Must-See TV on Netflix: March 2015

By Phill Powell

Each month brings a fresh crop of new movies and TV shows to the world’s greatest streaming service. Here are the new TV shows and movies on Netflix for the month of March:

archerIs it a cartoon? A spy movie spoof? It’s the fifth season of Archer and it’s now available on Netflix.

TV Shows

Archer
Animation
Season: 5 (2014)
Why It’s Must-See: Archer’s no ordinary cartoon. More like James Bond, if he had been drawn. Master spy Sterling Archer’s adventures are sometimes bizarre, sometimes funny and it’s occasionally difficult to know what decade the show is in. But that’s part of the fun of this wild show, which is definitely “animated.”

M*A*S*H
Comedy
Seasons: 1-5 (1972-1977)
Why It’s Must-See: Long before Seinfeld came along, M*A*S*H was considered the greatest sitcom of all time. It’s still pure comedy gold, especially its hilarious first three seasons. Who knew a comedy in a wartime surgical hospital could be this funny? Its last episode remains the most-watched series finale in TV history (105 million viewers). How good was M*A*S*H? Good enough to run for 11 seasons, while the Korean War itself only lasted 3.

House of Cards
Drama
Season: 3 (2013-2014)
Why It’s Must-See: Oscar winner Kevin Spacey lives large in the third season of this tough-as-nails political drama, playing the president of the United States in this seething look behind Washington’s corridors of power. His Frank Underwood character has been sharking his way up the ladder since starting out as a mere congressman. Has getting the nation’s top job satisfied Underwood’s lust for power? Don’t bet on it.

3rd Rock from the Sun
Comedy
Seasons: Complete (1996-2001)
Why It’s Must-See: A very clever show that teamed imaginative writing with a dynamite cast that included John Lithgow, Jane Curtin (Saturday Night Live) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt back when he was still a boy. It’s a tried-and-true premise: A band of aliens come to earth and try to fit in, while observing all earthling activity. Some of the same sparkling wit as The Big Bang Theory.

Movies

RoboCop
Action
Year: 1987, 2014
Why It’s Must-See: RoboCop or RoboCopy? Thanks to Netflix, you can watch ‘em both and compare the original film directed by Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall) and starring Peter Weller versus a new version that stars Gary Oldman. Either way, a blown-away cop gets rebuilt into a justice-dispensing cyborg. Prepare for action.

robocop-2014With both versions of the film available on Netflix, you can decide whether it’s RoboCop or RoboCopy.

Twilight
Horror/Romance
Year: 2008
Why It’s Must-See: The “Twilight” series has proven to be catnip to teen girls entranced by the notion of good-looking, romantic vampires. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are together here for the first time in the roles that made them famous. If you’re into this kind of thing, you’ve probably already seen Twilight, but with Netflix you can catch it again. If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about, here’s your chance to find out.

Video Games: The Movie
Documentary
Year: 2014
Why It’s Must-See: Documentary filmmaking has covered just about every subject, so why not video games? See how well you know the history of video game design with this breezy doc that covers the history from Atari to Xbox, and features talks with several key figures (most notably, Atari’s Nolan Bushnell).

Groundhog Day
Comedy
Year: 1993
Why It’s Must-See: Comedy genius Harold Ramis wrote and directed some of the funniest movies of all time (see Caddyshack, Animal House, Stripes), including this very popular film that keeps popping up on all-time fan-favorite lists. Bill Murray kills as an obnoxious TV weatherman on assignment in a small town, hating every minute. Then he wakes up the next morning, to the exact same day as yesterday. What if you had endless chances to replay a certain day?

The Brothers Grimm
Fantasy/Drama
Year: 2005
Why It’s Must-See: Put Matt Damon and the late Heath Ledger together as the guys who invented lasting fairy tales…or are they really just two guys on the con, working a slick hustle as medieval ghostbusters who suddenly are facing an actual curse?

Rage
Thriller
Year: 2014
Why It’s Must-See: A man’s child is abducted; he must use every violent means to get her back. That plot may sound tired, but then plug in two words: “Nicholas” and “Cage.” The manic actor is right in his element here, playing an intense guy who flips out while trying to achieve his rescue mission. (Insert your own Nicholas Cage impression here.)

K-Pax
Drama
Year: 2001
Why It’s Must-See: Starring two fantastic, Oscar-winning actors in an intriguing puzzler. Kevin (House of Cards) Spacey plays a patient in a mental hospital who says he’s from the planet K-PAX. Jeff Bridges plays the shrink who tries to sort out the man’s real identity.

Patch Adams
Drama/Comedy
Year: 1998
Why It’s Must-See: The late Robin Williams was a filmmaking dynamo: 106 acting credits in movies from 1977 to 2014. That’s approximately 2.8 films a year…every year…for 38 years. Critics may not have loved Patch Adams, but that didn’t stop it from grossing more than $202 million worldwide. Fans loved this portrait of a doctor who uses laughter as a type of therapy for his patients…but not as much as they loved Robin Williams himself.

mr-peabody-and-shermanHow would you like to work on a cool animated movie like Mr. Peabody & Sherman? Make it start happening by attending one of Digital Media Academy’s animation tech camps, like one of the animators of this film did!

Program: Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Animation
Year: 2014
Why It’s Must-See: Flying back and forth through time with the world’s smartest dog (Mr. Peabody) and his pet boy, Sherman. Lots of great voice talent from Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Allison Janney (Mom) and Stephen Colbert (soon to be replacing David Letterman). As usual, superior animation from DreamWorks (with cool visual effects by character effects animator Mariana Galindo, a DMA alumnus.)

Program: Three Days of the Condor
Thriller
Year: 1975
Why It’s Must-See: If you caught last year’s All is Lost (also on Netflix), you saw a legendary actor (Robert Redford) carrying an entire survival movie with less than a page of dialogue. Now check out this superior spy flick. Redford’s character works as a text analyst for a CIA outpost, reading spy novels. It’s fairly routine work, until he returns from lunch and finds the entire staff murdered. Why were they killed…and will he be next? Smart and tense movie, and a forerunner of many of today’s spy thrillers.

Program: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Animation
Year: 2014
Why It’s Must-See: Dreamworks again with a lovable tale of a boy with a most unconventional pet. (And another chance to admire the work of DMA alumnus and DreamWorks graphic artist Mariana Galindo.) Voice talent from Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchette, Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig. (Available March 11.)

Program: Finding Neverland
Drama
Year: 2004
Why It’s Must-See: Many generations of audiences and readers have thrilled to the Peter Pan stories dreamed up by author J.M. Barrie, portrayed here by Johnny Depp. This takes you behind the world of Neverland and shows you the people who made it possible. Big cast including Kate Winslet (Titanic), Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate) and Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel).

Program: Life Itself
Documentary
Year: 2014
Why It’s Must-See: Film critics don’t always get a lot of love, but there was no denying the brilliance of the late Roger Ebert, the only film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize and become a TV star in his own right. This bio shows the man’s many dimensions. After cancer stole his voice, he found it again on the Internet, blogging extensively and using social media to get his opinions across to the masses. Movies were Roger Ebert’s life. And now his life’s a movie. (Available March 19th.)

brothers-grimmMatt Damon and Heath Ledger are either medieval ghostbusters or con artists in The Brothers Grimm, which has great special effects. (Would you like to learn visual effects this summer?)

Get In the Show!
The demand for entertainment products has never been greater, as Netflix proves month after month. The entertainment industry needs many creative workers who understand the latest sophisticated technologies.

For kids and teens who want to take a first step toward a cool career in show business, attending a Digital Media Academy tech camp this summer makes a lot of sense. Students learn how to use the technology to make their own films and tell their own stories.