The 15 best films coming to Netflix in October 2022 – The A.V. Club

Halloween season is here and Netflix is trotting out some spooky fare for us all including Rob Zombie’s “Hey, that was kind of good?” version of The Munsters, as well as Mike Flanagan’s latest horror-themed series The Midnight Club. But like a well-rounded haul after a night of trick or treating, you have to mix in some legit candy bars along with the candy corn and other seasonal goodies. In other words, what movies is Netflix adding this month to balance out the viewing schedule? We’re glad you asked…
2 / 17
Jim Henson’s Labyrinth was a minor hit when it debuted back in 1986 and its reputation has only grown since that time. A wonderful fantasy adventure that combines Henson’s creepier Muppet creations with live-action performers, Labyrinth stars a young Jennifer Connelly as dreamer Sarah who quickly learns the lesson of “be careful what you wish for” as she, after tiring of babysitting her brother Toby, wishes he would be taken away. Jareth “The Goblin King” (David Bowie) hears this plea and kidnaps Toby, setting the film in motion. Bowie is amazing as Jareth, and while the rest of the cast is slightly less inspired, the creativity on display is the true star of the show. The film also has the first attempt at a photo-realistic CGI animal in a feature with the cool owl flying in the opening credits. In a review of the film for The A.V. Club, Tasha Robinson said it’s “a surprisingly frank exploration of the war between Connelly’s sexuality and her innocent childhood daydreams.”
3 / 17
After a long career, Luca Guadagnino broke through to mainstream audiences with his impeccable 2017 drama Call Me by Your Name. Taking place in Italy in 1983, the story revolves around a research assistant named Oliver (Armie Hammer) who comes to stay the summer and work for Elio’s (Timothee Chalamet) father (Michael Stulbarg), an archaeology professor. Oliver and Elio at first don’t get along, but eventually, the two develop a friendship, and from there, a love affair. Yet, things are never simple when it comes to both young lovers and seemingly illicit affairs, and Guadagnino manages to explore both in a lovely and touching way. In his review for The A.V. Club, A.A. Dowd said, “The potential for a tryst hangs heavily in the humid Mediterranean air; every look and line of dialogue drips with subtext.”
4 / 17
In 2005’s goofy yet amiable rom-com Wedding Crashers, full-grown man-children Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) and John (Owen Wilson) are divorce mediators who spend much of their free time crashing weddings. It’s a brilliant plan and fits perfectly into that early 2000s character Vaughn so successfully honed following his breakout role in Swingers (1996). He’s the instigator, but he’s kind of all talk—even as John develops feelings that fly in the face of their partying ways when he lays eyes on Claire (Rachel McAdams). Landing somewhere beneath Old School and above Dodgeball, other similar Vaughn comedy vehicles, Wedding Crashers is a fun way to spend the evening. In his lukewarm review of the film for The A.V. Club, Keith Phipps said, “If comedy is half in the writing and half in the delivery, then Wedding Crashers is a film filled with moments of half-greatness.”
5 / 17
Stop motion studio Laika somehow missed the mark audience-wise with their excellent 2019 sasquatch film Missing Link. Written and directed by Chris Butler (ParaNorman), the film follows the story of one Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis), a Sasquatch living in the Pacific Northwest who has tired of his day-to-day existence, so he strikes a deal to reveal himself to the world in order to find his missing family. Enter one Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), an investigator of mythical creatures who agrees to help Link find his family in exchange for making Frost a household name. The film was one of Laika’s only real flops, and it’s unclear why, since it’s a great family film—it even won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film. Well, now’s your chance to discover the film that Jesse Hassenger, in his glowing review for The A.V. Club, said “walks a line between a swashbuckling adventure and a gentle picaresque.”
6 / 17
In 1991, Billy Crystal was looking maaahvelous. After massive hits like Throw Mama From The Train (1987) and When Harry Met Sally (1989), he starred in 1991’s City Slickers, which re-teamed him with burgeoning comedic partner in crime Bruno Kirby alongside Daniel Stern as New Yorkers in the midst of a midlife crisis who attempt to shake it by doing an authentic western cattle drive. For all the star power Crystal possessed at that moment, it ended up being the late, great Jack Palance who stole the show (and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar) as surly cattle-drive leader Curly. City Slickers is not only a funny film overall, it’s also a nostalgic look at friendship and “finding your bliss.” For such a seemingly superficial film, it never fails to wring out a few tears. In a review for The Hollywood Reporter, Jeff Menell said “After some of the recent tame and lame films that have arrived on the scene, City Slickers is a welcome treat.”
7 / 17
The world is currently in the throes of a major Keanu Reeves lovefest—an overdue development for an above-average actor who seems to be a truly decent human being. But back then or now, the action-adventure Point Break is an all-time classic. Starring Reeves as undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah and Patrick Swayze as Bodhi, a surfer dude, adrenaline junkie, and bank robber, it has only grown in popularity over the years with its odd mix of romance, bromance, action, and crime. Who could ask for more? In a 2010 The A.V. Club look at the film’s cult status, Scott Tobias dug the onscreen chemistry between Swayze and Reeves, saying, “The teaming of Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves is ideal: One a serene prophet, endlessly proselytizing; the other a blank slate, boundlessly impressionable.”
8 / 17
In 1985, Steven Spielberg had never won a Best Director Oscar. Be it creatively or strategically, Spielberg was done messing around, and he directed a simply beautiful adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. It had all the hallmarks of a surefire Oscar winner and, it did get nominated—eleven times. And it lost every single one. Even so, The Color Purple deserved better from the Academy, and is a masterful rendition of Walker’s text. In a 2003 review of the film, The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray said, “Spielberg’s crowd-pleasing sense of rhythm and eye-catching visual style–heavy on shafts of light, purposeful shadows, and Hitchcockian forced perspectives–makes Purple engaging, and even moving.”
9 / 17
After honing his skills in a variety of smaller roles in films like Taps (1981) and The Outsiders (1983), young upstart Tom Cruise earned the lead role of Joel in Paul Brickman’s classic Risky Business. Who knew what that starring role would lead to today? While the film will always be remembered for Cruise’s hallway dance in his undies to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock And Roll,” the plot actually centers around young Joel who hires a call girl named Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) after his parents leave for vacation, and a considerable amount of trouble ensues. The film was not only a legit hit, but it allowed Cruise to move on, forever, to bigger roles. In an A- review for The A.V. Club, Keith Phipps said, “A coming-of-age film that turns Cruise’s high-school senior into an accidental pimp after he nervously hires a call girl (De Mornay), Risky Business is partly about how teens grow up, discover desire, and move past the little-kid images that line their parents’ homes. But the “business” half of the title is just as important.”
10 / 17
Back in 2020, Stephen King released If It Bleeds, a collection of four short stories, three of which were immediately snapped up for film adaptations. The first out of the gate is Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, which Netflix releases on October 5. The story centers on a young man named Craig (Jaeden Martell, young “Stuttering Bill” from It: Chapter One) who starts doing house chores for an elderly man named Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland). The two of them strike up an uneasy friendship that grows as Craig teaches Harrigan how to use a new invention called a “Smart Phone.” Harrigan eventually passes, but unexpectedly, he keeps in touch with Craig—from beyond the grave. In her lukewarm review of the film for The A.V. Club, Courtney Howard said, “director [John Lee] Hancock and his stable of frequent collaborators give the picture an alluring, semi-spooky appeal.”
11 / 17
Here’s a cinematic team-up that’s sure to pique the interest of anyone with more than a passing interest in film: Henry Selick and Jordan Peele. The latter is a producer of stop motion master Selick’s latest, Wendell & Wild, which is being released by Netflix. Bonus cool factor, Keegan-Michael Key also stars alongside Peele! The plot follows demon brothers Wendell (Key) and Wild (Peele), who enlist a sassy teen, Kat Elliot (Lyric Ross), to summon them to the Land of the Living. But Kat has her own demands for them, which makes for a unique and fun-looking adventure. As Selick returns to the director’s chair for the first time in 13 years (since Coraline), there’s a lot to intrigue audiences here. It’s also exciting to see Jordan Peele turn his creativity towards animation, not to mention stop-motion animation.
12 / 17
Taking its title from the old adage that any team can win on “any given Sunday,” Oliver Stone turned his cinematic eye away from powerful politicians (JFK, 1991) and Vietnam heroes (Platoon, Born Of The Fourth Of July, Nixon) to the high-stakes world of professional football. On the surface, it’s an odd choice, but Any Given Sunday cast an early eye on the brutality of the sport in terms of owners and how players are treated when they’re winning, and when they’re losing. Additionally, it’s a visual stunner, featuring an all-star cast led by Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, and Dennis Quaid. In a review for The A.V. Club, Nick Schager admiringly says of the film, “ [it] brazenly strives for Shakespearean grandeur, thanks in part to the scripting of playwright-turned-screenwriter John Logan.”
13 / 17
Who’s ready to get their pants charmed off by Jason Segal, Rashida Jones, and Paul Rudd, all in one movie? If you raised your hand and loosened your jeans, look no further than I Love You, Man. Real estate rock star Peter (Rudd) doesn’t have any friends, but with his wedding to lovely fiancé Zooey (Jones) coming up, Peter is in dire need of groomsmen. Enter gadfly investor Sydney Fife (Segal) in a meet-cute that leads to a bro-om-com par excellence. Scott Tobias gave the movie a solid B- in his review for The A.V. Club, observing, “What saves I Love You, Man, at least partially, is the relaxed chemistry between Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, both very funny men who are genuine enough to push back against a premise that’s often maddeningly artificial.”
14 / 17
In 1998, Jackie Chan made the leap (literally and metaphorically) from death-defying stunts in Hong Kong cinema to American soil. But even if American audiences have always found a soft spot for well-executed “martial arts films” (we hesitate to pigeonhole Chan as just that!), finding a way to get him onscreen outside of that genre proved a bit challenging. Enter Chris Tucker, the loud and brash comedian who instantly transformed Chan into a straight man for his loud-mouthed brand of comedy. Rush Hour follows the kidnapping of a Chinese diplomat’s daughter, where Chan’s Detective Lee is called in from Hong Kong to assist LAPD’s wisecracking cop Carter. Hilarity and action ensue, and unless you’re incapable of happiness, the film is a winner. In a review for The A.V. Club, LaToya Ferguson said, “While the Rush Hour film franchise may never be lauded alongside Lethal Weapon, the buddy-cop dynamic between Carter and Lee is right up there on the list with Riggs and Murtaugh. “
15 / 17
Before you scoff at the fact we’re adding Scooby-Doo to the month’s best picks, not only is the film pretty good, but it marked James Gunn’s biggest break in terms of becoming a Hollywood screenwriter, and subsequently, one of our most successful directors. Plus, the casting was spot-on—particularly Matthew Lillard as the affable Shaggy. The plot for Scooby-Doo … oh, who cares. It’s Scooby-Doo. There’s some kind of crime, the Scooby Gang gets involved, shenanigans ensue and in the end, the culprits would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those darn kids and their dog. Scooby-Doo is a delight. Chris Hewitt’s review for Empire magazine added this selling point: “Anyone looking for sophistication from a movie which features a two minute-long farting contest between man and CG dog is going to be sorely disappointed.”
16 / 17
While the reunion of George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Ticket To Paradise is great news for fans of the two superstars, the real news here is the return of Julia Roberts to the rom-com after ruling it in the ’90s and early 2000s. Films like Notting Hill, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Runaway Bride made Roberts a massive star. In the latter, Roberts stars as Maggie Carpenter, a woman who’s already left three dudes at the altar, and is subsequently given the film’s title as a nickname by a grumpy journo played by Richard Gere (reuniting them for the first time since Pretty Woman). He decides to see what’s up with Maggie’s pathological case of cold feet. The A.V. Club’s Caroline Siede didn’t think Runaway Bride lived up to the near-perfect and iconic Pretty Woman, but confessed, “The film has a refreshing optimism about people’s ability to talk through their problems and stay friends through strife.”
17 / 17

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