Video-streaming service Netflix gives you a vast number of films, TV shows and documentaries to choose from – and that can be a problem.
More often than not, you find yourself spending your entire evening shuffling through the selection trying to pick something to watch – before realising that you no longer have time to actually watch a film.
Never fear; we've rifled through the Netflix catalogue to bring you our top picks, from rom-coms to superhero movies to obscure documentaries. Let Stuff be your guide on your cinematic odyssey.
House of Cards
Netflix has amassed an impressive library of TV shows, but HBO – home of top-tier drama like Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones – has always spurned its advances.
Netflix's solution? Level the playing field by throwing money at its own prestige series. House of Cards is the jewel in its crown, with David Fincher behind the camera and Kevin Spacey in front of it as scheming Democratic Majority Whip Frank Underwood. Its depiction of the White House as a cesspool of self-interested career politicians is light years away from The West Wing – and seeing Spacey's Machiavellian plots unfold is a delight.
The House of Cards Trilogy
No, that's not a typo. Once you've finished motoring through the Netflix series, you're ready to tackle the 1990s BBC drama that it's (loosely) based on. Where Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood is all smooth Southern charm, Ian Richardson's Francis Urquhart is positively reptilian – a Shakespearian villain in a post-Thatcher Britain.
Yes, it doesn't have the polish of the multi-million dollar US show, but it's packed with character – and Urquhart is one of the great screen villains.
More after the break...
Audrey Tautou stars in this charming French rom-com, playing a gold-digger who mistakes a barman for a multi-millionaire. He's only too happy to play along – and when he's found out, she offers to teach him how to become a gigolo.
Inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany's, it has something of the feel of 1960s Blake Edwards about it, with its whirl of parties on the Côte d'Azur. Gad Elmaleh's Jean makes for an excellent foil to Tautou's Irène; their comic timing transcends the language barrier. Watch with a glass of wine, or several.
The Thin Blue Line
Errol Morris' seminal documentary follows the story of one man's wrongful imprisonment for the murder of a Texas police officer in 1976.
Although it's best remembered as the film that saved a man from Death Row, it also pioneered many documentary techniques that are now commonplace, including reconstructions of the events leading up to the murder (recounted several times, from contradictory viewpoints) and avoiding narration. One key shot, in which an interviewee reaches up to scratch his nose and reveals that he's wearing handcuffs, brilliantly demonstrates how editing can be used to manipulate the viewer.
Toy Story 3
Has there ever been a trilogy as consistently superb as Toy Story? We can't think of one. The third instalment follows Woody, Buzz and the gang as they cope with Andy's departure for college and find themselves discarded in a daycare centre with a dark secret. Somehow, it manages to surpass the first two movies, adding genuinely moving moments alongside all of the funny, clever and thrilling bits. Kids will love it, but really, it's wasted on them - only an adult could truly appreciate its message about the horrible inevitability of growing up.
- Marc McLaren