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    The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to Netflix in July

    This month brings the arrival of “Lost” and the return of Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley.Every month, Netflix adds movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for some of July’s most promising new titles. (Note: Streaming services occasionally change schedules without giving notice. For more recommendations on what to stream, sign up for our Watching newsletter here.)‘Lost’ Seasons 1-6Starts streaming: July 1This enormously entertaining and frequently surprising science-fiction epic comes back to Netflix, just in time for the 20th anniversary of its debut episode. What begins as a story about a seemingly random group of airline passengers crash-landing on an uncharted island grows over the course of six seasons into a centuries-spanning saga, as the castaways stumble across the mysteries and history of their strange and dangerous new home. An innovative flashback structure balances on-island adventure with smaller stories about these people’s lives before they crashed. “Lost” works as both a rich character-driven drama and an addicting puzzle, littered with clues and curiosities. It will be interesting to see if a new generation of fans becomes as obsessed as TV watchers were in the early 2000s — and if they argue just as much about the way the show ends.‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’Starts streaming: July 3Arriving 30 years after “Beverly Hills Cop III,” this long-gestating sequel sees Eddie Murphy return to one of his most memorable roles: Axel Foley, the savvy and wisecracking Detroit policeman who somehow keeps finding himself back in Los Angeles, solving crimes. In “Axel F,” the old-school action hero shows up to help out his estranged daughter, Jane (Taylour Paige), a defense attorney whose life may be in danger. While working alongside Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Detective Bobby Abbott (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Foley runs into a lot of old friends, including Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), John Taggart (John Ashton), Jeffrey Friedman (Paul Reiser) and Serge (Bronson Pinchot). The movie is being pitched as a full-scale 1980s throwback, with big stunts and R-rated jokes.‘Cobra Kai’ Season 6, Part 1Starts streaming: July 18The sequel series to “The Karate Kid” movie franchise is coming to an end, with a season divided into three parts, starting with five episodes in July. “Cobra Kai” started as a simple twist on the original 1984 film, turning its jerky villain Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) into more of an underdog and its hero, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), into someone out of touch with his humble roots. As the series has gone on, these characters — and their children, who also compete in martial arts tournaments — have evolved in ways that make their motivations and relationships more complex. The story has expanded to encompass more parts of the “Karate Kid” mythology, but it has remained a surprisingly sensitive look at how people overcome the family histories and socioeconomic circumstances that initially shape them.‘Skywalkers: A Love Story’Starts streaming: July 19Acrophobes should probably clear of this dizzying documentary, about a pair of famous Russian “roof-toppers” who climb as high as they can onto towering buildings then take pictures to preserve the achievement. Angela Nikolau and Ivan Beerkus fell in love while pursuing this passion for extreme climbing. When their relationship started to falter, they tried rekindling the romance by making plans to break into the upper floors of the world’s second-tallest skyscraper, in Kuala Lumpur. Because Nikolau and Beerkus have documented and shared so many of their adventures on social media, the “Skywalkers” director, Jeff Zimbalist, and his co-director, Maria Bukhonina, have ample footage to work with. They tell a story that is partly about a risky act of criminal trespass and partly about a couple who have to learn to trust each other in order to survive their big stunt.‘The Decameron’ Season 1Starts streaming: July 25Based loosely on Giovanni Boccaccio’s influential 14th-century story collection, “The Decameron” is set in Florence during the time of the Black Plague and follows an eclectic group of aristocrats and their servants as they shelter from the pestilence at a rural villa. Created by Kathleen Jordan (best known for the wry satire “Teenage Bounty Hunters”), the mini-series features a cast of distinctive comic actors, including Zosia Mamet (“Girls”), Tanya Reynolds (“Sex Education”), Saoirse-Monica Jackson (“Derry Girls”) and Tony Hale (“Arrested Development”). Rather than the wide-ranging anthology format of the book, this version covers the misadventures of the houseguests, as days of isolation and anxiety lead to a breakdown in social and sexual inhibitions.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Netflix and Amazon Drive Bump in TV Show Market

    Netflix and Amazon are driving a small bump in the market for TV shows after a major slowdown.It has been nearly seven months since Hollywood resolved its strikes, but momentum still hasn’t taken hold in the entertainment industry. “Survive till ’25” has become an informal slogan among entertainment workers.But the global market for ordering new TV shows is beginning to show some signs of life, and it’s been overwhelmingly driven by two players — Netflix and Amazon.Netflix greenlit more scripted television projects through the first quarter of this year than in any quarter since 2022, according to Ampere Analysis, a research firm. Amazon had its most active quarter since Ampere started tracking market activity five years ago, the firm said.Many of their competitors are still taking a more cautious approach. As a result, Netflix and Amazon collectively accounted for 53 percent of the scripted television series orders among the major studios through the first three months of the year, according to Ampere.Most of the series orders have been made internationally. Netflix has been particularly active in Britain, Germany, Spain and South Korea, the research showed, while Amazon has been investing aggressively in India.Netflix and Amazon have also purchased more projects in the United States compared with the tail end of 2023, but the increases have been more modest. Netflix had its most active quarter domestically since the first quarter of last year. Amazon had its biggest quarter since the spring of last year, according to the research.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Can Japan’s First Same-Sex Dating Reality Show Change Hearts and Minds?

    Producers of “The Boyfriend” on Netflix hope it will encourage broader acceptance of the L.G.B.T.Q. community in Japan, which still has not legalized same-sex unions.Japan is the only country among the world’s wealthiest democracies that has not legalized same-sex unions. Few celebrities are openly gay. Conservative groups oppose legislative efforts to protect the L.G.B.T.Q. community.But now, Netflix is introducing the country’s first same-sex dating reality series.Over 10 episodes of “The Boyfriend,” which will be available in 190 countries beginning on July 9, a group of nine men gather in a luxury beach house outside Tokyo. The format evokes Japan’s most popular romantic reality show, “Terrace House,” with its assembly of clean cut and exceedingly polite cast members, overseen by a panel of jovial commentators.The vibe is wholesome and mostly chaste. The men, who range in age from 22 to 36, operate a coffee truck during the day and cook dinner at night, with occasional forays outside for dates. One of the biggest (among very few) conflicts of the series revolves around the cost of buying raw chicken to make protein shakes for a club dancer who is trying to maintain his physique. Sex rarely comes up, and friendship and self-improvement feature as prominently as romance.In Japan, the handful of openly gay and transgender performers who regularly appear on television are typically flamboyant, effeminate comic foils who are shoehorned into exaggerated stereotypes. With “The Boyfriend,” Dai Ota, the executive producer, said he wanted to “portray same-sex relationships as they really are.”Mr. Ota, who was also a producer of “Terrace House,” which was made by Fuji TV and licensed and distributed globally by Netflix, said he had avoided “the approach of ‘let’s include people who cause problems.’”“The Boyfriend,” he said, represents diversity in another way — with cast members of South Korean, Taiwanese and multiethnic heritages.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    5 International Shows Worth Watching, From Kafka to a Human Kaiju

    The return of “Babylon Berlin” was the international TV news of the week, but here are five other recent series to check out.The long-awaited American premiere of a new season of the German hit “Babylon Berlin” was the big news this week in the realm of international television series. But interesting shows from other countries arrive on an almost daily basis. Here are five recent series to check out.‘All This I Will Give to You’This six-episode mini-series on MHz Choice is a lot like a British country-house mystery, except that it’s French. So the matriarch of the aristocratic family visited by murder is even colder and more controlling, her out-of-control second son is an even more dire cokehead, and the food looks edible. Also, everyone is better looking than they would be in a British series, particularly the artisanally scruffy husband (David Kammenos) of the suspiciously dead eldest son, who kept the husband a secret from his family and the family a secret from his husband. (To stir the cultural pot further, the series is based on a novel set in Galicia by Dolores Redondo, the popular Spanish mystery writer.)Viewers weary of the variously arch or dreary contrivances of most modern American thriller mini-series may appreciate the straightforward traditionalism of “All This I Will Give to You,” which has enough narrative pull to overcome the usual fits of melodrama that break out as the mystery nears solving. Kammenos’s Manuel, shocked by the discovery of his husband’s hidden life and disgusted by his new in-laws, is a testy, twitchy, holier-than-thou pain in the derrière for more than half the show, which is a nice change of pace. And the camaraderie that slowly develops between him and a retired cop with a personal interest in the husband’s death is nicely drawn.‘Kafka’This German mini-series demonstrates that, even in an era of consolidation, distinctive shows still sneak in through the side door of the streaming business, in this case via ChaiFlicks, which specializes in Jewish-themed content. (The fourth of six episodes premiered this week.) The series takes a meta-fictional, Wes Anderson-ish approach to the life of the writer Franz Kafka (Joel Basman) — it moves back and forth in time and among Kafka’s acquaintances, looking for crucial moments, and characters break the fourth wall to reinforce or angrily disagree with the narrator’s observations.Each of the six episodes focuses on a different character from Kafka’s life, showing us what it was like to be the best friend, the lover or the much-maligned father. Stars of central European culture show up, some played by actors familiar to American audiences from “Babylon Berlin” (Lars Eidinger as Rilke, Christian Friedel as Franz Werfel, Liv Lisa Fries as Milena Jesenská). Some viewers may feel that the dryly humorous peak-TV approach undersells the seriousness of Kaka’s work and the momentousness of the times he lived in, but “Kafka” is never less than entertaining.In “Kaiju No. 8,” a laborer gains the ability to turn into a monster.JAKDF 3rd Division Naoya Matsumoto/ShueishaWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Stream These 9 Movies Before They Leave Netflix in July

    A bunch of major titles are leaving for U.S. subscribers this month, including films by George Lucas and Ang Lee. See them while you can.Two of the biggest movies of the 1970s and one of the biggest of the ’80s are among the movies leaving Netflix in the United States in July; other highlights include a family favorite, a comic book oddity and an unconventional biopic. (Dates indicate the final day a title is available.)‘Abducted in Plain Sight’ (July 14)Stream it here.This true-crime documentary became such a must-watch (and must-discuss) sensation on Netflix, it ended up spawning a limited series dramatization on Peacock. It’s not hard to see why: This is truly stranger-than-fiction stuff, detailing how the 12-year-old Jan Broberg was abducted by a neighbor and family friend, Robert Berchtold — and then, somehow, abducted again by the same man several years later. The internet outrage surrounding the film (and blaming Broberg’s parents) missed the point; the director Skye Borgman sensitively and intelligently explores how Berchtold used brainwashing and grooming to commit his shocking crimes.‘Big Eyes’ (July 23)Stream it here.In an era of increasingly dreary, paint-by-numbers biopics, the works of the screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski seem like oases in the desert — witty, insightful, poignant and frequently cockeyed portraits of unconventional subjects like Larry Flynt, Andy Kaufman and Rudy Ray Moore. This 2014 effort reunited the writers with their “Ed Wood” director, Tim Burton, telling the story of the artist Margaret Keane, whose wildly popular and undeniably distinctive paintings were originally believed to be the work of her monstrous husband, Walter. Amy Adams plays Margaret with sympathy and grace, while Christoph Waltz’s turn as the egomaniacal Walter is the best work he has done outside of the Tarantino-verse.‘American Graffiti’ (July 31)Stream it here.This 1973 coming-of-age comedy-drama was a mind-boggling launchpad. First and foremost, it started a movement of ’50s nostalgia (even though it is set in 1962, it still feels like the ’50s) that continued through the decade with the likes of “Grease” and the film’s unofficial TV spinoff, “Happy Days.” It was also a big break for several members of its then-unknown cast, including Candy Clark, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Mackenzie Phillips, Charles Martin Smith and Cindy Williams. And perhaps most important, it was the first big hit for its co-writer and director, a quiet young California filmmaker named George Lucas, who based the picture on his own youth as a Modesto hot-rodder. Its critical and commercial success allowed him to take on his dream project, a sci-fi epic called “Star Wars,” and well, you know the rest.‘Fatal Attraction’ (July 31)Stream it here.This erotic thriller from Adrian Lyne was one of the most successful pictures of 1987 — and one of the most controversial, prompting heating conversations about its depictions of adultery and mental illness that moved from movie listings to opinion pages and magazine covers. The story is simple: Michael Douglas stars as a family man whose seemingly offhand weekend extramarital affair with Glenn Close turns into a matter of literal life and death. It is a deeply flawed picture — Close’s nuanced characterization outclasses the paper-thin caricature she’s given, and critics of the era were right to call out the cheap-thrills ending as a cop-out — but a nevertheless fascinating snapshot of the era’s sexual mores and moral paranoia.‘The Great Wall’ (July 31)Stream it here.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    ‘A Family Affair’ Review: A Rom-Com With a Third Wheel

    When Zara (Joey King) realizes that her mom (Nicole Kidman) is dating her boss (Zac Efron), she tries to split them up.Joey King is a bit of a unicorn: a genuine movie star brought into being by Netflix. As far as movies are concerned, the streamer does make a lot of them, but often seems at a loss to promote them or the actors. But in 2018, King starred in the Netflix-produced “The Kissing Booth” and made enough of an impression to power two sequels.“A Family Affair,” King’s newest film on the streaming service, may appear to be a kind of lab experiment — how does the buoyant actress react when thrown into a pool with Hollywood luminaries? King is not exactly outclassed by Nicole Kidman, Kathy Bates and Zac Efron. But the movie’s script, by Carrie Solomon, puts her at a disadvantage.Set in Los Angeles, “A Family Affair” finds King’s character, Zara, stuck in a personal assistant loop with Chris Cole (Efron), an action movie hunk who seems even more shallow and self-absorbed than the average caricature of such types. As is often the case in such arrangements, their relationship is creepily close; in the opening scene, Zara is late delivering the expensive but insincere gift Chris is about to bestow on a girlfriend he’s dumping.The movie serves up a light critique of Hollywood. Discussing Chris’s latest project, Zara repeats the log line, “It’s like ‘Die Hard’ meets ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’” to which her pal replies, “So it’s not about anything.”The beacons of integrity here are Zara’s mom, Brooke (Kidman), described by Zara in one of her frequent outbursts as a “Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award whatever,” and Zara’s paternal grandmother, Leila (Bates). Important plot point: Brooke is a widow who hasn’t been on a date in a long time. One afternoon, while dusting the house, Brooke is interrupted by Chris (semi-repentant, he’s looking for Zara, whom he’s just fired for the umpteenth time); they hit the tequila together and erotic attraction flares up. Awkward.But there’s “something real” between them, they insist to Zara, whose reaction to this development is vehemently off the charts. Until her grandmother gives her a good talking to, King’s character has three modes: peeved, indignant and grossed out. You could almost call the movie “The Longest Eye Roll.” (By contrast, Kidman, once a consistently expressive actress, performs with an inertia that could be read as a form of serenity.)King gets to show a little charm in the final third of the movie, and it’s refreshing. But every now and then you wonder whether “A Family Affair,” directed by Richard LaGravenese in a mode that vaguely recalls the work of Nancy Meyers, might have been more compelling as, instead of a rom-com, a drama about an entitled, manipulative daughter who almost ruins the lives of those around her.A Family AffairRated PG-13 for adult themes and language. Running time: 1 hour 51 minutes. Watch on Netflix. More

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    How Netflix’s Corporate Culture Has Changed

    The company’s latest internal memo about its corporate culture is more about how it expects employees to behave than what it wants to become.Netflix has long been a company known for its secrets: no Nielsen ratings, little feedback on why shows are canceled, no box office numbers for the rare movies that are actually released in theaters.Yet for a place defined by its opaque approach to the outside world, the streaming giant has long been aggressively transparent internally. The company’s philosophy was immortalized in 2009 when Reed Hastings, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, first laid out the corporate ethos in a 125-slide presentation that introduced new buzzy phrases like “stunning colleagues,” “the keeper test” and “honesty always.”The presentation, with its insistence on constant and unfiltered candor, felt both brutal and refreshingly antithetical to Hollywood’s normal way of doing business. To the frustration of former employees and current competitors, it may just be the blueprint that has enabled Netflix to have so much success while its rivals have stumbled.Three more culture memos have followed over the years. Before being released, they are pored over and analyzed for months by top executives. At the same time, any employee can pop into the Google Doc where the memo is being assembled to leave a thought or a comment.The latest iteration of the document, which was released internally on May 8 and will soon be made public, underwent eight months of vetting and received 1,500 comments from employees, according to Sergio Ezama, Netflix’s chief talent officer. It is five pages long (half the length of Mr. Hastings’s final memo in 2022), and some core tenets have changed, however slightly.When Mr. Hastings titled his 2009 presentation “Netflix Culture,” he gave it the subhead “Freedom and Responsibility.” The idea was that Netflix trusted its employees to act in the best interest of the company. If you want a vacation, take a vacation. If you have a baby and need to go on leave, go on leave. Documents were shared widely throughout the company without any fear of leaks.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    ‘Black Barbie: A Documentary’ Review: Becoming the Main Character

    A new Netflix documentary explores what led to the release of Black Barbie in 1980, both celebrating her existence and recognizing her limitations.For more than four decades, Lagueria Davis’s aunt, Beulah Mae Mitchell, worked at Mattel. Davis, the director of the new Netflix documentary “Black Barbie,” was not a fan of dolls, but was drawn to the subject by her aunt, who is a devoted collector.On the surface, the documentary is about what led to the 1980 release of Black Barbie, but the issues it explores run much deeper: the harm of lacking a “social mirror,” the slow pace of progress and the tensions around darkening a white fictional character.There were already Black dolls in the Barbie universe before Black Barbie, but all were ancillary — friends of Barbie’s. The Black version of Barbie, created by the company’s first Black designer, Kitty Black Perkins, was meant to be a main character.What is most interesting about the documentary is the question of whether Black Barbie ever managed to escape her predecessors’ marginalization, as white Barbie remains the standard. Does society need Black versions of white cultural products or new products in which Blackness is centered?Featuring a wide range of Mattel employees, academics, cultural commentators and women who have had Barbies made in their image, such as the Shondaland founder Shonda Rhimes, the ballerina Misty Copeland and the fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, Davis complicates our understanding of Black Barbie, both celebrating her existence and recognizing her limitations.“Black Barbie” looks at a Black toy company that produced multiracial dolls and a line within Mattel that was focused on stand-alone Black characters, created by Stacey McBride-Irby, a protégée of Perkins. Staying with these scenes a little longer, exploring what worked and did not, would have expanded the conversations taking place in the film and the dissonance inherent in trying to make a white doll Black.Black Barbie: A DocumentaryNot rated. Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes. Watch on Netflix. More