Netflix is chockablock with pretty much every kind of genre and movie for you to enjoy.
But, as with anything, there's the good stuff and the bad stuff - and that's where we come in. Every month, we're going to pluck five gems from the Netflix library in a specific genre - action, horror, comedy and drama - for you to watch.
This week, it's drama. We kick things off with...
'Children Of Men'
What can be said about 'Children Of Men' that hasn't already been said? It's easily one of the best sci-fi films of the past two decades. Far and away it's Clive Owen's best on-screen performance of his career. It's depressing and simultaneously uplifting. The cast is incredible - Julieanne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor. The story itself is terrifying in not only its relevancy but also how it feels so close to reality. If you haven't yet watched it, sort that out immediately.
‘City of God’
A modern classic, ‘City of God’ is set in 1960s Brazil in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Three impoverished, amateur thieves known as the "Tender Trio" rob and loot business owners, inspiring the young boys of the community to follow their lead. Years later, the younger brother of one of the trio, Rocket, joins a community of hippies. However, he finds himself increasingly drawn into the world of crime. The film received worldwide critical acclaim and earned four Oscar nominations.
‘Good Will Hunting’
It’s hard to pick a stand-out performance from the legend that was Robin Williams, an actor we lost too soon. ‘Good Will Hunting’ definitely ranks up at the top though. It is written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who won an Oscar for their script and would go on to become the superstars we know them as now. It stars Damon as a young janitor with a gift for mathematics. Only through seeing Dr. Sean Maguire (Williams) does he realise what he wants to do with his talent.
‘Thelma & Louise’
There are a number of levels on which to enjoy the 1991 classic that is ‘Thelma & Louise.’ It’s the movie that introduced Brad Pitt to the world (and he is gaw-geous in it) and demonstrates the incredible range of director Ridley Scott (the mind behind ‘Alien’, ’Blade Runner’ and ‘Gladiator’). It remains one of the best feminist films out there with Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis giving unforgettable performances in the titular roles. It’s also a movie that’s more fitting now than ever.
‘The Social Network’
With all the changes that have been happening to Facebook of late – and all the trouble Mark Zuckerberg was in last April – why not watch the movie that depicts how the whole social media platform started? The film’s great cast boasts Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg, Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, and Armie Hammer as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Aaron Sorkin’s incisive script earned the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
This period-set drama boasts an impressive cast, including Emma Thompson (who earned her first Oscar for her lead performance), Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter and Vanessa Redgrave. Based on E.M. Forster’s (‘A Room With a View’, ‘A Passage to India’) classic novel, the film revolves around three families. A friendship between the eldest daughter of one family and the matriarch of another leads to the latter leaving her estate, Howards End, to the former. Her family refuses to carry out her dying wish, which has far-reaching consequences for all.
If you’ve never seen ‘Taxi Driver’, it begs to be seen for one of the all-time best performances. If you have seen it, it’s worth a re-watch. Martin Scorsese’s classic features Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, one of cinema’s great anti-heroes. The mentally unstable veteran, now a night shift taxi driver in New York City, is disgusted by the perversions and injustice he sees around him. He decides to take it upon himself to rescue a 12 year-old prostitute played by Jodie Foster. De Niro's improvised "You talkin' to me?" monologue is now a pop culture mainstay.
There aren’t many memorable Netflix original films, but ‘Mudbound’ truly is a gem. The movie earned four Oscar nominations, including Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Song (both for Mary J. Blige), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Based on a novel by Hillary Jordan, the film relates how two World War II veterans, one white and one black, struggle with racism and PTSD when they return home to farm in rural Mississippi.
Likely the darkest entry on our list, ‘Prisoners’ focusses on the abduction of two young girls in Pennsylvania and the subsequent search for the abductor by the police. Dissatisfied with the police’s efforts, the father of one of the missing girls takes matters into his own hands. Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film is directed by the extraordinary Denis Villeneuve, who has previously helmed ‘Sicario,’ ‘Arrival’, and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (as well as the upcoming ‘Dune’ remake).
‘Testament of Youth’
Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander (‘Ex-Machina,’ ‘The Danish Girl’) and GOT’s Kit Harington star in this heart-breaking war drama. Based on Vera Brittain’s autobiography. the film tells the story of a woman who falls in love for the first time, and makes the courageous decision to leave her studies at Oxford to become a war nurse. As she loses friends and family on the battlefield, Vera fights on, determined to never lose hope.
Directed by Taylor Sheridan, who is best-known as the writer of ‘Sicario’ and its sequel 'Soldado', ‘Wind River’ may star MCU actors Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), but it couldn’t be further from the superhero franchise. Set in Wyoming, a veteran hunter and FBI agent investigate the murder of a woman on a Native American reservation. This dark, cold, unsettling film went unjustly under the radar when it was released last year.
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’
This moving coming-of-age film (directed by Stephen Chbosky, the author of its source novel) is one of the best teen dramas of recent years. It features three exquisite performances in Logan Lerman (‘Percy Jackson’), ‘Harry Potter’ alum Emma Watson and ‘We Need to talk about Kevin’ star Ezra Miller. A shy freshman student named Charlie is taken under the wing of two seniors. They take him to sites and through experiences he has never had before.