If you’re anything like me, you’ve been watching the same TV show for a fourth consecutive time, silently quoting scenes as you stare blankly into your phone or computer screen. As a serial rewatcher myself, I totally understand the comfort of unwinding from a long day of analyzing academic jargon with a good dose of Pretty Little Liars or Gilmore Girls. Watching something you know and love is comforting, even if every twist and turn of the plot is entirely predictable to you. But that shouldn’t keep you from discovering new digital treasures! If you’re looking to expand your movie palette, take a look at these awesome, award-winning films on Netflix right now!
This is the perfect comfort rom-com for a chilly night curled up in bed! Domhnall Gleeson plays a man who discovers his ability to time travel and continues to go back in time to fix his romantic blunders. Along the way, he falls in love with Mary, played by Rachel McAdams, and the two start a family together. However, as he utilizes his time travelling to fix his professional and familial problems, unexpected consequences arise. I love this film for its whimsical, heartwarming nature: the element of time travel coupled with the colorful costuming and set adds an air of magic to the film that feeds the inner child in all of us. Ultimately, About Time is more than just a rom-com, as it also considers how one can live life to the fullest and appreciate the present.
Moonlight is a true piece of art that will leave you considering its complex themes and motifs for days to come. The movie follows the experience of Chiron, a young man growing up in poverty struggling to take care of his mother who is addicted to drugs. Chiron also faces struggles with his sexuality throughout the film and creates a deep connection with Kevin, who is played by Jharell Jerome. The use of lighting is particularly important throughout Moonlight, as the blues, purples, and reds mirror Chiron’s growth and loss of innocence. Although little dialogue is utilized in the film, the actions of the characters speak louder than words and also enable the formation of some beautiful familial and romantic relationships as the plot unfolds. Moonlight is a heart-wrenching, nuanced depiction of real life that everyone should experience!
Knock Down the House
For all of my AOC stans, you must watch this film! Knock Down the House follows four women running for Congress for the first time in the 2018 midterm elections, when a historic wave of women both ran for and were elected to Congress. The documentary does a fantastic job of capturing the barriers faced by women and working class folks in running for public office, the huge influence of money in politics, and most importantly, the inspiring and hopeful wave of candidates fighting against the corruption in our elections and political systems. You also get to watch a younger, pre-Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rock some badass pantsuits and stand up to old white men, my personal favorite past time.
Looking for a thriller to keep you on your toes? Nightcrawler is perfect for you! Jake Gyllenhaul plays an off putting protagonist looking for work in the news world as a nightcrawler — someone who captures footage of gruesome accidents and crime scenes (Trigger warning: There is quite a bit of gore, violence, and noise in this movie that might not be suitable for all viewers!). With many twists and turns, Nightcrawler also uncovers the ethical issues within the news industry that are often not talked about or considered by audiences. I love Nightcrawler for its incredible use of character arcs, and Gyllenhaul’s unnerving, yet fantastic performance as Lou!
Silver Linings Playbook
This is definitely in my top five favorite movies of all time. In Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a character with bipolar disorder recently released from a psychiatric hospital. Pat is obsessed with winning back the love of his former wife, but in the process, develops a close connection with Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawerence) who acts as a communicator between Pat and his ex-wife. The blunt, dry humor present throughout the script keeps you laughing even during its more serious scenes, and the chemistry between Cooper and Lawerence on screen is truly palpable. Silver Linings Playbook will warm your heart with its unfailingly optimistic nature and loveable characters!
All of these films are masterpieces in their own right and only a click away! So, quit rewatching The Office and Gilmore Girls, and go discover the beautiful world of cinema in just a couple of swipes.