Streaming giant Netflix is always quick to showcase blockbuster hits and original content on its front page. It’s of the contributing reasons as to why these Netflix specials do so well. They’re heavily advertised, showing up on our recommended lists whenever possible. And while most of these hit shows are well worth your time (Black Mirror, Stranger Things), it’s always nice to stumble across something underrated.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of gas in the back catalogue of Netflix to keep you moving through the COVID age. Here are 5 hidden gems you can (and should) watch on Netflix. And no, we won’t be covering any Hentai.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Coen brothers are well known for their oddball stories and genre-spanning trickery, but their stoner-flick The Big Lebowski takes the whole cake. A deadbeat protagonist (Jeff Bridges) who drinks White Russians and plays bowling is catapulted into a complex crime drama that unveils more and more twists at every turn. On the first viewing experience, expect to be as dumbfounded as the dude himself. However, the crime story is really just a red herring. The real magic of Lebowski is found in the endlessly quotable dialogue, ingenious camerawork, and philosophical musings.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
It’s truly astonishing how this film has managed to fly under the radar for so long. In this whimsical feature, Steven Spielburg pits Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks against each other. A young Dicaprio plays a charismatic con-man while Hanks leads the police force on the hunt to catch him. Along the way, the characters become surprisingly close, leading to a heartwarming conclusion that leaves no loose ends untied.
School of Rock (2003)
School of Rock is an early ‘00s classic that gave us Jack Black at his most unhinged. After failing as a rockstar, Black becomes a school music teacher, where amidst his barrage out belly-laugh humour, manages to train the kids into competent, performing musicians. It’s an endearing process that is a joy to watch, perfectly capturing that magic feeling of learning an instrument for the very first time. If you’re after an easy, feel-good watch after a long day at work, look no further than this cult classic.
Django Unchained (2012)
Django Unchained is still Tarantino’s highest-grossing film – and for good reason. Protagonist Jamie Foxx is equal parts convicting and badass as we witness his rags to riches story unfold. The context? Foxx is a slave who is rescued by a bounty hunter, then trained to become one himself. At long last, our hero has the freedom and tools needed to free his wife and get the taste of sweet, sweet, justified revenge. Prepare for romanticised violence and melodrama at its most unflinching.
Legally Blonde (2001)
If you’ve just endured a breakup and are craving a strong dose of liberation and self-love, there aren’t many films that hit the spot like Legally Blonde. The film’s protagonist begins her journey as a ditzy blonde without ambition, but by the end, she’s proven everyone wrong – especially herself. She basically learns how to tie a tie, and then decides to make the suit herself. The film has a great pace, perfectly balancing humour and story together to create a lasting piece of work that provides an important message for those on trial.
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