It’s somewhat ironic that, in an age where access to entertainment is more widespread than ever, it seems impossible to decide what to watch. Netflix has thousands of movies, but scrolling through them to find the right one can often seem more trouble than it’s worth. To help you along in your search for entertainment, here’s a list of some of the best movies available for streaming.
5: “Into The Abyss”
2011, Directed by Werner Herzog
Herzog’s bizarre, painful documentary follows Michael Perry, a man convicted to death a triple murder. An emotional and unflinching look at the aftermath of a senseless crime. It is an essential piece on the American criminal justice system and a masterpiece of editing.
Herzog finds the perfect line between sympathy and the dispassion required to truly tell a tragic story, resulting in a truly unique and encapsulating film.
A winner of the 2011 Best Documentary award from the British Film Industry, “Into the Abyss” is an exceptional feat in documentary filmmaking.
4: “Hot Fuzz”
2007, Directed by Edgar Wright
An action comedy, “Hot Fuzz” is a truly madcap feat of visual spectacle. Starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the story follows police officer Nicholas Angel, a parody of over the top action hero stereotypes, and his move to the tranquil small town of Sandford.
Rapidly escalating absurdity, the story is a wild and joyous waltz, given a sense of blistering pace by the remarkable visual filmmaking of Wright. Before you have time to catch your breath, the story has blossomed into a murder mystery, capped off with spectacular finale.
By the point of its madcap conclusion, the film will have you truly invested in it’s characters, towing the line between great comedy and great storytelling brilliantly. A perfect example of British humor, the straight faced absurdity of “Hot Fuzz” only enhances the story itself.
3: “The Big Short”
2015, Directed by Adam Mckay
A truly inexplicable movie, “The Big Short” is a film that has little right existing outside of an econ class. A biographical film following the 2008 financial crisis should be a sleep inducing bore. Instead, the story reveals itself to be a scarcely believable farce. As the old adage says, truth is stranger than fiction.
The acting talents of Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt bring to life four men who made millions off cheating the economic system. Put together in an enjoyable and understandable way, the film takes care to explain the minutiae of the financial crises. Far from taking away from the story, these moments actually enhance the experience, with fourth wall breaking cameos from Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain and Selena Gomez explain concepts like subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations.
Blossoming from a seemingly boring topic is a story that is equal parts humorous, infuriating and genuinely informative. A masterful feat of storytelling, “The Big Short” shows cinema at it’s best. It’s a movie that educates, encourages change and still manages to stand on it’s own.
The movie won over a dozen awards, including an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
2: “The Road”
2009, Directed by John Hillcoat
A rarity in the post apocalyptic genre, “The Road” is a movie totally committed to it’s visual and emotional status. A searing and poignant film, it is a movie almost impossible to wrench your eyes from. The dull and colorless palette, alongside a heart-wrenching score allow for long scenes without dialogue.
A bleak tale of survival, the movie follows Viggo Mortensen, who plays a father desperately fleeing the ruins of an American wasteland. The story is unique in it’s painfully explicit depiction of post disaster life. A sort of stark beauty is found in the unabashedly depressing, dreary story. Their is no Hollywood flair or commercialization. Just a dramatic portrait of the will to live.
1: “No Country For Old Men”
2007, Joel and Ethan Coen
Widely considered to be one of the best films of the 21’st century, “No Country For Old Men” is a neo-western drama starring Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss, a hunter living in a trailer park who stumbles upon the a drug deal gone wrong. Moss steals the money left over from the carnage, and what follows in one of the most intense cat and mouse games in film history.
Anton Chigurh, a bounty hunter out to collect his pay whatever the cost, tracks Moss across the desolate landscape of the small town American West. A desperate, almost operatic journey of clashing civilizations is a poignant conclusion to western films and a fitting tribute to another time.
Tieing the story together is Tommy Lee-Jones, brilliantly cast as Sheriff Ed-Tom Bell, a sheriff out of place and out of time. The intense action of the story is broken only by the moral quandaries of a western hero trapped in an era where his values have no meaning.
The movie won academy awards for best picture and best adapted screenplay, while Joel and Ethan Coen won best directors, and Javier Bardem won best supporting actor.