Staying at home? Sure, you could try to convince yourself that you're going to spend that time getting around to those cleaning projects you've been putting off or learning a new skill, but let's be honest: The reality is you're going to sit on the couch, snack away and stream something hopefully good. I'm not judging; I'm doing the same thing as we speak.
So, to help make your nights in go as outstanding as possible, here's a list of 100 good movies – from awesome action flicks to cool choices for children to stellar sports stories and Will Ferrell singing to honor the great country of Iceland – you can currently find on Netflix. Go and stream away – you can get around to that to-do list tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or maybe next week.
"The Harder They Fall": Super stylish and slick, this all-Black Netflix Original Western is a good wild ride following outlaw leader Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) as he seeks out revenge against the sadistic gang leader Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) who murdered his family. It's lot of old classic genre fun mixed with new style and verve.
"The Mask of Zorro": The classic swash-bucklingly character receives new invigorating life with this 1998 adventure blockbuster thanks to some old-school thrills rendered with fresh tricks – from director Martin Campbell, who would pull a similar rehabilitation act a few years later with James Bond and "Casino Royale" – and some real star performances from Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins.
"The Night Comes For Us": Do you like violent action movies? No, I mean VIOLENT action movies – violent enough that even the guy from the "Saw" films would be like, "Please, have you no decency?" Well, if you're a fan of stuff like "The Raid" movies, you'll love this viciously brutal actioner starring martial arts superstars Iwo Uwais and Joe Taslim – directed by Timo Tjahjanto, who'll helm the upcoming "Train to Busan" remake, so get pumped for that!
"Shadow": Did you miss this borderline black-and-white martial arts epic at the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival? Good news: It's now available on Netflix, where you can bathe in the beautiful monochrome visuals, cheer on the outstanding action sequences – BLADED UMBRELLAS! – and make a flow chart trying to understand the plot. But did I mention UMBRELLAS WITH BLADES!?
"Time to Hunt": Part heist movie, part futuristic dystopian sci-fi, part action thriller, part "Terminator" and all tensely entertaining, it's definitely time to check out this Korean Netflix original hidden gem, following a group of down-on-their-luck young adults who rob the wrong place.
"21 Jump Street": There's no reason for a movie spinoff of a mostly forgotten '80s TV show to work – at all. And yet that's the magic of writer-director duo Lord & Miller, who put a ton of energy, creativity, wit and snap into this goofball comedy about two bumbling cops (Jonah Hill and a hilarious Channing Tatum) who blend into a high school to bust a drug ring.
"Bad Trip": Cheap hidden camera comedy makes a welcome return with this bite-sized blast tracing the misadventures of Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery as they travel across the country and get into all sorts of inappropriate and awkward trouble. It's bawdy – but "Bad Trip" also packs a surprisingly big heart, showing people oddly at their best when confronted with the worst. It's easily the most strangely sweet film involving a prolonged sexual encounter with a gorilla.
"The Bling Ring": Kids these days, with their phones and their social media profiles and their robbing celebrities' homes in the hopes of feeling rich and famous no matter the cost. Sofia Coppola's starry comedy – based on a true story! – is a slick indictment of our starry-eyed obsession with wealth and celebrity.
"Dolemite Is My Name": You may not be able to see anything on the big screen right now, but you can at least watch this jubilant tribute to the movies – and this wild yet heartwarming tribute to an under-appreciated mad genius movie-making mind in Rudy Ray Moore (an awards-worthy Eddie Murphy), who brought the blaxploitation character Dolemite to overlooked audiences across the country.
"Edge of Seventeen": Judging by the box office, you probably missed this excellent 2016 coming-of-age dramedy about Nadine, a high schooler (Hailee Steinfeld of "True Grit") coping with being unpopular and losing her only friend when she catches her dating Nadine's jock brother. You should amend that, as it's one of the best movies of this year, hilarious and with a lot of heart.
"Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga": Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star in this Netflix Original about a duo of goofy Swedes attempting to take the globe by storm with their charmingly kitschy pop music in this toe-tapping and charming comedy. And seriously, Hollywood, cast Rachel McAdams in every comedy from here on out.
"Hail, Caesar!": The Coen Brothers go goofy with this gleefully eclectic Hollywood romp about a studio fixer (Josh Brolin) trying to solve a bunch of problems – from a missing star (George Clooney) to a Western actor trying his hand at glamorous melodrama and keeping his celebs out of the tabloids. Seem easy? Would that it t'were so simple...
"Hairspray": Looking for a burst of colorful joy and positivity? Yeah, we thought so these days – and thankfully Netflix just scored this star-studded, perfectly peppy movie musical adaptation about a buoyant Baltimore girl who brings change and inclusivity to the local variety hour dance show with her contagious love of dance.
"Hunt for the Wilderpeople": A fan of Taika Waititi's "Thor Ragnarok" and "Jojo Rabbit"? Then don't miss this wildly charming wildlife tale about a young rebel who runs off into the New Zealand woods and befriends a gruff loner played by Dr. Grant himself, Sam Neill.
"Midnight Run": Before the inevitable remake comes out (oops, look at that, here it comes), check out this star-studded '80s action comedy favorite starring Robert De Niro and the late great Charles Grodin as a bounty hunter and a mob accountant on the (midnight) run.
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail": You've almost certainly quoted this comedy classic in the last few days – but have you actually watched this medieval lark recently? Remedy that; you'll certainly have the time.
"My Fair Lady": It's hard to find classic movies on Netflix. But here's a big one: the iconic Oscar-winning musical dramedy about a professor (Best Actor Rex Harrison) who takes a bet that he can turn an unpolished flower girl (the beloved Audrey Hepburn) into a proper member of high-society. Check it out and see why audiences, a half-century later, are still accustomed to its face.
"The Prom": This star-studded musical brings together Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Andrew Rannells and more as egotistical Broadway stars who invade a small Indiana town in the hopes of helping a gay teen go to prom (and giving themselves some much needed good publicity). It's relentlessly big, bright, colorful and sweet – aka much better than real prom.
"Sword of Trust": Check out this low-key, oddball indie charmer from the late great Lynn Shelton, following a grumpy pawn shop owner (Marc Maron) who gets embroiled in a bizarre quest involving a Civil War sword. Strangely warm and wacky, heartfelt and hilarious, "Sword of Trust" is a winsome winner.
"The Battered Bastards of Baseball": It may have been minor league baseball, but the Portland Mavericks of the '70s – owned and created by Kurt Russell's dad – were major league fun in this sports documentary about these oddball outlaws who were juuuuuust a bit outside the norm.
"Coded Bias": "Black Mirror" not freaky enough for you? Watch this riveting documentary about the future of facial recognition software, its hidden biases and the tech heroes fighting against them. It's so effective, you might just chuck your laptop in the bin right after watching it.
"Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution": Learn about the history of the long hard fight for equal rights for Americans with disabilities – and the '70s New York State summer camp where several of its leaders met one another and grew in their strength and confidence in this powerful and educational Oscar-nominated 2020 documentary.
"Fantastic Fungi": How interesting can mushrooms be? Pretty darn interesting, as it turns out! At least that's the case with this documentary, which uses gorgeous and mesmerizing nature footage and Oscar winner Brie Larson's voiceover to tell the story of fungi's incredible abilities both in the wild and in the hands of science.
"I Am Not Your Negro": Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, Raoul Peck's powerful Oscar-nominated documentary essay brings Baldwin's life – as well as his hauntingly prescient, still incisive and essential perspective on the Black experience in America – into modern times, showing painfully how much work is left to be done in the quest for equality and inclusive access to the pursuit of happiness.
"Icarus": This Oscar-winning Netflix Original documentary starts as a look into the Olympics doping scandal – but ends up taking its director deep into the dangerous world of Russian politics that definitely isn't just a game.
"Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992": As you'd expect from a documentary going through a decade of tension and strife, "Let It Fall" is a dense and (at almost two and a half hours) extended watch. But it's essential and gripping viewing when it comes to understanding one of the country's largest and most notorious riots in recent memory.
"Misha and the Wolves": A wild twisty ride of a documentary, "Misha and the Wolves" tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who, as a child on the run from Nazis, befriended a pack of wolves in a forest to stay alive. It's a story so incredible it must be true – but as the story becomes a global sensation decades later, many start to wonder if that's exactly the case. A fascinating and compelling story about stories and what people – the tellers and the listetners – use them for.
"Tread": The fascinating but frightening true story of an unassuming man in a small Rocky Mountain town who decides he's had enough of his neighbors and creates a bulletproof bulldozer to ran rampant through the city – no matter who or what he destroys in the process.
"American Gangster": A sprawling crime saga featuring knockout performances by Denzel Washington as the famed Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas and Russell Crowe as the cop tasked with trying to take him down – and potentially work with him to bring down others.
"The Artist": Should this black-and-white French silent movie pastiche have won Best Picture? Ehhh, maybe not. But is it still a delightful little prance back in time, with visuals and performances fully and charmingly committed to the bit? Absolutely.
"Atlantics": Part drama and part ghost story, this alluring should've-been-Oscar-nominated film from Senegal follows a young woman sent adrift when her lover leaves the country to find better work across the ocean. Meanwhile, back at home, young women keep getting possessed by angry spirits. So that's not good! (But the movie is.)
"Beasts of No Nation": One of Netflix's first big original films is also still one of its best, as Cary Joji Fukunaga's intense and mesmerizing drama follows a young child soldier as he atttempts to survive both physically and mentally getting dragged first-hand through a brutal civil war in his country. Not a fun watch but it is a memorably vivid one.
"Black Sea": Think having to practice social distancing is stressful and claustrophobic? Think about the poor stars of this tense and taut aquatic thriller about a bunch of thieves stuck in a submarine trying to hunt for gold at the bottom of the sea.
"Croupier": Remember when Clive Owen was the frontrunner to play James Bond? That didn't quite work out – but Owen's still a great actor, and this late '90s British noir, about a writer who takes a job as a croupier and gets wrangled into some bad business, helped discover him and bring him into the spotlight.
"Da 5 Bloods": Spike Lee takes on Vietnam in his pained and passionate follow-up to the Oscar-winning "BlacKkKlansman," following four veterans (headlined by an award-worthy Delroy Lindo) as they return to the country they fought across to recover their fallen comrade – and recover a trunk of gold bars that they vowed to return for back in the day.
"Django Unchained": Quentin Tarantino goes back to the historical revisionist well with this wildly entertaining revenge story about a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) who teams up with a bounty hunter (an Oscar-winning Christoph Waltz) to save his wife from a sadistic slave owner (a should've-been Oscar-winning Leonardo DiCaprio).
"Do the Right Thing": Spike Lee's electric conversation-starting masterpiece about race in America, as viewed through a powder keg of a record-breaking hot day in Brooklyn, is no less powerful and potent today as when it came out in 1989. The anger in the film makes all of the headlines, but the hurt and humanity in the characters and assorted stories are what helps it make such an impact.
"The Florida Project": A lovely indie project from acclaimed director Sean Baker, "The Florida Project" hangs out at a bright pink motel outside of Disney World with its even brighter characters – from an exploration-happy little girl to her unpolished young mother to the strained man (an Oscar-nominated Willem Dafoe) who tries to contain the chaos at the building.
"Gladiator": ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!? Well, if you're not, pop on Ridley Scott's iconic rousing Best Picture-winning spectacle about a left-for-dead Roman general (Russell Crowe) hacking and slashing his way to vengeance against Joaquin Phoenix's wormy emperor. We give it a thumbs up!
"Good Time": Did you love "Uncut Gems"? Then you'll love this fellow gritty and delightfully stressful trip into the criminal underworld from the Safdie Brothers, starring Robert Pattinson (make a "Twilight" joke at your own risk!) as a crappy thief trying to get his brother out of prison after a job gone wrong.
"I Lost My Body": Animated movies don't come much stranger – but also much better – than this Oscar-nominated hand-drawn bittersweet and bizarre beauty about a sentient severed hand crawling its way back across the city to its rightful owner.
"The Irishman": Listen, you've finally got a lot of time on your hands. So now there's no excuse for not checking out Martin Scorsese's excellent gangster epic. It's a gripping gut punch of a movie, immaculately performed, but it's also not without its entertainment value. (Give me EVERY Al Pacino line-reading, please.) It's a powerful (seemingly) final statement from Scorsese.
"Lady Bird": Greta Gerwig's breakthrough directorial effort is one of the most effortlessly charming and wise coming-of-age stories you'll see, following a young snobbish high schooler (Saoirse Ronan) as she both bonds and battles with her weary hard-working mother (Laurie Metcalf). There's bound to be at least one moment you'll feel like was ripped out of your own high school or family's experience.
"Legend": What's better than one Tom Hardy? TWO Tom Hardys! That's the selling point of this gangster drama, a true-life caper about twin British mobsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray in the '60s.
"Loving": Quietly one of the best movies of 2016, "Loving" follows the groundbreaking Supreme Court case surrounding Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple arrested in 1960s Virginia – all presented less as a typical prestige legal drama and more as the intimate story of two normal people suddenly finding themeslves in history's path.
"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom": The late great Chadwick Boseman left us far too soon, but at least he left behind this final monumental, vibrant and volatile performance as hot-shot trumpet player Levee in Netflix's August Wilson play adaptation about a Black blues band and their testy singing star (an also terrific Viola Davis) battling through a heated – literally and emotionally – day of recording.
"Marriage Story": One of the best movies of last year is at your fingertips thanks to Netflix with this biting drama about a husband and wife (Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, never better) trying to survive a cross-country divorce.
"The Master": Just one of many mesmerizing Paul Thomas Anderson works, Joaquin Phoenix stars as a military vet lost at home after the war but finds a new purpose with an intense new religious sect (led by Philip Seymour Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd) that definitely isn't scientology.
"Middle of Nowhere": Before she became one of Hollywood's most powerful producers, directors and groundbreakers, Ava DuVernay ("Selma," "13th") made this breakthrough drama about a woman attempting to navigate life after her husband is sent to prison. It's a thoughtful, complex and outstandingly crafted indie project – not only making DuVernay a name to watch, but also helping co-star David Oyelowo emerge as a leading man and putting cinematographer Bradford Young on the map.
"Pan's Labyrinth": Before he won Best Picture for "The Shape of Water," writer-director Guillermo del Toro's gorgeously gothic imagination earned him three Oscars with this fairy tale about a young girl who escapes the scary war-scarred world around her via a magical fantasy that may end up being just as dangerous.
"Passing": Much more personal and psychological, complex and complicated, than the Social Issue Film it may appear to be on the surface, Rebecca Hall's directorial debut is a gorgeous black-and-white film about the gray areas between two intertwined Black women in the 1920s: one (a stellar Ruth Negga) passing as a white woman, the other (an equally magnetic Tessa Thompson) finding her life rattled by this new arrival.
"Philomena": Feel the Philo-mania! This drama – about a journalist (Steve Coogan) who finds a story about a woman (Judi Dench) searching for the son stolen from her in her younger years – may look and seem like drab, typical Oscar bait, but thanks to the performances, the smart script and Stephen Frears' quietly effective direction, it actually earns its awards love.
"The Power of the Dog": A front runner for the upcoming Academy Awards, Jane Campion's return to the big screen tells the story of a rough and tough rancher (an almost surely Oscar-nominated Benedict Cumberbatch) and the brutal impact he has on those around him, including his quiet brother (Jesse Plemons), his weighed-down wife (Kirsten Dunst) and her awkward son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in this beautifully captured Western about masculinity and loneliness, blending equal parts tenderness and slow-burning tension.
"Rain Man": How weird is it that there was a time when a movie like "Rain Man" – an original drama about two brothers, one a selfish yuppie (Tom Cruise) and the other an OCD savant (Dustin Hoffman), aimlessly traveling across the country together – could be the highest grossing movie of the year? Enjoy that crazy fact while also enjoying this still-solid Best Picture-winning '80s classic.
"Roma": Alfonso Cuaron's Oscar-winning character study is a gorgeous black-and-white slow burn, following a maid as her life changes along with the rich family she works for. It's mesmerizing work.
"Steve Jobs": Screenwriter extraordinaire Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network") sets his pen on another tech superstar in this wildly watchable drama, showcasing three massive moments in the Apple savior's life. Sharply written, sharply directed and sharply performed, it deserved better than to be a flop in theaters – so check it out now.
"There Will Be Blood": Paul Thomas Anderson's American masterpiece follows Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis as the iconic Daniel Plainview, a viciously opportunistic oil man waging a war against a local pastor trying to found a new church on the land. Grand and gorgeous.
"Tick, Tick ... Boom!": Lin-Manuel Miranda sure had a busy 2021 ("In the Heights," "Vivo," "Encanto") with this biopic musical about "Rent" creator Jonathan Larson perhaps serving as the best of the bunch thanks to a marvelous lead performance from Andrew Garfield, a bunch of catchy tunes courtesy of the late great Larson and some charmingly enthusiastic theater kid energy.
"Titanic": We accept no "Titanic" slander in this house: James Cameron's all-timer disaster romance is still a remarkable and breathtaking epic. Take the four hours or so, rewatch this blockbuster masterpiece and remember how absolutely terrifying that one part is where Kate Winslet almost hacks off Leo DiCaprio's hand with an axe.
"Uncorked": Barbecue and wine make a perfect comfort food pairing on a plate – and on your screen with this heart-and-soulwarming family drama about a young man trying to decide between taking over his parents' (scene-stealers Courtney B. Vance and Niecy Nash) beloved neighborhood barbecue shop and pursuing his own dream of becoming a sommelier. Watch it with plenty of food, drink and Kleenex on standby.
"Uncut Gems": We live in stressful times – so not watch a movie that'll make you EVEN MORE STRESSED! This scintillatingly scuzzy New York gambling drama is a unstoppable 150-minute panic attack you can't turn away from as Adam Sandler's Howard Ratner ruins his life in pursuit of a crazy sports bet. Watch it, then take a nice soothing bath afterward. You'll have earned it.
"We Were Soldiers": If you can stomach the often brutal and horrific violence – as well as the presence of star Mel Gibson – you'll find one of the more compelling, vividly crafted and heart-pumping war films in recent memory with this based-on-a-true-story Vietnam War saga.
"Zodiac": If you love true crime stories, you'll love David Fincher's incredible serial killer drama "Zodiac" about the various police officers and newspapermen trying to track down one of the nation's most notorious murderers. It's one of the young century's best movies – even though it will absolutely ruin the song "Hurdy Gurdy Man" for you forever.
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2": This animated sequel about an island of food monsters and the scientists sent to save it is cleverly creative, packed with funny jokes and beautifully crafted ... but the most important thing to know is that there's an adorable sentient strawberry named Barry who giggles and wants hugs. Four stars. Also: THERE'S A LEEK IN THE BOAT! AHHH!
"Hugo": Yes, the guy behind "Goodfellas" and "Casino" made a kids movie – and a very good one at that, a whimsical story about a young Parisian orphan living in a train station who gets embroiled in a mystery involving his dead father and his incredible machines.
"Jumanji": I'll be honest: This movie basically ruined my childhood, horrifying little Matt with kids vanishing into dust, giant spiders, vicious hunters and all sorts of nightmare-inducing jungle creatures. Decades later, as an adult, the original "Jumanji" now plays as an energetic, funny and creative adventure that only causes one night of lost sleep as opposed to a month's worth.
"Labyrinth": You remind me of the movie. What movie? The movie with the power. What power? The power of a mesmerizing David Bowie performance, the magic of Jim Henson puppetry, a thrillingly creative and kooky fantasy world, a clever script ... and voodoo. Who do? You do!
"The Mitchells vs. the Machines": Yet another outstandingly funny, energetic and smart project courtesy of producers Lord and Miller (the guys behind "21 Jump Street" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"), this gorgeously animated adventure follows a family road trip that goes slightly off the rails when they accidentally find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse.
"Monster House": Before he went off to make "Community" on TV, writer Dan Harmon helped create this animated haunted house adventure about a trio of kids trying to defeat a creepy house that's also a monster.
"ParaNorman": A zombie invasion doesn't seem like kids movie material generally – but the incredibly inventive folks at Laika pulled it off with this mesmerizingly crafted and playfully creepy stop-motion movie about a young boy battled the ghosts and ghouls infesting his small town.
"Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon": I watched this animated kids charmer when it came out near the beginning of the pandemic, and for 80 lovely, witty and wonderful minutes, I forgot the world was imploding. So I guess what I'm saying is that I highly recommend "Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon," a movie about a nice but mischievous sheep trying to help a little lost alien get home. I want to hug this movie.
"Surf's Up": Remember when penguins were the hottest pop culture stars for several years? What a time. Anyways, forget "Happy Feet" and march away from "March of the Penguins"; the real winner of the bunch is clearly "Surf's Up," an adorable animated adventure about a little penguin buddy who just wants to be a surfer. I mean LOOK AT THESE LITTLE GUYS! Also: It comes with a Sheboygan reference, so four stars automatically.
"The Willoughbys": The concept – four siblings concoct a scheme to kill their uncaring bougie parents – may not the most exciting one for parents, but this Netflix Original is both somehow charming and macabre, gorgeously animated with jokes delivered at blazing speed and a sour-yet-sweet story about sticking together as an unconventional family.
"Bram Stoker's Dracula": They just don't make them like this anymore – or before, for that matter either. Francis Ford Coppola's gorgeously gothic retelling of the classic horror tale is unlike few other movies, with all sorts of camera tricks, extravagant detail, evocative visuals and nightmarish storytelling. It's a master having a lot of fun in genre.
"The Conjuring": This horror movie universe may have exploded in popularity and size, now including an evil nun, a werewolf, multiple evil doll movies and more – but let's go back to the beginning when it was just the doll and a creepy house in this terrifyingly throwback horror blockbuster, which showed how creaky floors and spooky ghoulish jumps could be scary again.
"The Guest": Get ready to fall in love with Dan Stevens ... and then be equally ready to be terrified of Dan Stevens, who plays a mysterious guest who begins menacing a small-town family in this thrillingly unpredictable and impressively unique '80s pastiche.
"His House": Quietly one of the best movies of the past year, "His House" is both an incredibly powerful and twisty story about immigrant refugees trying to start a new life in England after the terrors of their journey as well as just a really, really impressively crafted and super scary horror movie about something that's living in their new apartment's walls. Get director Remi Weekes a new movie now please!
"It Comes At Night": Why not liven a real-life pandemic situation with this moody horror thriller about a family living during a deserted apocalypse, whose solitude is broken by the arrival of a new family looking for shelter?! It's a tense thriller much more about paranoia and dread than blood and guts.
"It Follows": Another modern horror gem, this terrifying thriller follows a teenager and her friends as they're haunted by a slowly walking, shape-shifting horror that isn't zombies. Moody and menacing, "It Follows" will get under your skin.
"The Machinist": There's committing to a role – and then there's the insanity Christian Bale pulled to play the gaunt lead here. Thankfully it was worth it as "The Machinist" is a moody psychological thriller, telling the tale of a metal worker whose life was already hard enough battling insomnia – but now he has an oddly menacing stranger following him around and a tense new game of hangman greeting him on the fridge every day.
"The Nightingale": How do you follow up one of the biggest and best indie horror hits in recent years? Unrelentingly – at least that's the case with "The Babadook" writer-director Jennifer Kent and this tense and vicious thriller about an Irish woman in Tasmania hunting down the British officer who led unhumane acts against her and her family. It's NOT a light-hearted feel-good film – even by horror standards – but it is a compelling and thoughtful work about some unthinkable crimes.
"The Platform": If you've been enjoying the cruel economic games of the Korean import "Squid Game," you'll want to dig into this bluntly brutal dark Spanish allegorical thriller about a man trapped in a strange vertical prison where a platform of food makes its way down level to level – with the lowest level stuck with the scraps.
"Raw": In Julia Ducournau's outstanding attention-grabbing debut, a young vet student discovers amidst her studies that she's got a hankering for human flesh. Just in case vet school wasn't tough enough fighting off pangs of cannibalism.
"The Strangers: Prey at Night": This long-awaited sequel doesn't quite live up to the cult horror predecessor (which is also on Netflix and very much worth losing sleep over), oddly blending the original's grounded tone with glossy '80s throwback style. But it's still a solid creep-out – and well worth watching even if just for the swimming pool sequence alone.
"Under the Shadow": If you're a fan of the latest wave of eerie indie horror films, you owe it to yourself to check out this grounded but ghoulish Iranian horror hidden gem about a mother, already having a stressful night taking care of her daughter alone during war, starting to believe there's an angry spirit in their apartment as well.
"Unfriended": I know you've had enough of looking at Zoom screens and virtual meet-ups, but make an exception for this viciously mean, darkly funny and cleverly executed horror flick about a group of teens menaced by an odd visitor to their group chat – all told via computer screens.
"About Time": General Hux plays a young British man who falls in love with Rachel McAdams but messes it up. Luckily, the men in his family just happen to have the ability to travel in time in this charming tear-jerking romance from the creator of "Love Actually."
"Love Jones": A box office disappointment over 20 years ago has evolved into a cult classic and a groundbreaking romance highlighting Black lives, love and joy, starring Nia Long and Larenz Tate as two artistic singles who try to figure out their relationship. Funny, bittersweet and authentic, "Love Jones" is worth falling in love with – even decades after its arrival.
"Silver Linings Playbook": Looking for a silver lining right now? How about "Silver Linings Playbook," the Oscar-winning crowd-pleaser about two struggling Philadelphians (Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence) who help each other get by with dancing ... and maybe fall in love in the process.
"To All the Boys I've Loved Before": The rom-com isn't dead yet thanks to Netflix – and thanks to this charming teenage romance about a high schooler whose secret letters to her crushes get sent to them. The sequel, while not as fun, is worthwhile too. Hopefully the final chapter, "To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean," keeps things cute.
"Blade Runner: The Final Cut": There are approximately 172 versions of Ridley Scott's influential cult classic sci-fi noir – including "The Final Cut" released in 2007 and now on Netflix – but they all have one thing in common: The movie rules, telling a thrilling, complex and visually fascinating story of men and androids facing their creators and the meaning of their existence.
"Looper": Before he ventured into a galaxy far, far away, writer-director Rian Johnson created a brilliantly grounded future on our own planet, blending time travel and other sci-fi ideas in a thrilling story about a hitman (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who discovers his next target is himself from the future (Bruce Willis, putting in a rare effort).
"Minority Report": Steven Spielberg ... good at filmmaking? Who knew?! For evidence of that shocking realization, watch 2002's "Minority Report," a smart and visually thrilling sci-fi blockbuster about a future cop who puts criminals in prison for crimes they haven't committed yet – until he's the next one targeted by the system.
"Okja": Need another Bong hit after "Parasite" knocked your socks off? Luckily, Netflix has your back with his 2017 adventure "Okja," another undefinable feature about a young girl trying to protect an adorable giant pig from a factory wanting to turn it into meat.
"Snowpiercer": Another Bong hit! This one might actually be my favorite from the "Parasite" director, as he follows a train containing the last surviving members of humanity after a global freeze. But things aren't peaceful amongst the remaining few, as the poor are stuck in the back in terrible conditions while the rich control their ecosystem comfortably at the front.
"Total Recall": This mind-bending '90s thrill ride is the best of both worlds: It's everything you want from a dumb Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie, and it's everything you want from a brainy, twisty, clever science fiction story. No matter what you like in a movie, "Total Recall" (not the remake – good god, not the remake) has you covered.
"The Wandering Earth": As far as concepts go, this Chinese blockbuster (truly, it made more money overseas than "Toy Story 4" and "The Rise of Skywalker" in 2019) has one of the more delightfully strange ones: The sun is dying so the globe plugs rocket boosters across the planet and slowly shifts the Earth to a new solar system. With a plan that normal, who could expect that things might go wrong!?
"Ali": An unconventional biopic for one of our most unconventional athletes, Michael Mann's "Ali" takes an fascinatingly impressionistic glance at one of Muhammad Ali's most complicated eras: his time away from boxing due to his anti-war stance on the Vietnam, his controversial move to Islam and his development as a thinker and political figure throughout it all.
"Moneyball": Baseball may be over, but you can still watch one of the low-key best baseball movies ever made – one that's THAT good despite barely ever taking the field, instead following Brad Pitt's Billy Beane behind-the-scenes at the Oakland A's as his statistical revolution changes the game forever. It's a compelling underdog story with a snappy script (from screenwriting champs Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin), but what really makes "Moneyball" special is how well it captures the highs and lows, small victories and devastating heartbreaks, defeat and hope.
"Rush": Speed your way over to this beautifully directed and impressively performed sports drama about two rival racecar drivers – pretty boy star James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and the uber-motivated Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl – battling to be the fastest. One of director Ron Howard's better and more visually adventurous projects, it's thrilling off the track and on.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.