If you really love lesser known movies, maybe you’ve seen some of these. But I’ll bet most of you haven’t. Check out some of my favorite streaming films on Netflix.
1. DETACHMENT. Starring Adrien Brody and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks, this drama by Tony Kaye (American History X) is the first major movie he has made in years. It’s intense (think Precious and Half Nelson) but very well done.
2. THE REBOUND. For something completely opposite of Detachment, check out this cute rom com starring Justin Bartha (The New Normal, The Hangover) as the younger lover of Catherine Zeta-Jones. It’s funny, heartwarming, and charming — all the things you want in a rom com.
3. JANIE JONES. Alessandro Nivola (Jurassic Park III) plays a semi-famous singer who finds out he has a 13-year-old daughter. Enter Abigail Breslin. This is a sweet movie. And did you know Abigail can sing? So can Alessandro.
4. $5 A DAY. Another Alessandro Nivola movie, he plays the son of Christopher Walken in this one. Walken is hilarious, and the unusual but heartwarming story is pure fun.
5. REEL INJUN. Thought-provoking and sometimes funny, this documentary explores how the film industry has portrayed Indians and how that portrayal has affected society’s feelings about Indians as well as their own feelings about themselves.
6. IN A DAY. This is an endearing romantic drama set in London. You may not know the actors in it, but it’s sweet and one of the better unknown romantic films I have streamed.
7. WHITE IRISH DRINKERS. I was sent to a screening of this movie last year and have since met the filmmakers. Writer/director John Gray is the creator of TV’s Ghost Whisperer, and the gripping coming of age drama stars Karen Allen, Stephen Lang, and Peter Riegert, along with several talented young unknowns. (See my story about the film.)
8. TWELVE AND HOLDING. This is one of my favorite films, and almost no one has seen it. It’s a dramatic and emotionally truthful story of how three 12-year-olds react to the death of their friend. Jeremy Renner is one of the stars, but it’s the kids who shine in this one.
9. SWEET LAND. I love this unusual period tale of a German mail-order bride played by Elizabeth Reaser and how she and her new husband come to terms with their differences.
10. THE AMATEURS. This movie starring Jeff Bridges and Ted Danson, among other greats, is nothing short of hilarious. Bridges and his pals take to making porn in order to get out of their poor financial circumstances.
There you have it — my picks for your next popcorn night. After you’ve watched one of them, come back here to comment and let me know what you thought.
P.S. As a bonus, if you haven’t seen Sling Blade (and why haven’t you?), be sure to stream it. Another intense one, but Billy Bob Thornton turns in what may be the best performance ever given on screen. He’s in almost every shot and must speak in a monotone voice with little facial expression. Yet, he’s compelling throughout. That ain’t easy, folks!
Great list. I’ll be checking them out.
Not a bad list.
i’m always excited to discover rare films, but I’m now wary of these since the majority of them you describe as charming or heartwarming or pure fun
Not so, Todd. Go back and look at the list again. At least five of the ten are thought-provoking, and three of them are downright intense (White Irish Drinkers, Detachment, and Twelve and Holding.) While Reel Injun and Sweet Land have some funny moments (most good films do), they are very thought-provoking and serious. It’s an eclectic and well-rounded list.
Besides, “heartwarming” doesn’t necessarily mean “trite” or “poor.” 🙂
THE AMATEURS is no longer on Netflix. It is available as a rental on Amazon Prime.
Well, this was written almost 2 years ago. Netflix is always changing its streaming offerings.
And sometimes just willy-nilly, too. My daughter and I were all set to watch Teen Wolf this spring, and I was SURE I’d just seen it on Netflix, but when we looked, nowhere to be found. Could have been a blessing in disguise, though. 🙂
Yes, I sometimes look at my list, and they’ll have dates listed when they’re going to remove certain movies or TV shows. I have to try to rush to watch. It’a annoying, and I have no idea what goes into the decision-making. I suppose the contracts with all of the different distribution companies are a nightmare.