We all know Netflix has officially become a TV network (despite no network jingle), but it’s also still the best hub for streaming movies. This might not last forever once competing services like Disney+ go live, or other streaming companies expand their movie offerings.
If it feels like you’ve watched everything on your Netflix recommendations list, you don’t necessarily have to rely on their algorithms to determine everything. Some good movies made exclusively for Netflix (and not) are viewable there now.
Those of you who can carve out a couple of hours may want to check these movies out without feeling like you’ve wasted any time.
Sure, Roma is being talked about, though we’re not sure how many people are actually watching it. You absolutely need to take time to watch this film. While many thought it would win Best Picture at the Oscars, it at least won Best Foreign Film.
Don’t let the black & white cinematography scare you away. It’s an artful device to help give a stronger essence to the feel of the movie. Besides, it’s a film taking place in the early 1970s when (ironically) black & white film was still being used in more artful cinema.
The setting here is early ’70s Mexico with a vivid look at a domestic worker and the middle class through the eye of director Alfonso Cuarón.
Roma is unarguably brilliant across the board. You’re also seeing it set a profound precedent on how independent and mainstream films will be distributed. We’ll see whether releasing major films on streaming can ultimately make more money through advertising rather than through a conventional (and rising) theater ticket price.
Here’s a film we’ve seen become a little lost within all the Netflix movie originals. Icarus takes on the problem of doping in professional sports head-on through a real-life tale.
Directed and co-produced by Bryan Fogel, it reveals the behind-the-scenes world of cycling and how Fogel considered doping to help him win an amateur competition. In turn, it led to him uncovering a larger doping scandal in cycling on an international scale.
This movie stunned a lot of people because it showed us just how large doping is in sports and how challenging it is to combat it.
You may remember this won Best Documentary at the Oscars last year, making it the first Netflix original to win an Academy Award. Yes, this set the path for Roma.
As another Netflix original, many argue this movie is criminally undervalued. Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn play a middle-age couple who want to have children late in life. After Giamatti’s character finds out he needs a medical procedure to make this happen, the couple fall into major medical debt.
Those of you who like Giamatti’s acting will find a lot to like here in a very believable and sympathetic character. However, Kathryn Hahn steals the movie while her character deals with infertility treatments. Many thought she should have had an Oscar nomination for this performance.
We had to include one film not made for Netflix exclusively, but just happened to land there recently. Before you see Oscar-winning actor Sam Rockwell in the upcoming FX series Fosse/Verdon, check him out in the solo sci-fi mindbender Moon.
A bit in the vein of 2001, it tells about a lunar factory worker (Rockwell) who resides on the moon by himself and ends up finding a clone of himself. On top of it, he deals with an AI bot voiced by Kevin Spacey.
Moon digs deep into the ethics of cloning, and it’s perhaps why no one talks much about it. Still, it’s relatively easy to follow. You’ll have a bit of a brain exercise and enjoy the compelling performance of Rockwell who holds most of the movie on his own.