Editors' Picks: Streaming on Netflixby IMDb-Editors | last updated - 1 month ago
"The Good Place"
We've recommended "The Good Place" before, but we love it too much to overlook it on this list of our favorite streaming picks on Netflix. The show is a testament to human growth and goodness, and it's one of the funniest and most surprising series we've ever seen. If you don't know what it's about, it's best to go in cold and discover the magic of the show for yourself. Trust us, everything is fine.
The Place Beyond the Pines
A bleach-blonde, tattooed Ryan Gosling is enough to pique interest in this crime thriller, but his raw performance is what kept our attention. A pervasive gloomy tone adds to the drama of the plot, which also stars big names like Bradley Cooper, Mahershala Ali, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, and Eva Mendes. What we really want to know: Did Gosling and Mendes’ time as co-stars spark their highly secretive relationship?
Take a bunch of sexually hyperactive secondary school students, place them on a picturesque campus in the idyllic English countryside, and the result is surprisingly irresistible. The second season of this joyful series brings even more depth to its cast of multi-dimensional characters, with teenaged Otis (Asa Butterfield) and his sex therapist mother (Gillian Anderson) at the center of it all.
"Tiger King" proves the age-old saying: Truth is stranger than fiction. The irreverent and controversial true-crime docu-series takes a closer look at the underbelly of big cat ownership in the US, and it's filled with betrayal, drugs, and a need for domination. Watching the 7-episode series, we understand why the show's narrative has generated so many extreme reactions, splitting people into Team Joe Exotic vs. Team Carol Baskin. To further complicate the phenomenon, many individuals are suing the directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin for their portrayal in the docu-series since the show's launch on Netflix. So we recommend you watch and form your own judgment of "Tiger King."
Based on the novel series by Richard K. Morgan, "Altered Carbon" is a hardboiled-cyberpunk detective series set in a future where humans have taken to the stars, consciousness can be transferred from body to body, and the 1% lives forever. In the center of everything is Takeshi Kovacs — who is played by Joel Kinnaman, Will Yun Lee, and Anthony Mackie. Kovacs is a soldier put on ice for 180 years and thawed out to solve an intricate and twisty murder mystery that expands into something much bigger. A must see for fans of sci-fi, cyberpunk, futuristic dystopias, intricate mysteries, slick fight scenes, and surprisingly even Edgar Allen Poe. (You’ll have to check it out to see how that reference fits into the story.)
Season three of this crime-ridden series finally dropped on Netflix, and despite various attempts to duck out of the money laundering game, Marty and Wendy Byrde are in deeper than ever, with plans to open a riverboat casino in the Missouri Ozarks. The marital quarrels of Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) lend believability to an otherwise absurd family dynamic, and Julia Garner continues to steal the show as Ruth Langmore, Marty’s right-hand businesswoman.
He's Just Not That Into You
Based on the popular self help book, He's Just Not That Into You sets new dating norms and attempts to simplify the classic question: Why didn't he call me back? This classic 2000s romcom, starring A-list Hollywood celebrities, is a fun movie to watch with friends, your partner, or by yourself to learn more about love and how it surrounds us. This rom-com is a lighthearted conversation starter about love through interwoven stories with by A-list actors like Jennifer Aniston.
The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg plays a convincing Mark Zuckerberg in the supposed origin story of Facebook, peppered with Aaron Sorkin's signature intellect and drama. The Oscar-winning film begins with the network’s creation during Zuck’s Harvard days, and follows the young entrepreneur's path to running one of the world’s most powerful companies, with plenty of betrayal, big egos, and bigger lawsuits along the way.
"Night on Earth"
With an abundance of nature docs available, it's refreshing to see a unique take on such a familiar genre. Using technology such as moonlight-sensitive cameras and thermal imaging, the six-part docuseries "Night on Earth" captures the colors of the night in a way that makes the familiar feel alien, from the texture of an elephant's skin to the glowing colors of scorpions under ultraviolet light.
Fun fact: According to IMDb trivia, Jean-Claude Van Damme does the splits SEVEN times in 1988's Bloodsport. To the uninitiated, that must sound completely gratuitous, but in the context of Van Damme's hilariously entertaining breakout film, it's perfect. Toss in some memorably ridiculous fight scenes and a young Forest Whitaker, and you've got yourself a good pick for your next watch party.
Beyond the Mat
The series "Dark Side of the Ring" is generating a lot of heat right now with its "Unsolved Mysteries"-like investigation of professional wrestling's underbelly, so Netflix of course pulls out a finishing move by making the seminal late '90s documentary Beyond the Mat available to stream. Jake "The Snake" Roberts and other wrestling giants are featured, and their stories are frightening and kinda heartbreaking.
This mystery could take place in the same neighborhood where the Park family lives in Parasite — at least the scenes inside Steven Yeun's super-sketchy flat. "Walking Dead" fans should enjoy watching Yeun in a radically different sort of role, but the focus is on star Ah-In Yoo, who puts his all into a character who is pulled deep into morally ambiguous territory.
20 Feet from Stardom
This Oscar-winning documentary focuses on some of the backup singers who have lingered in the shadows despite lending their voices and harmonies to the biggest pop songs in history. The scenes with Merry Clayton, perhaps best known for her anguished vocals on "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones, still give us full body chills.
Roxanne Roxanne Travel back to the early days of rap with this biopic on the pioneering battle MC from Queens, New York: Roxanne Shante. Chanté Adams, who has turned in a series of underrated performances since turning heads in this movie, does justice to Shante's struggle to make her voice heard. Nia Long and Mahershela Ali come with the gravitas too, as you'd expect.
Mark Wahlberg and Winston Duke star in this over-the-top reboot of the 1985 Boston-based detective series "Spenser For Hire." We tuned in mainly for the nostalgia factor and our love of all things Massachusetts, but stayed for the oddball humor and hilarious chemistry between Duke and Wahlberg. You’ll probably spot the plot twists a mile away, but it’s still a fun ride to the end and a good way to fill your action-comedy fix.
Silver Linings Playbook
Just as Jennifer Lawrence began catching fire with the release of The Hunger Games, she starred alongside Bradley Cooper in this heartfelt rom-com, following two people on a journey of recovery and healing. This may be the film that made us fall in love with J. Law’s unapologetic sarcasm and quick wit, and we truly can’t get enough of these two onscreen together—thankfully, director David O. Russell continues to pair them up.
Dare we say this is our favorite Paul Thomas Anderson movie by a mile? The character work by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix eases the experience of watching Lancaster Dodd and Freddie Quell steadily fall into the abyss, and Amy Adams' performance foreshadowed her turn in "Sharp Objects," which we consider her artistic breakthrough. The Master is extraordinary modern filmmaking and its entire crew needs to be acknowledged for their technical achievements, including Radiohead guitarist/keyboardist Jonny Greenwood's nerve-shredding score. This movie should forever be available to stream.
We have spent so many hours in Stars Hollow that we secretly feel like an honorary resident of the town. "Gilmore Girls" is our go-to mother-daughter duo and we still celebrate the fact that Amy Sherman-Palladino broke character molds as she created Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. P.S. We're #TeamJess for life and feel like Paris Geller is one of the best supporting characters to ever ascend to the spotlight in a TV show.
"Love Is Blind"
A new spin on love, "Love Is Blind" takes blind dating and arranged marriage to a whole new level with 30 singles eager to find love, guided by couple Vanessa and Nick Lachey. This show will make you laugh, cringe, smile, and maybe even see the importance of vulnerability in finding love. So pour yourself a stiff glass of vino and find out what makes "Love Is Blind" one of the most popular trending shows on Netflix in the U.S. Also, the finale and reunion special kept us on the edge of our seats.
"The Witcher" is a must-see series for fans of the fantasy genre. Based on the novel series by Andrzej Sapkowski, “The Witcher” leans closer to Lord of the Rings than "Game of Thrones" on the fantasy spectrum and follows the path of Geralt of Rivia, monster-hunter for hire. Two quick warnings before diving in: the series takes place across three different timelines (think Dunkirk) which may be confusing as many of the characters don’t seem to age, and the second episode contains a song so catchy that you’ll be singing it for weeks, if not months. We might even be humming it right now ...
Creator Greg Daniels' mockumentary-style show is our favorite rewatch whenever we need a good laugh or something to keep us company while we finish up chores. "The Office," starring series regulars like Steve Carrell, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and John Krasinski, brings us into the world of a employees working at a small town paper company. We personally are fans of Season 3 and 4. Wait, also Season 5.
With tightly-paced six-episode seasons, charismatic scene-chewing characters, stylish slow-motion shots, and the suspense of guessing who will make it out alive, "Peaky Blinders" is one of our all-time favorites. Cillian Murphy shines as Tommy, the leader of the Shelby gang who is struggling with PTSD and constantly battling to keep his family together (and alive) as they climb the shaky rungs of the criminal ladder.
"Locke & Key"
While it may feel a bit like a mashup of "Stranger Things" and "The Haunting of Hill House," Netflix's "Locke & Key" wins points for being both fun and spooky, with standout performances by Jackson Robert Scott (little Georgie Denbrough from It) and Laysla De Oliveira. It's not perfect, but it's a fun binge and a gateway to exploring the wonderful graphic novel series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.
"Better Call Saul"
As Season 5 of "Better Call Saul" winds its way down, you can get up to speed on the first four seasons on Netflix. As much as we loved "Breaking Bad," Vince Gilligan and star Bob Odenkirk have conjured up a dark character study that is so much more than just a "Breaking Bad" prequel. And we could never say no to more of Gus Fring.
Who doesn't love a good musical? Now how about 62 of them? Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna did the impossible in crafting this hilarious, heartfelt, and catchy series of mini-musicals spanning four seasons. The show uses the heightened framing of a movie musical to talk about the very real issues of modern dating and mental health. And it has a running gag about prophetic butter commercials. Why aren't you watching it already?