Picture this. You arrive home from work on a Friday evening with a great bottle of wine tucked under one arm. For the rest of the weekend, you are free: you have no commitments and no plans. The only person you need to deal with is yourself. And you know what that means: Netflix. Whether you’re in the mood for a light-hearted comedy or a worldly drama, you know Netflix has the goods for a solo weekend at home – and you don’t even have to fight over the remote control. There’s only one problem. Where to start? Luckily, we have that sorted for you. Ahead, check out the underrated Netflix movies you need to stream now.
If you love sitting back and getting lost in fantasy worlds, book yourself a date with Okja. This unique film tells the tale of Mija (Seo-Hyun Ahn), a young girl who is willing to risk everything to prevent a powerful company from kidnapping her best friend – a super-pig named Okja. Plenty of action – including a chase through the streets of Seoul that goes viral – awaits as Mija does what she needs to do to avoid Dr Johnny Wilcox (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) and save her super-pig from certain death. The plot sounds complicated, but this original film – so far from your typical Hollywood flick – is worth the popcorn.
2. The Fundamentals of Caring
The Fundamentals of Caring opens with writer Ben (Paul Rudd) becoming the caregiver to a disabled teen, Trevor (Craig Roberts). Although their relationship starts out on a rocky note, the duo forms an unlikely friendship, and Ben soon convinces Trevor’s mother to let them take a road trip. Along the way, they meet a young hitchhiker, Dot (Selena Gomez), and the three quickly bond over their collective troubles. What follows is an enjoyable film that touches on tricky subjects in a light-hearted manner, with a few laughs thrown in for good measure.
If the current political climate leaves you yearning for the calmer days of Barack Obama’s presidency, Barry is the film for you. The 2016 drama centres on Obama’s life at New York’s Columbia University in 1981. While the film is fictional – Devon Terrell plays Obama – the screenplay certainly took notes from Obama’s pre-presidency memoirs. Accordingly, you’ll gain some insight into Obama’s formative years and how his experiences at college shaped his future, and thus, the future of the world.
4. Our Souls at Night
Heart-warming tales can be hard to come by, but Our Souls at Night checks all the right boxes. The film, which is set in Colorado, begins with Addie Moore (Jane Fonda) paying a surprise visit to her neighbour of many years, Louis Waters (Robert Redford). Addie and Louis bond over their shared experiences; they’re both widowed, they both live alone, and they both have children who live far away. Soon, they agree to get to know each other and eventually to share a bed together so they can each “sleep through the night” again. If it’s anything, Our Souls at Night is a beautiful tale of friendship and how it can lift you out of loneliness. Bookmark it immediately.
5. Sand Castle
Set during the 2003 occupation of Iraq, Sand Castle follows a squad of United States soldiers on a mission to repair a hostile village’s water system. Unlike other war movies, and there are plenty, Sand Castle takes on a slower pace, attempting to look at the characters in the squad. In particular, we learn the story of Private Matt Ocre (Nicholas Hoult), who joined the army before 9/11 with the idea the military would help him pay for his college education. As we all now know, by the end of 2001, things had taken a turn, forcing Ocre to confront the realities of going to war. It’s worth noting that Sand Castle‘s screenwriter, Chris Roessner, is an Iraq war veteran himself, so viewers can expect a script that is less cliché, more true-to-life than most.
Have you ever wondered about the people inside the mascots you see at sporting events? Well, Mascots gives you a chance to jump into their world, and what a world it is! The film follows several sports mascots as they compete in the World Mascot Association’s Gold Fluffy Award championship games. If it sounds ridiculous, it is. But that’s part of the fun. In fact, at times you would be forgiven for taking on a “so ridiculous it must be true” attitude, but before you start Googling, let us save you some time: The World Mascot Association does not exist. You can now use that time we saved you to tune in to Mascots and step outside of your real life for 90 fun-filled, slightly odd minutes. You’re welcome.