Mathew Englander (mathew5000) wrote,
Mathew Englander

Netflix recommendations

I recently discovered, a terrific third-party Netflix search tool; it will tell you in which of 24 countries you can stream a given film on Netflix. It also has a "last chance to watch" list of films expiring soon on Netflix in Canada (or any of the 24 countries).

Another good search tool is JustWatch, which covers numerous digital services including Netflix, iTunes, and TMNoD, and tells you on which services you can stream, rent, or buy a given film.

Here are a few recent feature films streamable on Netflix Canada, which I loved and can strongly recommend:

Their Finest — Of the three British films released last year relating to the Dunkirk evacuation, this is my favourite. Set in 1940, this comedy-drama stars Gemma Arterton as a writer in London hired by the government to script the women's dialogue in propaganda films.

Experimenter — Compelling and provocative biopic starring Peter Sarsgaard as Stanley Milgram, focusing on his "obedience to authority" experiments.

In Order of Disappearance — Witty thriller starring Stellan Skarsgård as a senior citizen who takes on an international drug gang.

White God — Part of the fun of this movie is imagining how it was made, knowing that all the canine sequences were done without any CGI effects; but the story is so compelling that it's easy to forget you are watching a movie.

Amanda Knox — Stylish but serious documentary looking at the murder of Meredith Kercher from various angles, with some fascinating interviews and wiretap evidence that had not previously been reported.

A Man Called Ove — An engaging Swedish comedy about a curmudgeon and how he got that way, nominated for two Oscars.

Divines — Highly energetic drama / crime-thriller about two teenage girls looking for opportunities to escape a dead-end life in the banlieue of Paris. Incredible acting by the two leads, who both won César Awards.

The Stanford Prison Experiment — I watched this three times and still found it rivetting; I'm not sure why, because you'd think it would be hemmed in by its close fidelity to the real-life events. Part of the reason it works is the hypernatural acting, by the whole cast but particularly Michael Angarano.

On Body and Soul — I was blown away when I saw this last year at TIFF; it went on to be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. A subtle, funny, and surprising love story set in a slaughterhouse.

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer — The English-language debut of Joseph Cedar (who directed Footnote); I've seen this twice and could watch it over and over. A suspenseful political drama, with smart, sharp dialogue and unconventional visuals. As you can tell from the subtitle, the film has an epic scope but gently satirical tone. The plot, though it may bring to mind a certain episode of M*A*S*H, is wholly original and touches on broad themes of loyalty and integrity, with terrific acting by Steve Buscemi, Lior Ashkenazi, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michael Sheen, and particularly Richard Gere.

And two TV shows:

Travelers — This is now my favourite science-fiction TV series ever; it has twisty, engrossing plots, sharply written dialogue, great acting and cinematography. I was hooked from the first episode, maybe even from the first minute of the first episode.

Revolting Rhymes — Ostensibly for children, this two-episode animated British show (based on the book by Roald Dahl) is clever enough to entertain adults; I have watched it more than once. The first episode was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short category. The voice actors are all excellent, particularly Tamsin Greig (from the series Episodes) and Gemma Chan (from Humans and Crazy Rich Asians).

I sometimes hear Canadians complain that Netflix has a paltry selection here compared to in the US, but that is no longer true. According to a HuffPo article last month the number of titles on Netflix Canada is only about 4% less than Netflix USA.

Feel free to comment below with remarks about any of these recommendations, or if you want to recommend other great films streamable on Netflix Canada.

Tags: films, movies, netflix

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