This April, the movies will officially be back (at least on Netflix). After several months of admittedly thin selections for filmmakers, the streaming giant is greatly expanding its movie library. It’s been a relatively quiet month on Netflix originals, but the company is more than making up for it by adding classics from the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, Mike Nichols and Oliver Stone.
No matter what you’re looking for this month—whether it’s undisputed historical classics, 2000s blockbusters, or festivals you somehow missed last year’s awards season—Netflix has it all. If you can somehow find the time to watch it occasionally in between “Succession” and “Yellowjacket” binges, there will be plenty of new options to stream.
Read on as seven of our favorite movies are coming to Netflix this month.
“Born on the Fourth of July” (streaming April 1)
Before Tom Cruise decided to exclusively perform death-defying stunts for our entertainment, he was a great dramatic actor. He defied type in Oliver Stone’s 1989 classic “Born on the Fourth of July,” playing a paralyzed Vietnam veteran turned ruthless human rights activist. It was probably the closest Cruise ever came to winning an Oscar — and in retrospect, he probably should have.
“Psycho” (streaming April 1)
There are two types of people in this world: those who love “psych” and those who haven’t seen it. Both groups have plenty of reasons to check out Hitchcock’s masterpiece when it hits Netflix this month. Impeccably crafted, the film changed the game for suspense thrillers and remains a wildly entertaining watch, even if some of its most iconic scenes have been spoiled.
“Smokey and the Bandit” (streaming April 1)
It’s been 45 years since Smokey and the Bandit hit theaters, but it still represents the absolute pinnacle of beer delivery cinema. Hal Needham’s film strikes the perfect alchemical balance between a completely nonsensical story and legitimately excellent car chase scenes, creating 1970s entertainment that feels dated in the best possible way. This movie inspired a generation of cool dudes to grow mustaches and complain that speed limits are “a load of horseshit.”
“The Bourne Identity” (streaming April 1)
Sometimes you get an itch that only a good spy thriller can scratch. When those times come, you could do a lot worse than the original “Bourne” movies. 2002’s “The Bourne Identity” introduced the world to Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, a man who wakes up on a ship with no memories and a series of assassins already on his trail. It’s a perfect setup for a blockbuster, and director Doug Limon does a great job with the premise. “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” are also coming to Netflix in April, so you can rewatch the entire trilogy.
“Charlie Wilson’s War” (streaming April 1)
Mike Nichols’ last film behind the camera is a witty historical thriller that proves he retained his directorial appeal to the end. Tom Hanks stars as the eponymous Charlie Wilson, a hardline congressman who is persuaded by a fiery CIA agent (Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his best performances) to launch a covert plan to support insurgents in Afghanistan. The film takes its share of liberties with historical accuracy, but Nichols’ brisk direction and Aaron Sorkin’s smart screenplay make sure you don’t care too much.
“Holy Spider” (streaming April 7)
Ali Abbasi’s Cannes hit is ostensibly about finding a serial killer who killed 16 sex workers in Iran. However, the film found a passionate audience by deviating from its initial premise and using the murders to explore the culture of misogyny that exists in the Middle Eastern nation. The end result is one of the most provocative films of 2022. A must see for any fan of global cinema.
“The Hateful Eight” (streaming April 25)
As the world waits with bated breath for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming 10th (and final) film, it’s a great time to revisit one of the most underrated films in his filmography. Similar to “Django Unchained,” “The Hateful Eight” is a western heavily influenced by the works of Sergio Corbucci. Similarly, the Italian director’s “The Great Silence” takes place during a brutal snowstorm. The low-key setting and brutally violent whodunnit story share a lot of DNA with Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, resulting in one of the writer’s most entertaining films.