Good Movies from Netflix

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 9:29 am

Another week brings more good movies from Netflix, and I’ve combed through their latest selections to find ten of the best available. From 1940’s classics to Anthony Hopkins chewing the scenery in a gothic tale of horror, Netflix offers a wide variety of films with subscription plans to meet every budget. They even deliver right to your mailbox, and the postage is already prepaid. We do get a small commission if you sign up with Netflix, but it all goes right back into the site.

The Crazies (2009) – A remake of the 1973 George Romero film, The Crazies isn’t a zombie movie, but it’s awfully damn close. When a military plane crash infects the local water supply, the residents of Ogden Marsh, Iowa start exhibiting homicidal tendencies. And as if that weren’t enough, the Army’s keeping an eye on the situation, and they’ve collectively got a very itchy trigger finger. Timothy Olyphant is the small town sheriff, Radha Mitchell is his physician wife, and Joe Anderson steals the shows as Deputy Russell Clank. Way better than the original and a lot more violent.

The Wolfman (2010) – While it tanked at the box office, this remake of the classic tale of lycanthropy still offers up plenty of gothic thrills and chills. Benicio del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, an actor who returns to his family’s estate following the brutal murder of his brother. Reunited with his whacked-out father (Anthony Hopkins), Talbot must try to get to the bottom of what happened before the next fill moon fills the sky. Rick Baker’s werewolf effects are predictably stunning, and the solid supporting cast features Emily Blunt as the dead Talbot’s fiancee and Hugo Weaving as the dour Inspector Aberline.

Warehouse 13: Season 1 (2009) – A series from the good folks at Syfy, Warehouse 13 follows the adventures of Secret Service agents Peter Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) as their assigned to the ultra-secret Warehouse 13–which was designed by M.C. Escher, Nicola Tesla, and Thomas Edison–and tasked with tracking down and protecting dangerous mystical objects. Described as “part The X-Files, part Raiders of the Lost Ark, and part Moonlighting,” the second season will begin on July 6th. Thrill to the hunt for such artifacts as Lewis Carroll’s Mirror, Ben Franklin’s Lightning Rod, Jack the Ripper’s Lantern, and the Spine of the Saracen. Twelve episodes in Season One.

Don McKay (2009) – Thomas Hayden Church and Elisabeth Shue star in this indie drama/thriller about Don McKay (Church), a man who returns to his hometown after 25 years. It seems that his old flame (Shue) is dying, and McKay wants to reconnect before it’s too late. But there’s a reason why he suddenly left town all those years ago, and the ghosts of the past are soon running loose. Co-starring Melissa Leo, Keith David, and M. Emmet Walsh.

The White Ribbon (2009) – Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke directs this enigmatic tale of life in a small German village just prior to World War I, and he claims that it shows “the origin of every type of terrorism.” It took ten years to get it made, but the efforts were well worth it. The White Ribbon won the Palme d’Or at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also nominated for two Oscars. Featuring beautiful black-and-white cinematography from Christian Berger, the film marks another triumph for a director who refuses to take the easy way out and always challenges his viewers.

The Warlords (2007) – It wouldn’t be a list of good movies from Netflix without at least one example of people killing each other with swords and lethal kung-fu. That’s where The Warlords (also known as The Blood Brothers) comes in. This epic Chinese/Hong Kong war film stars Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro as three men in 1860’s China who swear a blood oath to one another in the pursuit of bringing order to their country. Of course, jealousy (and a woman) cause their alliance to slowly begin to fray. Winner of Best Film honors at the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards.

Creation (2009) – Mixing fiction and non-fiction, Creation tells the story of Charles Darwin’s (Paul Bettany) struggle to complete On the Origin of Species, a groundbreaking work that would introduce the theory of evolution into the world. Jennifer Connelly (Bettany’s real-life wife) plays Darwin’s deeply religious spouse, and Martha West is Anne Darwin, the young daughter who had a profound effect on his views. The non-fiction part is based on numerous letters and documents written by the real-life Darwin family.

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Pretty Bird (2008) – While the overall product may be a bit of a disappointment, this indie film from a few years back is worth a look for the talented cast it assembled. Paul Giamatti plays Rick, a nice guy who convinces his friends to help him create and market a rocket-powered belt. Things go downhill from there, and the whole affair eventually collapses under the weight of suspicion, jealousy, and murder. Co-starring Billy Crudup and Kristen Wiig.

Night Train to Munich (1940) – Directed by Carol Reed (The Third Man) and adapted from the Gordon Wellesley novel Report on a Fugitive, this classic British thriller stars Margaret Lockwood as a young woman caught in web in intrigue, betrayal, and Nazis following the outbreak of World War II. Paul Henreid is the German agent who worms his way into her life, James Harcourt is her scientist father, and Rex Harrison is the dashing British agent who comes to the rescue.

When You’re Strange (2009) – Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion) wrote and directed this documentary look at the life and times of The Doors. It’s the “anti-Oliver Stone” according to Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, meaning that it’s closer to the truth and far less sensational. The original narration by DiCillo was knocked for being too monotone, so the director went out and hired Johnny Depp to add a little class to the proceedings. Watch this one and get the true story behind Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, and Ray Manzarek. And of all the good new movies added to Netflix this week, it’s the only one to include references to a killer on the road whose brain is squirmin’ like a toad.

If you found this list of good movies from Netflix to be helpful, be sure and check out these previous entries from Only Good Movies:

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 at 9:29 am and is filed under Netflix Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Good Movies from Netflix”

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June 30, 2010

Phoebe

Great selection and variety. I thought The White Ribbon was a must-see.

June 30, 2010

Shane

Thanks for the comment, Phoebe. Always nice to hear from a fellow movie lover.

July 1, 2010

Andy

Great list. I did like The Warlords, nothing wrong with a bit of Jet Li.

July 18, 2010

Arielle Covin

Epic site! I’m so glad I stumbled here through my friend’s blog, Going to need to add this one to the blogroll.

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