Don’t even pretend like you don’t watch Netflix. You know those people who loudly and proudly proclaim that they never watch television? Yeah, it’s because they’re watching Netflix on their laptops along with the rest of the world.
I’m a Netflix fiend. I even watch it in the library sometimes (yes, I’m that person. Please go complain about me on Facebook, now). Through the use of Netflix, I’ve successfully binged on Breaking Bad, Supernatural, Parks and Recreation, and House of Cards, all within a year. I should really win some kind of award for this.
We all know Netflix has great TV shows (and original shows—Orange is the New Black, anyone?! June 6th!), but they also have great movies—some of which you’ve probably never heard of.
Below is a list of 6 movies that you must see before you continue binge watching whatever show you’re on this week.
Watch these movies when you’re too tired to go out—when Pike is getting to be too exhausting or the line for Skeeps seems impossible (or, if you’re me, when you don’t feel like walking a block to your friends’ apartment where you’ll spend the whole night drinking cheap beer and arguing about the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie).
6. Stuck in Love | 2012
Directed & written by Josh Boone
Starring Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins
The first time I saw this movie, I wept. And not because Lily Collins is gorgeous or plays a nineteen-year-old with a book deal (some girls get all the luck), but because it’s a really beautiful story. It follows a broken family of writers over the course of a year, as they learn what life, love, and writing are really about. Of course, as you watch how adorable these love stories are, you may begin to regret not going to the frat—your soul mate is probably dancing on a table, chugging a half-gal as we speak, and you’re at home in your PJs, watching chick flicks.
5. Into the Wild | 2007
Directed by Sean Penn
Written by Sean Penn (screenplay), Jon Krakauer (book)
Starring Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener
This heartbreaking, true story follows the off-the-grid adventures of Christopher McCandless, a recent college grad who drops everything to travel around the United States—with no plan, no credit cards, and not a care in the world. His ultimate adventure leads him to the Alaskan wilderness. Along the way, though, he meets several people who change his life forever (including Kirsten Stewart! This was pre-Twilight days, so it’s okay to love her).
This movie is great for countless reasons, but one of them is that it will make you feel so much better about staying in on a Friday night, because, hey, at least you didn’t try to traverse the Alaskan wilderness by yourself.
4. Man on Wire | 2008
Directed by James Marsh
Written by Philippe Petit (book)
Starring Philippe Petit, Jean Francois Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau
This is a documentary, but it isn’t like those boring ones you used to watch in your high school history class. This film looks at the life of tightrope walker Philippe Petit, and chronicles the events that led up to his ultimate act—walking a high-wire rope between NYC’s World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974.
This documentary is both terrifying and uplifting. You’ll be too busy biting your nails to wonder what/who your roommate is doing, and by the end, you’ll be too inspired to really care about cheap shots and shitty DJ music.
3. Drinking Buddies | 2013
Directed & written by Joe Swanberg
Starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick
Drinking Buddies is a painfully realistic story about two best friends who work together at a brewery and have obvious feelings for each other, despite having significant others. A weekend away proves who really belongs together, and who is just temporary.
Olivia Wilde is phenomenal in this, and Jake Johnson will make you realize that man you want is actually a dirty, grimy, brewery worker, not a sweaty frat boy who says “bro” too much.
2. Girl, Interrupted | 1999
Directed by James Mangold
Written by Susanna Kaysen (book), James Mangold (screenplay)
Starring Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall
Girl, Interrupted is based on writer Susanna Kaysen’s actual experiences during her 18-month stay in a mental hospital in the 1960s after attempted suicide. Not only is Winona Ryder at her finest, but also she portrays Kaysen beautifully, providing a peek at what this young woman went through.
Plain and simple, this movie is fantastic. Angelina Jolie is stellar (and a blonde, which is weird), and Winona couldn’t be more perfect. Jared Leto is in it, too, back before his hair was longer and prettier than yours.
1. Frances, Ha | 2012
Directed by Noah Baumbach
Written by Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig
Starring Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
I just watched this movie for the first time a couple weeks ago, and let me tell you, my life made way more sense afterwards.
Frances, Ha follows the life of twenty-something Frances, who, after her roommate and BFF Sophie moves out, must navigate life on her own. Frances loses her apartment, her best friend, and almost her mind trying to live life on her own in a quirky and lovable manner. Frances, Ha is essential for any twenty-something to see. It’s a no-bullshit movie that still feels good to watch.
After seeing this, you’re going to want to hug your roommate. That is, if she isn’t vomiting, or something.
Going out and partying is cool and all, but Netflix is way cooler. Come to the dark side. We have awesome movies.