Similar in objective and format to my last article, I have compiled a list of the best films to watch on Netflix. Again, I tried to avoid including movies that almost everyone has seen, like “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Godfather.” Enjoy!
- “Quiz Show” – Anyone with whom I am well acquainted has undoubtedly heard my endless praises of this 1994 Docudrama. Starring Ralph Fiennes, “Quiz Show” depicts the scandal surrounding the popular 1950s game show “Twenty-One.” The dedication to the style and mood of the era is so impressive that I did not realize it was filmed in the 1990s until after I concluded watching it. Honestly directed, wonderfully acted, and thoughtfully penned, “Quiz Show” provides an enrapturing watch that is only enhanced by the fact that these events actually occurred.
- “Meet the Parents” – Despite my love for comedic television, I am much harder to please when it comes to comedy films. “Meet the Parents,” starring Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro, is one of the few to which I find myself repeatedly returning. The tension between the two leads, with Stiller playing the hopeful fiancé of DeNiro’s daughter, fosters countless hilarious scenes. Stiller’s facial expressions alone are enough to make those in the audience crack a smile, but DeNiro’s performance as the critical father is what really pushes this film into the category of comedy. Though I consider this film a clear winner, the sequels are truly horrifying, avoid at all costs.
- “Kill Bill Volumes 1&2” – Though this technically qualifies as two films, the killer style and intense fight scenes for which director Quentin Tarantino is renowned are present in both volumes, ensuring that neither can be missed. Both films include a fascinating and stylish array of characters, with Uma Thurman’s “The Bride” at the center of both stories. The engrossing plot, complex motives, and endless flair of “Kill Bill Volumes 1&2” render it a both a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable watch.
- “Donnie Darko” – Not for the faint of heart, “Donnie Darko” depicts the bizarre experience of its titular character, an eccentric and intelligent teenager played to perfection by Jake Gyllenhaal. Darko is frequently visited by Frank, an imposing man who appears only in a giant rabbit suit, and often convinces him to pursue unsavory actions. Wholly unique and assuredly thought-provoking, “Donnie Darko” is a hidden gem on Netflix, though admittedly not for everyone.
- “Amanda Knox” – The only documentary on this list, “Amanda Knox” is an utterly fantastic depiction of her infamous 2007 murder trial. As someone with little knowledge of the case beforehand, I came away with a strong sense that the correct decision had been made. Including input from the lead investigator, primary journalist, and Knox herself, this film is replete with startling details, as well as honest testimony. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys documentaries, crime, or a widely disputed and sufficiently heartbreaking story.