Netflix movie nights are one of our favorite nights of the week. But not when you can’t find the perfect movie to match your mood, which is sometimes the case. So, we got our best On TV Tonight movie-buffs onto the case with this useful list of the best movies on Netflix right now.
10. BLUE MIRACLE
What we think: This is one of those heart-warming, feel-good tales, based on the true story of an amateur Mexican team who won the world’s richest fishing tournament. It’s filmed in the Dominican Republic where Omar and Becca take in street kids, but when they lose donors and are hit by a hurricane, they have to save their cash-strapped orphanage. Enter Dennis Quaid as Captain Wade, a washed-up boat captain who gives Omar a chance to win a lucrative fishing competition, the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Fishing Tournament. Quaid does the shambolic, opiniated Captain justice, he has played this type of character on various occasions. It’s not perfect, but it’s good to see some people get a break now and then.
Director: JULIO QUINTANA
Cast: DENNIS QUAID, JIMMY GONZALES, FERNANDA URREJOLA, BRUCE MCGILL, ANTHONY GONZALES
9. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
What we think: Director Joe Wright, known for Atonement and Pride & Prejudice, helms this crime thriller, with a stellar cast, where the depressed, pill-popping child psychologist, Anna Fox, has holed herself up in her eerily vacant, Manhattan brownstone apartment, separated from her husband and their daughter. Amy Adams is excellent as Fox, who battles agoraphobia and intense panic attacks. When the Russells move in across the street, Anna decides to distract attention away from her problems by peeking into the lives of the unsuspecting new tenants. One night, tensions flare and someone ends up dead. But has Anna witnessed a gruesome scene of domestic violence or is her wine-addled mind playing cruel tricks on her? I must say I didn’t work out who was the culprit in this one, which was refreshing. Watch out for Wyatt Russell, son of Goldie and Kurt, as Anna’s lodger.
Director: JOE WRIGHT
Cast: AMY ADAMS, GARY OLDMAN, FRED HECHINGER, JULIANNE MOORE, JENNIFER JASON LEIGH, WYATT RUSSELL
8. ARMY OF THE DEAD
What we think: Not being one to watch zombie movies since being spooked by The Night of the Living Dead back in 1968, I asked my son what he thought of this one. Being a man of few words, he said it had a bit of humour and was about zombies… um, okay. The Watchman’s Zack Snyder directs this one, where a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the zombie quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted. So, it’s a zombie heist plot, as opposed to just your normal heist, with lots of explosions, blood and gory bits. Las Vegas is awash with zombies!
Director: ZACK SNYDER
Cast: DAVE BAUTISTA, ELLA PURNELL, OMARI HARDWICK, HIROYUKI SANADA, ANA DE LA REGUERA
What we think: With a script by Oliver Stone, direction by Brian De Palma, and Al Pacino as Tony Montana, this had to be a hit and is always worth a return viewing. I’m sure Tony must be the most quoted character in films, “say hello to my little friend” being one of them. Tony arrives in Miami from Cuba where he’s soon working for drug dealer Frank Lopez and shows his mettle when a deal with Colombian drug dealers goes bad. He also brings a new level of violence to Miami. The final scene would have to be one of the best ever. Remember, “The World Is Yours.”
Director: BRIAN DE PALMA
Cast: AL PACINO, STEVEN BAUER, MICHELLE PFEIFFER, MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO, ROBERT LOGGIA, MIRIAM COLON
6. HACHI: A DOG’S TALE
What we think: Lasse Halstrom directs Richard Gere in this adaptation of the true story of the Akita dog named Hachikō who lived in Japan in the 1920s. A bronze statue of Hachiko is in front of the Shibuya train station in his honour, in the spot where he waited. The story follows music professor Parker Wilson who finds an Akita puppy, and takes it home, despite the objections of his wife, Cate. He names the pup, Hachi, and soon it wins over his entire family. Hachi makes a habit of waiting for his doting master at the station every evening, but after a cardiac crisis, Parker dies. Hachi still waits at the station every day. If you love dogs, you’ll love this, as it is all about the dog. Humans are the costars in this one.
Director: LASSE HALLSTROM
Cast: RICHAD GERE, JOAN ALLEN, CARY-HIROYUKI TAGAWA, KEVIN DECOSTE, SARAH ROEMER, JASON ALEXANDER
5. ENOLA HOLMES
What we think: This adventure caught my interest with Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown in the title role. It’s yet another take on the Holmes myth, of which there appears to be a never ending supply. Brown stars as Enola Holmes who wakes on her 16th birthday to find that her mother has disappeared. After a free-spirited childhood, Enola finds herself under the care of her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft, both set on sending her away to a finishing school for “proper” young ladies. Refusing to follow their wishes, Enola escapes to search for her mother in London where she is entangled in a mystery surrounding a young runaway Lord. Enola becomes a super-sleuth in her own right, outwitting her famous brother as she unravels a conspiracy that threatens to set back the course of history. It’s certainly not Oscar-winning material, but it is entertaining, and Brown gives a great performance as Miss Holmes. Director Harry Bradbeer’s resume includes the very popular Fleabag and Killing Eve.
Director: HARRY BRADBEER
Cast: MILLIE BOBBY BROWN, HENRY CAVILL, SAM CLAFLIN, HELENA BONHAM CARTER, LOUIS PARTRIDGE, FIONA SHAW
What we think: Loved this poignant drama, with some light-hearted moments thrown in. With Judi Dench and Steve Coogan on board, you can’t miss with this one. When former journalist Martin Sixsmith is dismissed from the Labour Party in disgrace, he is at a loss as to what do. That changes when a young Irish woman approaches him about a story of her mother, Philomena Lee, who had her son taken away when she was a teenage inmate of a Catholic convent. Martin arranges a magazine assignment about her search for him that eventually leads to America. Along the way, Martin and Philomena discover as much about each other as about her son’s fate. Furthermore, both find their basic beliefs challenged. This film was inspired by a true story and is especially relevant after the remains of Indigenous stolen children were recently found at a Christian run school in Canada.
Director: STEPHEN FREARS
Cast: JUDI DENCH, STEVE COOGAN, SOPHIE KENNEDY CLARK, MARE WINNINGHAM, RUTH MCCABE
What we think: It was always going to be a mammoth task to top the 1940 version of this film, especially with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine attached, and the wonderful Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers. Ben Wheatley’s take is possibly not as menacing as the original, which, after all, was directed by Hitchcock. Lily James and Armie Hammer do a fine job though as the de Winters, where Maxim’s new bride battles the shadow of his dead wife Rebecca. Kristin Scott Thomas is the sinister housekeeper who keeps her former mistress’s legacy alive and makes sure the new bride’s life is filled with suspicion.
Director: BEN WHEATLEY
Cast: LILY JAMES, ARMIE HAMMER, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, KEELEY HAWES, ANN DOWD, SAM RILEY, TOM GOODMAN-HILL, MARK LEWIS JONES, JOHN HOLLINGWORTH, BILL PATERSON
What we think: Having never been able to solve the intricacies of American football, this isn’t one that would normally be on the list, but this true story of former Razorback, Brandon Burlsworth, proved to be inspiring. Brandon had always dreamed of playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks, but was considered too short and too fat to play Division I. Undeterred, Brandon took a big risk and walked on in 1994. Written off by fellow teammates and coaches, Brandon displayed dogged determination in the face of staggering odds. The overly-fat kid who was once an embarrassment to his teammates and an annoyance to his coaches, changing the lives of all he touched. A fitting tribute to one of the most respected player in the history of the program.
Director: DAVID L. HUNT
Cast: CHRISTOPHER SEVERIO, NEAL MCDONOUGH, LESLIE EASTERBROOK, MICHAEL PARKS, ETHAN WALLER
What we think: With a script by Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham on board, you know there’s going to plenty of action and physical altercations in this one, plus there’s the added bonus of a sleazy James Franco thrown into the mix and Winona Ryder, who’s always a pleasure to watch. Statham is Phil Broker, a former DEA agent who has gone through a crisis after his actions against a biker gang went horribly wrong. He decides to quit the turbulent and demanding life of the DEA for his daughter Maddy’s sake and retires to a small town. His daughter fights off a boy who is bullying her at school, and this sets in motion a round of events that end in his direct confrontation with the local Meth drug lord. His past with the biker gang also enters the arena, making matters more complex. But he has a mission in his mind to protect his daughter, and he is ready to pay any cost that it demands.
Director: GARY FLEDER
Cast: JASON STATHAM, JAMES FRANCO IZABELA VIDOVIC, WINONA RYDER, KATE BOSWORTH, MARCUS HESTER