Time flies, and 2021 is almost over. The good news is that fall movie season is very much underway with lots of big upcoming titles — Eternals is finally here; so are Ghostbusters: Afterlife and the Dwayne Johnson spy movie Red Notice. Some of November’s film releases may have more than a few chances of getting trophy nominations. I’m talking about Belfast, Spencer and King Richard, but if you want to know more about the Oscars don’t miss our story on early predictions and frontrunner contenders.
November is also a great month for watching TV, especially during the long Thanksgiving holiday. John Cho stars in Cowboy Bebop, Hailee Steinfeld doubles in the last season of Dickinson and the new show Hawkeye, and Michael C. Hall returns to his serial killer roots in Dexter: New Blood.
As usual, here’s our selection of new TV shows, returning series, films on streaming and titles you’ll only be able to watch in cinemas. And if you need even more watching suggestions, you can catch up on previously released titles with our recommendation lists for October and September.
Some of November’s Most Anticipated New Shows
The Shrink Next Door (November 12), Apple TV+: Call this your new excuse to watch Kathryn Hahn in action after WandaVision. This eight-episode limited series is inspired by true events and stars Will Ferrell as Marty Markowitz and Hahn as his sister, Phyllis. The series follows Marty as he starts seeing the psychiatrist Ike Herschkopf (Paul Rudd) and details how the relationship evolves into manipulation and exploitation on the doctor’s part.
The Wheel of Time (November 19), Prime Video: Based on Robert Jordan’s fantasy series of books, this eight-episode first season stars Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as Moiraine, a member of the all-women organization Aes Sedai that can channel magic. Moiraine arrives in the small town of Two Rivers and ventures on a journey with five young women and men. According to prophecy, one of them could save humanity — or destroy it.
Cowboy Bebop (November 19), Netflix: It doesn’t get cooler — or sexier — than John Cho (Star Trek) garbed in a bespoke double-breasted indigo blue blazer, slim pants and white shirt with the collar up. In this live-action adaptation of the anime series of the same name, Cho plays a space bounty hunter named Spike who joins forces with Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) to chase solar system criminals for money. The first season of Cowboy Bebop has 10 episodes.
Hawkeye (November 24), Disney+: Set in post-Blip New York City, this new Marvel Cinematic Universe show sees Jeremy Renner returning to his role of former Avenger Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye. In the six-episode series, Barton is prevented from returning to his family for Christmas due to a threat from his past. He’ll reluctantly join forces with the 22-year-old archer Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).
The Beatles: Get Back (November 25, 26 and 27), Disney+: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson isn’t famous for his ability to make short films. That’s probably why this started as a documentary feature and morphed into a six-hour docuseries. Get Back takes the audience to January 1969 as the Beatles were writing songs ahead of their first live concert in two years. Jackson drew upon 60 hours of unseen Beatles footage that was shot over 21 days, as well as more than 150 hours of unheard audio.
Must-See Returning TV on Streaming
Dickinson, Season 3 (November 5), Apple TV+: All good things must come to an end, and we’re going to miss seeing Hailee Steinfeld playing poet Emily Dickinson. The 10-episode third and final season of Dickinson — the show has made our list of the best TV in 2021 — will see Emily facing her most productive time as a writer as the country battles the Civil War and her own family is divided.
Dexter: New Blood (November 7), Showtime: Technically this isn’t Dexter season nine but a new and rebooted show. Dexter: New Blood sees Michael C. Hall returning as our favorite serial killer. The show is set 10 years after the events of Dexter’s finale when he drove his boat into Hurricane Laura. He’s been living under a false name in the fictional small town of Iron Lake, New York, and rocking the lumberjack look. The 10-episode first season also stars Julia Jones (The Mandalorian) as Chief of Police Angela Bishop and Dexter’s girlfriend, Jack Alcott as Dexter‘s teenage son Harrison, and Jennifer Carpenter returning as Dexter‘s sister.
Tiger King, Season 2 (November 17), Netflix: When season one of this true-crime docuseries first streamed in March 2020 it became a viral sensation — helped in part by the fact that half the planet was sheltering at home due to the pandemic. Prepare to be entertained by the feline owners again. “Old enemies and frenemies, including Jeff Lowe, Tim Stark, Allen Glover, and James Garretson return for another season of murder, mayhem, and madness. Thought you knew the whole story? Just you wait,” reads Netflix’s synopsis of season two.
Movies on Streaming
The Harder They Fall (November 3), Netflix (in select theaters October 22): Jay-Z produces and Jeymes Samuel co-writes and directs this stylized western starring Regina King, Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield, Jonathan Majors, Delroy Lindo and Zazi Beetz. Majors plays Nat Love, an outlaw who makes justice his last name but is set on revenge against Rufus Buck (Elba). When Buck is released from prison by his gang of professional killers, Love only has one objective in mind: killing his longtime enemy.
Finch (November 5), Apple TV+: Call this Cast Away set on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Plus Wilson is now a dog. Tom Hanks plays Finch, a robotics engineer who survives a cataclysmic solar event that leaves Earth uninhabitable. He lives in an underground bunker and creates the robot Jeff (Caleb Landry Jones) to take care of his dog, Goodyear. The three of them embark on a road trip into the American West looking for safety.
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (November 5), Prime Video: This story based on real events has the potential to delight many cat people. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Louis Wain, an extravagant artist who popularized the notion of cats as pets with his illustrations of anthropomorphized felines in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The movie is also a beautiful love story between Wain and his wife, Emily Richardson (Claire Foy), who adopted and named him Peter.
Passing (November 10), Netflix (in select theaters October 27): Actress Rebecca Hall directs and writes this adaptation of Nella Larsen’s novel of the same name. Set in 1929 New York, Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga play two childhood friends who find each other again later in life. They’re two Black women who can pass as white, but one of them has chosen to live as her true self and the other as white. Both actresses could receive Oscar nominations for their roles here.
Red Notice (November 12), Netflix: Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds star in this globe-trotting action-comedy. Johnson plays the FBI’s top profiler John Hartley, someone charged with capturing the world’s most wanted art thief, “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot). He partners with the world’s greatest art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds), and the three of them end up on a cat-and-mouse chase around the world.
King Richard (November 19), HBO Max and theaters: Will Smith vies for yet another Oscar nomination with this story directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green where Smith plays Richard Williams, Venus and Serena Williams’ dad. The movie depicts teenage Venus and Serena as they train on abandoned tennis courts in Compton, California, guided by the vision and a 78-page plan their father follows. He’s determined to have his daughters make history.
tick, tick… BOOM! (November 19), Netflix (in select theaters November 12): Prolific playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with this adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent. The film is set in New York in 1990 when Jon (Andrew Garfield) is juggling his work as a waiter in a diner with that of a theater composer hoping to write the next great American musical.
Bruised (November 24), Netflix: You may get Million Dollar Baby vibes from this film starring and helmed by Halle Berry, making her directorial debut. In Bruised Berry plays Jackie Justice, a mixed martial arts fighter forced to leave the sport. Misguided by her manager and boyfriend (Adan Canto), she ends up in the underground fight circuit and is promised a new way into the fight league by a promoter who sees her talent. Jackie will also have to confront her past when her biological son (Danny Boyd, Jr.) shows up in her life.
And a Few Movies You’ll Only Be Able to Watch in Theaters
Eternals (November 5): Marvel’s latest big cinematic spectacle is directed by the Oscar-winning Chloé Zhao and stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry and the Game of Thrones alums Kit Harington and Richard Madden. You can read our full review of this story about a group of immortal superheroes who’ve been calling Earth home for thousands of years and protecting humans from the villainous Deviants.
Spencer (November 5): If you enjoyed season four of The Crown or if you were a fan of Pablo Larraín’s Jackie, with Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, you’ll want to check out Spencer. Kristen Stewart stars as Princess Diana and has pretty much secured an Oscar nomination. As he did with Jackie, Larraín doesn’t make conventional biopics but focuses on very particular moments in his characters’ lives. Spencer follows a Christmas celebration at the Queen’s estate in Sandringham where the full royal family gathers and when Diana and Charles’ (Jack Farthing) marriage has already imploded.
Belfast (November 12): This could be one of the big titles in terms of Oscars nominations this year. Written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, Belfast is set in Branagh’s hometown and based on his own experiences growing up in Northern Ireland during the late 1960s. The black and white film stars Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Caitríona Balfe and the 10-year-old Jude Hill.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (November 19): Paul Rudd and Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things star in this new chapter from the original Ghostbusters universe. The movie is co-written and directed by Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), who happens to be the son of the director of the first and second Ghostbusters flicks, Ivan Reitman. Ivan Reitman also produces.
House of Gucci (November 24): After The Last Duel — which we liked a lot —, here comes Ridley Scott’s second big movie this year. Inspired by the true story of the family behind the Italian fashion house of Gucci, the film stars Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, Al Pacino and Lady Gaga speaking in delightful Italian-accented English. The story follows the murder of Maurizio Gucci (Driver), head of Gucci. Gaga plays his wife, Patrizia Reggiani.
Licorice Pizza (November 26): Paul Thomas Anderson does a coming-of-age story in this movie set in the San Fernando Valley, California, in 1973. The film stars Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) as they fall in love. The film also features Bradley Cooper and Anderson’s real-life partner, Maya Rudolph.