15 Great Movies on Netflix You Probably Haven’t Seen

You’re stuck at home, COVID-19 lurking somewhere in a neighbor’s house. Yes, you could watch that movie you love ever so much, or ignore the 112 films that have been on your My List for years, or… you could watch a movie you maybe heard of at one point but never bothered to see.

Here’s a list of 15 great (admittedly, there are a couple I would qualify as “good but unique”) movies you can currently watch on Netflix. Some are mainstream and some are weird as hell, but what else do you have to do?

American Honey (B+)

Gorgeously shot and oddly alluring, American Honey is a sprawling drama about an aimless teenage girl who travels around the country with a magazine sales crew—a plot not akin to great drama, admittedly, but one that serves as a proper framework to tell a different kind of coming-of-age story.

Burning (B)

A weird loner falls for a girl who then friend zones him before disappearing in Burning, the slow-burniest of slow burn movies that somehow, shockingly, defies my short millennial attention span and proves to be a worthwhile if somewhat trying drama-thriller.

Christine (B+)

On July 15, 1974, reporter Christine Chubbuck appeared on air, put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. The captivating drama Christine explores what led to her suicide and features an award-worthy performance by Rebecca Hall.

Drive (A)

Engaging, dramatic, romantic, exciting, violent, gory and yet oddly artistic, Drive is at once a moving drama and thrilling revenge flick, the best of both worlds. Drive features a great performance by Ryan Gosling. Quiet and reserved, kind and seemingly innocent, he plays a Hollywood stunt car driver who doubles as a getaway driver in the evenings. But when backed into a corner, he lashes out with determined violence that has to be seen to be believed.

End of Watch (B+)

David Ayer writes and directs End of Watch, a gritty, entertaining and emotional action-drama that fires on all cylinders. The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as Los Angeles police officers, who go about their lives chasing criminals, fighting gangbangers and investigating crimes in South Central. And marrying women and having kids. After the two men stumble across evidence that Mexican drug cartels have moved into the city, however, they find themselves in the crosshairs.

Good Time (A-)

If you thought Uncut Gems was good, check out the Safdie brothers’ previous (and better) film Good Time. Robert Pattinson delivers an enthralling performance as a low-level criminal who, in an effort to save his mentally disabled brother, winds up on a rollercoaster of an evening.

Green Room (A-)

Green Room is an exciting, unpredictable and deliciously gory thriller about rock band members who find themselves in a load of trouble when they see something they shouldn’t—while performing for a bunch of Neo-Nazis led by none other than Patrick Stewart.

I, Daniel Blake (A)

Bureaucracy is wonderful, isn’t it? I, Daniel Blake, which won Best British Film at the 2016 BAFTAs, follows an elderly construction worker who, after suffering a heart attack, is unable to return to work—but his lack of education and computer skills leaves him stuck and penniless in the complicated web of unemployment forms, processes and review.

Moon (B+)

With an almost throwback, vintage set design and visuals, Moon chooses to focus almost entirely on the psychological aspects of living in space alone.  Sam Rockwell, perhaps one of only a few current actors who could play the lead role(s), excels as an employee on a three-year mission to man a power plant on the Moon.

Snowpiercer (B)

A train, home to the last remnants of humanity, barrels through an icy apocalypse in Snowpiercer, an action-thriller from the Oscar-winning director of Parasite, Bong Joon-ho. Exciting and unpredictable, Snowpiercer is a refreshing change of pace from the typical Hollywood fare, though plot holes and other inconsistencies occasionally knock it off the rails

Swiss Army Man (A-)

A young, depressed man stranded on a deserted island befriends a farting corpse and uses his special powers to get him back to civilization in Swiss Army Man, and if that sounds like an awful plot for a movie, this Paul Dano/Daniel Radcliffe buddy drama-comedy probably isn’t for you. If it sounds even remotely intriguing, however, then dive in, because Swiss Army Man is original, funny, entertaining and a flatulently good time.

Time Trap (A-)

Time Trap is a blast of a film, 95 minutes of suspense, intrigue and creativity encapsulated by a brilliantly simple time travel concept. It’s a true indie film—the acting isn’t award caliber—but it’s nonetheless one of the better sci-fi movies released in recent years.

Train to Busan (B+)

Exciting, action-packed and moderately gory, Train to Busan is a satisfying zombie thriller. Set in South Korea, the movie follows a group of passengers who are stuck aboard a speeding train during a zombie outbreak. It’s a simple premise, yet one that is somewhat unique in the zombie sub-genre; what happens throughout is nothing you haven’t seen in other zombie films, but the isolating setting at least makes things a bit unpredictable—and offers different avenues for excitement than you’re accustomed to.

Under the Skin (B)

If you’ve seen Species, you haven’t seen Under the Skin. About an attractive alien seductress (Scarlett Johansson) who lures unsuspecting men back to her lair, the movie bears some similarities to the 1995 thriller, but the similarities are only skin deep. Under the Skin is one of the weirder movies you’ll ever see.

Young Adult (A-)

In Young Adult, recently divorced and drunk Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) receives an announcement that her high school boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) and his wife Beth have just had a baby. It suddenly dawns on her that the solution to her unhappiness is to return to her horrific hometown to win Buddy back. After all, she’d be a hero. You know, saving Buddy from his loving, happy marriage.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movies