Watching episodic stories after a long day or week may seem much easier, but it also means missing out on films that are equally good. The Netflix library is home to many films that are barely 90 minutes long and they range from horror to rom-com.
Netflix recently released a video compilation of films that can be viewed in one-and-a-half hours or less. The list includes Bad Trip, The Guilty, The Perfect Date, Captain Nova, Dog Gone, The Package, Small Crimes, Home Team, The Weekend Away, Choose or Die, The Wrong Missy, Windfall, and Yes Day. It’s a mixed bag of mindless and quality entertainment. But there are six that are possibly the best of the lot.
Set in Spokane, Washington, in 1999, Mixtape is just the right kind of heartwarming story one needs when the mind feels weary. The Valerie Weiss coming-of-age movie follows a teenager, Beverly Moody, who discovers a mixtape that belonged to her parents. Starring Gemma Brooke Allen, Nick Thune, and Julie Bowen, the film will take you back to the days when Walkman ‘ate up’ tapes, and mixtapes held the same nostalgia as handwritten letters.
If you are in the mood for something more intense, there is Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Viola Davis as the titular Ma Rainey. Set in 1927, this film adaptation of August Wilson’s play showcases the tensions and artistry within a recording session for legendary blues singer Ma Rainey. It touches upon themes of race, exploitation, and the pursuit of creative freedom. The film was released posthumously after Chadwick Boseman’s tragic demise in 2020.
For haunted house-obsessed fans, Remi Weekes’s His House is a must-watch. The film holds a 100 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes currently and features Wunmi Mosaku and Matt Smith. The chilling horror film tells the story of a refugee couple who escape war-torn South Sudan only to face supernatural horrors in their new home in England. The film blends elements of psychological suspense and social commentary to deliver quite a few genuine scares.
If straight-up horror makes you queasy, then give the 2020 horror-comedy Vampires vs. the Bronx, a try. The Oz Rodriguez film starring Jaden Michael follows a group of teenagers in the Bronx. They discover that vampires are infiltrating their neighbourhood and decide to band together to save their community from the bloodthirsty creatures.
If buddy comedies are your jam, then there are two options for you. First up is Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s Someone Great. A refreshing romantic comedy-drama that follows a young woman navigating a breakup in New York City, as she embarks on one last epic night with her best friends, before she leaves for the job of a lifetime. The fun film celebrating female friendships features Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, DeWanda Wise, Lakeith Stanfield, and Peter Vack.
Alex Lehmann’s Paddleton is another film that beautifully narrates a story of platonic bonds. But it’s less breezy and more bittersweet than Someone Great. The poignant dramedy delves into the friendship between two neighbours as they navigate the many challenges of life and death. When one of them is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the other has to figure out how to let go. From a script by Lehmann and Mark Duplass, the film stars Duplass himself and Ray Romano.
Six movies under 90 minutes currently on Netflix:
- Mixtape (2021)
- Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
- Vampires vs The Bronx (2020)
- His House (2020)
- Paddleton (2019)
- Someone Great (2019)