If you’re looking for something a little different on Netflix, then here’s a bunch of movie recommendations.
We are in unprecedented times in the world right now and why we try to stem the flow of the events by staying at home to help those who need it most, we’ve begun our quest to bring you some of the best-hidden gems that you can find in amongst the plethora of choice.
First up, here’s some available to stream right now on Netflix UK…
A dark comedy thriller of the highest order, Corey Finely’s hugely impressive directorial debut is well worth seeking out. It tells the story of Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke), childhood friends who reconnect in their teenage years and devise a cunning plan to end their social and lifestyle problems once and for all. Sitting alongside such films as Heathers and American Psycho, Thoroughbreds is a wickedly devilish reimagining of those aforementioned classics.
After all the plaudits for Lady Bird and Little Women, it’s hard to forget that Greta Gerwig had starred in some fantastic films before she jumped behind the camera. After the superb Frances Ha, Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach collaborated again on this brilliant and hilarious screwball comedy that saw Gerwig play Brooke, an avuncular New Yorker who takes her future sister-in-law Tracy (Lola Kirke) under her wing to help her navigate the city and all it has to offer.
A story about family when, frankly, we need it the most, Matt Ross’ unorthodox yet supremely moving drama is a must. Viggo Mortensen leads the formidable ensemble – alongside Kathryn Hahn, George McKay and Frank Langella – as Ben Cash, a father of seven who live in isolation in the woodlands after his wife dies, only for his wife’s family to try to bring them back to the real world. A sweet, profound and timely story of family and embracing how lucky we are to have each other.
The brilliant Maxine Peake leads this exemplary British gem as the titular star who works as a stand-up comedian performing the men’s working club circuit. After struggling with personal issues all her life, she uses her experiences as fuel to become a better performer – and teach others to be better – whilst having to navigate a world full of sexism, misogyny, racism and downright awfulness. Peake shines throughout and her performance alone makes director Adrian Shergold’s feisty, courageous film well worth seeking out.
It’s fair to say that Jake Gyllenhaal’s career since 2001’s Donnie Darko has seen him tackle a plethora of wide-ranging characters and stories but it was his turn in Dan Gilroy’s topical thriller that made lots of people really sit up and notice. Here, he plays Louis Bloom, an opportunist who spots a gap in the journalism market to bring local news stations up-to-date footage of violent events and incidents around LA and becomes a dab hand at it. Tackling social and economical issues as well as journalistic integrities and ‘fake news’, Nightcrawler is a spiraling, noir-infused masterpiece.
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
“Are you telling me you built a time machine – out of a Delorean?!” The immortal words of Michael J. Fox from Back To The Future, a film whose impact and relevance is felt through Colin Trevorrow’s brilliantly irreverent comedy. Aubrey Plaza plays an intern looking for a juice story to impress her magazine bosses and stumbles across strange local Kenneth (Mark Duplass) after reading his personal ad. An ad where he’s looking for a partner to travel back in time with him….
Another recent bit of underseen comedy gold is Jim Cummings’ brilliant debut based on his own short film. Cummings stars Jim Arnaud, a local Texan police officer who is dealing with the double whammy of getting divorce papers served from his partner and the sudden death of his mother. He always prides himself with doing the right thing and helping others but his short fuse and unlucky streak get tested to the limit in this funny, wacky but ultimately heartwarming comedy.
Long before he resuscitated Halloween (of which two sequels are in production as we speak), David Gordon Green was known for smaller, more intimate films and arguably his crown jewel is this wonderful, effervescent little film from 2013. Ant-Man star Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch star as two highwaymen who are tasked with repainting the roads through a forest that has been ravaged by wildfires and in the quiet landscape, each discovers more about life, love, and friendship than they would in the big city. The score from David Wingo and Explosions in the Sky is beautiful, too.
It may not be the best time to watch something that involves ghosts but trust us when we say that Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s beautiful and, yes, at times scary film is a true gem. Nyman stars as a reporter who is desperate to expose psychics who are fraudulently misleading people by exposing the truth behind a series of paranormal events. Brimming with comedy, satire and genuine thrills, the film version encapsulates everything about its brilliant stage show sibling. Make sure you see if spoiler-free, and don’t spoil its many moments for anyone else, though…!
The irrepressible Sheila Hancock is at her magnificent best in this superb drama about an elderly woman (that’d be Edie) who in the face of personal tragedy and toxic relationships, sets out to climb the Scottish Highlands all by herself, as she and her father had planned to do decades earlier. Hancock’s wise, thoughtful performance is just one of the treats with this film, which deals sensitively and profoundly with some tough themes about life, death, and following your own path, however difficult it might seem.
A touching, profound look at marriage, family, men and women and coming-of-age, Paul Dano’s adaptation of Richard Ford’s acclaimed novel was one of the true gems of 2018 and is a film just waiting to be discovered by more people. Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal star as Jerry and Jeanette, a seemingly happy married couple whose relationship with both each other and their son (the superb Ed Oxenbould) falls apart when Jerry loses his job and leaves the house to take a lower-paid, more dangerous position…
The wonderful Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Misbehaviour) leads director Julia Hart’s fresh, moving take on the superhero genre that strips it down to its barebones and focuses on the people involved in these extraordinary events, similar to the approach Christopher Nolan took with Batman Begins back in 2005. Mbatha-Raw plays Ruth, a gifted woman who is hunted by local authorities and government, and so flees back to her family – including her young daughter – who she had abandoned when she was young and scared.
An intoxicating historical drama about the romance between Caroline Matilda of Great Britain (Alicia Vikander), wife of the ill King of Denmark, Christian VII (Mikkel Folsgaard), and Johann Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen), the king’s physician. This one’s a lavish, sweeping drama that is as compelling as it is romantic thanks to director Nikolaj Arcel’s majestic direction and three magnificent central performances, not least from the irrepressible Mikkelsen.
And one more for luck…
There’s a giant creature destroying Seoul and no-one knows why or how but Anne Hathaway’s Gloria may know the answers. At turns, funny, dark and thought-provoking, Colossal is the brainchild of writer/director Nacho Vigalondo that may seem like a Pacific Rim/Godzilla hybrid has a lot more to say under the surface about bullying, male ego, misogyny, and the world’s economic struggles that make it hugely timely for the current climate. But don’t fret, there’s plenty of fun and levity to be had here, too.
Lead image: BigStock
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