7 movies on Netflix you haven’t seen, but should watch

Netflix is one of my favorite and easiest forms of entertainment (so many movies and TV shows, at the click of a button!), but it can also be overwhelming BECAUSE it has so many choices. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these seven movies, that you probably haven’t seen but should see.

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1) Philomena. This film is also based on a book, which was based on a real-life story, and I reviewed it back in 2013 on my blog; it focuses on an Irish woman (Judi Dench) who decides to find the son she gave up for adoption almost fifty years ago. Steve Coogan stars as well, as a journalist who helps Dench’s character, and the movie makes good use of flashbacks to tell its story.
2) Hector and the Search for Happiness. This 2014 movie stars Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pike, with Pegg taking a trip around the world to discover the true meaning of happiness. I gave it 3.5/5 stars when I reviewed it, back in September 2014, and to me, it was like a combination of Eat, Pray, Love and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The movie is a little slow throughout, but you get to visit the world during its runtime.
3) Fruitvale Station. This film was also based on a true story, one that I didn’t know much about before seeing it, and it was fantastic; I gave it 4/5 stars back in July 2013. This was really a standout role for Michael B. Jordan, but unfortunately he didn’t get much recognition for it – he played Oscar Grant, a young African-American man who was trying to pull his life together. Octavia Spencer also stars, as Jordan’s character’s mother.
4) Election. I recently watched this on Netflix with a friend, because when it was first released (1999), I was only 12 years old – needless to say, it definitely deserves its R-rating, so I wasn’t old enough to watch it at the time. Reese Witherspoon stars as Tracy Flick, a straight-A high school student who wants to become student body president. The only obstacle between her and success is her teacher (Matthew Broderick), who hates Tracy and wants to see her lose, so he encourages a popular football player classmate of hers to run against her. This movie was full of dark humor but my friend and I found it to be hilarious.
5) Cake. You’ve never seen Jennifer Aniston like you’ve seen her here, before – full of raw emotion, and with little to no makeup, she steals the show. I saw this film in early 2015, and it’s definitely not a happy film, but it’s also very much worth watching. Aniston plays a woman who is in chronic pain, and when someone in her support group commits suicide (Anna Kendrick), Aniston’s character becomes obsessed with pursuing questions about her death.
6) The Way. I saw a screening of this movie and both Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez did a live Q&A after, at the theater, which was a real treat. The movie itself was great, too, and I gave it a “Yes” review on my blog. Sheen’s character decides to walk the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile walk to Spain, after his son passes away, and he meets some interesting people and has life-changing experiences along the way. Both Sheen and Estevez were very nice in-person, as well, and this was one of the more memorable screenings I have attended, even though it was more than six years ago now.
7) Lilting. I saw this movie at the 2014 Cinetopia Film Festival, in Ann Arbor, and it was one of my favorites of the festival; the funny thing is, I hadn’t planned on seeing it, but another friend saw us at the theater and encouraged us to see it with him, so we did. The movie was both heartbreaking and uplifting, if that makes sense, and I’m not sure if it ever had a wide release in theaters – I was keeping an eye out for it, and didn’t hear anything about it. However, you can now watch it on Netflix, luckily, as well as on Blu-ray/DVD.
 

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Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. She blogs at Books I Think You Should Read and Yes/No Films, and you can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Comments

  1. shelly peterson says:

    I haven’t heard of any of these other than the movie Cake. They all sound interesting to watch. I need to have some Netflix nights at my friends house.

  2. Thanks for the quick reviews! I haven’t seen any of those, but we’ve been watching a few more movies lately. I’ll add Cake to the list for sure.

  3. Sarah L says:

    Philomena. This film is also based on a book, which was based on a real-life story, and I reviewed it back in 2013 on my blog; it focuses on an Irish woman (Judi Dench) who decides to find the son she gave up for adoption almost fifty years ago. Steve Coogan stars as well, as a journalist who helps Dench’s character, and the movie makes good use of flashbacks to tell its story.

  4. Liz
    Twitter: yesnofilms
    says:

    Lilting was one of my favorite movies of the Cinetopia film fest in 2014 … what’s funny is I almost didn’t see it too.

  5. I’ve heard of a couple of these movies but haven’t taken the time to watch them. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for them now. Nice list. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Ron Leyba says:

    They all sound really interesting. Will check them out soon. Thanks for this list.

  7. We stopped using Netflix when they stopped mailing out DVDs but I have been wanting to go back since they started streaming original programming, especially Daredevil, but my wife had been vetoing the purchase. My wife told me last night she has signed us up for Netflix again…happens a show called Gilmore Girls will be having new episodes on Netflix. Fine with me now I can watch House of Cards and Daredevil! I’ll keep an eye out for these films too while we are enjoying our new Netflix subscription.

  8. I have seen #4, but not the rest of them. Thank you for giving reviews on them. I will check these movies out.

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