Netflix in April 2020: the best new films and TV shows coming this month

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Desperately seeking entertainment? Don’t worry: there are plenty of new shows and films to watch on Netflix this month, including deliciously frothy rom-com Love Wedding Repeat

Thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, we’re all going to be spending much of April indoors. If you’re worried about running out of things to watch, though, don’t be: it looks like it’s going to be another good month for anyone with a Netflix account.

There’s plenty of nostalgic films and TV shows to sink your teeth into, including The Vicar of Dibley (hurrah for Dawn French!) and 80s classic The Breakfast Club. There’s also a helluva lot more work for armchair detectives to do, thanks to the arrival of several new true crime documentaries, including much-hyped The Innocence Files. A Secret Love (as pictured above) will tell the true and inspiring tale of a former women’s professional baseball player who met the love of her life in 1947, forcing her to come out to a family she had kept her sexuality a secret from for seven decades. Rom-com fans will want to check out Love Wedding Repeat, while Alan Yang’s Tigertail looks to be a huge talking point when it lands later this month. And let’s not forget about all the soul-soothing cartoons coming to the streaming platform, too: from Studio Ghibli classics to The Land Before Time, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

So, without further ado, here’s Stylist’s picks of the most exciting new films, documentaries and TV shows to look out for on Netflix in April 2020.

The Wind Rises (1 April)

The Wind Rises was the highest-grossing Japanese film in 2013, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. Now, at long last, this animated biopic is available to stream on Netflix. 

Fair warning, this is very much a cartoon for adults, as it tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi (Hideaki Anno) and his life as an aviation engineer. The dawn of World War II, however, forces him to turn his attention to fighter planes – and leads to a lifetime of regret.

Other Studio Ghibli films to look out for on 1 April: 

  • From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  • Pom Poko (1994)
  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008)
  • When Marnie Was There (2014)
  • Whisper of the Heart (1995).

How To Fix A Drug Scandal (1 April)

The official synopsis for this true crime documentary reads: “Two drug lab chemists’ shocking crimes cripple a state’s judicial system and blur the lines of justice for lawyers, officials and thousands of inmates.”

Community (1 April)

Community is a supremely underrated cult series about life in a (you guessed it) community college. Indeed, it grows more innovative with every single one of its six seasons, all of which are coming to Netflix this April. Alison Brie, Donald Glover – aka Childish Gambino, Ken Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown and Chevy Chase are just a few of the stars leading this ensemble comedy.

Love Wedding Repeat (10 April)

In need of something light, fun and deliciously frothy? Love Wedding Repeat is a brilliantly bonkers rom-com, all about the power of chance. As you’ll learn in the trailer above, this film sees alternate versions of the same wedding unfold as Jack (Sam Claflin) tries to make sure his little sister (played by Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson) has the perfect wedding day. But he’ll have to juggle an angry ex-girlfriend, an uninvited guest with a secret, a misplaced sleep sedative, and unexpectedly reuniting with the girl of his dreams who got away, Dina (Olivia Munn). Pleasantly predictable happy endings? Sounds good to us.

Tigertail (10 April)

And now for something completely different. Alan Yang’s poignant multi-generational drama tells the tale of Pin-Jui (Hong-Chi Lee), a young Taiwanese factory worker, who makes the difficult decision to leave his homeland — and the woman he loves — behind in order to seek better opportunities in America. 

The American dream, however, proves to be very different from the life our hero imagined. And so, after years of monotonous work and an arranged marriage devoid of love or compassion, the older Pin-Jui (Tzi Ma) a shadow of his former self. Unable to sympathise with his daughter Angela (Christine Ko) and at risk of living out his retirement in solitude, Pin-Jui must reconnect with his past in order to finally build the life he once dreamed of having. 

Which basically translates to this: make sure you have tissues handy, as it’s going to be an absolute sobfest.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (TBA)

Suspected to land on 1 April, classic 80s comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off feels like prime quarantine viewing. Mainly because, if we can’t enjoy a wondrous day outside ourselves, we’d quite like to live vicariously through Ferris.

The Innocence Files (15 April)

True-crime fans will definitely want to check out this nine-part documentary about wrongful convictions, which was made in collaboration with The Innocence Project. 

“We are thrilled to be part of the groundbreaking Netflix series, The Innocence Files,” said Innocence Project co-founders Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck, as reported by Variety.

“This is truly important television. Each episode reveals – step by step – how the American criminal justice system gets it wrong. These stories feature people whose freedom was stolen because of governments’ reliance on junk science, discredited and suggestive eyewitness identification procedures, and prosecutors who engage in misconduct to win at any cost. 

“We hope these stories motivate people to take action. There are tried and tested reforms that will improve the system to make it more fair and just. Countless innocent people endure unspeakable suffering in maximum security prisons and death row for crimes they didn’t commit. These miscarriages of justice extend a circle of pain and trauma that embraces families, communities, and even victims of crime. We must do better.”

The series will examine eight separate cases of innocent Americans being locked up, many of which involve extended jail sentences, and some of which even see a state execution being overturned at the 11th hour, as seen with death-row convict Alfred Dewayne Brown.

Sergio (17 April)

United Nations diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello must fight for his life when a bomb blast in Baghdad, Iraq, cause the walls to come crashing down.

Earth and Blood (17 April)

Fancy a brooding French-language action film? Then check out Earth and Blood, the latest from writer-director Julien Leclercq. It tells the tale of a sawmill owner and his teenage daughter, who find themselves entangled in a deadly feud when a drug dealer stashes stolen cocaine on their property in the Ardennes.

Cooked with Cannabis (20 April)

Are you ready for the first-ever competitive cannabis cooking show? Of course you are.  As the name suggests, Cooked with Cannabis sees chefs compete to get the show’s hosts and special guests high on elevated cannabis cuisine with their artful use of leafy herb.

The Vicar of Dibley (TBA)

Geraldine Granger (Dawn French) is outgoing, vivacious and fun-loving, as well as caring and committed to her flock. And, yeah, she’s the force of nature we all need right now, quite frankly.

Circus of Books (22 April)

Fancy a different kind of documentary? A Circus of Books takes us back to 1976, when a couple takes over an adult book store, and quickly become the biggest distributor of gay porn in the United States. Ever.

Extraction (24 April)

This action film follows a black-market mercenary (Chris Hemsworth) as he’s given the most dangerous job of his career: extracting the kidnapped son of an international crime lord.

Catfish (TBA)

When Nev Shulman, a New York photographer, receives a Facebook request from a child named Abby, he cannot guess the unusual odyssey on which he will soon embark. Abby sends Nev an unusually skilled painting based on one of his photos. 

Intrigued, he begins online relationships with the rest of Abby’s family, including her older sister, Megan. Though troubling inconsistencies soon emerge, Nev continues his online flirtation with Megan, resulting in a road trip to meet her in person.

A Secret Love (29 April)

A Secret Love tells the incredible, decades-spanning love story between two women, one of whom played in the women’s professional baseball league, which inspired the hit movie A League Of Their Own.

The Breakfast Club (TBA)

Aren’t we all, in a way, in Covid-19 detention right now? The Breakfast Club might not have aged well, but we still have a soft spot for the 80s classic, all about five high school students from different walks of life enduring a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal. 

As rebel John (Judd Nelson), princess Claire (Molly Ringwald), outcast Allison (Ally Sheedy), brainy Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) and jock Andrew (Emilio Estevez) tell their stories, they wind up making the others see them a little differently – and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same.

Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story (29 April)

This true crime film follows the case of Cyntoia Brown, who was sentenced to life in prison at 16 after fatally shooting a man. However, questions about her past, physiology and the law itself call her guilt into question.

The Land Before Time (TBA)

Get ready for a dose of nostalgia in this bittersweet 80s cartoon, all about a young brontosaurus dinosaur who loses his mother in a tragic accident. He’s forced to join forces with four other orphaned dinos and, as they learn to help and support one another, they slowly find a way to survive the harsh Jurassic landscape.

Sixteen Candles (TBA)

Yet another John Hughes film, again starring Molly Ringwald. A young girl celebrates her 16th birthday and navigates all the pitfalls of dating in high school, too.

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Originally published on 30 March but updated throughout to include new titles.

All images: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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