We hear your cries, whimpers and wails as you look for the perfect film to watch on Netflix this weekend. Indecision is final, and that’s why we are happy to try and make your weekends easier. One of the great things about Netflix is the plethora of brand new and original content. When you add this to the extensive range of classic films and series it holds within its cyber shelves, then the act of choosing a particular movie is nigh-on impossible to complete.
You could use the many cheat codes the platform provides as a guiding hand, but, in reality, they just offer more choice. Something which, for the indecisive among us, only acts as a more annoying step toward complete mental destruction. Instead, we’re committing to bringing you five interesting films you can stream on Netflix every single week and this week is a doozy.
Following a week of tumultuous Hollywood fodder, it feels satisfying to once again turn our attention to the reason we care about awards shows in the first place — the movies! Below, we’ve got five of the most interesting titles available on Netflix right now. Of course, we have some brilliant performances from the big names in Hollywood as well as some lesser-known moments too.
One of those lesser-known moments comes from a true Hollywood icon in Olivia Colman who fronts up the Maggie Gyllenhaal-directed Netflix original The Lost Daughter. Matching up to such a tour de force of heavyweight actor is Blade Runner which sees Harrison Ford star in a classic dystopian tale.
There is also room on our list of must-see movies this week for a star turn from a young Natalie Portman as well as one of Bong Joon-ho’s earliest productions.
Five best films to watch on Netflix:
The Lost Daughter – Maggie Gyllenhaal (2021)
Adapted from Elena Ferrante’s eponymous novel, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut feature The Lost Daughter is the ultimate subversion of motherhood. By raising various uncomfortable questions, the film does not allow the viewers to detract from the ruthless and ugly parts of our character, a factor that makes the characters in the film eerily relatable.
With voluminous silences, the claustrophobic movie is a brilliant and emotionally hefty exploration of chaos by the director, one that propelled the lead, Olivia Colman, into the race for winning yet another Academy Award for her incredible portrayal of absurd anguish. Despite not picking up the award, the film stands as another triumph in her career.
Watch The Lost Daughter on Netflix.
Blade Runner – Ridley Scott (1982)
A popular cult film, known as the “all-time best science fiction films”, Blade Runner is a perfect example of a neo-noir film. Morally complex and intense, this film is unconventional with its jaded hero Holden’s mission lacking the element of heroism, a messiah-like villain who is trying to protect his villain as well as a wasteland with racist cops and ethnic problems galore. All the characters are plagued by existential crises and their terror and fear of being forgotten after death bring them together. In the futuristic metropolis, the people are conflicted over empathy and duty.
Harrison Ford is a phenomenal on-screen presence. Scott’s postmodernist approach to dystopia and cyberpunk has been often seen in relation to several literary texts. Scott has defined the film as “extremely dark, both literally and metaphorically, with an oddly masochistic feel”. Trying to examine humanity, Scott puts forward a masterpiece that shall be cherished by generations.
Watch Blade Runner on Netflix.
Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino (2012)
A violent revenge film concerning a freed slave who sets out to rescue his wife from a plantation with the help of a German bounty hunter, Django Unchained addresses the slave trade of the 15th century with a heavy hand.
In part, an aid to blacksploitation cinema, as well as Sergio Leone’s westerns, a terrific Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz elevate the material, only until Tarantino’s token cameo anchors the film into absurdity. Discussing his project, Tarantino once commented: “To do movies that deal with America’s horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like Spaghetti Westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they’re genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it’s ashamed of it, and other countries don’t really deal with because they don’t feel they have the right to.”
In what is now a typical trend in Tarantino pictures, the cast was jam-packed with high profile names. Joining Foxx and Waltz on the line-up included the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and many more.
Watch Django Unchained on Netflix.
Leon: The Professional – Luc Besson (1994)
A beloved French action thriller from the ’90s, Luc Besson’s 1994 gem stars Natalie Portman as a 12-year-old girl who trains under the guidance of a highly skilled hitman (played by Jean Reno). Fans have been asking for a follow-up for quite some time now but such a project seems highly unlikely at this point.
The filmmaker shut down any rumours about a sequel, saying, “You can’t imagine how many people ask me for a Léon sequel. Everywhere I go they ask me. If I was motivated by money, I would have done it a long time ago. But I don’t feel it.”
In an earlier interview with Cinema Blend, Besson elaborated on the topic, “Natalie is old now, she’s a mother … It’s too late. If I got an idea tomorrow about a sequel, of course I would do it. But I never came up with something strong enough. I don’t want to do sequels for money; I want to do a sequel because it’s worth it. I want it to be as good or better than the original.”
Okja – Bong Joon-ho (2017)
An important, environmentally pertinent film, Okja was a major acquisition from Netflix in 2017, helping them to establish themselves as serious competitors in the realm of filmmaking in a project that starred the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Tilda Swinton.
This modern-day fable heavily criticises the state of modern factory farming doing so by constantly flitting between moments of gentle grace and surprising brutality. With a massive CGI pig taking the films headlines, Okja follows a young girl and her relationship with the creature whilst she bats away interest from a multinational organisation. Swinton plays the brilliantly evil Lucy Mirando, a silver-haired capitalist determined to capitalise on the monetary value of the creatures. It’s an unexpected, hugely enjoyable performance by the actor.
Watch Okja on Netflix.