Five essential critically acclaimed films to binge on Netflix this weekend
(Credit: Netflix)


Five essential critically acclaimed films to binge on Netflix this weekend

Netflix is a treasure trove of critically acclaimed films waiting to be explored. With its vast library, there’s always something beyond the easy, mindless binges. 

Whether you’re a fan of heart-wrenching dramas, thrilling adventures of the fantastical kind, or more serious explorations of the human condition, we have a film suggestion just for you. In our ongoing series of essential films to binge, we bring you a curated list of must-watch movies that have left an indelible mark on cinema history. 

As you settle in for a weekend of cinematic indulgence, let these essential films take you on a journey of emotions, ideas, and unforgettable moments. You may be revisiting old favourites or discovering these classics for the first time, but these films are well worth your time. 

So, get ready to immerse yourself in the world of cinematic brilliance with our selection of timeless classics and modern masterpieces.

Five essential critically acclaimed films to binge on Netflix:

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Directed by Frank Darabont and based on Stephen King’s novella, this gripping tale follows Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for a crime he didn’t commit. 

The film explores themes of hope, friendship, and redemption amid the harsh realities of prison life. With stellar performances by Robbins and Morgan Freeman, who portrays fellow inmate Ellis ‘Red’ Redding, The Shawshank Redemption has earned its place as one of the greatest films of all time, despite initially underperforming at the box office. Though it didn’t win any Oscars, it received seven nominations and has since garnered widespread acclaim for its poignant storytelling and unforgettable characters.

Schindler’s List (1993)

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List follows a man named Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. 

Adapted from Thomas Keneally’s novel, Schindler’s List is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a timely reminder of the unimaginable terror we can unleash on each other over trivial differences. With its stark black-and-white cinematography and powerful performances, particularly by Neeson and Ralph Fiennes as the sadistic SS officer Amon Göth, the Film won seven Academy Awards, including ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director’.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction is a postmodern masterpiece that weaves together multiple interconnected narratives in a non-linear fashion. 

The film’s ensemble cast, including John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Samuel L. Jackson, deliver iconic performances in this dark but comedic pop culture phenomenon. Pulp Fiction revitalised independent cinema in the 1990s and earned Tarantino an Academy Award for ‘Best Original Screenplay’. Its cultural impact, even nearly three decades later, is undeniable.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Directed by Peter Jackson, The Fellowship of the Ring is the first instalment in the epic fantasy trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novels. 

Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the film follows Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and a diverse fellowship tasked to go on the dangerous quest to destroy the One Ring and defeat the dark lord Sauron. Jackson’s visionary direction, combined with groundbreaking visual effects and Howard Shore’s iconic score, brought Tolkien’s magical world alive like none of the successors could achieve, despite having more advanced tools available. The film received widespread critical acclaim and won four Academy Awards, including ‘Best Cinematography’ and ‘Best Visual Effects’. It laid the foundation for one of the most ambitious and successful film franchises in history.

Parasite (2019)

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Parasite is a genre-defying, brilliantly transgressive piece of modern cinema that deftly blends social satire, suspense, and dark humour. 

The film follows the impoverished Kim family as they infiltrate the lives of the wealthy Park family, leading to a series of unexpected events. With its seething commentary on class inequality and masterful storytelling, Parasite made history as the first non-English language film to win the Academy Award for ‘Best Picture’.