Save Yourself The Hours of Scrolling
Looking for the best movies and shows that Netflix has to offer? We’re back at it again with a list of the best ones that we’ve come across in the last month. These include horror, documentary and TV series that we thoroughly enjoyed. Take a look.
Director: Martin Scorsese (2006)
Easily one of my favorite movies of all time, The Departed follows Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), leader of the Irish Mob in Boston. The Boston Police force sends in an undercover officer to infiltrate the Irish Mob at the same time that the Mob has an undercover thug working as a detective. The movie is a thriller that sees two forces working to take each other out all while trying to figure out who is really who and who they can really trust. The Departed has one of the most spectacular endings of any movie in recent years. Also starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen.
Director: Taika Waititi (2017)
Marvel’s third installation in the Thor franchise sees our hero team up with none other than the Incredible Hulk. The two find themselves on a quirky planet where they are being held prisoner by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), an eccentric ruler who loves violence and orgies apparently. Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, the lovable anti-hero and Tessa Thompson, a fierce Valkyrie warrior who can hold her own. Thor: Ragnarok is the lead up that ends just before the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War.
Director: David Robert Mitchell (2014)
If I told you that a horror movie that dealt with a curse passed from person to person by having sex would be one of the most shockingly interesting concepts to play out on screen, you’d think I was crazy. Well, that’s exactly what I’m saying! It Follows is more creepy than outright scary, as the film’s entire plot revolves around a girl who is cursed to be followed by an evil entity that embodies the zombie-like creatures that only she can see. Her friends do not know what it is that is scaring her so badly, they just know that she’s telling the truth.
Director: Karen Kusama (2015)
Another thrilling film that has a basic premise- A woman invites her ex-husband, with whom she shares a tragic past, to a dinner party attended by several other friends. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, hold onto your butts! The main character feels a mysterious vibe in the air that something isn’t right. Everyone is going about the night as if nothing is wrong, but his gut is telling him otherwise. As the night progresses, a question makes itself clear to all attendees of the party- Is he letting the paranoia and mental problems caused by their shared past get to him, or is there something terribly wrong? Stick around until the end. You’ll be glad you did.
Jiro: Dreams of Sushi
Director: David Galeb (2012)
Most of us enjoy eating sushi, but nowhere near as much as Jiro Ono loves making it. This documentary follows Jiro, an 85-year-old Japanese man, as he explains his passion for the art and the upbringing that led him to own Japan’s most respected sushi house. This documentary about sushi is so much more than that. It’s a story of one man’s passion that is so apparent that it is almost a crime to eat a single piece of his work. By the way, this movie came out in 2012 when Jiro Ono was 85- he is still kicking at 92!
Director: Lee Unkrich (2017)
Pixar has done it again with another endearing tale of love and family. Coco takes us into the world of the afterlife during Mexico’s Day of the Dead. When young Miguel accidentally stumbles into the magical world of the dead, he ends up on a journey of self-discovery and truth as he searches for the spirit of his great great grandfather, who was a very famous musician in his day. Miguel aspires to be a musician just like him, however, his family forbids it due to their hatred for the man. Coco showcases the beautiful culture of Mexican lore that very few mainstream movies acknowledge. This film is a treat for any Mexican or Mexican American because it understands the culture down to the little aspects.
No Country for Old Men
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen (2007)
The Coen Brothers have a gift for taking a boring story and telling it in a way that captures your attention and holds it to the bitter end. No Country for Old Men stars Josh Brolin as a man who stumbles across a large sum of money at the bloody scene of a drug deal gone wrong. The excitement of the film begins almost immediately when a hired hitman, played by the brilliant Javier Bardem, starts tracking the money while ruthlessly taking out anyone who gets in his way. The film plays out like a very slow game of cat and mouse and the ending will not be what you expect. The film is made so much better by Bardem’s haunting and terrifying performance as the soft-spoken, bowl-cutted hitman.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards (2016)
I’d be doing you a huge disservice if I didn’t include at least one Star Wars film that Netflix currently has to offer, and what better installment to suggest than the amazing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Rogue One takes place what seems like days before the events of the original film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The film follows a team of space criminals who take on a mission to secure the blueprints for the Empire’s secret weapon, The Death Star. Rumor has it that one of the original designers of the weapon intentionally included a design flaw that would stop it dead in its tracks. Their mission is to get these blueprints to the Rebel Alliance so that they can utilize the information to their advantage. We all know that they will succeed, given that we see it play out in A New Hope, but the brilliance of Rogue One is the story in which those blueprints were stolen from the Empire. In my humble opinion, Rogue One is the single greatest Star Wars film to be released after Disney acquired Lucas Films. Just a heads up, the final ten minutes of the movie will leave you with tears as well as covered in goosebumps.
Director: Lenny Abrahamson (2015)
Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone who was kidnapped and held prisoner for several years was to be found and reintroduced into a society that evolved without her? That is the premise of Room. This film is intense, emotional and haunting as you can’t help but think of all the women and children who have, and are currently dealing with this nightmare at this very moment. Starring Brie Larson as the main character, Room shines through the performance of 5-year old actor, Jacob Tremblay.
Director: Michael Mazzola (2017)
Okay, now we’re getting into the freaky stuff. I’m a sci-fi head who loves a good conspiracy theory that gets me thinking so of course, I had to include at least one mind-boggling documentary on this list. Unacknowledged is a documentary that focuses on Steven Greer, an ER doctor who is trying to expose the cover-up the presence of extraterrestrials on Earth. You may think that it sounds like just another alien conspiracy documentary, but Unacknowledged is so much more than that. Greer gets into the grittiness of US politics and the ruthlessness of their schemes to cover up what would be the greatest discovery in the history of human civilization. By the end of this film, you will be questioning everything you’ve heard the government tell you. I know I did.
Director: Barbara Schroeder and Trey Borzillieri (2018)
The full name of this 4-Part documentary series is Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist. The series follows the fascinating and unsolved case of Brian Wells, whom you may know as The Collar Bomber. Back in 2003, Wells entered a bank in Erie, PA with a bomb locked to his neck and covered with a shirt, along with a walking cane that was built to double as a shotgun! This sounds like something straight out of a Batman comic right?! Well, it happened folks and it gets wilder from there. I won’t spoil the case for you but trust me when I tell you that just when you think this case couldn’t get any more wild, another surprise twist shows its face.
Better Call Saul
If you thought that the story of Walter White was the only interesting thing to come out of the Breaking Bad universe, then you’re in for a treat with Better Call Saul. The series follows Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), otherwise known as Saul Goodman from the Breaking Bad series. Better Call Saul takes place years before the events of BB and tells the story of how a friendly and compassionate man would become the sleazy criminal lawyer we know from the original series. BCS features a lot of legal talk and some of it may be boring, but the overall storyline is fascinating and you can’t help but root for little Jimmy McGill, who just wants to be a good lawyer like his older brother. The series is not yet over, but Netflix recently added Season 3 for streaming just ahead of the Season 4 premiere that is currently airing on AMC.
Aaron is an aficionado of pizza, beer and anything nerd related. He has very strong opinions on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is becoming increasingly frustrated with the DC Universe.