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Best movies and TV shows new to Netflix in October 2015

Netflix has surprisingly robust collection of top-level classics and big box-office hits also arriving this month. Here are some of the most notable newbies.

'Million Dollar Baby'

Clint Eastwood's 2004 Oscar winner is a classic
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Clint Eastwood's 2004 Oscar winner is a classic from the iconic filmmaker. It's an affecting commentary on one of the veteran's archetypal characters (in this case, a grizzled, loner boxing trainer) that's packed with great performances (Hilary Swank deservedly took home her second statue) and plenty of well-earned emotion. Available now.

'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

The highest compliment one could pay to David
Photo Credit: Steve Dietl

The highest compliment one could pay to David Lowery's romantic crime drama starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara is that it feels like something Terrence Malick might have made in the 1970s; it's a contemporary, spiritual cousin to "Badlands." October 18.

'Some Came Running'

Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin's first joint cinematic
Photo Credit: MGM / The Kobal Collection

Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin's first joint cinematic project (made in 1958) stars the Chairman of the Board as a troubled army veteran who returns to his hometown many years after abandoning it. Shirley MacLaine co-stars in an adaptation of the James Jones novel. Available now.

'Beasts of No Nation'

This film, about a child soldier in Africa,
Photo Credit: Netflix

This film, about a child soldier in Africa, could be charting new ground: It's opening simultaneously on Netflix and in theaters and has entered early Oscar conversations. The picture is directed by "True Detective" Season 1 helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga, stars Idris Elba as a warlord and Abraham Attah (who is attracting Oscar buzz of his own) as the boy. October 16.

'Boogie Nights'

Paul Thomas Anderson's masterful depiction of the 1970s
Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

Paul Thomas Anderson's masterful depiction of the 1970s porn industry in Los Angeles is a thrilling, vivid work of art, one of the best movies ever made about the innate human drive to reach the pinnacle of achievement in one's chosen profession. The ensemble cast (Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman et al.) is utterly superb and the movie crackles with energetic life, with an undercurrent of deep sadness. Available now.

'American Horror Story: Freak Show'

Ryan Murphy's mega-hit series isn't just over-the-top; it's
Photo Credit: FX / Michele K. Short

Ryan Murphy's mega-hit series isn't just over-the-top; it's so far over-the-ledge that you fear it might be forever lost, plummeting down the cliff. But there's an art to the highfalutin histrionics, especially as conveyed by the great Jessica Lange, who left the show after this fourth season, set in a mid-20th century Florida freak show. Available now.

'Batman Begins'

The first film in Christopher Nolan's trilogy isn't
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The first film in Christopher Nolan's trilogy isn't remembered as fondly as "The Dark Knight," but it's a compellingly grim origin story that establishes a high-quality precedent for the deeply serious Nolan-Christian Bale collaborations. Available now.

'On the Town'

Frank Sinatra makes his second appearance on this
Photo Credit: MGM

Frank Sinatra makes his second appearance on this list in the film version of the classic New York City-set Leonard Bernstein musical, about sailors on leave, which just ended a run on Broadway. Gene Kelly stars and co-directs, and, as everyone knows, "New York, New York's a wonderful town." Available now.

'The Nightmare'

We haven't seen every last horror picture on
Photo Credit: Zipper Bros Film

We haven't seen every last horror picture on Netflix, but it's pretty safe to assume this is one of the scariest: a documentary about the real-life phenomenon of sleep paralysis and the demons and other haunting visions witnessed by those who suffer from it the worst. Available now.

'American Pie'

This sex comedy wasn't just a major box
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

This sex comedy wasn't just a major box office success; it's as significant a documenting of mainstream culture, circa 1999, as virtually anything. Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy as Jim's dad and Jennifer Coolidge as Stifler's mom; that's hardly the recipe for greatness, but it sure is memorable. Available now.

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