5 Films Worth Your Time on Instant Netflix
By: Sarah Silcox
Do you love weird, quirky, and emotionally driven movies? If you answered yes, then read on for some of my favorite films (in no particular order) that are available for your instant viewing pleasure on Netflix. Bonus: I’ve included some of my favorite scenes and trailers to further reiterate how great these films really are.
1. Last Night Directed by: Massy Tadjedin
Originally a finalist at the Tribeca Film Festival, Last Night tells the story of Joanna (Keira Knightly) and Michael (Sam Worthington)—a young married couple whose relationship is put on trial when they are both confronted with the possibility of infidelity. Told over the period of two short days, the story unfolds when Michael goes on a business trip with his beautiful colleague Laura (played by Eva Mendes) and Joanna runs in to an old flame Alex (played by the charismatic frenchman Guillaume Canet). Knightly’s performance is phenomenal and she has perfect chemistry with both Worthington and Canet. Filmed beautifully, Last Night is a film that asks the tough questions in a way that is authentic, intimate, and breathtaking. The film also features a subtly beautiful soundtrack with songs from Moby, Explosions in the Sky, and others.
Watch the following video to see the trailer for the film.
2. Fish Tank Directed by: Andrea Arnold
Fish Tank is the honest and gritty portrayal of a hot-tempered fifteen-year-old girl living in lower class Britain. Everything about Mia’s (Katie Jarvis) life is pushing her down—that is until her alcoholic mother brings home a new boyfriend Connor (expertly played by Michael Fassbender) who goes out of his way to befriend Mia. Fassbender’s performance is stunning—it is no wonder that he is seems to be in every movie these days. His character is so charismatic that you will find yourself trying to justify reasons not to hate him when he makes some truly terrible mistakes. While at times unsettling and hard to watch, Fish Tank is a beautifully shot coming of age film that will pull at your heart strings and have you wishing that you could do something—anything—to save this poor girl from a life that she definitely does not deserve.
The following clip is the official movie trailer for the film.
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Directed by: Michel Gondry
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my favorite movies of all time. The story is told from the perspective of Joel (Jim Carrey) as he decides to undergo a procedure to erase all memories associated with his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) after he discovers that she has had him erased. But as he begins the procedure, Joel realizes that he doesn’t want to erase those memories and tries to go to the hidden areas of his mind to stop it from happening. The chemistry between Carrey and Winslet is sublime and Carrey’s serious performance is definitely the best of his career. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a beautiful and genuine film that will leave you thinking about it for days afterwards. The film won an Academy Award in 2004 for Best Original Screenplay and also stars Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, David Cross, and Tom Wilkinson.
The following is one of my favorite scenes from the movie in which Joel is revisiting the very first day that he met Clementine—right before the memory is to be erased.
4. Me and You and Everyone We Know Directed by: Miranda July
An official selection at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005, Me and You and Everyone We Know tells the story of Christine—a woman who is desperately searching for human connection. While working her day job as a taxi service for the elderly, Christine (Miranda July) meets Richard. As a shoes salesman trying to deal with life after divorce, Richard (John Hawkes) is struggling to move on with his life and watch out for his two boys. As the film’s writer, director, and star, July does an expert job of interweaving characters into a genuine and intimate film that is unlike anything you have ever seen before. The old saying that “eyes are the windows to the soul” has never rung more true than in this film; both Hawkes and July use their alluring eyes to convey so many genuine emotions. Me and You and Everyone We Know is full of many eccentric and bizarre moments, but I strongly encourage you to watch the entire film from start to finish. Read Rachel Ogle’s more in-depth movie review here and see why the film’s youngest star (Brandon Ratcliff) deserves an Oscar!
The following clip is one of my favorite scenes from the film in which Christine and Richard share a moment in the department store while repairing a broken compact mirror. The song playing throughout the clip is called “Mirror” by Michael Andrews and is featured on the movie’s soundtrack.
5. Wet Hot American Summer Directed by: David Wain
Before director David Wain made films like Role Models and Wanderlust, he made the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer. It is evident from watching just the first five minutes that this film is the ultimate summer camp flick. Wet Hot American Summer is so weird and so funny that you will often find yourself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. The film is surprisingly underrated and is full of famous comedic stars including Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Amy Poehler, and Bradley Cooper. The film also has an amazing soundtrack with title tracks like “Jane” by Jefferson Starship and “Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner.
The following is the opening sequence from the film.