With Netflix taking some 189 titles off today, and not nearly adding enough back on, it can be difficult to find what you want to watch. Especially as Netflix will only recommend you a select few from each genre, depending on what you have viewed before, and on what platform you choose to watch it on.
To make things simpler, I’ve scoped out the latest offerings on Netflix UK (added in the last week), and can confidently recommend the following if you are are stuck for what to watch.
Blue Ruin (2014)
A mysterious outsider’s quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.
An absolute belter of a film, and featured in my top 20 of last year. Off the back of winning the International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, it saw a VOD release in the states and has now finally reached the UK on Netflix. It is an honest but brutal portrayal of deep-seated emotional revenge. Dark and subdued, it manages to maintain a slow build of tension and violence spliced with the occasional pieces of humour. The “special” aspect in this film, isn’t any one storyline characteristic, but the film itself. It’s director Jeremy Saulnier who began a career making corporate videos and adverts has found his calling. This is an incredible piece of work.
A psychopathic Japanese executive accidentally triggers a journalist’s ‘dark side’. They begin to connect over the Internet and make a complicated bond.
From the producers who brought you The Raid, comes this intense and disturbing serial killer thriller. It’s a far cry away from the usual Serial Killer / Slasher films, and the torture scenes are not in the same vein as Saw or Hostel. Instead it opts for more of a psychological slant, allowing us to truly experience these horrible sequence of events as part of a uniquely told story-line rather than relying on just events themselves. It’s similar to I Saw The Devil, The Raid and A Bittersweet Life in it’s appearance and execution, only there is no good guy, no guy to root for. It just is as the title suggests, Killers.
An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.
A solid return to form from a bearded Nicholas Cage, and a great breakthrough role from Tye Sheridan too. It is a gripping, slightly uneasy but an expertly acted drama. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a Nicholas Cage film as much as this one. His previous efforts in recent years have been largely sub-par and it is films like this that reinstall your faith in an actor.
They Came Together (2014)
They Came Together from director David Wain puts a classic spin on the romantic comedies of recent years past, with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as two polar opposites who grow to love each other in grand tradition
Probably my favourite film on the list, and one you really cannot go wrong with. To clarify, this is not a romcom. It is a parody of the genre, and a funny one at that. Initially the test audiences didn’t ‘get it’ because it was so convincing, then reviewers likened it to a ‘Scary Movie’ style of humour. It is neither of those things. The Director, David Wain himself said that he didn’t want it to become a play by play of predictable movie spoofs, and while as Buzzfeed points out it does reference a lot of romcoms in one way shape or form, it comes across much more like a Naked Gun style of parody where it plays on an entire genre. Just enjoy it for what it is – dumb, silly and funny.
Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.
Simple, highly effective and very intimate. We are presented with a Welsh Tom Hardy giving another incredible performance for a solid 90 minutes, trapped in his car, making lots of phone calls to try and sort his life out – and it’s brilliant. Perhaps too minimal for some, if you whittle it down it is just a guy sorting stuff out in his car. Nothing more. But it’s suspenseful and emotional enough to warrant keeping your interest.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
The purportedly true story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.
There are endless debates regarding this universally acclaimed film, and given the high profile situations taking place in the US in the past year I am surprised this film has not been referenced more. I do not know enough on the situation to make a comment, but the battle between hyped up media, inconsistent witness testimonies, rookie police, the US justice system and African Americans has continued and will continue. The film may or may not be entirely factual with regards to the days events and empathatic portrayal of Oscar Grant, but the end result was the same.