Beasts of No Nation: Netflix movies you might have missed
Exhausted from your Thanksgiving dinner? Want something to watch on your plane journey home? Scrolling through Netflix and then, after three hours, just giving up and watching Stranger Things for the fortieth time? Have no fear, for Film Daily is here.
We’ve picked ten flicks available on Netflix’s streaming library that haven’t had near enough attention. Every film here is designed to pick you up and make you experience a story that you never thought was possible.
Oh, and some of them will make you cry. So, get yourself dug comfortably into the couch, tissues at the ready! And, be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. We care about your health here at FD!
St. Vincent (2014)
It’s got Bill Murray (Lost in Translation) in it! This quirky dramedy has been sitting in the doldrums of Netflix’s infinite library for a while now. It’s about a young boy buddying up to a bah humbug old bloke. At the heart of this wacky comedy is a real sweet story about friendship, togetherness, and also Bill Murray – we mentioned that already, right?
Winter Sleep (2014)
A Turkish drama film set in snowy Anatolia. This three and a half-hour drama is a real deep dive into the relationship between a fractured husband and wife. It’s a real bottle episode of a film, with tension squeezed out of every minute, echoed by the howling sounds of winter outside. Really worth checking out if you’re in the mood for something serious.
What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)
This documentary is about the life of singer Nina Simone (For Colored Girls), and combines incredible archival footage with talking head interviews with Simone’s family and friends. What begins as a simple exploration of a life ends up charting the wonder that art can bring to our lives. Simone’s raw talent just bursts off the screen, infectiously so. A real gem of a documentary.
Chasing Ice (2012)
Another documentary, but all the more prescient. This flick follows natural photographer James Balog and his ‘Extreme Ice Survey’. It’s unfortunately less cool than it sounds, as Balog tries to publicize the destruction of climate change, and the inevitable extinction of humanity because of it. No easy task, to say the least.
Chasing Ice manages to meld the most dramatic images, of entire ice structures collapsing, alongside the human story of trying to explore the troubling waters.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
This utterly weird comedy-thriller-whatever flew straight under everyone’s radar when it dropped earlier this year. With the voice of director Macon Blair (Green Room) sounding throughout, this tale is about a nurse (Melanie Lynskey) who ends up taking the law into her own hands following a burglary.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is rip-roaringly hilarious, with standout laughs from co-star Elijah Wood (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). There’s some serious socio-political stuff going on too, all under the hood of a constantly tonally shifting film.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
Ezra Miller is currently starring as The Flash in Justice League, but this film tells the origin story of his character. Just kidding. That’d be weird. Based on the bestselling social horror book, this story is about a mother (Tilda Swinton) struggling with her son’s (Miller) complete and total self-destruction which eventually, and violently, bursts out into the real world.
One of the sweetest films of the last few years. Dev Patel (The Wedding Guest) stars in this story of a young Indian man who was lost as a young boy. He sets out to find his real, lost family, and ends up encountering a whole different and loving adventure.
Packed with stellar performances from Patel and Nicole Kidman (The Killing of a Sacred Deer), it’s a film that’ll warm the soul in these cold winter evenings.
We hope you’ve got enough tissues left, because this film will render you a total emotional disaster. Steve Coogan (The Trip to Spain) stars in this film that is about a weary ex-politico journalist teaming up with an old woman in search of her long lost son.
Based on a true story, the tragedy and drama running throughout this film, alongside Judi Dench’s fantastic performance, will have your cheeks running with sodium content.
Beasts of No Nation (2015)
If you’ve got an appetite for a good hearty dose of raw unabated nihilism, then this film about child soldiers and civil wars is the way to go. Cary Fukunaga’s direction is bold and shows every dark corner in this horrific story. Idris Elba (Thor: Ragnarok) is utterly magnetic whenever he’s on screen, but it’s the performances of the central children that will leave you utterly breathless.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
Before Creed, and before the forthcoming Black Panther, Ryan Coogler directed a film based on the death of Oscar Grant. This politically charged film will completely and totally break your heart, and make you furious with rage at the systemic injustice that allowed it to take place.
Coogler is one of the great modern auteurs of managing emotion and pace, punching you at the points exactly when it’s needed. It’s essential viewing.