It’s an especially strong month for Netflix original series—the standouts including Alias Grace and She’s Gotta Have it.
Like The Handsmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace derives from a Margaret Atwood novel about the trials of a woman subjected to servitude and incarceration. Sarah Polley adapted and Mary Harron directed this Canadian Gothic tale, which is based on a true case of an Irish servant (Sarah Gadon) implicated in the murder of her master (Paul Gross) and his housekeeper mistress (Anna Paquin). Building tension over the course of six episodes, it’s a classy binge-watch if ever there was one.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
She’s Gotta Have It
Thirty one years after Spike Lee’s groundbreaking black-and-white comedy-drama was released, he has re-engineered and modernized it as a Netflix series. DeWanda Wise plays the new incarnation of the polyamorous Brooklyn artist Nola Darling. Her three lovers line up thus: b-boy Mars Blackmon (Anthony Ramos in Lee’s original role), fashion model Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony), and investment banker Jamie Overstreet (Lyriq Bent). Since Lee directed all 10 episodes, She’s Gotta Have It is a must-see.
Godless promises to be the first quality Western series since 2012’s Hatfields & McCoys (though since that dramatized an Appalachian feud, it was technically an “Eastern”). There are elements of William Wellman’s Westward the Women (1951) and Anthony Mann’s Man of the West (1958) in Scott Frank’s seven-partner about a “good bad man” (Jack O’Connell) on the run from his adoptive father, an evil outlaw (Jeff Daniels). They fetch up in a town where all the men have died in a mining accident, so the women—including Alice Fletcher (Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery)—have had to toughen up. The question is, have they toughened up enough?
Dee Rees’s masterful film of the Hillary Jordan novel focuses on the relationship between a poor white family and a black sharecropping family in muddy Mississippi during and after Word War II. Taking its cue from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, the novel is narrated by multiple characters. Rees’ harnessing of this literary strategy enhances the empathy for different characters.
Mary J. Blige and Carey Mulligan excel as the mothers who try to connect across the racial divide; Jason Mitchell and Garret Hedlund are equally good as the black and white soldiers who bond after serving in the war. Their attempts to forge friendships are sabotaged by the white bigotry of the Mulligan character’s loathsome father-in-law, played by Jonathan Banks. Rob Morgan and Jason Clarke also shine in this impressive ensemble movie. Mudbound was screened at the New York Film Festival.
If vigilante justice meets with your approval, The Punisher might be your cup of beef tea. Jon Bernthal reprises the role of Marvel Comics’ social purger Frank Castle from Daredevil. Thomas Jane played Castle in the 2004 movie; Ray Stevenson stepped into his shoes in 2008’s Punisher: War Zone. The new series runs 13 episodes, suggesting Netflix has its eye on further instalments.
Longmir’s has been renewed for a sixth and final season, consisting of 10 episodes. Robert Taylor plays Walt Longmire, the widowed modern-day sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming; Lou Diamond Phillips is his tracker friend Henry Standing Bear; and Cassidy Freeman is Walt’s lawyer daughter Cady. Henry was kidnapped at the end of season five. Can Walt rescue him before he (presumably) retires?
Broadchurch, Season 3
Originally aired on BBC America, the final series of this British buddy cop show deals with the culture of rape and institutionalized sexism in the eponymous Dorset coastal town. Detectives Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and Alec Hardy (David Tennant) are brought into investigate the rape of a middle-aged women, Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh), outside the place where her best friend’s 50th birthday is being celebrated.
To bat away the post-Halloween blues, Netflix had scheduled a number of scary movies for November—with differing degrees of scariness. Among them are Silent Hill and, er, Scary Movie. The least nightmarish of them is Brad Silberling’s 1995 Casper, based on the Harvey Comics character Casper, the Friendly Ghost, who dates back to the late 1930s. The spirit of a dead boy, Casper, was the perfect foil for 15-year-old Christina Ricci, whose previous film was Addams Family Values. Some would now probably regard Ricci as scarier than Casper, having become Hollywood’s favorite goth.
Brian Helgeland’s respectful biopic depicts how Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman) became the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era. Championed by the Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), Robinson made his debut at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947, but the movie is less about that momentous occasion than how, as a man with a fierce disposition, he coped with the acrimony he received from his own teammates, spectators, and the likes of Phillies manager Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk).
Kate Winslet deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Hanna Schmitz, who, as an SS guard, was responsible for the the burning of 300 Jewish women on a death march from Kraków. David Kross played Michael Berg, the teenager who becomes Hanna’s lover in 1958 Berlin; Ralph Fiennes played the older Michael who, realizing she is illiterate, reconnects with her after she is sentenced to life imprisonment. Bruno Ganz and Lena Olin co-star in this adaption by David Hare from Bernhard Schlink’s allegorical novel. Directed by Stephen Daldry, The Reader addresses the moral confusion of the Germans who succeeded the wartime generation.
Where the Day Takes You
Something of a surprise when it was released in 1992, Marc Rocco’s drama unsentimentally depicts the lives of Los Angeles street kids—jailbirds, prostitutes, and drug addicts inevitably among them. Under the watch of the 22-ish King (Dermot Mulroney at his best), the waifs and strays, played by Ricki Lake, Sean Astin, Lara Flynn Boyle, Balthazar Getty, Will Smith (in his film debut), and James LeGros, have formed a surrogate family, but it isn’t enough to keep most of them out of harm’s way. Though less accomplished than Gus Van Sant’s early films—to which it is emotionally sympathetic—Where the Day Takes You is well worth a look.
French action director Fred Cavaye followed Point Blank and Anything For Her with this effective crime drama about two cops, played by burly Gilles Lelouche and the great Vincent Lindon, who are determined to bring down a gang of murderers working for the Serbian Mob. Mea Culpa doesn’t tax the imagination—what you see is what you get—but its string of set pieces is superbly calibrated.
Tommy Lee Jones directed and starred in this neglected 2014 Western about a rascally, but guileful, claim-jumper enlisted by a spinster (Hilary Swank) to help her escort three insane pioneer women (Miranda Otto, Grace Gummer, Sonja Richter) from Nebraska to an Iowan church where they will be cared for. There’s a tang of the real West—not the Hollywood one—about this movie, which, given its eastward trajectory, is something of an un-Western. It was based on a novel by Glendan Swarthout (Where the Boys Are, The Shootist) and elicited some of the finest acting in Swank’s career.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.