A Netflix watchlist just in time for summer break
As summer approaches, take inspiration on what to binge watch this break. | Thecla Li / THE CHIMES
As the end of the year finally approaches, students can practically taste the relaxation of summer. After the stress of finals passes, students are finally free to enjoy the beach, take trips––and catch up on Netflix. With over 5,000 titles, Netflix is full of great movies and television shows, but it also means that many viewers miss some of the smaller products. Instead of rewatching “The Office” or “Parks and Recreation” for the 100th time, binge watch these lesser-seen movies and television shows.
This psychological thriller marked the directorial debut of Joel Edgerton and flew under radars in 2015. The film follows a young married couple, Simon and Robyn Callem, portrayed by Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, respectively, as they transition into married life. One of Simon’s classmates from high school portrayed by Edgerton, unexpectedly shows up and desires retribution for actions from Simon’s secretive past. Original and suspenseful, “The Gift” builds tension at every minute and progresses slowly to its intense ending, keeping audiences on edge and uncomfortable throughout.
In another thrilling directorial debut, established screenwriter Taylor Sheridan graces audiences with a bone-chillingly cold neo-western set in Wyoming. A United States Fish and Wildlife agent portrayed by Jeremy Renner and a rookie FBI agent portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen are tasked with investigating the rape and murder of a Native American woman, but are slowed down by a destitute community and a persisting snow storm. This film boasts incredible performances from Renner and Olsen and brilliantly showcases Sheridan’s skills as a director. He masterfully crafts a tense film full of mystery and violence that culminates to a thrilling shootout reminiscent of old westerns.
THE NOAH BAUMBACH TRIFECTA
A master of realism and dialogue, Noah Baumbach constantly flies under the radars of mainstream audiences, but the director has found a home on Netflix. “Frances Ha,” “While We’re Young” and “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” all boast incredibly acted, dialogue-driven movies that showcase humanity in its realist and purest forms. Featuring the delightful Greta Gerwig, “Frances Ha” provides a hilarious insight on how no one wants to be vulnerable with the ones they love. In “While We’re Young,” Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts and Adam Driver brilliantly demonstrate humanity’s drive towards relevance and the repercussions of obsessing over perfection. “The Meyerowitz Stories” features an incredibly nuanced performance from Adam Sandler and details the human need to feel affection from loved ones. Baumbach masterfully crafts these films with intelligent dialogue and perfect timing. His realistic approach to storytelling will resonate with many.
Perhaps the most underrated Netflix original, “Love” provides a brutally honest commentary on relationships and dating. Produced by Judd Apatow, this show just ended after three seasons but did so with the same buoyancy and calamity it started with. Paul Rust, Gillian Jacobs and Claudia O’Doherty shine as they present a hilarious, charming and realistic look at toxic relationships that simultaneously captivates and breaks the hearts of viewers.
A dark crime thriller, Jason Bateman’s “Ozark” brings him away from his usual comedic world and into one of crime lords and money laundering. Bateman plays Marty Bryde, who moves his family to the Missouri Ozarks in order to find a way to pay off a drug cartel. Bateman, who also directs, showcases his dramatic chops and Laura Linney, who portrays his wife, brings her own impressive gravitas and palpable emotion. Reminiscent of “Breaking Bad,” “Ozark” thrills through cleverly paced storytelling, strong acting and a dark, ominous tone.
Celebrity chef David Chang hosts this food and travel documentary series that unashamedly takes a social perspective on food by exploring its cultural backgrounds and significance. Every episode shows Chang and his friends eating iconic foods like fried chicken, BBQ and pizza to understand how these foods are so important to respective cultures. This is not your classic food and travel show. Chang brings vulgarity and fearlessly challenges the social constructs that surround regional foods. Truly an interesting and unique perspective on food, “Ugly Delicious” compels audiences to think about the connection between food and social issues while showcasing tantalizingly delicious food.