. and HBO Max’s films that hit theaters and the streamer on the same day, so it doesn’t matter where you watch it, just watch it!
The New York Times Presents: “Framing Britney Spears” – Hulu
More than any of the show’s other stories, the latest episode centered around Britney Spears captivated the public’s attention. Known just as much for her head-shaving breakdowns as hit songs, what most casual fans don’t know about Spears is the details of her years-long legal battles against her father. Stuck in a court-sanctioned conservatorship, Spears has no control over the fortune she earned as a performer, but instead the decisions fall to her father. Through interviews with family friends, marketing professionals, and the lawyer fighting on Spears’ behalf, this documentary dives into all the intricacies of the legal battle.
Nomadland – Hulu
Nomadland is certainly an Oscar frontrunner, but don’t let its February release fool you – it’s not last-minute. Writer-director Chloé Zhao’s film premiered last September at the Venice Film Festival and took home the top prize, before also earning the highest award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Since then, it’s had limited theatrical and streaming releases, but at long last it finally revealed itself to the masses on Hulu last month. Set in 2011, Francis McDormand stars as Fern, a laid off factory worker suffering to survive the Great Recession. As a result, she packs up and travels the country living out of her van as a modern-day nomad, working odd jobs here and there to make ends meet – a struggle that hits close to home right now, as many across the country are unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic. McDormand is a strong contender to take home Best Actress at the Oscars, and Zhao is in the middle of the Best Director discussion, which would make her the first Asian woman ever nominated.
WandaVision* – Disney+
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier may be taking the Marvel TV reins this month with its premiere, but let’s not overlook the series finale of WandaVision on March 5. The first of Marvel’s new television series to hit Disney+ is unlike anything the superhero franchise has ever done before, turning back the clock and replicating decades of iconic television style, from the ‘50s and I Love Lucy all the way up to a Modern Family-themed episode. Along the way, the typical MCU look and feel is mixed in as characters from across the franchises come together to try and figure out what’s going on inside Wanda’s fictional reality, and the show has set up a truly epic finale.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, 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.