Some might remember Netflix started as a DVD service that provided a way to watch a huge array of movies quickly and without late fees. Netflix’s DVD service is not as integral as it once was, but the service still streams hundreds of movies.
There are so many movies on Netflix though that it can be hard to sort through.
The streaming site does a great job picking up films beyond mainstream hits. There’s a diverse amount of overlooked films available to just about anybody. Now is a better time than ever before to catch films that might have gone unnoticed in theatres.
Here are some of the best movies on Netflix right now you may have missed:
What it's about:In the post-apocalyptic Iranian ghost town known only as Bad City, a nameless teenage vampire (Sheila Vand) wanders the night.
Why you should see it: The film was described as an Iranian vampire western when it was first released in 2014, making it all the more intriguing. That description might be partially false: it was shot in California, but directed by an Iranian-American director and all the characters speak in Farsi.
'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night' is flawed but riveting in many ways. Mainly, it doesn't look and feel like anything else out today. This is Ana Lily Amirpour's feature directorial debut. Directorial debuts don't have to be perfect, but they should at least show a lot of promise. And boy does 'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night' show a lot of insanely creative potential from its director.
What it's about: A spirit from a children's book comes to life and haunts a single mother and her son.
Why you should see it: This Australian export is one of the best horror movies in a very long time. It feels like it builds on a lot of past horror classics, from 1968's 'Rosemary's Baby' to 1980's 'The Shining.' Yet, it also feels like the kind of horror film that non-horror fans will greatly enjoy. It is a fresh, well-made spin on some well-worn genre territory.
Synopsis: A mysterious drifter (Macon Blair) returns to his childhood home to seek revenge for the death of his parents.
Why You Should See It: This overlooked revenge thriller, set in both the suburban and backwoods of the south, deserves to be put up there with the likes of 'No Country for Old Men' and the first season of 'True Detective.' It takes the typical story of revenge and turns it on its head with some incredibly surprising twists and turns.
Synopsis: Overachiever Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) runs for student body president. Her social studies teacher Mr. McAllister (Matthew Broderick) does everything he can to stop her from getting elected.
Why You Should See It: 'Election' is a dark, painful comedy. In my mind, that is a glowing endorsement.
'Election' is a stinging satire of everything from high school life to the political machine. After 16 years, it hasn't aged a day. Directed by Alexander Payne, who went on to win Oscars for 'Sideways' and 'The Descendants,' 'Election' shows that directing, and not just writing and acting, can make a comedy so much funnier. It uses every resource it can, from freeze frames, to cutaways, and multiple narrators (at least four). This film must have been exhausting to make and edit, but the results are spectacular.
One reason 'Election' remains relevant is that a lot of people see many similarities between Tracy Flick and Hillary Clinton. In fact, a video by Slate found heavy comparisons between 'Election' and the race between Clinton and Barack Obama. Get ready for this film to be relevant again soon.
Synopsis: After her co-dependent best friend (Mickey Sumner) starts to go her own way, aspiring dancer Frances (Greta Gerwig) couch surfs her way through New York City, trying to figure out how to navigate adult life.
Why You Should See It: Director Noah Baumbach's ('The Squid and the Whale,' 'Greenberg') became much more energetic once Gerwig joined him as a collaborator. 'Frances Ha' proves just that. This is a bright, funny, and earnest take on a topic that could have easily been cliché and saccharine. The film seems to be speaking to a very specific audience (people in their 20s who live in Brooklyn), but it is a lot more universal than it seems. After all, who hasn't had to run to an ATM in the middle of dinner to get cash? Anyone?
Synopsis: Aspiring musician Jon Burroughs (Domnhall Gleeson) joins a band led by Frank (Michael Fassbender) a mysterious, masked savant of a musician who doesn't understand his own brilliance.
Why You Should See It: As Frank, Michael Fassbender is so good that it sometimes feels like his mask has emotions; you can feel him frowning through it.
The film itself is a unique look at genius and ambition.
Synopsis: In this Danish thriller, a teacher (Mads Mikkelsen) watches his friends, family, and community turn against him after a vicious lie spreads.
Why You Should See It: I will not call 'The Hunt' a pleasant film. In fact, I have had trouble revisiting it since I first saw it. Yet, this does not mean that you shouldn't see it. 'The Hannibal' star gives a quiet, yet electrifying performance. The film itself is one of the greatest thrillers I have ever seen, leaving you breathless. It is the kind of film that asks a lot of tough questions about human nature, and about how quickly we react to lies. There are no heroes in 'The Hunt,' just hunters and the hunted.
Synopsis: Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a man with a video camera, works hard to make his way to the top of L.A. crime journalism. However, his ambition is often terrifying.
Why You Should See It: The fact that Gyllenhaal wasn't nominated for an Academy Award for 'Nightcrawler' was perhaps the most egregious snub of 2014. He really takes this character and makes it his own. Gyllenhaal brilliantly plays Lou as the kind of guy who understands business more than he understands people, to a sometimes tragic degree.
Synopsis: After 15 years of imprisonment, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is released and given five days to get revenge on his captor.
Why You Should See It: Capped off by one of the most shocking twists in cinematic history, 'Oldboy' has yet to be topped; even an American remake couldn't do this Korean film justice. The violence in this is so unfiltered and over-the-top that it even manages to make 'Kill Bill' look tame. 'Oldboy' might be the only film you watch in which a man eats a live octopus whole.
Synopsis: After climate change wipes out most life on earth and leaves the planet a frozen wasteland, the lucky survivors occupy a train which circles the globe. However, that train resembles an unfair class system, and one man (Chris Evans) leads the downtrodden towards revolution.
Why You Should See It: 'Snowpiercer' was probably too strange and allegorical to achieve the summer blockbuster it deserves. However, people still talk about it today and likely will for years to come.
Sure, 'Snowpiercer' has solid action, but where it really succeeds is in its world-building. Each section of the train tells its own story, from the classroom where children sing propaganda songs, to the sushi restaurant which is surrounded by a wall-t0-wall aquarium. Meanwhile, Tilda Swinton is unforgettable as a cruel leader who seems like a mix of Margaret Thatcher and Kim Jong-il. Chris Evans willingly sheds away his Captain America image so he can play a revolutionary who has done some ethically questionable things in order to survive.
'Snowpiercer' is a smart allegory which will leave you entertained, and make you think.
Synopsis: A couple decides to get away for a while and revive their marriage. However, their retreat to re-ignite their relationship is met with a sci-fi twist.
Why You Should See It: Even saying that there's a 'sci-fi twist' may be too much of a spoiler, and would ruin the best part of the film.
'The One I Love' plays like a modern, stripped-down episode of 'The Twilight Zone' which basically takes place in one location. Plus, stars Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss ('Mad Men') pull off an acting feat I thought was impossible.
Synopsis: In a spin on romantic comedies (mainly 'You've Got Mail'), Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) tell the story of how they met and fall in love, which centres around two rival candy businesses.
Why You Should See It: 'They Came Together' comes from the minds of David Wain and Michael Ian Black, who are responsible for 'Wet Hot American Summer' and its recent Netflix prequel series 'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.'
Like the original 'Wet Hot,' 'They Came Together' flew under the radar. It has only been a year since its release, but it is about due for its cult following. Sure, 'They Came Together' doesn't have the perfect insanity of 'Wet Hot' or Wain and Showalter's TV series 'Stella,' but there are some scenes that are hilarious as anything they have done. One scene involving the phrases 'tell me about it' and 'you can say that again' feels like a modern day 'Who's On First?' The joke starts off funny, then gets annoying before becoming so unfunny that you can't help but laugh. With moments like this, as well as a solid and sometimes dark take on rom-coms, 'They Came Together' often approaches comedy magic.
Synopsis: After trying to cover up his troubled son's unfortunate death, a school teacher (Robin Williams) accidentally attracts a media circus.
Why You Should See It: One of the last great performances from the late, great Robin Williams, 'World's Greatest Dad' sees the actor at his saddest and most subdued.
Synopsis: An unlikely love triangle forms between a guy (Mark Duplass) and two sisters (Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt) during a vacation at a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.
Why You Should See It: 'Your Sister's Sister' came out in summer 2012 and was the perfect remedy for anybody who wanted to escape blockbuster season for just 90 minutes. This is a laid back, stripped down film that mainly focuses on three characters and a lot of talking. With very few locations and even less of a budget, the indie film proves that a lot can be done with a little.
Synopsis: Daffi (Nelly Tagar), works a dull office job in the Israeli army and does everything she can to do as little as possible. For her and most of her co-workers, getting the high score in Minesweeper is more important than achieving higher rank in the army.
Why You Should See It: 'Zero Motivation' was one of the biggest surprises of 2014. It finds comedy in unexpected places. It is a comedy about war that has more in common with 'Office Space' than 'Stripes.' To this film's credit, it leaves all Middle Eastern conflict and politics out. This is a dark, timeless war comedy.
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