We’ve all been here – scrolling through Netflix for what feels like an eternity, hovering over dozens of options without actually picking anything. Some of the movies seem kind of interesting, but you are holding out hope that the perfect flick is just another swipe away. Ten swipes later, you are right back where you started, staring down the barrel of a gun titled “Saving Private Ryan.”
Sure, it’s a cinematic masterpiece, but are you really going to plunk down three hours to watch a movie you’ve already seen four times? So you keep scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling. And then, whoops! It’s 3am.
One of the few drawbacks of Netflix is its seemingly limitless selection. But there is hope! We have sussed out 10 sure-to-hit titles that are on Netflix right now, ready for your viewing pleasure.
Captain America: Civil War
(Coming December 25th)
Hands down one of the best superhero movies in recent memory, Civil War not only comes at you with a blinding amount of your favorite heros (Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Ant Man, Vision, Hawkeye, and Black Widow, just to name a few), but it also pits them against each other! Ever wonder who would win in a fight – Iron Man or Spider Man? Well, wonder no more!
Seriously, this movie has it all – the fight scenes are unbelievable, the plot is gripping, the dialog is the perfect mix of quippy and raw, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t funny as hell at times too.
The best movies don’t always leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Sometimes movies make you question the way you look at the world you live in, or fill you with rage. If you are like me, 13th is exactly that kind of movie. In the best way possible.
13th is an in depth documentary that addresses the amendment that abolished slavery and the often exploited loophole built into the amendment – prisoners have no rights. So while slavery has been made illegal by the letter of the law, the spirit of it lives on in the unjustified incarceration of millions of men of color living in the United States. This movie perfectly identifies the ways that institutional racism has become so ingrained in our society, and why, even after so much time, it manages to be so pervasive to this day.
We must know our history so we are not doomed to repeat it. Watch 13th, educate yourself, and join the collective that strives for progress and reform.
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Now, if you want to talk about a damn near perfect movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is just that. The story follows three depression-era convicts who broke free of their chain-gang in search of buried treasure. Along their journey through a dusty and derelict Mississippi, they run across a number of sordid characters, escape the clutches of Johnny Law, and even find the time to amass a modest level of fame with their hit song “Man of Constant Sorrow.”
What’s more, the entire movie is an adaptation to the ancient Greek tale The Odyssey. It has layers. You can watch it for it’s pure, unadulterated entertainment value, or you can study it and include it in your senior thesis.
It’s a deeply clever movie that will have you rolling on the floor for the dumbest reasons. Every character is a gem, and every performance is top-tier. This is a movie everyone should see before they die.
The Princess Bride
Okay, right now you might be like “Whaa? A movie about a princess?”
Shut up. This movie is incredible. And you will think so too if you watch it.
Is it a love story? Yes, but a love story of epic proportions. There are high-flying sword fights, lifelong vendettas, rodents of unusual size, a six fingered villain, and Andre the Giant hitting people with boulders.
Again, this is another movie that checks nearly every box – it’s funny, action packed, romantic, and suspenseful. Starring Cary Elwes (Robin Hood: Men in Tights), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Robin Wright (Forrest Gump), Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap), and Billy Crystal (City Slickers).
Yes, I included a Disney movie on the list. Why? Because Disney is for kids OF ALL AGES!
And I know what you are thinking, but no, this is nothing like Frozen.
Zootopia takes place in a world where all animals live together, predators and prey alike. Except something is happening that is making predators revert to their primal instincts and attack prey. Interested yet?
The movie follows Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a farm rabbit with aspirations of being big city police. Now, in Zootopia, this type of job is typically held by larger animals, and it is up to Judy to prove that she has what it takes. And when she uncovers that there may be something connecting this string of predator relapses, it is up to her and her newfound conman fox companion (Jason Bateman) to solve this mystery.
Despite being a Disney cartoon, Zootopia is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat, as well as laughing to beat the band. Trust me – you are going to love it.
Tired of seeing “scary” movies and leaving the theatre like “pfft that was weak”? Yeah, me too. Which is why The Babadook is so damn good.
This movie is legit scary. Like turn-on-your-bedside-light-to-make-sure-that-was-just-a-shadow scary. It’ll get under your skin.
Single mother taking care of her disruptive child is at the end of her rope. And then a new children’s book shows up on her son’s shelf – The Babadook. It tells of a man who is just inside your closet and he wants to be let in. Knock. Knock. Knock.
The movie deals perfectly in both suspense and the psychological aspects of a thriller. Watch at your own risk.
And, whatever you do, don’t let him in.
Ugh, yeah this movie is great.
Then why did I go “ugh?” Get to the end of the movie and you’ll find out.
I honestly had a hard time putting this on the list because the premise is so twisted and demented, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t have some of the most unbelievable fight scenes in any movie. And while it is a movie that will make you want to wash your brain after, Oldboy’s story is just so damn compelling! Everything that happens to the him will feel like it is happening to you. When he gets his ass kicked, you will feel those punches. And when he takes down twenty dudes in a hallway, you’ll be on top of the world.
Cinematographically, this movie is stunning. Equal parts gritty and gorgeous. I cannot recommend this movie enough.
Just don’t have a big meal beforehand.
The Big Short
Do you understand the housing market crash in 2008? Do you know what a subprime loan is? Does this sound super boring? WELL IT ISN’T!
This movie somehow manages to take a boring albeit important subject like macroeconomics and turns it into a high-stakes thrill ride. So not only do you get all the entertainment of watching Steve Carell yell at a room full of wealthy investors, but you’ll also learn something in the process. The Big Short thoroughly explains the fallacy of the “too-big-to-fail” notion, and just how crippling it can be to a nation when a giant like the real estate market falls.
Also, there is a scene with Margot Robbie in a hot tub, so now you have to see it.
Another gripping movie that deals with difficult subject matter, Spotlight covers the Boston Globe’s groundbreaking investigation into molestation charges levied against the Catholic Church. Sure, today we all know that the Catholic Church has done some unsavory things to cover up what many priests have done to their altar boys. But before, it was something left unsaid. Until this group of reporters sensed that the story was bigger than just a few isolated incidents.
Watch from the edge of your seat as Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, and Rachel McAdams gradually overturn enough rocks to uncover this deep and extensive conspiracy in the Church. Spotlight earned well deserved Oscar for Best Picture, and is certainly a movie worth your time.
The Usual Suspects
The very epitome of a whodunit, this movie will have you guessing up until the very end.
With a colorful cast of con men, The Usual Suspects has everything you could ask for out of a heist movie. There is murder, snafus, larger-than-life characters, and back-stabbing intrigue throughout the entire film.
The movie starts out with a boat heist gone awry and a team of seasoned criminals taken into custody. But what happened before? As the detective interviews the suspects, he slowly uncovers motive and gets closer and closer to uncovering the mastermind behind this operation. Or does he?
If you want to see one of the Hollywood’s hallmark “WTF?!” moments, then The Usual Suspects should be added to your queue immediately.