Netflix has become an entertainment staple across U.S. college campuses. Whenever I’m looking for a new movie to watch with friends, Netflix is the first place I go. While the streaming service is not known for having a big library of blockbuster hits, it has some great, lesser-known films. Here are some of my favorites:
Daisy and her dad in Waiting for Superman.
10. Waiting for Superman: This fascinating documentary uncovers major problems in the U.S. public education system. Watch the trailer here.
9. Adventureland: Adventureland is an underrated comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg (from The Social Network) and Kristen Stewart (do I even need to say what she is famous for?). Eisenberg plays a recent college grad who moves back home for the summer before going to Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. His family is going through some tough financial times so he is forced to get a job at the local amusement park, which is owned by the kooky Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig (two members of Saturday Night Live). Watch the trailer here.
8. Rounders: Rounders is about Mike McDermott (played by Matt Damon) and his best friend Worm (played by Edward Norton). McDermott is a law school student who has to play poker to help pay off Worm’s gambling debt. The final scene where Damon plays poker against John Malkovich is one of the best in movie history. Watch the trailer here.
7. Primal Fear: This movie is a thriller about Aaron, an altar boy (played by Edward Norton) who has been charged with murdering his priest. Richard Gere plays a high-profile attorney who eventually finds the truth by digging through Aaron’s twisted psyche. Watch the trailer here.
6. Best in Show: Best in Show is a comedy that follows the experiences of several dog owners as they prepare for the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. This movie hilariously captures the ridiculous behavior of people who are overly obsessed with their dogs. Watch the trailer here.
5. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead: This movie is a drama about how two brothers, in desperate need of money, plan to rob their parents’ jewelry store. As you might guess, things don’t go as planned. Watch the trailer here.
4. Lost in Translation: Lost in Translation is about two Americans stuck in Tokyo. Bill Murray plays a washed-up actor who is in Japan acting in commercials for Suntory Whiskey, and Scarlett Johansson plays the bored wife of a photographer. Murray and Johansson form an unexpected friendship as they try to navigate through the bizarre culture of Japan. Watch the trailer here.
3. Memento: This mind-bender was directed by Christopher Nolan, who also directed The Prestige and Inception. It’s about a man named Leonard Shelby (played by Guy Pearce), who is seeking vengeance after his wife has been murdered. Leonard suffers from short-term memory loss, which inhibits his ability to find his wife’s killer. However, he uses several clever tactics, such as tattooing himself and taking pictures, to overcome his memory condition. Warning: The ending of this movie will probably leave a pit in your stomach. Watch the trailer here.
2. Jiro Dreams of Sushi: This is my favorite documentary on Netflix. It follows the life of Jiro Ono, who is considered by most to be the best sushi chef in the world. This film is special because it completely captures Jiro’s passion for his craft and his pursuit of perfection. Watch the trailer here.
1. Oldboy: Oldboy is the most mind-bending movie you will ever see, putting even Memento to shame. In the movie, a Korean named Oh Dae-Su who was kidnapped and imprisoned, in what looks like a hotel room, for 15 years. He is suddenly released, and must figure out why he was held captive for so long. Watch the trailer here.
Hotel Rwanda: A hotel owner (played by Don Cheadle) tries to house Tutsis who are under constant attack from the Hutus during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. This movie was based on a true story. Watch the trailer here.
The Fall: The Fall takes place in a hospital where an injured stuntman tells a fictional story to a little girl named Alexandria. But as the movie progresses, the stuntman’s story becomes more real than fictional. This movie has absolutely beautiful cinematography. Watch the trailer here.
Margin Call: This movie’s about one financial firm’s 24-hour experience during at the beginnings of the financial crisis of 2008. Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Irons give great performances. Watch the trailer here.
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