In the day and age where many of us have fast-paced lives full of modern-day pressures, it’s important to spare some time for yourself. Let’s put it this way, you’ve essentially got to escape and re-boot your router so you can reach your full potential. The convenience and low cost of subscription streaming services has seen the number of subscriptions more than double in the past two years. According to Canstar Blue’s most recent broadband survey, 48 per cent of Kiwis are now subscribed to a streaming video service.
With that said, the large range of movies on offer can end up in a disaster of endless scrolling, starting, stopping and then switching because the movie just didn’t quite hit the spot. Well, we endeavor to help people make better-informed decisions about what they’re buying, and movies are no exception. Here’s a list of the top Netflix movies to watch in NZ.
Abducted in Plain Sight
As a captivating crime documentary, Abducted in Plain Sight is the type of film that gets you so involved you feel like shouting at the TV, “why would you do that?!” You follow the journey of a little girl called Jan whose innocence is stolen by a family friend – double-kidnapping, sexual abuse, forced marriage and a fictional alien story. The list could go on.
The family members and Jan, herself, tell the story of how their lives were changed forever. After watching the years-long tirade, you’ll be left shocked at how manipulative one man can be, convincing Jan’s parents, family members and the entire community that he is harmless. A heart-breaking yet inspirational film, your heart-strings will certainly be pulled.
This Netflix original film stars Sandra Bullock as Malorie, alongside John Malkovich and Jacki Weaver. Based on the novel of the same name by Josh Malerman, the film is set in a world where mysterious creatures have decimated the population, as the moment you look at them, you’ll see something that drives you to commit suicide.
To survive, you must stay inside with all windows to the outside blocked out. If you venture outside, you’ll need to be blindfolded and preferably have some birds with you, as they can sense the creatures. While much of the film switches between the past (when the outbreak first happens) and the present, it’s easy to follow along with and it’s full of twists, turns and ‘aha’ moments.
Don’t think beauty pageants aren’t a big deal? Willowdean Dixon’s story may prove you wrong. This movie is about a young ‘plus size’ girl who rebels against her former beauty queen mother, Rosie, by signing up for her mum’s pageant in protest.
This charming coming-of-age film is based on Julie Murphy’s novel, also called Dumplin’, which primarily explores two common issues many teenagers face: insecurity and body issues. It tackles these topics by rewarding audiences with strong female characters, body positivity, and fabulous drag queens. Danielle Macdonald stars as Dumplin’, while Jennifer Aniston plays the mother.
This is for the ones who love a classic horror full of back-stories and plot-twists. When Chris Washington goes on a road trip to meet his girlfriend’s family, the exciting trip turns to quite the contrary. Get Out, with the same producer of Insidious, and as the tenth most profitable film of 2017, is creepily good.
Get Out begins like any average scary film, with innocent, joyful characters going on a road trip, but this time, the story-line plays out differently. Will Chris make it out alive? Will there be betrayal along the way? One thing’s for certain – a neurosurgeon father, hypnotherapist mother and the fact that there are many missing people in the area, counts for a damn good horror.
A documentary depiction of the 2016 luxury island festival gone-wrong, FYRE recounts the FYRE Festival whereby entrepreneur Billy McFarland purchased Pablo Escobar’s old island and marketed the newest and greatest festival that you ever did see. Utilising supermodels, social media and famous acts, McFarland, alongside FYRE Festival co-founder and rapper R-Jay, ultimately presents a false and unrealistic festival. Tickets promising private jets, luxurious villas and other glamorous benefits were selling for thousands of dollars a pop.
But, when festival attendees are met with soaked through hurricane tents, local acts, a small stage and no food or water, the individuals turn into a frenzy, and are then left in disbelief. From attendees to employees, the events are recalled by those who were affected by the lies and false promises of Billy McFarland. You’ll have to watch, though, to see how a faulty business-venture paved the way for laws in modern marketing.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
You’ve probably heard of this movie which ultimately initiated the fandom of main character, Peter Kavinsky. As one of our top Netflix movies, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a feel-good teen romance movie particularly targeted at the female counterpart. I mean, the plot is based on every average teenage girl’s worst nightmare.
Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all the boys she has ever felt a strong romantic liking to, with the intention of keeping them locked away in her closet. However, when her sister gets her hands on them, that’s not the case. The letters end up in the hands of each of the addressed boys and as expected, Lara Jean sets into panic mode. But what isn’t expected is the responses from the boys. And I don’t mean they all confessed their undying love for her; Some boys have shock realisations and identity confessions while others have their own plans in mind – to use the letters to their advantage. Nevertheless, I won’t spoil it for you.
Feminists: What Were They Thinking?
From the burning of the bras to the modern age use of “words speak louder than actions”, this documentary film looks back on the history of feminism. Women reminisce on the 1977 photography book, by Cynthia MacAdams, which visually depicted the height of feminism. Strong prominent women discuss their personal challenges as women facing inequality, many of which featured in the renowned book, itself.
The ongoing question arises, how far have we come? And the message stands still, change needs to be ongoing to create equality for both genders. Psychology, social change, the way the world operates, history and the future. If you’re interested in any of these topics, you’ll find yourself fascinated by this top Netflix movie.
Icarus is a straight-to-Netflix documentary film fresh from 2017. It’s directed by Bryan Fogel, himself an amateur cyclist exploring doping and how it is so prevalent in cycling – even amateur cycling. This film gets straight to the nitty gritty, and Fogel himself experiments with PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) while training for a big race to see if he could pass a doping test. In his travels, he happens upon an international doping scandal, which then sets the movie and the world of athletics alight. This is an honest take on doping in sports, and to have such a ‘Ground Zero’ approach to the topic is rare which is why it earns a spot in our list of top Netflix movies.
The Two Killings of Sam Cooke
Fame can be a dream come true for many, but for others, it’s a matter of life or death. And, for soul singer Sam Cooke, who lived to the young age of 33, his passion for music and resulting platform for civil rights views may have been what put him right in the firing line. The Two Killings of Sam Cooke is a social and cultural documentary covering the positive efforts Cooke made to decrease African American discrimination.
The latest film installment in Netflix’s ReMastered documentary series includes interviews with close friends of Sam, professionals and musicians alike, on how the killing may run deeper than the proposed act of self-defense. A really intriguing watch and incredible remembrance of the talented activist, rest assured there won’t be any Netflix regrets with this choice.
Spotlight details the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists from the Boston Globe who were the first to crack the Catholic Church cover-up of pedophile priests in the Boston area. It is based on the book ‘Betrayal’ written by the same journalists, and stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber.
Spotlight is a methodical portrayal of how these Globe journalists uncovered the seedy underbelly of the Catholic Church and its all-knowing power in the Boston area. It’s not exactly an easy watch as the film tends to shy away from sensationalism, but it does leave you with a sense of uneasiness, especially when the credits roll and you realise just as many Dioceses in New Zealand were also found to contain ‘bad apples’.