The List: 12 must-see movies on Netflix right now
As the fine-tuning of my year-end top 10 list is in full swing, I've got a stack of great movies to watch and re-watch, but if you want to recreate this (awesome) dilemma, here are my current recommendations for must-watch movies now on Netflix - including a couple you'll likely see on that year-end list.
Director Bong Joon-ho ("The Host") made one of 2014's wildest sci-fi movies. It's a stylish take on class warfare on a train, and it's worth watching for Tilda Swinton alone.
Another Class of 2014 entry, this low-budget indie revenge tale has style and surprises to spare. Recommended for fans of Tarantino or the darker Coen Brothers stuff like "Blood Simple."
Director Mike Mills' amazing tale of a man coming to terms with his gay father's death was on my top 10 list in 2011. It makes a perfect double-feature with "Me and You and Everyone We Know," which was directed by Mills' wife Miranda July (and is also on Netflix).
A must-see for horror fans, it's a smart and self-aware take on the tropes of the slasher genre. Bonus points for flipping the damsel-in-distress script with a badass female lead.
"The Punk Singer"
My favorite documentary of 2013 hit the streaming service in the past few months. It's the story of feminist punk icon Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill, and it's as awesome as she is.
Paul Thomas Anderson's not-quite-Scientology movie isn't for everyone, but the stellar performance of Joaquin Phoenix is a strangely great warm-up for "Inherent Vice" (although the films couldn't be more different). PTA's "Punch Drunk Love" is also available.
"The Station Agent"
If you only know Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on "Game of Thrones," do yourself a favor and watch this thoughtful, heartwarming movie. It's also another great performance from the criminally underrated Patricia Clarkson.
Not enough people have seen Colin Firth's Oscar-nominated performance as a closeted English professor coping with the death of his longtime boyfriend in the 1960s.
"Stories We Tell"
Actress Sarah Polley explores a family secret that's extremely close to her. If you're obsessed with the podcast "Serial," you should probably check this out.
"Confessions of a Dangerous Mind"
George Clooney directed this wildly offbeat biopic of game show host/purported CIA hitman Chuck Barris (played superbly by Sam Rockwell).
Documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky would go on to make the "West Memphis Three" famous (and eventually free) with their "Paradise Lost" series, but this early doc about a murder trial involving four elderly brothers is amazing in a similar vein.
"Silver Linings Playbook"
OK, it's not exactly under-the-radar, but David O. Russell's fantastic comedy-drama starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper is now streaming. Worth watching over and over.