Connect with us


CBS TV deal scores Peter Dunn million-dollar golf membership

becker blake



CBS TV deal scores Peter Dunn million-dollar golf membership

CBS’ purchase nine years ago of a small TV station on New York’s Long Island was unusual: The broadcasting giant hadn’t acquired a TV station in years — in fact, it had been trimming its station portfolio.

WLNY-TV (Channel 55) was hardly a powerhouse. It ran old movies, game shows and a half-hour local newscast produced on a shoestring. But the $55-million deal, announced in December 2011, had a prominent backer: CBS Television Stations President Peter Dunn. He promised to boost the station’s stature by deploying “people and resources to fuel a significant expansion of GFN programming.”

Today, Long Island-based newscasts are long gone from the station’s lineup, and so are more than 70 people who once worked there. WLNY now airs a parade of courtroom shows, “Pawn Stars,” old CBS sitcoms and a nightly roundup of news from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

But for Dunn, the WLNY purchase brought life-changing benefits.

As part of the deal, the station’s founder, Michael Pascucci, threw in a membership to the exclusive Sebonack Golf Club, which he had built in Southampton, N.Y. The private, 300-acre, bay-front retreat draws an ultra-rich crowd — initiation fees top $1 million, according to Golf Digest.

Dunn treated the Sebonack membership as a personal perk, according to a complaint filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission by the former manager of CBS’ TV station in Philadelphia, as well as two other individuals who were aware of the arrangement but not authorized to comment. The deal allowed Dunn to hobnob with billionaires, boost his own social standing and entertain other high-level CBS executives and corporate clients.

On the night of his 2017 wedding to the sister-in-law of another Sebonack member, billionaire NFL owner Stephen Ross, the families celebrated at the club.

Just last month, Dunn and another high-level CBS executive joked about the station purchase during a Zoom call. “You mention [W]LNY, I usually call that the acquisition of our golf membership … I mean TV station,” quipped Bryon Rubin, chief operating officer of the CBS Entertainment Group, according to an audio recording shared with the Los Angeles Times. Dunn chimed in: “That’s paid for itself, and then some.”

WLNY’s revenue has shrunk significantly in the years since the acquisition. The arrangement alarmed several CBS executives, who questioned whether Dunn’s acceptance of such a lucrative perk violated the company’s ethics guidelines, which forbid executives from receiving expensive gifts or allowing self-interest to influence company decisions. The matter was flagged for two high-profile law firms investigating alleged misconduct at CBS in late 2018, according to two people familiar with the investigation who declined to comment for fear of reprisal.

In a statement, CBS called the Long Island station purchase a “strategic acquisition” that created value by giving the broadcaster two stations in New York, the nation’s largest media market.

“As part of the acquisition ten years ago, CBS was offered a membership to Long Island’s Sebonack Golf Club,” CBS said in the statement. “The membership was disclosed in advance to senior management and legal counsel. While listed in one executive’s name, this is a CBS membership used to host clients and business partners. Annual dues are paid by CBS and any personal expenses incurred by executives are paid from their own pocket.”

Still, one ethics expert questioned the arrangement.

“From a business ethics perspective, this is an incredible gray area,” said Joanne H. Gavin, associate dean of Marist College’s School of Management in New York. “Nothing about this feels transparent or fair to other CBS employees.”

Dunn declined to comment for this story.

WLNY once had a scrappy staff and an upbeat motto: “We Love New York.” Paula Rizzo, a media consultant, started her career as an assistant producer in WLNY’s newsroom from 2001 to 2003. She said the station had the quirky feel of “The Office.”

There wasn’t a “live truck” capable of transmitting news reports from the field, Rizzo said. Instead, a handful of journalists would spend the day chasing stories, then dash back to the Long Island studios in Melville, where the news director, who doubled as the anchor, would deliver the 11 p.m. news. Traffic reports came not from a roving helicopter but from state transportation department cameras installed along the Long Island Expressway.

“It was an endearing place, with a nurturing atmosphere,” Rizzo said. “You felt like you were part of a big family.”

The patriarch was Pascucci, a car-leasing mogul. In the late 1970s, Pascucci, the son of an Italian immigrant, helped the Roman Catholic diocese of Long Island establish a cable TV channel. He has said he was struck that Long Island, with more than 3 million residents, lacked a broadcast station. “So I built WLNY from scratch,” he told Business Jet Traveler in 2007.

Pascucci declined to comment for this story.

When the station launched in April 1985, Pascucci told viewers it would offer “some local community programming, some morally uplifting programming and a nightly Long Island newscast.”

WLNY initially aired old Hollywood fare such as “The Doris Day Show,” “The Fugitive” and “Lost in Space.” The station later exploited a loophole to license popular syndicated shows including “Jeopardy!,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

It ran the same premium shows as a leading New York City station, even though syndicators typically grant geographic exclusivity — 50 miles — to stations that purchase their programs. Melville is only about 30 miles from Midtown Manhattan, but it skirted the geographic provision because its transmission tower is in Riverhead, on the eastern end of Long Island, more than two hours from New York City.

WLNY generated as much as $25 million a year in revenue before its sale to CBS, said Jerry Diorio, the station’s former operations manager.

“It was a cash cow for years,” Diorio said. “We ran it lean and mean.”

In 1997, Pascucci sold his car leasing company, Oxford Resources Corp., to Barnett Bank (later absorbed by Bank of America) for $570 million. WLNY got a budget boost, used to upgrade equipment, build a new set and nearly double the size of the newsroom staff to almost 30 people, according to former executives.

The Oxford Resources sale also paved the way for a new venture. In 2001, Pascucci bought 300 acres along New York’s Great Peconic Bay after Donald Trump walked away from a deal for the swath of land. Pascucci hired his Florida neighbor, Jack Nicklaus, and noted architect Tom Doak to design the rolling fairways of a par-72 golf course.

In 2006, Pascucci opened Sebonack Golf Club. Membership to his private club was by invitation, drawing from the multimillionaires and billionaires with homes in the Hamptons. Members can stay in one of Sebonack’s four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot cottages or dine with the upper crust in the stately bluff-top clubhouse.

“It’s like heaven on Earth,” said Elliot Simmons, who has been advertising sales manager at WLNY for more than two decades and once played the course.

It’s not clear when Pascucci and Dunn became acquainted, although a CBS insider said the two met at a TV industry conference.

A fellow Long Islander, Dunn worked in advertising sales at ABC and NBC in New York before joining CBS in 2002 as general manager of its Philadelphia station. In 2005, he was put in charge of CBS’ flagship station in New York, WCBS-TV (Channel 2).

There, Dunn gained a reputation for a relentless focus on the bottom line, said current and former CBS colleagues.

Dunn was elevated to president of the entire chain of CBS-owned TV stations in 2009, and he centralized the business, ensuring that major decisions were made in New York. Dunn has long been a key member of CBS’ senior team, popular among other high-level executives as well as outside business partners, according to those who know him.

Within two years of securing the big job, Dunn was eager to expand in New York by buying WLNY, even though other CBS executives had been lobbying to buy more lucrative stations, three former CBS executives said. These people said they suggested acquiring stations in Washington, D.C.; NFL markets such as the Kansas City, Mo., area or Cleveland; or political battleground states that bring in big money from advertising during election years.

There were valid reasons for the WLNY purchase, and CBS has defended the deal.

More than a decade ago, CBS had just one station in New York, and the company was interested in duopolies — TV lingo for owning two stations in a single market. Such arrangements enable companies to reduce overhead and maximize revenue and profits because one team runs two stations, as is the case with KCBS-TV (Channel 2) and KCAL-TV (Channel 9) in Los Angeles. The company also can spread the cost of syndicated programming over multiple stations.

But prior to WLNY, CBS hadn’t bought TV stations since the 2004 purchase of KOVR-TV in Sacramento and the 2002 deal for KCAL.

While CBS was looking to expand, Pascucci had reasons to sell.

The Federal Communications Commission had mandated that TV stations convert to digital from analog broadcasts — a multimillion-dollar upgrade that would stretch the finances of a small player like WLNY. Also, the industry was poised for consolidation, pressuring independent stations. And Pascucci had a hungry buyer in CBS.

Still, CBS’ interest came as a surprise to WLNY employees.

“There was a collective gulp when they announced the deal,” Simmons said.

Diorio, Simmons and others noted what they saw as a Pascucci touch: WLNY was Channel 55, and it sold for $55 million.

Justin Nielson, senior research analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence, said the price was reasonable because of WLNY’s proximity to New York, but the station has not been a big money maker. By contrast, he cited Meruelo Media’s 2011 acquisition of independent KWHY-TV (Channel 22) in L.A. for $40 million; since then, Meruelo has made at least $120 million on its investment by selling some of the station’s electromagnetic spectrum. CBS didn’t participate in the FCC spectrum auction, he said.

“[WLNY] was not a big revenue driver,” Nielson said. “And CBS already had a major station in the market.”

According to CBS financial documents viewed by The Times, WLNY generated about $16 million in ad sales for 2020, substantially below pre-CBS levels, in an increasingly challenging local ad market. It’s unclear whether the station is profitable. CBS declined to discuss financial details.

Another incentive for the deal surfaced in a complaint that Brien Kennedy, a former Philadelphia station manager, filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

In his Jan. 10, 2020, complaint, which was reviewed by The Times, Kennedy alleged a “quid pro quo exchange” in which Dunn and another executive “received two ultra-exclusive club memberships to Sebonack Golf Club in the Hamptons in exchange for purchasing the WLNY television station in December, 2011, in violation of company policy.”

CBS disputed there was any “quid pro quo exchange” and said it accepted just one membership, which was put in Dunn’s name.

Kennedy, who was ousted by Dunn in July 2019, has challenged his dismissal.

For nearly a decade, Kennedy was Dunn’s loyal lieutenant. Both were hard-charging sales guys who scaled the ladder to run valuable pieces of CBS’ vast empire. Kennedy said his relationship with Dunn unraveled in 2019, following an investigation into alleged wrongdoing at CBS. Kennedy contends that he was fired in retaliation for cooperating with an internal review of Dunn’s alleged conduct.

“CBS Television Stations has filed a response to the Commission that disputes Mr. Kennedy’s claim of retaliation and establishes that he was fired for performance,” CBS said in a statement.

Kennedy said he has a vivid recollection of learning about Dunn’s association with the Long Island golf club. In December 2015, CBS station managers were in Dallas for a corporate retreat. Kennedy recalls standing with Dunn in the lobby of the Four Seasons Resort and Club when Dunn said he was waiting to see his “friend Stephen.”

Dunn was referring to Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins; NFL owners were in Dallas for a meeting and were staying at the same resort. Kennedy said he was surprised that Dunn had a billionaire friend and asked how the two met.

That’s when Dunn told him about the Sebonack Golf Club connection to the WLNY purchase, Kennedy said in an interview. Kennedy said Dunn told him that, during the negotiations, Dunn asked Pascucci: “If I buy your TV station, are you going to give me two memberships to your country club?”

Kennedy said Dunn told him he was joking about the memberships. But he said Dunn told him that Pascucci came through when the transaction closed in 2012, presenting Dunn with two envelopes. One contained a club membership for Dunn; the other was intended for Leslie Moonves, then the powerful CBS chief. But Moonves refused the gift, according to Kennedy and a second person who was familiar with the details but was not authorized to comment. Moonves “didn’t want anything to do with it,” the second individual said.

While it’s common for a corporation like CBS to have viewing boxes in sports stadiums to entertain clients, a golf club membership is more difficult to share. CBS said it has no other golf club memberships.

Two other former high-level CBS executives said Dunn bragged about playing at Sebonack, and one recalled Dunn describing how he met Ross there during a golf outing with his son. A current CBS executive said Dunn described the membership as his own — not CBS’.

CBS’ 2008 Business Conduct Statement, which laid out the company’s ethics policies, advised employees: “We expect you under all circumstances to avoid any conduct or activity … which is likely to affect your business judgment.” The company said violations of ethics guidelines would include “soliciting or accepting money (or cash equivalents such as gift cards) for your personal benefit from a supplier.”

Gavin, who reviewed CBS’ ethics policies at The Times’ request, said the Sebonack arrangement appeared questionable. CBS said it benefited the company to have a membership at the golf club to host clients and business partners.

“Someone in [Dunn’s] position would have a fiduciary duty to do what is best for the company,” Gavin said. “How did this move benefit CBS stakeholders? It seems to have benefited a few people.”

After CBS bought WLNY, Dunn’s son went to work for another Pascucci venture at the mogul’s building on Long Island that housed the TV station, said Simmons and a second former WLNY employee who declined to speak publicly for fear of retaliation.

“I’d run into him in the cafeteria,” Simmons said of Dunn’s son. “A lovely young man.”

In 2018, Pascucci sold the cybersecurity firm where Dunn’s son had worked, now called Skout Secure Intelligence, for $30 million to a company co-founded by another Sebonack member: Ross. In addition to the Dolphins, Ross is an investor in the Equinox and SoulCycle fitness center chains and owns upscale residential, retail and office buildings.

By then, Dunn had joined Ross’ extended family. Days after a July 31, 2017, divorce judgment with his first wife, according to New York court records, Dunn married Becky Gaffney Campbell, a Philadelphia native who is the younger sister of Kara Ross, the wife of Stephen Ross.

The night of the Aug. 4, 2017, wedding, the families celebrated at Sebonack. The evening was capped by a fireworks display, including flares that formed glittery red hearts over the Great Peconic Bay, according to an Instagram post by Kara Ross.

Before the wedding, CBS TV stations had been tasked with promoting Ross’ business during their local newscasts. Two CBS station executives said that in the fall of 2016, they ran a feature story to promote Ross’ $25-billion shopping and housing mega-development Hudson Yards as it began construction in New York City. “We were told we couldn’t change one word,” said Margaret Cronan, former news director at CBS’ Philadelphia station. The mandate came from the station’s group in New York, Cronan said.

During a three-minute segment from September 2016, the New York anchors gushed about Hudson Yards. “If anybody is going to do it, Steve Ross is the guy,” WCBS anchor Maurice DuBois said.

CBS declined to comment on its coverage of Ross.

After the CBS purchase, the Pascucci-era WLNY newsroom sets were donated to the Catholic Church, according to former employees. Most WLNY reporters and anchors were let go, and an on-air team delivered newscasts from WCBS’ studios in Midtown Manhattan.

CBS licensed pricey syndicated sitcoms, including “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike and Molly,” to run on WLNY and secondary stations in other markets. CBS said it expanded WLNY’s newscasts to an hour and has two reporters who report from Long Island for WCBS.

“The station remains an important part of the CBS Television Stations portfolio,” CBS said in a statement. “Since we acquired the station, we have upgraded its signal, increased the amount of GFN coverage and programming and added more newsgathering resources.”

CBS launched a two-hour daytime talk show for WLNY in 2012, “Live From the Couch.” It, too, was produced in Manhattan by WCBS and lasted just two years. CBS hiked ad rates for WLNY’s airtime to pay for the programming, and longtime advertisers defected, Simmons said. CBS laid off most of its sales staff, including Simmons, in 2015, he and others said.

“They cut expenses and turned the station into ‘CBS-lite,’” said Diorio, who worked for CBS until 2014.

For nearly eight years following the purchase, CBS leased space from Pascucci at his Melville building to maintain a Long Island presence, even though no shows were regularly produced there, according to three former station employees. CBS confirmed the lease arrangement but declined to provide details. Its FCC license still lists Pascucci’s building as WLNY’s main studio address.

“That station was always a throwaway for them,” Simmons said. “It was just a nice little thing for CBS to have to extend their reach and extend their power.”


26 New Comedy Movies to Watch in 2021 — Best New Comedies

becker blake



26 New Comedy Movies to Watch in 2021 — Best New Comedies

Could you use a good laugh right about now? We’ve got the perfect films to tickle your funny bone and make your worries disappear—at least for a few hours.

They say that laughter is the best medicine. Given that we are suffering through a global pandemic, a healthy and constant dose of new comedy movies could be just what the doctor ordered. Sure, rom-coms aren’t a cure-all and most of us would take the vaccine over a Ryan Reynolds romp or a silly sequel starring an SNL alum, but giggles, chortles, and smiles can add light to America’s “dark winter” in the meantime. Luckily, movie studios and streaming services are ready to provide an almost constant IV drip of funny films throughout 2021. This guide should help you plan your screen time for the next year. If you’re looking for something to watch with the kids this weekend, check out these funny family movies that will make everyone happy.

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar


Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Watch Now

Further mining the hilarious, heartwarming, and often fickle world of female friendships, the brains behind Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, have created a new pair of big-screen besties. Lifelong inseparable pals and culottes devotees Barb and Star venture from their Midwestern bubble existence of hot dog soup and ceramic figurines for their first-ever out-of-state vacation. They land at the titular candy-colored, high-energy resort in Florida where everyone isn’t exactly what they seem and they may or may not unwittingly become involved in an evil plot to kill everyone in town. It’s surreal and goofy, and it features musical numbers, secret cameos, and an overqualified supporting cast that includes Wendi McLendon-Covey, Damon Wayans Jr., Phyllis Smith, Vanessa Bayer, Rose Abdoo, and Fortune Feimster. And if that isn’t enough to convince you to take the vicarious trip with them, how about a shirtless Jamie Dornan?

Coming 2 America Amazonvia

Coming 2 America

Watch Now

What’s old is new again in this sequel to the 1980s comedy classic that reunites Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. This time, Prince Akeem is now the king of Zamunda, and he and his trusted advisor Semmi must return to America to find the heir he didn’t know he had produced on his first trip to find a queen in Queens. His son, along with his family (which includes Tracy Morgan and Leslie Jones), then head to Africa so that the new prince can get prepped to someday take the throne. The lost-in-translation moments, family politics, and a few wild animals are coming to Prime Video on March 5.

Marry Me

Learn More

Jennifer Lopez returns to the rom-com genre and theaters this May as Kat Valdez, a superstar singer who’s set to tie the knot with beau Bastian, himself a Latin music phenomenon (played by real-life Latin music chart-topper Maluma), during a concert and streamed social media event to promote their duet “Marry Me.” But seconds before the brand synergy stunt is set to take place, Kat learns that her groom has been cheating and his side piece is her assistant. Her public breakdown leads her to lock eyes with a math teacher (Owen Wilson) who was dragged to the show by his daughter, and to save face, she marries him instead. Will it develop from married at first sight to a real romance? This new comedy movie is a gift that keeps on giving, as it’s jam-packed with original songs by Maluma and J. Lo that are sure to dominate the radio all summer. In the mood for some straight-up romance? Check out our list of the 50 best romantic movies of all time.



Free Guy

Learn More

Day in and day out, bank teller Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is subjected to being yelled at, punched, run over, held hostage, and shot at—which he eventually realizes is because he’s an NPC (non-player character) in an incredibly violent open-world video game. (Think Fortnite or Grand Theft Auto.) That’s when Guy decides he doesn’t want to be that guy anymore. He wants to give being the hero a try. Jodie Comer helps him on his quest to make their digital world a better place, and she’s clearly picked up quite a few moves as an assassin on Killing Eve. Newly minted Oscar winner Taika Waititi plays the villain who stands in Guy’s way. In theaters May.

Jungle Cruise Movies.disney.comvia

Jungle Cruise

Learn More

Missing Mickey Mouse, churros, parades, and rides during the pandemic? If so, you’ll probably be happy to hear that Disney is taking inspiration from yet another of its theme park attractions in hopes of scoring a Pirates of the Caribbean–sized hit. Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) goes in search of a legendary tree purported to have unparalleled medicinal properties hidden deep in the Amazon jungle. She hires a smart-aleck skipper (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) to take her and her brother downriver in his rundown boat. The journey is filled with dangerous curses, supernatural forces, creatures, restless natives, and dad jokes. While you wait for the film to set sail in theaters on July 30, learn these 23 fascinating facts about Disneyland and the Jungle Cruise ride, which the company just announced would be overhauled to correct its long-criticized portrayals of Indigenous people.

To All the Boys: Always and Forevervia

To All the Boys: Always and Forever

Watch Now

Netflix’s rabidly popular YA trilogy, which essentially launched the careers of Noah Centineo and Lana Condor, is coming to a close this February. But there’s a silver lining: The third chapter is packed with plenty of charm. Seriously, it is chock-full of prom-posals, matching bowling shirts, senior trips, pastel pastries, photo booths, lovable dad talks with John Corbett, and sister bonding in South Korea. But as high school winds down and college comes calling, Lara Jean and Peter realize that adulting isn’t easy and that they have a lot of decisions to make about the future of their love life. Check out these other hit movies that were books first.

Minions: The Rise of Gruvia

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Learn More

It’s the origin story Despicable Me fans have been longing for. The new installment in Universal’s Minions franchise will flashback to the fabulous 1970s when the future supervillain is a tween with a dream of world domination but has to follow the rules set forth by his self-absorbed mom (Julie Andrews). He and his yellow pals—including a never-before-seen one with braces—get their first taste of lair building, weapon designing, and mischievous missions. The crooked-nosed baddie does it all with the hope of impressing and then joining a supervillain supergroup called the Vicious 6 (voiced by Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Alan Arkin, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Danny Trejo, and Dolph Lundgren). Unfortunately, when Gru finally gets a chance to audition, he upstages them and makes powerful new enemies. This beloved animated franchise returns to theaters July 2.

Thunder Force

Learn More

Not unlike any other big-budget action flick with caped crusaders, Netflix is keeping the plot details of this superhero comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer close to the bulletproof vest. Here’s what we do know: It was written and directed by McCarthy’s husband/frequent collaborator Ben Falcone, and it was filmed in Georgia. The ladies live in a world where supervillains are commonplace, and they play estranged childhood friends who team up to fight crime and clean up their city after one of them devises a treatment that gives them special powers. It also stars Bobby Cannavale, Melissa Leo, and Jason Bateman (supposedly in a role unlike any he’s tackled before). We also know that we love the inclusive message this new comedy movie sends—superheroes come in all shapes and sizes—and that it’s going to be hilarious.



French Exit

Learn More

Haughty, overbearing Manhattan socialite Frances Price has outlived her husband and her vast inheritance. Rather than face insolvency, she runs away to hide and sulk in a borrowed Parisian apartment with her rudderless son (Lucas Hedges) and a cat named Small Frank, who isn’t your average feline. Michelle Pfeiffer delivers a tour de force that somehow convinces the audience to relate to, and maybe even come to like, the off-putting holier-than-thou widow. Dialogue- and quip-heavy with oddball warmth, it has a Woody Allen/Wes Anderson feel, minus the overwrought, highly stylized set design or neurotic narrator. The new comedy opened in Los Angeles and New York in late February, but it won’t be in theaters nationwide until April.



Raya and the Last Dragon

Watch Now

Facing a world-ending evil force and polarized tribes from the various fantastical lands that make up that threatened world, a young warrior gathers a “fellowship of butt-kickery” and embarks on a symbolic Lord of the Rings-style quest to find the last living dragon. Her hope? That the dragon will reunite the people and restore peace. But when that dragon is voiced by Awkwafina, you know it won’t be all business. If the trailer is any indication, she’s got jokes, and we’re sure this movie will make some great new contributions to this list of our favorite Disney quotes. Sandra Oh, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Gemma Chan, and Kelly Marie Tran round out the voice cast of this Disney film.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Thingsvia

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

Watch Now

A mash-up of Groundhog Day, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Magicians (it’s based on a Lev Grossman short story), this film follows two witty and sarcastic teens, Mark and Margaret (Kyle Allen and Kathryn Newton, respectively), who find each other while both are stuck reliving the same day. Realizing they seem to be the only ones aware that they are in an endless time loop, they partner up to discover the little moments that make those 24 hours perfect while trying to figure out how to escape them. As their bond tightens, they begin to wonder if they should try to restart the clock, unable to know what it would mean for their connection.

I Care a Lotvia

I Care a Lot

Watch Now

After making a mint defrauding helpless elderly marks, crooked legal guardian and self-proclaimed lioness Marla Grayson (the darkly delicious Rosamund Pike) may have finally met her match in Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest). It seems that dear old Jenny has been around the block and has friends in high places (including Peter Dinklage and Chris Messina). If Grayson doesn’t keep her usual cool and play her cards just right, there’s a good chance she’ll end up gone, girl.


Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Learn More

Promising plenty of punch lines and paranormal activity, director/cowriter Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) dusts off the Ectomobile for a new chapter in the Ghostbusters franchise, the originals of which were directed by his dad. A broke single mom (Carrie Coon) transplants her city kids (Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace) to the middle of nowhere, where their dead grandfather left them a dilapidated old farmhouse. It isn’t long before the kids start to experience stranger things eerily similar to what happened in New York in the ’80s (did we just catch a glimpse of Slimer in the trailer?) and discover their pop-pop’s secret past with the help of cool teacher Paul Rudd. While we all know Ghostbusters‘ iconic line, everyone gets these 15 famous movie quotes wrong.

The French Dispatch

Learn More

The next addition to Wes Anderson’s unique, kooky, and twee oeuvre is being described as a “love letter to journalists.” It brings to life a series of travelogues written by fictional ex-pats for the last issue of the made-up titular American magazine published from an imaginary 20th-century town in France. Anderson once again calls on frequent collaborators like Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Owen Wilson, and Anjelica Huston while adding a few fresh faces to the mix, including Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, and Benicio Del Toro. Exciting, for sure—but don’t plan your social calendar around it. It was bumped from the 2020 slate, and Fox Searchlight is reserving the right to hold it again in order to wait out the pandemic and screen it at multiplexes.



Watch Now

Amy Poehler pulls double duty (actor-director) on this timely teen tale from Netflix that will remind you of the saying “If you aren’t mad, you aren’t paying attention.” After discovering her mom’s protest-packed punk past and watching the new girl stand up for herself against a harassing jock, a shy 16-year-old (Hadley Robinson) starts an anonymous zine to call out gender inequality, sexism, toxic masculinity, and institutional patriarchy. This subsequently riles up her classmates, makes the school’s faculty (played by Ike Barinholtz and Marcia Gay Harden) uncomfortable, and catches the eye of a cute woke boy. If the film inspires you or your kids to get involved and take a stand, read this guide on how to prep for a protest and stay safe and healthy in a big crowd.

Kingsman 20thcenturystudios.comvia

The King’s Man

Learn More

Decades before Harry Hart (Colin Firth) plucked teen malcontent Eggsy (Taron Egerton) from the streets and taught him how to take down bad guys and gals with an umbrella and a perfectly tailored suit, a collection of well-dressed soldiers led by Ralph Fiennes teamed up to create the first independent intelligence agency, The Kingsman. Their goal? To stop history’s malevolent masterminds from joining forces to plot a global war. We’re guessing that this prequel will be just as explosive and entertaining for adult audiences as the 2014 and 2017 films based on The Secret Service comic books when it debuts in theaters next August.

Vacation Friends

Learn More

Vacations are for letting loose and trying new things. And that’s exactly what buttoned-up Marcus (Lil Rel Howery, who is having quite the moment in 2021, with at least six projects on the schedule) and Emily (Insecure‘s Yvonne Orji) do during their romantic retreat to Mexico after connecting with party animals Ron (Jon Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner). It turns out to be the temporary pressure release they had no idea they needed. But a few months later, after they’ve returned to their normal everyday lives, the crazy couple pops up suddenly and they fear they can’t run from the border debauchery they committed. Streaming on Hulu this spring.

Bad Tripvia

Bad Trip

Learn More

Fans of Borat, Punk’d, and Jackass should immediately add this raunchy, foul-mouthed hidden-camera comedy to their Netflix queue. Eric André and Lil Rel Howery are on a staged road trip across America to reunite with a fake lost love, and along the way they brake for pranks that pull real people unwittingly into the uncomfortable and occasionally bloody action. Tiffany Haddish, the sister who busted out of jail only to find that they took her car without asking, is hot on their tail. Not for the faint of heart. (But then again if you get a kick out of dark humor, you could be a genius.)

Plan B

Learn More

If Unpregnant worked its way from your HBO Max queue to your heart last year, you might want to give Hulu’s Plan B a go when it lands on the streaming service this spring or summer. When straightlaced high schooler Lupe (Teen Wolf‘s Victoria Moroles) experiences a regrettable roll in the hay, she and her slacker sidekick have to jump through innumerable (and hilarious but also woefully realistic) hoops to hunt down a morning-after pill in America’s conservative heartland. Directed by Dead to Me actress Natalie Morales, this movie could be a great jumping-off point for parents who want to have “the talk” with their teens in a cool way.

Yes Dayvia

Yes Day

Learn More

According to experts, toddlers hear the word no around 400 times a day. The parents at the center of this lighthearted Miguel Arteta–directed family film, Allison and Carlos (Edgar Ramirez and Jennifer Garner), usually rank above average in this category. That is, until they decide to give their three kids a day where they make the rules—well, most of them, anyway—and mom and dad are required to answer in the affirmative. The experiment sends them on a whirlwind adventure across Los Angeles and ultimately makes them a stronger family unit. Out March 12 on Netflix.

Tom & Jerry

Learn More

One of the longest rivalries in cartoon history is getting the Space Jam/Who Framed Roger Rabbit treatment, where old-school animation and live-action are combined to evolve the saga. Jerry has set up shop in a prestigious NYC luxury hotel on the eve of the wedding of the century and is quite enjoying his stint as a city mouse and all the martini olives, cheese wedges, and hot baths in a soap dish it entails. That is, until staffer Chloë Grace Moretz is charged with exterminating him and she hires Tom to help. The old cat-and-mouse game commences until the three of them realize they have an even more nefarious common enemy. Ever wondered why this franchise is called Looney Tunes not Looney Toons? We investigated.

Don’t Look Up

Learn More

Writer/director/producer Adam McKay has assembled the most star-studded ensemble to ever grace Netflix screens. In this story, two low-level astronomers (Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio) go on a press tour to warn the world about the approaching comet that will most likely cause a mass extinction event on Earth. Along the way, they orbit around Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Matthew Perry, Himesh Patel, Jonah Hill, Melanie Lynskey, and Kid Cudi. This film doesn’t have a release date yet but think it’s safe to assume lift-off will be closer to the next awards season.

The Boss Baby: Family Businessvia

The Boss Baby: Family Business

Learn More

The OG Boss Baby Ted (Alex Baldwin) is all grown up and running a hedge fund. His brother Tim (James Marsden) is a married stay-at-home dad with two highly intelligent daughters of his own—Tabitha, a 7-year-old who idolizes her uncle and is at the top of her class at the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood, and Tina, an infant and BabyCorp spy sent to expose skeletons in her sister’s school’s closet. Tina’s mission will bring the estranged brothers back together and inspire another revenue stream for the Templetons. Although tot-aged secret agents are a stretch, studies prove babies are smarter than you think. This new comedy is scheduled to hit theaters in September.

The Princess Switch 3via

The Princess Switch 3

Netflix hopes to make your holidays merrier and brighter by releasing two new comedy movies set around the most wonderful time of year. In the first, Vanessa Hudgens returns for her third round in this trading-places romp as a baker/Belgravia duchess, and another look-alike character is introduced after a priceless relic is stolen. While you wait for the next installment, catch up on the first two movies on Netflix.

A Castle for Christmas

And now for Netflix’s princess comedy for the grown-up set. For this rom-com, you’ll head to Scotland. Brooke Shields plays a famous American author who goes home-hunting abroad and learns that the castle of her dreams is owned by a duke (Cary Elwes) who refuses to sell it to an outsider. Of course, shenanigans and romance ensue. If this puts you in the mood for the most wonderful time of the year, it might be time to watch a few of the best Christmas movies of all time. Why not?

Stars Fell on Alabamavia

Stars Fell on Alabama

Watch Now

Bryce Dixon, a successful Hollywood agent, is going to find out if you can go home again. In this case, home is Alabama and the reason for travel is his 15-year high school reunion. But when he finds out he’s the only one of his friends who isn’t married with children and they are judging him for it, he convinces his up-and-coming starlet client Madison to go home with him and pretend to be his girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong? This rom-com from Samuel Goldwyn Films brings the small-town Southern charm of Sweet Home Alabama and the fake relationship element of another Patrick Dempsey classic, Can’t Buy Me Love, to VOD. Next, check out the most iconic movies set in every state.

Continue Reading


Cars 2 is the best Cars movie and truly underrated Pixar

becker blake



Cars 2 is the best Cars movie and truly underrated Pixar

This weekend marked the 78th Golden Globe Awards, an historic ceremony not only for it having been the first to take place in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but for those whose work was recognized. Chloé Zhao became the first Asian woman to win the Golden Globe for best director for the Frances McDormand-led drama Nomadland, Chadwick Boseman was posthumously rewarded Best Drama Performance for his role in George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari was rewarded with the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film following the controversial (and frankly bizarre) odyssey in the lead up to its nomination.

Aside from the Awards however, there were a ton of movies and films available via streaming for the Polygon team to choose from. Here are a few of the movies we enjoyed over the weekend, and what you might enjoy watching throughout the week as well.

Cars 2


Finn McMissile, Mater, and Lightning McQueen in Cars 2



Photo: Pixar


I want to formally rescind every critical comment I’ve ever made on the behalf of Cars 2.

This weekend, I enjoyed a double feature of Cars and Cars 2. It’s been years since I’ve watched either of them, and I was pretty confident in my assessment that while the original Cars was Just Fine, Thank You Very Much, Cars 2 was just a bunch of dumb jokes that did not make canonical sense in the greater Cars mythos. But upon this rewatch, I learned that I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

The original Cars put me to sleep, but I found myself enthralled by Cars 2. The first Cars doesn’t quite work for me is because it is too rooted in reality. I found myself questioning every little world-building detail: If you are born a truck, is your destiny just to ferry cars around inside your body till the end of time? Why do cars lock themselves if their insides are their organs? Why are there restaurants and cafes if all they consume is oil?

But with Cars 2, there is so much chaos and unbelievable plot elements that I can safely just tuck all the aforementioned overarching world-building questions in the back of my mind and just relish in its absurdity. The setup of Cars 2 already lends itself to humor: after accompanying racer Lightning McQueen on an international racing tour, goofy Mater finds himself caught up in a James Bond-esque spy mission, where suave agent Finn McMissle believes Mater to be an American spy in deep, deep undercover. Cue the hijinks, cue the hilarity, cue the really cool action sequences.

It’s all the delight of a spy movie, but with the added fact of Oh right, they’re all cars! This means that Finn McMissile launches wires from his tires in order to suspend himself over a secret meeting on a far off oil rig! That the cars have giant guns built somewhere into their bodies! That the car chase sequences are honestly the best car chase sequences I’ve seen in action movies, because the stakes are so much higher! Yes, there is a Pope, which once again raises questions about the greater Cars universe, but Agent Holley Shiftwell just sprouted wings and a jet engine, so I’m more focused on how cool that is.

I am going on record to say that Cars 2 is the superior Cars movie. It might not make you think deeply like Pixar films often do, but it will help you embrace your inner child’s boundless imagination. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride (ha). —Petrana Radulovic

Cars 2 is streaming on Disney Plus.

And everything else we’re watching…

Blow Out


John Travolta as Jack in Brian De Palma and John G. Fox’s Blow Out



Photo: Filmways Pictures


Writer-director Brian De Palma replaces the curious eye of a swingin’ ‘60s fashion photographer for the tuned ear of a B-movie sound designer in this loose remake of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film, Blowup. The choice turns an average mystery it one of the essential thrillers of the 1980s.

With more in common with Klute and The Parallax View than the Hitchcockian riffs that De Palma became known for, Blow Out finds a young John Travolta in over his head when a night out with his microphone leads him to witness and record the assassination of a rumored presidential candidate. The police think the car wreck was an accident; proof on Travolta’s magnetic sound tape, which he plays and replays and reconstructs with meticulous strain, suggests a hidden gunman was behind the death. Teaming up with a prostitute who was in the car at the time, and while being hunted by the shadowy figure behind the murder, the sound engineer jumps through hoops to substantiate his sonic evidence. Through it all, De Palma uses long-360-degree camerawork, God’s eye views, split-diopter lenses, and eye-popping color to crank up the suspense. —Matt Patches

Blow Out is streaming on Showtime Anytime and available to rent on Amazon and Apple.

The Dark and the Wicked


Marin Ireland in “The Dark and the Wicked.”



Photo: RLJE Films/Shudder


The Dark and the Wicked is the latest release from Shudder and follows a family as an otherworldly evil takes over their farm and tries to take over their near-comatose father. It’s a pretty standard horror movie premise, but where The Dark and the Wicked really sets itself apart is in its relentless desire to scare you. This is a movie operating on a scares-per-minute quota that it always meets.

Unlike most normal possession movies, which would rely on careful set ups and long drawn out tension, The Dark and the Wicked starts its frights early and never slows down. There are haunting shapes lurking in dark shadows, loud sheep, glass bottle windchimes, a haunted diary, spiders, gore, and the actual devil. And that’s only the first half hour.

None of the movie’s scares are entirely unique, but that’s never really a problem. It feels more like director Bryan Bertino (The Strangers) is pulling them from a horror-movie thesaurus, but each one is perfect for its moment and is exceptionally well executed.

It’s hard to imagine a better pairing of streaming service and movie than this one too. Bertino is both mining the depths of horror-movie history, while actively working against the genre’s conventional pacing and rhythms, which makes it perfect for Shudder’s horror-movie paradise. The Dark and the Wicked isn’t the scariest movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s a great way to spend 90 minutes and exactly the kind of movie I come to Shudder for. —Austen Goslin

The Dark and the Wicked is currently streaming on Shudder and available to rent on Amazon.

Das Boot


Jürgen Prochnow as Capt.-Lt. Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock in 1981’s Das Boot



Photo: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


My twice-a-month friend movie club decided to stick with movies that came out in 1982 for this next round of picks, hence Das Boot, which none of us had seen. (It originally released in Germany in ‘81, and arrived in the States in ‘82.) The Director’s Cut comes in at 3.5 hours, so I was bracing for a bit of a slog.

But, as it turns out, I found it massively compelling and not remotely indulgent. The characters are well fleshed out, and by the end I was fully enraptured by their intense journey. If you’re into Band of Brothers, this is tonally very similar, and the 3.5 hours can easily be broken into three separate viewings for a more episodic delivery mechanism. It’s easily one of the best war movies I’ve seen. —Russ Frushtick

Das Boot is available for rent on Amazon and Apple.

The Eisenhorn Trilogy


Gregor Eisenhorn, in art for the Black Library book trilogy starring him.



Image: Black Library/Games Workshop


Back when they first came out in 2006, I gobbled up Dan Abnett’s Horus Heresy books with relish. They were my gateway into Games Workshop’s Black Library of Warhammer 40,000 novelizations, but I fell off of the series around Descent of Angels: Loyalty and Honour and began skipping around. That’s how I came to entirely miss the tremendous Eisenhorn trilogy.

Set during the 42nd millennium — effectively the current timeline of the 40K universe — there are three books in the series, titled Xenos, Malleus, and Hereticus. They tell the story of inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn and his colorful band of companions. Together, they show a completely different side of the 40K universe. Rather than focusing on tales of epic battles and planetary bombardments (although there are a few), Abnett focuses on a far more intimate storyline filled with intrigue, suspicion, and political machinations. It’s far from Shakespeare, but they’re excellent fun.

Rather than read them in paperback, for the last month or so I’ve been banging away at them via Audible, where they’re read by the excellent Toby Longworth. I’m not really accustomed to listening to audio books, but Longworth’s presentation made for some excellent long-distance drives and plenty of hobby time with the Warhammer 40,000 Indomitus boxed set.

It might be a good time to get caught up yourself, especially considering that Amazon has made it known they plan to produce a live-action television series based on these novels. Big Light Productions — the folks responsible for Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle — are signed on to the production. —Charlie Hall

The Man From Nowhere


Won Bin as widower-turned-vigilante Cha Tae-sik in 2010’s The Man From Nowhere



Photo: Well Go Entertainment


Lee Jeong-beom’s 2010 action thriller The Man From Nowhere feels like a direct spiritual precursor to Derek Kolstad’s John Wick series, albeit more subdued and emotionally driven. Won Bin plays Cha Tae-sik, a mysterious widower-turned-pawnshop keeper who despite living in self-imposed seclusion forms an unlikely bond with So-mi (Sae-ron Kim), a young girl who lives in the same apartment complex. When So-mi mother’s steals a package of heroin from a ruthless gang of human traffickers and she and her daughter are abducted in an attempt to recover it, Cha Tae-sik embarks on a bloody campaign to exact revenge on them and rescue So-Mi, all while a team of South Korean DEA agents attempts to unravel the mystery of his elusive past and bring both him and the traffickers to justice.

The film is a methodical slow burn that explosively culminates in one of the most breathtaking knife fight showdowns I’ve ever seen in an action film. Won Bin’s raw and terse performance is magnetic, drawing the audience through the screen while propelling the action forward. The fact that he has yet to appear in a single film since only adds to the allure and mystique of his presence here. Sae-ron Kim is terrific here as well, delivering a speech here towards the tail end of the first act that’s beautiful and devastating in its emotional appeal. Considering recent reports that John Wick director Chad Stahelski and Derek Kolstad are currently attached to develop a forthcoming American adaptation, now is the perfect time to check out Lee’s original if you haven’t seen it already. From its stirring performances, don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it action sequences, and engrossing score courtesy of Oldboy composer Hyun-jung Shim, The Man From Nowhere is a tremendously gratifying action flick for anyone hungering for a more emotionally driven thrill ride. —Toussaint Egan

The Man From Nowhere is streaming on Amazon.

In the Mood for Love


Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung as Su Li-zhen and Chow Mo-wan in Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love



Photo: The Criterion Collection


When you see one Wong Kar-wai film, you immediately want to see all of them, but not at once: They’re movies best enjoyed as chance encounters, like beguiling strangers you spend two hours with at a bar or on a train before continuing on your way. I can’t tell you how long I’ve had In the Mood for Love unwatched on my shelf for, but last Saturday was the evening we finally crossed paths. The movie is about neighbors Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-shen who begin to suspect their spouses are having an affair with each other, and slowly start to develop a relationship of their own. It’s an achingly beautiful movie, full of deep reds and tight, lonely spaces, one of those stories where nothing and everything happens all at once. Which is kind of how it goes, when two people begin to understand what they want only when they realize what they lack. —Joshua Rivera

In the Mood for Love is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel.

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Continue Reading


New to Netflix in March 2021: Movies & TV Shows

becker blake



New to Netflix in March 2021: Movies & TV Shows


If you’re wondering what’s new on Netflix this month, we’ve got you covered with the complete list of new movies, TV shows, and originals arriving on streaming in March 2021. Everyone knows Netflix is the reigning king of content right now, which means that whether you’re looking for old favorites or new shows to binge-watch, Netflix pretty much has you covered across the board.

Some of the March highlights include the Netflix original documentaries Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell, which chronicles the life of the great Notorious B.I.G., Murder Among the Mormons, and Last Chance U: Basketball. If true stories aren’t your thing, some new Netflix original films include the Eric Andre prank comedy/road trip comedy Bad Trip and the new family comedy Yes Day, starring Jennifer GarnerJenna Ortega, and Édgar Ramírez. March also brings the premiere of the new Pacific Rim anime Pacific Rim: The Black, along with some old favorites including Batman BeginsThe Dark KnightJason X (yes, that is a favorite), and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Check out all the new movies and shows on Netflix this month below, and if you want to squeeze in some last-minute watching, head over to the full list of what’s leaving Netflix in March 2021.

RELATED: The Best New Movies on Netflix in February 2021

Avail. 3/1/21

Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Featuring rare footage and in-depth interviews, this documentary celebrates the life of The Notorious B.I.G. on his journey from hustler to rap king.

Batman Begins (2005)

Blanche Gardin: Bonne Nuit Blanche (2021)

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

Dances with Wolves (1990)

DC Super Hero Girls: Season 1

I Am Legend (2007)

Invictus (2009)

Jason X (2001)

Killing Gunther (2017)

LEGO Marvel Spider-Man: Vexed by Venom (2019)

Nights in Rodanthe (2008)

Power Rangers Beast Morphers: S2

Rain Man (1988)

Step Up: Revolution (2012)

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006)

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Training Day (2001)

Two Weeks Notice (2002)

Year One (2009)

Avail. 3/2/21

Black or White (2014)

Word Party: Season 5 — NETFLIX FAMILY

Party with animal babies Franny, Bailey, Kip, Lulu and Tilly as they learn new words and life lessons in English and Mandarin through song and dance!

Avail. 3/3/21


Inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and a confident new friend, a shy 16-year-old publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school.

Murder Among the Mormons — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Salt Lake City, 1985. A series of pipe bombs kills two people and severely injures another, jolting the epicenter of the LDS Church. The murders send further shockwaves through the community when a trove of early Mormon letters and diaries are found destroyed in the vehicle of the third victim, Mark Hofmann, a renowned collector of rare documents, including the infamous White Salamander Letter — an artifact whose contents threatened to shake the very foundations of Mormonism. As Hofmann fights for his life, investigators race to uncover the truth. Directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Tyler Measom (An Honest Liar), MURDER AMONG THE MORMONS is the first comprehensive look at one of the most shocking crimes to have ever taken place among the Mormon community and the criminal mastermind behind it all.

Parker (2013)

Safe Haven (2013)

Pacific Rim: The Black Image
Image via Netflix

Avail. 3/4/21

Pacific Rim: The Black — NETFLIX ANIME

After Kaiju ravages Australia, two siblings pilot a Jaeger to search for their parents, encountering new creatures, seedy characters and chance allies.

Avail. 3/5/21

City of Ghosts — NETFLIX FAMILY

Meet the Ghost Club! Their adventures take them all around Los Angeles as they interview ghosts, solve problems and learn about their city’s history.

Dogwashers — NETFLIX FILM

When a narco past his prime refuses to pay a debt to an upstart, only a secret stash of money can save his men. But guess what the gardener just found?

Nevenka: Breaking the Silence — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

This docuseries examines Spain’s historic 2001 lawsuit, in which city councilor Nevenka Fernández accused Mayor Ismael Álvarez of sexual harassment.

Pokémon Journeys: The Series: Part 4 — NETFLIX FAMILY

Battles and research continue as Ash and Goh travel the world. Along the way they find old friends, Legendary Pokémon, Team Rocket and more.

Sentinelle — NETFLIX FILM

Transferred home after a traumatizing combat mission, a highly trained French soldier uses her lethal skills to hunt down the man who hurt her sister.

Avail. 3/8/21


From boardrooms to society’s margins, five ambitious women from various walks of life navigate dreams, desires and disappointments in modern Mumbai.

Bombay Rose — NETFLIX FILM

Escaping from child marriage, a young club dancer living in the streets of Bombay, must choose between fending for her family and finding love with a boy orphaned by the militancy. Painted frame by frame and woven delicately through music, a red rose brings together three tales of impossible loves. Love between two dreamers tested by duty and religious divides. Love between two women. Love of an entire city for its Bollywood stars. Based on true events, the film, in documentary fashion, explores the ruthlessness of a society where the love and life that reigns on the big screen can crush you in its mean streets. Bombay Rose is directed by Gitanjali Rao and produced by Cinestaan Film Company/Les Films d’ici. An award-winning festival favorite, it was the first Indian animated film ever selected to open Venice Critics Week; it was also selected by the Toronto International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival, and an award winner at the Chicago and Mumbai Film Festivals.

Avail. 3/9/21


Musicians and friends Fynn Kliemann and Olli Schulz spend two difficult years trying to restore the home of singer Gunter Gabriel to its former glory.

StarBeam: Season 3 — NETFLIX FAMILY

StarBeam is back with her family and favorite sidekicks to defend Somerset from all the wacky villains trying to stir up trouble and spoil the fun!

Avail. 3/10/21


Tensions erupt when two filmmakers infiltrate an area ruled by gangs to shoot a music video for a rapper in this gritty found-footage series.

Last Chance U: Basketball — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

From Greg Whiteley (Cheer) and the team behind Emmy-winning Last Chance U comes LAST CHANCE U: BASKETBALL, an honest, gritty look inside the world of community college basketball. Over the course of eight episodes, viewers will follow the East Los Angeles College Huskies (ELAC) in their high stakes chase to an unprecedented California state basketball championship. Led by passionate head coach John Mosley, the ELAC team is made up of former D1 recruits and powerhouse athletes hustling to prove themselves for a last chance to fulfill their dreams of playing at the next level. But the team is tested as the players battle adversity, inner demons, and emotions on and off the court.

Marriage or Mortgage — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

A wedding planner and a real estate agent compete to win the hearts and budgets of spouses-to-be. Will they pick fairy-tale nuptials or a dream home?

Related: The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

Avail. 3/11/21

The Block Island Sound (2020)

Coven of Sisters — NETFLIX FILM

Basque Country, 1609. To postpone their execution, a group of women accused of witchcraft lure their inquisitor into witnessing the witches’ Sabbath.

Avail. 3/12/21

Love Alarm: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Longing for resounding proof of her feelings, Jojo sets out to uninstall the shield and make the app ring for her one true love.


Love — and lies — spiral when a DNA researcher helps discover a way to find the perfect partner, and creates a bold new matchmaking service.

Paper Lives — NETFLIX FILM

In the streets of Istanbul, ailing waste warehouse worker Mehmet takes a small boy under his wing and must soon confront his own traumatic childhood.

Paradise PD: Part 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

The not-so-honorable police officers of Paradise engage in dog blackmail, sperm theft, doughnut shop intimidation and many more unspeakable crimes.

Image via Netflix


Always feeling like they have to say NO to their kids and co-workers, Allison and Carlos decide to give their three kids a YES DAY — where for 24 hours the kids make the rules. Little did they know that they’d be going on a whirlwind adventure around Los Angeles, that would bring the family closer to each other than ever before.

Avail. 3/14/21

Audrey (2020)

Avail. 3/15/21

Bakugan: Armored Alliance

The BFG (2016)

The Last Blockbuster (2020)

The Lost Pirate Kingdom — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

The real-life pirates of the Caribbean violently plunder the world’s riches and form a surprisingly egalitarian republic in this documentary series.


Talented teen figure skater Kayla is forced to leave everything behind when her family follows her twin brother, Mac, to a prestigious hockey academy.

Avail. 3/16/21

RebellComedy: Straight Outta the Zoo — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL

The comics of RebellComedy take the stage and tackle topics including mistaken identities, being the “funny” kid and anatomically interesting starfish.

Savages (2012)

Waffles + Mochi — NETFLIX FAMILY

Curious puppet pals Waffles and Mochi travel the world exploring the wonders of food and culture while learning how to cook with fresh ingredients.

Avail. 3/17/21

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

Reenactments drive this documentary investigating the mastermind behind a scam to sneak the kids of rich and famous families into top US universities.

Under Suspicion: Uncovering the Wesphael Case — NETFLIX ORIGINAL 🇧🇪

This true-crime series follows the high-profile court case of Belgian politician Bernard Wesphael, who was accused of murdering his wife in 2013.

Avail. 3/18/21

B: The Beginning Succession — NETFLIX ANIME

When Keith is abducted and a friend from Koku’s past resurfaces, Killer B returns and everyone is pulled into a conspiracy involving the crown.

Cabras da Peste — NETFLIX FILM

Two wildly mismatched cops from different Brazilian states are forced to work together to take on a gang operating in both of their homelands.

Deadly Illusions (2021)

The Fluffy Movie (2014)

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL

Tennessee-born comedian, actor, and podcast host Nate Bargatze is back with his second hour-long Netflix original comedy special, Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. Nate reflects on being part of the Oregon Trail generation, meeting his wife while working at Applebee’s and the hilariously relatable moments of being a father and husband. Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American premieres globally on Netflix on March 18, 2021. The special is directed by Troy Miller, who also serves as Executive Producer alongside Alex Murray, Tim Sarkes and Bargatze.

Skylines (2020)

Avail. 3/19/21

Alien TV: Season 2 — NETFLIX FAMILY

Alien reporters Ixbee, Pixbee and Squee return to Earth, where they learn about more odd human customs and inventions like trains and fashion.

Country Comfort — NETFLIX FAMILY

An aspiring young country singer finds the band she’s been missing when she takes a job as a nanny for a musically talented family.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

During a shortened 2020 season, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and other top drivers pursue checkered flags as COVID-19 turns the world upside down.


On the run from their pimp and his henchmen, three women embark on a wild and crazy journey in search of freedom. From the creators of “Money Heist.”

RELATED: ‘The Adam Project’ Screenwriter Reveals New Details on His Ryan Reynolds Time Travel Netflix Movie

Avail. 3/20/21

Jiu Jitsu (2020)

Avail. 3/22/21


A 70-year-old with a dream and a 23-year-old with a gift lift each other out of harsh realities and rise to the challenge of becoming ballerinos.

Philomena (2013)

Avail. 3/23/21

Loyiso Gola: Unlearning — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL

South African comedian Loyiso Gola serves up practical philosophy and filter-free humor as he tackles topics like race, identity and world politics.

Avail. 3/24/21


Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species — and uncovers a sinister global conspiracy.


After 18 years in prison, Álex takes his revenge on the Lazcano family, who framed him for the murder of his sister Sara to save their reputation.

Avail. 3/25/21

Caught by a Wave — NETFLIX FILM

After falling in love at a beachside summer camp in Sicily, a painful truth inspires two teenage sailing enthusiasts to live their lives to the fullest.

DOTA: Dragon’s Blood — NETFLIX ANIME

After encounters with a dragon and a princess on her own mission, a Dragon Knight becomes embroiled in events larger than he could have ever imagined.

Millennials: Season 3

Secret Magic Control Agency — NETFLIX FAMILY

Hansel and Gretel of fairy tale fame — now acting as secret agents — must use magic, clever thinking and teamwork on a mission to find a missing king.

Avail. 3/26/21

A Week Away — NETFLIX FILM (Trailer)

Troubled teen Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) has a run-in with the law that puts him at an important crossroad: go to juvenile detention or attend a Christian summer camp. At first a fish-out-of-water, Will opens his heart, discovers love with a camp regular (Bailee Madison), and sense of belonging in the last place he expected to find it.

Image via Netflix


In a hidden-camera comedy from the producer of “Bad Grandpa,” two pals embark on a road trip full of funny pranks that pull real people into the mayhem.

Big Time Rush: Seasons 1-4

Croupier (1998)


In 19th-century London, a group of misfits works to solve supernatural crimes at the behest of Dr. Watson and his elusive partner, Sherlock Holmes.

Magic for Humans by Mago Pop — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Illusionist Mago Pop takes to the streets of Barcelona, where he amazes folks of all ages and walks of life with tricks that inspire delight and wonder.

Nailed It!: Double Trouble — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

When two clueless cake “artists” team up, the reveals are even more ridiculous. From best buds to brothers and sisters, these bakers are twice as bad.

Avail. 3/29/21

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

Rainbow High: Season 1

Avail. 3/30/21

7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story (2020)

Octonauts & the Ring of Fire — NETFLIX FAMILY

When lava-spewing volcanoes start a chain reaction of disasters across the ocean, the Octonauts must work together to save their sea creature friends.

Avail. 3/31/21

At Eternity’s Gate (2018)

Haunted: Latin America — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Real people’s terrifying tales of the chilling, unexplained and paranormal come to life with dramatic reenactments in this reality series.

KEEP READING: The 85 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in Ozark Season 3
Robin Wright on Bringing Her Own Directing Style to ‘Ozark’ Season 4

“Is it possible that something could be darker than ‘House of Cards’? Yes, this one!”

About The Author

Continue Reading