The 30 best things to watch on Netflix US right now
Streaming video has turned our living rooms into an endless video store, with a vast array of titles to choose from.
Netflix has around 10,000 titles, taking in everything from rom-coms to action movies, TV shows and documentaries; and that can be a problem. It's called the paradox of choice; faced with an endless array of options, people freeze up. Before you know it, you've spent an hour scrolling through the possible choices, and you've run out of time to watch a movie.
Fear not; we've done all the hard work for you, picking out the cream of the streaming crop. Read on…
Marvel Studios’ latest foray into episodic television is far and away its best - a gritty, street-level crime drama that has more in common with The Wire than Captain America. Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Cox stars as the costumed crusader Daredevil – blinded in an accident but granted heightened senses and perception.
With an extended running time to play with, and none of the constraints of broadcast TV, Daredevil’s free to explore the ramifications and moral complexities of super-powered vigilantism – with Daredevil's alter ego Matt Murdock working as an attorney by day, there are plenty of moral grey areas to explore. It’s also free to flesh out its supporting characters, including a stellar Vincent D’Onofrio as crime boss Wilson Fisk.
Released in the same year as Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Quentin Tarantino’s “Southern” is an altogether more scathing look at the slave trade that festers at the heart of American history. Mashing up the spaghetti western with the blaxploitation genre and relocating the action to the Deep South, Django Unchained pits Jamie Foxx’s titular freed slave against the plantation owners, traders and overseers who’ve separated him from his wife.
He’s joined on his quest by German bounty hunter Dr King Schultz – in a star-making turn from Christoph Waltz, which netted him a well-deserved Oscar. Equally impressive are Leonardo Dicaprio as Calvin Candie, who cloaks the barbarity of his gladiatorial slave combats beneath a veneer of civilisation, and Samuel L Jackson, as Candie’s house slave (and éminence grise) Stephen.
Foxx plays Django as a modern Man With No Name – though in his case his silence is more the result of tightly-wound righteous fury than stoicism, and when he eventually unleashes bloody vengeance on his oppressors, it’s spectacularly cathartic.
Beasts Of No Nation
Netflix’s first foray into feature film-making is not for the faint hearted. This is the story of a young boy, horribly orphaned as the result of a militia attack on his village, who falls into the retinue of a brutal, yet also charming commander of a band of child soldiers.
It’s violent, visceral and sobering, and features Idris Elba in his most impressive performance to date. But it’s newcomer Abraham Attah who shines brightest of all as the boy at the centre of the drama.
To describe Oldboy as intense would be like saying Piers Morgan is unpalatable - ie an enormous understatement. To watch it is to be visually assaulted for 120 mins, your emotions squeezed and stamped on and flung around the room until you're left thinking that maybe you ought to go for a bit of a lie down.
A South Korean thriller about a man who's locked in a room for 15 years with no idea why – before being released to seek vengeance on his captors – it's never exactly fun viewing, but it is absolutely essential nonetheless. Story-wise it's sharp and packed with action, some of the acting is outstanding and at the end you'll be left battered and bruised but still wanting more. Brilliant.– Marc McLaren
The defining sitcom of the 90s has hit Netflix, affording you the opportunity to lose yourself in ten seasons’ worth of terrible fashion (Mom jeans! Denim vests!) and relationship drama (“We were on a break!”).
The early seasons, when the characters had yet to become caricatures, are better – but although the show developed into more of a comedy-drama than a sitcom, its writers’ room continued to pump out gags with astonishing efficiency. It’s also an entertaining time capsule of a bygone age, when the Internet was the exclusive preserve of geeks and smartphones were but a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye. How on Earth did we cope?