Netflix's T.V. show selection will keep you occupied for quite some time. People who posses true discipline are able to appreciate a good television series over time—observing the characters as they grow, watching a good plot unravel.
But if you’re anything like me, you'd rather shut the blinds, lock the door, and binge-watch four seasons of a show over two days. This causes a little chaos in your everyday life… you know, the one you should be living. And it likely puts a strain on any relationships you might have. But screw it! You’ve got to know what’s going to happen to this cancer-ridden science teacher and his meth-cooking RV.
Then there are those times when ostracizing yourself from society for a two-day Breaking Bad bender simply isn’t an option.
For this we turn our attention to the talkies. I’m talking about the movies that Netflix has deemed worthy of their $7.99-per-month, stream-only customers. I’d like to say that, in most cases, you get much less than what you paid for. A Haunted House is a solid hour and a half of my life I’ll never get back. But there are the hidden gems—the movies that make you feel like you just struck gold in a coal mine.
So as the temperature begins to drop and the midterm doldrums start to set in, take solace in knowing that you and your bros have these five Netflix gems available to stream right now.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
A group of preppy college kids visit a cabin in the woods for a weekend of booze, drugs, and sex, what could possibly go wrong? It's a tagline all too familiar to the average moviegoer. But movie isn’t really about preppy college kids. It’s about Tucker and Dale, two happy-go-lucky farm boys who want nothing more than to relax at their dilapidated cabin in the woods, catch some fish, and be left to themselves. The only problem is those goddamned preppy college kids intruding and fucking everything up. Some misunderstandings occur involving a wood chipper and a guy accidentally impaling himself on a tree branch. And eventually our friends Tucker and Dale find themselves in the midst of a horror movie plot they want nothing to do with.
In all seriousness, I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud this much at a movie. The jokes are endless and often subtle enough to make you do a double take before they split your side open. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil reminds us not to judge people based on their looks, to stay true to your friends, and to enjoy the little things in life, like bowling.
In Bruges (2008)
Yes, I know it stars Colin Farrell, but you know what? It’s a damn good movie, and Farrell isn’t half bad in it. (Playing an Irish asshole doesn’t hurt.)
Ray and Ken are hitmen. Not very good hitmen, but hitmen nonetheless. They find themselves in a sticky situation after one of their jobs goes wrong. Their boss instructs them to lie low for a while. And what better place to lie low than in the Belgisch tourist town of Bruges? The movie essentially deals with two friends, who couldn’t be more different, attempting to live a (somewhat) normal life. And they soon find that being a world away from killing for money makes them question their own mortality more than a life in it.
Remember the days when Robert DeNiro used to actually give a shit about the movies he was in? Well…I don’t. To be fair, I was in diapers when he was in his prime. But still, there's The Godfather: Part II, Once Upon A Time in America, Mean Streets, Goodfellas, and the list goes on. The guy’s resume is stacked. Nowadays? I just don’t know. I’m not exactly holding my breath for Last Vegas.
Be that as it may, Ronin is a 1998 effort starring DeNiro wherein he plays an elite U.S. spy. He, along with an international team of special forces, must track down a mysterious package for an unknown employer. Not exactly a unique plot line. But what it lacks in story depth, it more than makes up for in badassery. What blows me away about this movie is its lack of visual effects. The explosions are real, the car chases look like they were filmed guerilla style, and I'd be hard pressed to believe any of this movie was created on a computer.
I don't posses much first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day lives of minor league hockey players. But I very much hope it's something like what's portrayed in Goon. Stifler from American Pie (who for some reason likes to go by Seann William Scott in his everyday life) plays a bouncer turned hockey player. The only problem is he’s horrendous at hockey. But that’s okay, because he’s what’s called an enforcer. This means that when one of his players gets a dirty hit from an opponent, it's his job to get on the ice and beat the living shit out of that guy.
I try my best not to choose favorites, but the rewatchability of Goon puts it a head above the rest. The story is solid and the fights are great. Anyone who has ever been on a sports team can relate to the comradery in knocking out a guy who comes after one of your bros.
The concept is simple: space prison. Seriously. It’s the future and the world’s convicted criminals are put into a hibernation-like sleep and sent to space station to spend the rest of forever. Through a series of very unfortunate events our main character, Snow, finds he must go to space prison to save a young damsel in distress. Only problem is ALL OF THE GODDAMNED PRISONERS HAVE WOKEN UP FROM HIBERNATION, and they're not that happy. So Snow decides to kill them all. The movie is just sheer fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t try to be more than it is. Almost every single line of dialogue given by Snow is some snarky insult to whomever he happens to be talking to.
The movie—like a lot on this list—makes a solid argument that Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t always get it right.