Netflix adds a few good movies this week, with a former Academy Award nominee and a potential future nominee joining the service.
“Gangs of New York,” the Martin Scorsese-directed movie from 2002 about ― gangs of New York ― joins the service on Aug. 20. You can’t miss the chance to see two acting legends, Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio, go head-to-head with obnoxious accents while wearing ridiculous costumes. Also, an elephant with rudimentary CGI appears at one point in this movie.
The Netflix film “American Factory” joins on Aug. 21. That documentary tells a slice-of-life story about contemporary blue-collar work in America. The Obamas ― yes, those Obamas ― produced it.
You can read more about both of those below.
A Few Notables
“Gangs of New York” — Aug. 20
Sum-Up: Martin Scorsese directed this movie, while Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio star. Cameron Diaz, Liam Neeson and John C. Reilly also have prominent roles. This story focuses on New York City in the 1860s, as native and immigrant gangs clashed for power. This earned 10 Oscar nominations, including “Best Picture,” but didn’t win any of the awards.
Read On: Back in 2002, New York Times film critic A.O. Scott began his positive review with two very long sentences that accurately captured the narrative winding nature of the movie:
“Gangs of New York,” Martin Scorsese’s brutal, flawed and indelible epic of 19th-century urban criminality, begins in a mud-walled, torchlighted cavern, where a group of warriors prepare for battle, arming themselves with clubs and blades and armoring themselves in motley leather and cloth. Though this is Lower Manhattan in 1846, it might as well be the Middle Ages or the time of Gilgamesh: these warlike rituals have an archaic, archetypal feeling.
“American Factory” (Netflix Film) ― Aug. 21
Sum-Up: This documentary focuses on blue-collar workers in Ohio, who take jobs at a former General Motors plant that a Chinese billionaire revitalizes. Chinese and American work values clash. The Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning duo Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar co-directed this, while former president Barack and former first lady Michelle Obama produced. The movie won a directing award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Read On: The Los Angeles Times did an interview with co-directors Reichert and Bognar about what it was like to have the Obamas become producers on their movie.
“We had a chance to have lunch with the president and the first lady and they were incredibly gracious, warm and funny,” Bognar said. “They talked about our movie and that was surreal. To have the president saying, ‘You know that scene where ... ?’ — that was really cool.”
My colleague Marina Fang also wrote a story about the movie and that’s worth checking out on HuffPost.
The Full List of Movies Joining Netflix
- “Gangs of New York”
- “American Factory” (Netflix Film)