What’s New on Netflix September 2021: Movies, TV Shows
‘Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali’
Starts streaming: Sept. 9
The boxer Muhammad Ali met the civil rights activist Malcolm X in 1962, and for a few years — until Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam — the men were close friends, praying together and sharing their thoughts on how best to use their time in the spotlight to confront American racism. The documentary “Blood Brothers” (based on a book by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith) tells the story about how these two influential lives intersected throughout the early 1960s. Using electrifying archival footage alongside new interviews with cultural commentators and the subjects’ families, the director Marcus A. Clarke brings back the headiness of those days, when the raging debates over the pursuit of progress sometimes turned allies into enemies.
Starts streaming: Sept. 10
As the title character in “Kate,” Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays an ice-cold, lethal action heroine, just as she has done in films like “Birds of Prey” and “Gemini Man.” Here, she is an assassin who has been groomed since childhood by her handler Varrick (Woody Harrelson) to be ruthless and flawless. When she hesitates on a job because the target is traveling with a teenager (Miku Martineau), Kate decides it’s time for a change — but not before an angry Tokyo crime boss has her dosed with a poison that will kill her in 24 hours. Part revenge thriller and part tale of redemption, “Kate” is primarily a showcase for Winstead, who anchors every scene as a furious woman on a righteous mission, determined to do something meaningful on what could be the last day of her life.
‘Dear White People’ Season 4
Starts streaming: Sept. 22
The fourth and final season of this sharp social satire is arriving two years after Season 3; and its creator, Justin Simien, has apparently taken advantage of the extra time to make this final run extraordinarily ambitious. Simien will wrap up the story and even look into the future of his main characters, a diverse assortment of Black students who have spent their four years at a fictional Ivy League university taking different approaches to the college’s deeply ingrained racism. This last stretch of episodes will also be a musical extravaganza, inspired by 1990s R&B. Simien’s original 2014 indie film version of “Dear White People” earned comparison to Spike Lee’s provocative musical comedy “School Daze.” The TV version seems to be ending with another nod to the Lee classic.
Starts streaming: Sept. 24
The writer-director Mike Flanagan adapted the Stephen King novels “Gerald’s Game” and “Doctor Sleep” into movies; but with the original seven-part mini-series “Midnight Mass,” it’s as if Flanagan were writing his own King-style story, directly for television. Set in the dying fishing community of Crockett Island, the show has Zach Gilford playing Riley Flynn, a guilt-ridden ex-convict who returns home to his small town right as the local Catholic church’s aged priest is replaced by a charming younger man who seems to have the gift for making miracles happen (Hamish Linklater). When a series of strange events shakes the locals up — some seemingly for the better and some for the worse — the supernatural phenomena start spiraling out of control, forcing the islanders to face their darkest fears and deepest regrets.