The best movies new to streaming this March

Emma Stone in THE FAVOURITE, in fancy dress in a fancy chair and sitting in front of a fancy fireplace
Photo: Yorgos Lanthimos/Fox Searchlight

The best of the best on Netflix and the rest

Happy March, Polygon readers. The weather is warming up, winter is closing up shop, and the Oscars are around the corner. But first: new movies for you to watch on your streaming services in March.

This month, we’ve got a prior hit from a current Oscar contender, a Dev Patel movie to warm you up for Monkey Man, and classics from the ’80s and ’90s that didn’t get the recognition they deserved on first release. (But we can fix that now.)

Here are the movies new to streaming services you should watch this month.

Editor’s pick


Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty crouch in the sand in the Moroccan desert in Ishtar Image: Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

Where to watch: Criterion Channel
Genre: Comedy
Director: Elaine May
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, Isabelle Adjani

Best known as a career-ending flop for the great director and comedian Elaine May, Ishtar was wrongly maligned in its time, and has blissfully seen its reputation repaired to the point where it’s starting to get recognized as one of the great comedies of the 1980s. That’s overdue, but at least it’s happening, and now you can be a part of that great reconsideration.

Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty star as a pair of hapless wannabe musicians who get duped by pretty much everyone in their lives on their quest to make it big. As a result, they end up in the middle of a Cold War standoff in Morocco, caught between the CIA and a plot to overthrow the local government.

Part of the brilliance of the movie is how Hoffman and Beatty play against type — it’d be easy to picture Beatty as the confident leader and Hoffman as the happy idiot, but the roles are reversed to great comedic effect. Beatty in particular is side-splittingly funny as the completely inept Lyle Rogers.

Ishtar is also a fantastic example of a very difficult feat — a good artist intentionally writing bad art into their work. The duo’s songs are so deliriously bad that they wrap back around to being perfect. “Dangerous Business” always occupies approximately two percent of my brain, and I am excited for it to occupy yours, too. —Pete Volk

New on Netflix

Devil in a Blue Dress

Denzel Washington, wearing a sleeveless top, stands in front of a house in Devil in a Blue Dress Image: Sony Pictures Releasing

Genre: Neo-noir
Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Don Cheadle

Let me pitch you on this as quickly as possible, since I’ve written about it at length as well: Denzel Washington, on the verge of stardom, starring in an adaptation of one of the great mystery books of the 1990s, alongside Don Cheadle like you’ve never seen him before. Devil in a Blue Dress is a nearly forgotten classic thriller. Luckily, with its recent Criterion 4K restoration and addition to Netflix, it’s moving closer to getting its rightful place in the canon of excellent 20th-century American cinema. —PV

New on Hulu

The Favourite

Rachel Weisz fires a gun while Emma Stone looks on in The Favourite Photo: Yorgos Lanthimos/Fox Searchlight

Genre: Period comedy
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz

Yorgos Lanthimos, the Greek director of bizarre award-contending dark comedies, has his latest collaboration out with Emma Stone in Poor Things. That one’s coming to Hulu in early March (March 7, to be exact), but I can’t recommend it yet because I haven’t seen it.

I can recommend their previous collaboration: The Favourite, which is, in my view, Lanthimos’ strongest movie to date. Set in early-18th-century England, the movie follows two cousins (Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone) who are each vying for the affection of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). The deliriously funny movie leans heavily on the excellent performances of its three leads and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards. (Colman, the true standout in a group of standout performances, won Best Actress.) —PV

New on Max

The Green Knight

Dev Patel as Gawain in The Green Knight. Image: A24

Genre: Fantasy
Director: David Lowery
Cast: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton

Of all the movies coming out over the next few months, I don’t think there’s any I’m more excited for than Monkey Man. Dev Patel’s directorial debut also sees him move into action-star mode — a long-overdue swerve in the career path of a former international taekwondo medalist who became an Oscar-nominated actor.

So while we wait for Monkey Man, why not revisit his most recent feature, The Green Knight? Patel excels as Gawain, bringing to life a complicated man who desperately wants to be a hero, all set in a fascinating spin on conventional fantasy worlds and tropes.

And if you’re looking for some more recent Patel goodness, check out The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar on Netflix. —PV

New on Prime Video

I Saw the Devil

Special Agent Kim Soo-hyeon (Lee Byung-hun) stalking his prey in a greenhouse in I Saw The Devil. Image: Magnet Releasing

Genre: Thriller
Director: Kim Jee-woon
Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik, Oh San-ha

South Korean revenge thrillers have a reputation for being brutal and gory, but Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil is a whole other beast entirely.

The film follows Kim Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun), a special agent of the National Intelligence Service, who embarks on a twisted mission of retribution and revenge when his fiancee, Joo-yeon, is kidnapped and murdered by Jang Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik), a vicious psychopath and serial killer. The movie unravels as a cat-and-mouse game of sadistic psychological brutality, as Soo-hyun stalks and hunts Kyung-chul’s every step, attacking him until he’s on the brink of death before pulling back in order to prolong his suffering. Filled with bracing violence, thrilling chase scenes, and a chilling climax that brings the question of what justifies revenge into stark relief, I Saw the Devil is a pulse-pounding experience. —Toussaint Egan

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