10 gems to watch on Netflix

By Jacob Pierce, @JacobPierce1_DE |Daily Egyptian

Here’s my list of top films on Netflix to watch in your downtime. 

10. “The Rundown” (2003):


“The Rundown” is a wonderful homage to a decade of action films long gone. Missing in 1980s action movies are the thoughtful themes rampant in new-age films, replaced badass action-set pieces full of glee.

This film is also the first real showcase to the talent Dwayne Johnson brings to the screen. All the raw charisma and intensity he brings to the silver screen is showcased in this early 2000s action-adventure film. 

While it is by far the least intelligent film on this list, this movie doesn’t mean it’s a bad film.

9. “The ’85 Bears” (2016):

Throw a dart and there is a good chance it will find a fantastic addition to ESPN’s “30 for 30” series. Even if you are not a sports fan, these documentaries will grab you and will not let go.

“The ’85 Bears” is no exception.

This documentary has virtually every sports troupe under the sun. A team full of misfits, a hot-tempered and a soft-spoken coach, a city craving a championship; it is all there.

But unlike every cliché sports movie you’ve ever seen, this documentary has enough depth and emotionally resonant to make the oldest sports fan cry.

8. “Hot Fuzz” (2007):

Magic, hilarity and profundity are bound to happen when the combination of director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost come together.

“Hot Fuzz,” much like “The Rundown,” pays respect to classic 1980s and 1990s action films like “Point Break” and “Die Hard.” This comedy is funnier than the other film and it connects you emotionally to the characters.

You can watch this film multiple times and always be entertained.  

7. “Good Will Hunting” (1997):

One of the best aspects of a streaming service like Netflix is it gives people more opportunities to watch classic movies they might have missed.

“Good Will Hunting” is a great example of an excellent film to go back and watch.

Written and starring the young duo of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, it is a great view of what these two actors would become. It also demonstrates the serious talent the late comedian Robin Williams had in a role that won him an Oscar.

6. “Life Itself” (2014):

“Life Itself” is one of those documentaries that takes a myth of a person and actually shows who he or she was, and very few have done it better than this Roger Ebert-based flick.

You will get a beautiful glimpse into a man doing what he loves, even in his painful last days.

The film will make viewers feel a multitude of emotions and make them sympathetic toward a key figure in the film industry.   

5. “Dope” (2015):

This film, like a few other movies on the list, is a piece of cinema that talks about issues happening today.

Serving as a coming-of-age story many have not seen before, the themes of race, fitting in and adolescent drug use are portrayed wonderfully in a new way.

Watching “Dope” will be an intelligent experience for even the most casual viewer.

4. “Tangerine” (2015):

Much like “Dope,” this film hits at topics that are relevant today. Yet, these themes are ones relevant to all those living and breathing.

“Tangerine” features characters who identify as transgender, something not seen often in the film industry.

While it could have come off as gimmicky and manipulative, this film pulls off a genuine, thoughtful and funny tale.

3. “Short Term 12” (2013):

Riding the line between a realistic and emotion-drive narrative is a hard task. This Brie Larson-lead film seems to do it with the greatest of ease.

The film presents a wonderful performance from Oscar-winning actress Larson and a script that touches on mental illness and the stereotypes that come with it. 

Watch this film with a lot of tissues on hand, because you may literally cry your eyes out.

2. “Fruitvale Station” (2013):

Speaking of tissues, you may want to bring a lot more if you plan to see “Fruitvale Station.”

This is the first paring of actor Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler in a film that focuses on race, family and fighting one’s past. 

“Fruitvale Station” will emotionally wreck you.

1. “Groundhog Day” (1993):

This Bill Murray classic is one that finds its place on many people’s greatest of all-time list. Watch it and you’ll see why.

“Groundhog Day” is an example of a near-perfectly told story and an example of how thematically deep a comedy can get. 

If you have not seen it, drop whatever you are doing and see this movie. 

Jacob Pierce can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.