Netflix has a new basketball movie that’s worth checking out on Friday.
“High Flying Bird” debuts Feb. 8. Steven Soderbergh directed this thriller and the movie has a cool cast, including Zazie Beetz, André Holland, Kyle MacLachlan and Zachary Quinto. The movie takes place in the world of the NBA. As someone who grew up watching Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s 11” on repeat and now listens to multiple NBA podcasts every week, I have been anxiously waiting for this movie since its announcement.
Otherwise, Netflix has a slow week for new movies, and only debuts one other Original ― a foreign film called, “El árbol de la sangre,” which translates to “the tree of blood.”
The Most Notable Movie Coming To Netflix This Week
“High Flying Bird” | Feb. 8
Premise: During an NBA lockout, a sports agent and his client, the league’s No. 1 draft pick that year, try to create an alternative revenue source for themselves through a contractual loophole. Both people face looming debt, given the lockout, and are desperate for a windfall.
Is it good? Reviews have been strong so far. The NBA didn’t give the movie permission to use its trademarks (such as team names), so this necessarily tells a story that takes place on the margin of the league. By focusing on this margin, “High Flying Bird” found a narrative focus that’s new for the sports genre. And by creating exploited characters who struggle with debt despite their talents, the movie feels relevant beyond sports and has something to say about the economic system in the United States.
Heads Up: Steven Soderbergh filmed this with an iPhone. This may be a cool and inspiring innovation, especially since it allowed Soderbergh to place the camera in unique spots. But the choice does make scenes lack a cinematic quality at times, giving this a made-for-television feel that it already has to fight.
Here’s the full list of movies joining Netflix this week.
- “The Soloist”
- “El árbol de la sangre” (Netflix Film)
- “High Flying Bird” (Netflix Film)