The Best of Netflix: March 2021

Netflix has released its lineup of shows and movies coming to the streaming service in March of 2021. It’s not the strongest batch of titles the streamer has ever put together–this month is a little light on star power, especially compared to some of the splashy stuff released in February, most recently the polarizing thriller I Care a Lot with Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage–but there are some highly promising new titles to stream as winter turns to spring. These are the ones we’re most excited about.

Murder Among the Mormons 

March 3 | Trailer

Your next true-crime obsession. This three-part limited series explores a shocking story that for a long time was little known outside of the Mormon community. That’s about to change. In Salt Lake City in 1985, a series of pipe bombs killed two people and severely injured another. The injured man, Mark Hofmann, was in possession of a number of documents that contained explosive information about Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter-day Saints movement, that had the potential to change the LDS Church forever–if they were authentic. It’s a story full of twists and turns and lies and deceit that’s never been told in such detail before. The series is directed by Napoleon Dynamite’s Jared Hess, who is LDS (and making his nonfiction debut), and documentarian Tyler Measom, an ex-Mormon.

Bombay Rose

March 8 | Trailer

This animated film from India is an absolute delight for the eyes. It comes from director Gitanjali Rao, who wrote, animated, and edited the film with help from a team of 60 artists who hand-painted the film frame by frame over 18 months. That sounds like a lot, but it’s actually a pretty limited amount of time and people for an animated film this complex. It has a richness of color that’s rare even in big-studio animated films. Bombay Rose weaves a number of different love stories into its complex plot, but it primarily follows a young Hindu woman named Kamala who flees an arranged child marriage to work as a nightclub dancer in Mumbai. She falls in love with a young Muslim man named Salim, and star-crossed romance ensues. With its hand-drawn style and local flavor, it’s reminiscent of the films of Cartoon Saloon, the Irish studio behind Wolfwalkers and The Breadwinner.

Last Chance U: Basketball

March 10 | Trailer

Last Chance U is one of Netflix’s most acclaimed documentary programs. For its first five seasons, it covered junior college football, embedding with a different team each year as they played their season and giving an incredibly intimate look at the trials and tribulations of the coaches and players, many of whom are trying to use sports as a pathway out of poverty. The new season moves from football to basketball, following the East Los Angeles College Huskies as they try to win the state JUCO title. You don’t have to be a sports fan to care about the personalities you’ll meet on the show; if you loved Cheer you might want to check out Last Chance U, as it hails from the same director and producer, Greg Whiteley.

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

March 17

The college-admissions bribery scandal was one of the most riveting news stories of 2019, because it laid bare the different rules America’s wealthy elite get to play by, with celebrities Felicity Huffman and Aunt Becky from Full House as its face. This documentary film takes a deep dive into the federal investigation that exposed how rich parents paid William Rick Singer large sums of money to bribe, cheat, and forge his way to getting their kids admitted to top universities. It’s directed by Chris Smith, who between this and his hit 2019 Fyre Festival documentary Fyre has become Netflix’s foremost chronicler of rich-people schadenfreude. Matthew Modine plays Singer in reenactments based on FBI wiretaps of calls between the fraudster and his clients.

Sky Rojo

March 19 | Trailer

This new crime thriller series comes from Money Heist creator Álex Pina, Netflix’s top international TV producer, and his top writer Esther Martínez Lobato. It hopes to be as addicting as that Spanish sensation. The series follows three sex workers on the run from their pimp and his henchmen in Madrid and the Canary Islands. If it’s anything like Money Heist or Pina’s other Netflix series White Lines, it will be impossible to avoid bingeing once you start it. Making the binge even easier is the fact that the season is just eight 25-minute episodes. We love a half-hour drama!

Bad Trip

March 26 | Trailer

This is a comedy film in the vein of Borat or Bad Grandpa, where there’s a narrative thread linking hidden-camera pranks together (Bad Grandpa and Jackass’ Jeff Tremaine is an executive producer). It stars anarchic comedian Eric Andre and Get Out’s Lil Rel Howery as Chris and Bud, two best friends who take a road trip from Florida to New York City in a car they stole from Bud’s sister Trina (Tiffany Haddish), who escapes from jail and furiously chases after them. Along the way, they terrorize unsuspecting bystanders with deranged pranks that the actors pull off in character. One typical stunt has Chris getting his hand caught in a blender at the smoothie shop where he works, horrifying the shop’s patrons. The film was supposed to be released in theaters last spring, and actually briefly leaked on Prime Video on its original planned release date. Now it’s getting an official Netflix release.

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