With nearly 7,000 films available on Netflix, picking something to watch can become an anxiety inducing ordeal. If you’re anything like us, you’ll scroll through every genre without finding anything you’re really in the mood for. Your “My List” would better off titled “Things I Might Watch, Eventually,” luckily, MoviefiedNYC is here to help. Here’s our pick of the best films that were recently released on Netflix Instant Streaming.
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
“With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.”
Why to Watch:
In Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino’s takes on the Western, crafting a film that pays homage to the genre with a distinctly Tarantino flair. While it takes on a rather dark theme of revenge, a theme Tarantino carries over from his previous film, Inglourious Basterds (2009), the film is filled with excitement, humor, and tension, with Tarantino’s signature snappy and engaging dialogue, and is nothing if not entertaining. Christoph Waltz gives an Oscar winning performance alongside Jamie Foxx’s Django as the two venture through the antebellum south to rescue Django’s wife (Kerry Washington) from the plantation of the notoriously cruel Calvin Candy (Leonardo DiCaprio). Rounding out this all-star cast is Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen, Candy’s obedient slave. The entire cast performs beautifully, and in one scene DiCaprio badly cut his hand during shooting, but finished the scene. This version of the scene is the one that appears in the film, blood and all. DiCaprio still didn’t win an Oscar.
Directed By: Joon-ho Bong
Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton
“Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges”
Snowpiercer, the first English language film from South Korean director Joon-ho Bong, had plenty of time to generate buzz while it awaited a US release (Harvey Weinstein, true to form, apparently demanded that 20 minutes be cut out of the film before it was ready for Western audiences). Ultimately it lives up to the hype, delving into a rich science fiction dystopia where the world has been reduced to a frozen wasteland and the last remaining humans live on a train kept in perpetual motion. Snowpiercer is visually bleak, as it was necessarily shot entirely indoors. Stylistically the multinational Snowpiercer mixes the best of the eastern and western cinema, with over the top action and social allegory.
Directed By: Rob Reiner
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
“After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.”
“You guys want to see a dead body?” Nearly thirty years later, Stand By Me is still one of the all time classic coming of age tales. Based on a Steven King novel, this film tells the story of four close friends on an adventure to be the first to see the body of a boy who had gone missing months prior. Each of the four main actors, all of whom went on to have successful careers in film and TV, gives a memorable performance that gives depth and uniqueness to each character. Reiner masters the authentic speech, slang, and conversations of kids (would Mighty Mouse beat Superman?), and blends comedy and drama into a film that packs an intensely nostalgic emotional punch.
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, James Badge Dale
“A hard-luck limo driver struggling to go straight and pay off a debt to his bookie takes on a job with a crazed passenger whose sought-after ledger implicates some seriously dangerous criminals.”
Joe Carnahan’s Stretch was released on Video on Demand after being dropped by its distributor before its theatrical release, and now it’s available on Netflix streaming. It’s a stylish, over the top action comedy in which a limo driver nicknamed Stretch (Patrick Wilson) gets wrapped up in the antics of billionaire Roger Kairos (Chris Pine). Stretch is a delightfully weird and wild story of excess, machismo, and extravagance. Director Joe Carnahan stated that he wanted to make a kooky comedy in the vein of The Hangover, but Stretch is ultimately too dark and bizarre to comfortably fit into the same category. It may not appeal to everyone, but it’s certainly a wild ride.
Directed By: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Bill Murray
“A star bowler whose career was prematurely “cut off” hopes to ride a new prodigy to success and riches.”
There’s not too much to say about this Farrelly Brothers classic except that it’s a wonderful comedy, bringing together Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray… what more could one ask for? The jokes are of course vulgar and crude but Murray and Harrelson are brilliant comedic actors, and always seem to be having a good time. It may not have much substance but it has plenty of laughs.
– Wil Barlow