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In seemingly less than a week's time, the coronavirus changed American life – at least for the time being.
In the hopes of encouraging social distancing – therefore slowing the spread of the virus and lessening the impact and pressure on our nation's hospitals and health care centers – just about everything has closed, from sports arenas to music halls to bars and restaurants, and movie theaters.
In short: We're all going to spending a lot of time at home. And sure, we could try to convince ourselves that we're going to spend that time getting around to those cleaning projects we've been putting off, learning a new skill or talking to our fellow quarantined family members, but the reality is we're going to streaming a ridiculous amount of movies over the next ... a long time. So, to help your social distancing go as entertainingly as possible, here's a list of 100 good movies – from awesome action flicks to cool choices for children to stellar sports stories and even a movie about Daniel Radcliffe literally farting his way across the ocean – you can currently find on Netflix.
So stay home, stay healthy and watch away, everyone; we're in this together. And if we do this right, I won't have to write about 100 MORE movies you can watch on Netflix while stuck at home.
"Casino Royale": Yeah, I'll say it: This is the best James Bond movie. It's got all of the class and cool of the originals with enough of the new to make the exhausted elements feel fresh and exciting again. The action is stellar (give me that parkour opening chase forever), it's funny without being goofy, Daniel Craig's take on 007 adds new depth to the old spy and his relationship with Eva Green goes beyond merely the best "Bond Girl" storyline. Plus, the villain is Hannibal Lector! Crying blood!
"Enter the Dragon": Bruce Lee is one of the true icons of entertainment; even if you've never seen one of his films, you know Bruce Lee. And if you happen to be one of those aforementioned people who's never seen one of his movies, you can fix that hole in your cinema knowledge very easily by checking out his most famous film and final finished work, "Enter the Dragon."
"Free Fire": What happens when you toss a bunch of guns and weapons into an empty warehouse with a bunch of ornery criminals in the middle of a deal gone wrong? You get this chaotic, crazy shootout of an action comedy, starring Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer.
"Haywire": While everyone's minds are on a different 2000s Steven Soderbergh movie, check out "Haywire" as well. You don't watch this actioner for the plot – and you definitely don't watch it for star Gina Carano's action skills. You watch it because she kicks and punches people in the face really hard – and you know what, sometimes, that's enough.
"Mad Max": Go see where Fury Road began with director George Miller's 1979 grimy post-apocalyptic action favorite about an Australian cop (Mel Gibson) at the start of a dystopia getting revenge on some lawless bikers.
"Shadow": Did you miss this borderline black-and-white martial arts epic at the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival? Good news: It's now available on Netflix, where you can bathe in the beautiful monochrome visuals, cheer on the outstanding action sequences – BLADED UMBRELLAS! – and make a flow chart trying to understand the plot. But did I mention UMBRELLAS WITH BLADES!?
"S.W.A.T.": An underrated slick, sturdy and star-studded action movie from 2003, "S.W.A.T." follows Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, LL Cool J, Michelle Rodriguez and Jeremy Renner as they try to transport a dangerous and wealthy criminal to prison. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it's a far above-average, overqualified and just plain cool action flick.
"The Bling Ring": Kids these days, with their phones and their social media profiles and their robbing celebrities' homes in the hopes of feeling rich and famous no matter the cost. Sofia Coppola's starry comedy – based on a true story! – is a slick indictment of our starry-eyed obsession with wealth and celebrity.
"Dolemite Is My Name": You may not be able to see anything on the big screen right now, but you can at least watch this jubilant tribute to the movies – and this wild yet heartwarming tribute to an under-appreciated mad genius movie-making mind in Rudy Ray Moore (an awards-worthy Eddie Murphy), who brought the blaxploitation character Dolemite to overlooked audiences across the country.
"Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga": Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star in this Netflix Original about a duo of goofy Swedes attempting to take the globe by storm with their charmingly kitschy pop music in this toe-tapping and charming comedy. And seriously, Hollywood, cast Rachel McAdams in every comedy from here on out.
"Hail, Caesar!": The Coen Brothers go goofy with this gleefully eclectic Hollywood romp about a studio fixer (Josh Brolin) trying to solve a bunch of problems – from a missing star (George Clooney) to a Western actor trying his hand at glamorous melodrama and keeping his celebs out of the tabloids. Seem easy? Would that it t'were so simple...
"Julie & Julia": Sure, the Amy Adams half of this movie isn't great, but the Meryl Streep/Stanley Tucci half about Julia Child and her husband in the past is so charming and heart-filled that it makes this movie – Nora Ephron's final film – a lovely watch. And even in the lesser sequences with Adams' modern day food blogger, worse comes to worst, you get to typically watch some really good French food get made.
"Kung Fu Hustle": Throw a classic kung fu action movie into a blender with a Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote bit, and you might get something like this kooky, consistently unpredictable live-action cartoon about some cons who get in hot water when the gangsters they've been impersonating come after them. Axe fights and super-fast landlady chase scenes ensue ...
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail": You've almost certainly quoted this comedy classic in the last few days – but have you actually watched this medieval lark recently? Remedy that; you'll certainly have the time.
"The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad": "Airplane" may be the king of spoofs, but "The Naked Gun" isn't far behind in the royal order of comedy succession, featuring Leslie Nielsen doing his incredible straight-faced goofball routine and the ZAZ crew (Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker) doling out a blindingly fast successful jokes-per-scene rate that would make modern comedies sob in humiliated unworthiness.
"The Other Guys": Aim for the bushes and jump for this very funny buddy cop comedy starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock. It'll happily remind of you of the days when writer-director Adam McKay made goofy comedies like this instead of condescending political Oscar bait like "Vice"!
"Pineapple Express": Seth Rogen and James Franco team up for this dark stoner comedy about two reluctant buddies – a process server and his dopey drug dealer – who have to hide out together after the former accidentally witnesses a high-profile murder. Bring snacks – preferably Fruit Roll-Ups.
"The Prom": This star-studded musical brings together Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Andrew Rannells and more as egotistical Broadway stars who invade a small Indiana town in the hopes of helping a gay teen go to prom (and giving themselves some much needed good publicity). It's relentlessly big, bright, colorful and sweet – aka much better than real prom.
"The Sapphires": Based on a true story, this Australian music-fueled dramedy follows four young Aboriginal women who pursue their dreams of musical fame by creating a singing quartet and gaining a spotlight with the help of their oddball manager, played by popular scene-stealer Chris O'Dowd.
"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World": Need a jolt of energy? Edgar Wright's electric rom-com will give you the cinematic power-up you need, a blissful blitz of music, action and laughs as Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) attempts to defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil execs – a quest that includes bass battles, Chris Evans, vegan police and much more.
"Sex and the City": Samantha, Miranda, Charlote and Carrie got the perfect send-off with this epic romantic comedy ... and then the sequel ruined everything. (It's also available on Netflix, not that you will ever watch it no matter how long or desperate this pandemic gets.) But let's ignore all of that and enjoy this first swoony, snappy and, of course, fashionable big-screen big city jaunt.
"Stranger Than Fiction": Will Ferrell doesn't step out of the comedy world too often – and this is still a comedy after all, just a very different breed – but this existential dramedy was one of his few succcessful trips outside of the usual ridiculous laugh factory, playing a man who discovers (as we all do) that he's actually a character living inside of a grumpy author's book. And also he's on the chopping block.
"Superbad": The coming-of-age comedy that gave us grown-up Hawaii resident McLovin, "Superbad" erupted as an instant classic when it first came out in 2007 – and it's still an excellent Hollywood comedy that's as funny as it is oddly sweet about its leading friendship and high school awkardness.
"Swiss Army Man": You know, just another comedy about a man trapped on a desert island who befriends a talking corpse – played by Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe – that farts him like a jetski back to society. Hollywood: NO CREATIVITY THESE DAYS! As crazy as that all sounds, and the movie IS crazy, "Swiss Army Man" is funny, one-of-a-kind and strangely moving.
"The Battered Bastards of Baseball": It may have been minor league baseball, but the Portland Mavericks of the '70s – owned and created by Kurt Russell's dad – were major league fun in this sports documentary about these oddball outlaws who were juuuuuust a bit outside the norm.
"Capital in the 21st Century": Get ready for the most exciting and informative economics and history class of your life. OK, an admittedly low bar to get over, but "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" – a documentary based on the popular book by economist Thomas Piketty – does it and then some, combining slick and clever direction with a fascinating explanation of economics in modern history.
"The Dawn Wall": It's not quite up to the heeby-jeeby-inducing excellence of "Free Solo," but while that's over on some other streaming platform, you can still get your dose of daredevil intensity with this compelling documentary about Tommy Caldwell's attempt to climb the infamous "Dawn Wall" cliff face in 2015. It's easily the best movie ever co-produced by Red Bull energy drink!
"The Force": A selection at the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival, "The Force" is a gripping behind-the-scenes look inside the Oakland Police Department as it tries to build trust in the community while also battling its own controversies. A severe yet sympathetic look at an unsolved conflict in our country.
"I Am Not Your Negro": Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, Raoul Peck's powerful Oscar-nominated documentary essay brings Baldwin's life – as well as his hauntingly prescient, still incisive and essential perspective on the Black experience in America – into modern times, showing painfully how much work is left to be done in the quest for equality and inclusive access to the pursuit of happiness.
"Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992": As you'd expect from a documentary going through a decade of tension and strife, "Let It Fall" is a dense and (at almost two and a half hours) extended watch. But it's essential and gripping viewing when it comes to understanding one of the country's largest and most notorious riots in recent memory.
"Pick of the Litter": The best way to make quarantining during a pandemic better? PUPPIES! And better yet, puppies that are as altruistic as they are adorable as this film festival favorite doc follows a batch of puppers as they go through remarkable seeing-eye dog training.
"Tread": The fascinating but frightening true story of an unassuming man in a small Rocky Mountain town who decides he's had enough of his neighbors and creates a bulletproof bulldozer to ran rampant through the city – no matter who or what he destroys in the process.
"20th Century Women": One of the best movies of the past decade, Mike Mills' coming-of-age drama follows a teenage boy being raised by a collection of women in the late '70s. Watch this movie and cry because it's great – and then cry because somehow Annette Bening wasn't nominated for Best Actress.
"A Single Man": In a just world, Colin Firth would've won his Best Actor Oscar for this stellar drama (directed by fashion icon Tom Ford) about a gay man in the '60s shook by the recent death of his boyfriend.
"Atlantics": Part drama and part ghost story, this alluring should've-been-Oscar-nominated film from Senegal follows a young woman sent adrift when her lover leaves the country to find better work across the ocean. Meanwhile, back at home, young women keep getting possessed by angry spirits. So that's not good! (But the movie is.)
"Black Sea": Think having to practice social distancing is stressful and claustrophobic? Think about the poor stars of this tense and taut aquatic thriller about a bunch of thieves stuck in a submarine trying to hunt for gold at the bottom of the sea.
"Catch Me If You Can": It's not very often you get to use the word "underrated" around the name "Steven Spielberg," but that's exactly the case with this oddly forgotten comedy-tinged throwback drama about famed imposter Frank Abagnale Jr. fraud-ing his way around the country while America's dad Tom Hanks tries to track him down. It's a fun, snappy and sometimes even heartbreaking saga that's worth watching for the opening credits sequence alone.
"Chef": Hungry for something feel good ... and also food? Order up Jon Favreau's heartwarming and relaxed food drama about a chef, angry at his personal creative stunting, who takes to the world of food trucks to recapture his passion. It's charming, funny, sweet and, most importantly, has some really, really good-looking food in it.
"Cool Hand Luke": Cook yourself 50 eggs to snack on and watch this iconic Paul Newman prison drama – the rare Netflix library selection from beyond 1980! That's right: There were movies made before the '80s!
"Da 5 Bloods": Spike Lee takes on Vietnam in his pained and passionate follow-up to the Oscar-winning "BlacKkKlansman," following four veterans (headlined by an award-worthy Delroy Lindo) as they return to the country they fought across to recover their fallen comrade – and recover a trunk of gold bars that they vowed to return for back in the day.
"The Departed": Let's be honest: This wasn't the movie Martin Scorsese should've won his Oscars for. But it's still a damn fine, energetically crafted crime thriller about men (Matt Damon and Leo DiCaprio) on the opposite sides of the law in Bawston. Scorsese's so good that even his lesser efforts are a thrill.
"Django Unchained": Quentin Tarantino goes back to the historical revisionist well with this wildly entertaining revenge story about a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) who teams up with a bounty hunter (an Oscar-winning Christoph Waltz) to save his wife from a sadistic slave owner (a should've-been Oscar-winning Leonardo DiCaprio).
"The Florida Project": A lovely indie project from acclaimed director Sean Baker, "The Florida Project" hangs out at a bright pink motel outside of Disney World with its even brighter characters – from an exploration-happy little girl to her unpolished young mother to the strained man (an Oscar-nominated Willem Dafoe) who tries to contain the chaos at the building.
"Fruitvale Station": Before they teamed up on "Creed" and "Black Panther," director Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan first made their names with this potent and powerful based-on-a-true-story indie drama following 22-year-old Oscar Grant's final day alive before he's shot and killed by Bay Area police during an altercation. A heart-filled and heartwrenching portrait of life and death that also happens to preview the start of an excellent filmmaking friendship.
"Good Time": Did you love "Uncut Gems"? Then you'll love this fellow gritty and delightfully stressful trip into the criminal underworld from the Safdie Brothers, starring Robert Pattinson (make a "Twilight" joke at your own risk!) as a crappy thief trying to get his brother out of prison after a job gone wrong.
"Goodfellas": One of the greatest gangster movies of all time – scratch that; one of the great movies of all time, period – from one of our greatest living filmmakers, "Goodfellas" is a classic by any measure. Plus, anytime I watch the prison cooking scene, I become enragingly hungry and good pasta and sausage.
"I Lost My Body": Animated movies don't come much stranger – but also much better – than this Oscar-nominated hand-drawn bittersweet and bizarre beauty about a sentient severed hand crawling its way back across the city to its rightful owner.
"The Irishman": Listen, you've finally got a lot of time on your hands. So now there's no excuse for not checking out Martin Scorsese's excellent gangster epic. It's a gripping gut punch of a movie, immaculately performed, but it's also not without its entertainment value. (Give me EVERY Al Pacino line-reading, please.) It's a powerful (seemingly) final statement from Scorsese.
"Kon-Tiki": Is there a better movie to watch when you can't leave your house than an adventure movie about men out on the incredible open sea? I argue no. This thrilling 2012 adventure about two explorers setting sail on a raft and the obvious dangers they meet along the way might be just what the doctor ordered, getting you out on the gorgeous ocean without leaving the couch.
"Lady Bird": Greta Gerwig's breakthrough directorial effort is one of the most effortlessly charming and wise coming-of-age stories you'll see, following a young snobbish high schooler (Saoirse Ronan) as she both bonds and battles with her weary hard-working mother (Laurie Metcalf). There's bound to be at least one moment you'll feel like was ripped out of your own high school or family's experience.
"Legend": What's better than one Tom Hardy? TWO Tom Hardys! That's the selling point of this gangster drama, a true-life caper about twin British mobsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray in the '60s.
"Loving": Quietly one of the best movies of 2016, "Loving" follows the groundbreaking Supreme Court case surrounding Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple arrested in 1960s Virginia – all presented less as a typical prestige legal drama and more as the intimate story of two normal people suddenly finding themeslves in history's path.
"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom": The late great Chadwick Boseman left us far too soon, but at least he left behind this final monumental, vibrant and volatile performance as hot-shot trumpet player Levee in Netflix's August Wilson play adaptation about a Black blues band and their testy singing star (an also terrific Viola Davis) battling through a heated – literally and emotionally – day of recording.
"Marriage Story": One of the best movies of last year is at your fingertips thanks to Netflix with this biting drama about a husband and wife (Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, never better) trying to survive a cross-country divorce.
"Moonlight": The 2016 Oscar winner is a beautiful, bittersweet and all-too-deserving Best Picture choice, following the life of a young Miami black man through three essential periods in his life.
"Mud": An under-appreciated chapter of the Matthew McConaissance, the Texan shines in this gripping and grounded coming-of-age Mississippi River-soaked tale about two kids who get dragged into the troubles of a lonely drifter hiding out in the swampy woods. It's impeccably acted with some excellent slow-burn tension and an addictive lazy raft ride down the river atmosphere.
"Nightcrawler": A Jake Gyllenhaal in desperate need of a sandwich stars in this darkly comedic, nocturnal news thriller as a creepy guy in desperate search of a job who finds his dream occupation: ambulance chasing to crime scenes and car accidents to film them for the evening news. And the higher he climbs up the ladder at the station, the lower his bar sinks for content.
"Pan's Labyrinth": Before he won Best Picture for "The Shape of Water," writer-director Guillermo del Toro's gorgeously gothic imagination earned him three Oscars with this fairy tale about a young girl who escapes the scary war-scarred world around her via a magical fantasy that may end up being just as dangerous.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower": Growing up is hard; just ask the high school outsiders in this Stephen Chbosky's winning adaptation of his own bestselling coming-of-age novel of the same name.
"Platoon": Oliver Stone's searing Best Picture winner about the Vietnam war still packs a potent punch almost 35 years later, following a small group of soldiers that finds themselves in the middle of a intergroup coup between the volatile Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger) and the more benevolent Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe) that infects the rest of the soldiers' own mental health.
"Roma": Alfonso Cuaron's Oscar-winning character study is a gorgeous black-and-white slow burn, following a maid as her life changes along with the rich family she works for. It's mesmerizing work.
"The Social Network": A movie about Facebook sounds terrible. (Movies about computers, in general, are terrible.) But the combined forces of David Fincher's shadowy and ominous direction, Aaron Sorkin's whip-snap script, and pitch-perfect performances from the likes of Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara and even Justin Timberlake turned a bad idea into the best movie of the last decade.
"Spotlight": Watching a crew of journalists in bland khakis do their jobs and do the often-tedious shoe-leather necessary to break a story shouldn't be exciting and engaging – but this Best Picture-winning procedural drama, about the uncovering of the Catholic Church's cover-up of sexual assault cases by some of its priests, makes it a slow-boiling thrill. A low-key excellent film.
"The Squid and the Whale": If you enjoyed "Marriage Story" – OK, maybe "enjoyed" is a strange word to use – be sure to check out writer-director Noah Baumbach's breakout indie hit "The Squid and the Whale," which tells the story of a bitter divorce instead from the viewpoint of a teenager caught in the crossfire.
"Steve Jobs": Screenwriter extraordinaire Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network") sets his pen on another tech superstar in this wildly watchable drama, showcasing three massive moments in the Apple savior's life. Sharply written, sharply directed and sharply performed, it deserved better than to be a flop in theaters – so check it out now.
"Taxi Driver": Another Martin Scorsese classic, this drama follows the infamous Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro, an iconic role) as he patrols a scuzzy '70s New York City in his cab and decides he will play savior for a young prostitute – played by Jodie Foster in a breakthrough performance – by any means necessary. It's like "Joker" – but good.
"There Will Be Blood": Paul Thomas Anderson's American masterpiece follows Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis as the iconic Daniel Plainview, a viciously opportunistic oil man waging a war against a local pastor trying to found a new church on the land. Grand and gorgeous.
"Uncut Gems": We live in stressful times – so not watch a movie that'll make you EVEN MORE STRESSED! This scintillatingly scuzzy New York gambling drama is a unstoppable 150-minute panic attack you can't turn away from as Adam Sandler's Howard Ratner ruins his life in pursuit of a crazy sports bet. Watch it, then take a nice soothing bath afterward. You'll have earned it.
"We Are Your Friends": This Zac Efron drama about a DJ trying to make it big in the electronic music world is ... about as dumb as it sounds. But it's got a sweet, electric, well-intended bro energy to it that just might just be the perfect brainless binge during heavy times.
"Wildlife": Paul Dano's debut drama is a low-key stunner about a family of three falling apart after the father (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his job and decides to head into the woods to help fight forest fires while his wife (Carey Mulligan) tries to reassert herself back into her own life.
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2": This animated sequel about an island of food monsters and the scientists sent to save it is cleverly creative, packed with funny jokes and beautifully crafted ... but the most important thing to know is that there's an adorable sentient strawberry named Barry who giggles and wants hugs. Four stars. Also: THERE'S A LEEK IN THE BOAT! AHHH!
"The Croods": I get it: An animated movie about uncouth cavemen, starring Nicolas Cage, isn't the most appealing prospect. But this Dreamworks cartoon adventure is quite funny and, at the end, maybe even tear-inducing.
"Hugo": Yes, the guy behind "Goodfellas" and "Casino" made a kids movie – and a very good one at that, a whimsical story about a young Parisian orphan living in a train station who gets embroiled in a mystery involving his dead father and his incredible machines.
"Monster House": Before he went off to make "Community" on TV, writer Dan Harmon helped create this animated haunted house adventure about a trio of kids trying to defeat a creepy house that's also a monster.
"The Muppets": After some time out of the spotlight, everyone's favorite furry pals made a pretty swell return in this 2011 Disney flick, starring Jason Segel, Amy Adams, the regular director of "Flight of the Conchords," some peppy original songs and, most importantly, Kermit the Frog and friends. It's no "Muppets Christmas Carol" – but really, what is?
"ParaNorman": A zombie invasion doesn't seem like kids movie material generally – but the incredibly inventive folks at Laika pulled it off with this mesmerizingly crafted and playfully creepy stop-motion movie about a young boy battled the ghosts and ghouls infesting his small town.
"Rango": Arguably the last decent Johnny Depp movie, 2011's "Rango" is a delightful and deranged animated trip about a goofball chameleon who stumbles upon a small town menaced by a water shortage and deadly gangsters, and in desperate need of a new sheriff ... even if it's a cowardly lizard in a Hawaiian shirt.
"Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon": I watched this animated kids charmer when it came out near the beginning of the pandemic, and for 80 lovely, witty and wonderful minutes, I forgot the world was imploding. So I guess what I'm saying is that I highly recommend "Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon," a movie about a nice but mischievous sheep trying to help a little lost alien get home. I want to hug this movie.
"Surf's Up": Remember when penguins were the hottest pop culture stars for several years? What a time. Anyways, forget "Happy Feet" and march away from "March of the Penguins"; the real winner of the bunch is clearly "Surf's Up," an adorable animated adventure about a little penguin buddy who just wants to be a surfer. I mean LOOK AT THESE LITTLE GUYS! Also: It comes with a Sheboygan reference, so four stars automatically.
"The Willoughbys": The concept – four siblings concoct a scheme to kill their uncaring bougie parents – may not the most exciting one for parents, but this Netflix Original is both somehow charming and macabre, gorgeously animated with jokes delivered at blazing speed and a sour-yet-sweet story about sticking together as an unconventional family.
"Basic Instinct": Paul Verhoeven's erotic thriller is more than just the most famous leg adjustment in cinematic history; it's a subversive, sleazy, snappily crafted, tense and perfectly cast bomb of noir fun and ridiculousness. They certainly don't make them like this anymore!
"Blue Ruin": Unfortunately, the immaculately tense "Green Room" is no longer available on Netflix, but if you need another dose of excellent writer-director Jeremy Saulnier, check out his indie breakout "Blue Ruin," another tale of grim clumsy violence and even worse, escalating, unwashable retribution and revenge – this time about a drifter who tries to avenge his parents' murder but only starts a new wave of killing and bloodshed.
"The Evil Dead": A movie about the dangers of social distancing. (But not really.) Sam Raimi's gory cult classic follows a group of friends heading out to a cabin getaway only to accidentally awake the violently evil dead after reading a book they shouldn't have read. Whoops.
"The Gift": A couple's move to a new home gets an unwelcome housewarming gift: a visit from an old former school friend of the husband who seems to have some old gripes to bring into their new house. A creepy thriller of manners – with an A-grade casting pick in Jason Bateman as the husband.
"The Guest": Get ready to fall in love with Dan Stevens ... and then be equally ready to be terrified of Dan Stevens, who plays a mysterious guest who begins menacing a small-town family in this thrillingly unpredictable and impressively unique '80s pastiche.
"His House": Quietly one of the best movies of the past year, "His House" is both an incredibly powerful and twisty story about immigrant refugees trying to start a new life in England after the terrors of their journey as well as just a really, really impressively crafted and super scary horror movie about something that's living in their new apartment's walls. Get director Remi Weekes a new movie now please!
"The Invitation": A group of friends gather for a wine night ... annnnd that's all I'm telling you. Truly the less you know, the better with this outstandingly intense slow-burn smart thriller.
"It Comes At Night": Why not liven a real-life pandemic situation with this moody horror thriller about a family living during a deserted apocalypse, whose solitude is broken by the arrival of a new family looking for shelter?! It's a tense thriller much more about paranoia and dread than blood and guts.
"Unfriended": I know you've had enough of looking at Zoom screens and virtual meet-ups, but make an exception for this viciously mean, darkly funny and cleverly executed horror flick about a group of teens menaced by an odd visitor to their group chat – all told via computer screens.
"50 First Dates": Adam Sandler isn't typically known for putting in the most effort into his modern comedies – but this sunny and charming rom-com is all about putting in the effort, as Sandler plays a guy who falls in love with a woman ("Wedding Singer" co-star Drew Barrymore) with short-term memory loss who never remembers him. Probably a top five Adam Sandler film!
"About Time": General Hux plays a young British man who falls in love with Rachel McAdams but messes it up. Luckily, the men in his family just happen to have the ability to travel in time in this charming tear-jerking romance from the creator of "Love Actually."
"Carol": A gorgeously captured, melancholy forbidden romance between a 1950s young photographer and Santa hat model (Rooney Mara) and a fabulous older woman (Cate Blanchett), rapturously brought to the screen by great director Todd Haynes. It's an excellent movie – and almost certainly the best film starring a character named Harge.
"Silver Linings Playbook": Looking for a silver lining right now? How about "Silver Linings Playbook," the Oscar-winning crowd-pleaser about two struggling Philadelphians (Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence) who help each other get by with dancing ... and maybe fall in love in the process.
"To All the Boys I've Loved Before": The rom-com isn't dead yet thanks to Netflix – and thanks to this charming teenage romance about a high schooler whose secret letters to her crushes get sent to them. The sequel, while not as fun, is worthwhile too. Hopefully the final chapter, "To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean," keeps things cute.
"Midnight Special": Hypnotic and subdued, mysterious and grounded, "Midnight Special" is indeed a special blend, a uniquely intense and exciting sci-fi road trip drama about a father (the always-great Michael Shannon) trying to save his supernatural son from parasitic military forces and a strangely obsessed cult.
"Okja": Need another Bong hit after "Parasite" knocked your socks off last year? Luckily, Netflix has your back with his 2017 adventure "Okja," another undefinable feature about a young girl trying to protect an adorable giant pig from a factory wanting to turn it into meat.
"Snowpiercer": Another Bong hit! This one might actually be my favorite from the "Parasite" director, as he follows a train containing the last surviving members of humanity after a global freeze. But things aren't peaceful amongst the remaining few, as the poor are stuck in the back in terrible conditions while the rich control their ecosystem comfortably at the front.
"Total Recall": This mind-bending '90s thrill ride is the best of both worlds: It's everything you want from a dumb Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie, and it's everything you want from a brainy, twisty, clever science fiction story. No matter what you like in a movie, "Total Recall" (not the remake – good god, not the remake) has you covered.
"The Wandering Earth": As far as concepts go, this Chinese blockbuster (truly, it made more money overseas than "Toy Story 4" and "The Rise of Skywalker" in 2019) has one of the more delightfully strange ones: The sun is dying so the globe plugs rocket boosters across the planet and slowly shifts the Earth to a new solar system. With a plan that normal, who could expect that things might go wrong!?
"Miracle": Again, there may not be any new hockey on television these days, but at least you can watch the best rerun in sports history: the United States Olympic hockey team rising up to beat the heavily favored Russians in 1980.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.