Our Top Picks To Watch on Netflix This Year

Book top picks.

Netflix and chill has taken on a whole new meaning during the pandemic lockdown. While going out to a bar or a nightclub is no longer an option for most of us, Netflix seems to be the saving grace that keeps most of us feeling semi-normal. The films on Netflix have given us a way to escape our reality and feel semi-normal as we live vicariously through the characters’ lives.

With no end in sight to the lockdown, Netflix is gracing us with the launch of 71 movies! Yes, that’s more than one movie a week and we need it as we continue to stay safe in our homes. Here are the most anticipated Netflix movies that we can’t wait to watch!

The White Tiger

Movie cover for the white tiger.

Copyright: Netflix

Release Date: January 13th, 2021

Stars: Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao, Adarsh Gourav

A true rags to riches story, Balram Halwai is the driver for a rich and influential Indian family. Using his wit, he manages to escape poverty and become a successful entrepreneur. Based on the novel of the same name by Aravind Adiga, we’re looking to gain some serious inspo from this story.

To All the Boys: Always and Forever

To All The Boys: Always And Forever movie cover.

Copyright: Netflix

Release Date: February 12th, 2021

Stars: Noah Centineo, Lana Condor, Janel Parrish

The last installment of the To All the Boys series is finally here, and just in time to binge for Valentine’s Day on your couch with a friend or some ice cream (or both!) Find out what happens with our favorite couple Lara Jean and Peter as they navigate senior year in high school – and their future after that.


Moxie movie cover.

Copyright: Roaring Brook Press

Release Date: March 3rd, 2021

Stars: Josie Totah, Josephine Langford, Marcia Gay Harden

A Texas teenager starts a feminist revolution at her school when she gains inspiration from her rebellious Riot Grrrl mom’s past and publishes a ‘zine centered around calling out sexism at her school. Directed and produced by Amy Poehler, this is at the very top of our to-watch list!

Fever Dream

Fever Dream movie cover.

Copyright: Riverhead Books

Release Date: TBA

Stars: María Valverde, Guillermo Pfening, Dolores Fonzi

Another book adaptation takes the screen, this time in the form of “Fever Dream” (based on “Distancia de Rescate” by Samanta Schweblin). As vacationer Amanda lays on her death bed in rural Argentina, a series of flashbacks lead us to how she got there. A modern rendition of a ghost story, we’re here for all the spookies.

Tick, Tick… BOOM!

Tick Tick Boom movie cover.

Copyright: Hal Leonard

Release Date: TBA

Stars: Vanessa Hudgens, Bradley Whitford, Andrew Garfield

Set in the 90s, Jon is a waiter in New York City who has spent his life as an aspiring theatre composer, and at 30 isn’t feeling any closer to this dream. Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his directing debut in his movie adaptation of the musical of the same name by Jonathan Larson, creator of Rent, in this highly anticipated release.


Cast chair that says Awake on the back with a young girl next to it.

Source: IMDB

Release Date: TBA

Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Finn Jones

A real thriller focused on a global event that causes all electronics to be wiped out along with the ability to sleep, chaos threatens to consume the world. Only Jill (Rodriguez) might have the solution through her very own daughter.

Fuimos Canciones

Fuimos Canciones movie cover.

Copyright: Suma

Release Date: TBA

Stars: María Valverde, Álex González, Carlo Costanzia

Don’t miss out on Fuimos Canciones, a romantic Netflix movie based on Elísabet Benavent (also the writer of the Valeria TV show)’s bestselling novel series. Maca, an assistant for a high-maintenance influencer, is the star of the film as she deals with her ex coming back into her life and shaking things up.

Don’t Look Up

Don't Look Up movie cover.

Copyright: Netflix

Release Date: TBA

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Evans

This is a star-studded release featuring everyone from Chris Evans to Ariana Grande, centered around two low level astronomers needing to convince the world that an Earth-destroying comet is coming our way to end life as we know it. A comedy we’re definitely needing to take the edge off after the year that was 2020 for sure.

an image of a pile of books

This article is part of a series developed in partnership with Project Pulso.

Latino history is vital to the American narrative - there is no America without Latino contributions. Despite this, Latino storytelling and history are increasingly being sidelined in educational institutions. The issue deepens when we look at the emerging trend of book banning.

What is the Modern Book Ban?

Book banning is the act of removing books from reading lists, libraries, or bookstores based on content disagreements. Often done with the pretense of safeguarding children, the majority of these challenges come from parents and library patrons. However, elected officials, school boards, and even librarians can also be champions of imposed ignorance - after all, they know knowledge is power.

Recently, the ALA reported an "unprecedented volume" of book challenges. This is alarming for multiple reasons:

  • Censorship: Book banning is fundamentally a form of censorship. Although the First Amendment protects against government censorship, private individuals or organizations face limited restraint. This makes book banning a primary example of legal censorship in the U.S.
  • Democracy at Risk: At the core of democracy is the free exchange of ideas. By constraining this, we challenge the principles on which the U.S. was built. Censorship often paves the way to tyranny, allowing a small group to dominate the narrative.
  • Stagnation: Book bans impede societal progression by avoiding challenges to prevailing beliefs. To quote English writer George Orwell from his eerily prescient dystopian novel “1984”: “The best books are those that tell you what you know already.” Do we aspire to a society that shuns diverse thought? Book bans lead fully in that direction.
Marginalization: Such bans further alienate underrepresented communities. With Latinos already underrepresented in literature, these bans exacerbate the problem.

Latino Representation: The Understated Crisis

Despite making up a significant portion of the K-12 public school population, Latino students are presented with textbooks that overlook or barely touch upon key topics in Latino history. Out of the books published for young readers, only 5% concern or are authored by Latinos. This void extends beyond just fictional narratives.

Recent bans in states like Texas and Florida are erasing the already sparse representation Latinos have. Essential books reflecting Latino experiences, such as My Name is María Isabel, are disappearing from shelves. Project Pulso underlines this issue in their post:

Even beyond Latino literature, there's a broader attack against critical theory. This crusade aims to stifle discussions on racism, sexism, and systemic inequality. In a single year, 2,539 books faced bans, according to PEN America. A startling number of these pertained to LGBTQ themes, protagonists of color, race, and racism.

A Spotlight on Banned Latina Authors

Amidst the unsettling rise in book bans across the U.S., Latina authors have found themselves at the epicenter of this censorship storm. These authors not only highlight the complexities of Latino heritage but also bridge gaps in understanding, weaving tales that resonate across boundaries. Many invaluable works by Latina authors have been banned, including:

  • “The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende: Spanning generations, this saga chronicles the lives of the Trueba family in Chile, accentuating the mystical powers of its female characters. Challenges against it cite reasons like its "pornographic" nature and alleged attacks on Catholicism.
  • “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros: Through vignettes, this novel paints the life of Esperanza Cordero, a young Chicana in Chicago. Bans have been enforced based on claims that it instigates skepticism against "American values."
  • “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Pérez: Set against the backdrop of 1930s Texas, this novel delves into the love between a Mexican American girl and a Black teen. Challenged for its graphic nature, it's deemed "sexually explicit" and has earned a place on the Top 10 Most Banned Books list.
  • “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo: The narrative revolves around 15-year-old Xiomara, who channels familial tension into her poetry. Accusations against it range from being "anti-Christian" to violating religious safeguards.
  • “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” by Julia Alvarez: This novel charts the journey of the Garcia sisters, uprooted from their Dominican heritage, as they grapple with a starkly contrasting life in New York, touching on themes of identity, family, and culture.
  • “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel: This enchanting novel narrates the intriguing history of the De La Garza family in Mexico, where love, tradition, and magic blend seamlessly. It delves deep into themes of forbidden love, family obligations, and the transformative power of food.
  • “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolf Anaya: Set in New Mexico; this narrative introduces us to Antonio Marez and Ultima, a healer. As Antonio steps into manhood, Ultima becomes his guiding light, illuminating his path through childhood bigotry, familial crises, and the mysteries of spirituality.

The increasing trend of book banning, especially of Latino literature, is a pressing concern. Not only does it threaten our democratic principles and societal growth, but it also amplifies the marginalization of already underrepresented communities. Our society's richness lies in its diversity, and by stifling these voices, we risk losing an integral part of our narrative. It's time to reassess and recognize the value of all stories, regardless of their origin.