Given how many addictive TV shows Netflix releases each month, I know watching a movie on the service almost sounds like a novel idea at this point. Make no mistake though, Netflix is still the premiere destination for instant movie-streaming bliss. The service doesn't seem to traffic in as many blockbusters as it used to, but that's a good thing for movie lovers, because you get to discover captivating, small films you likely missed on the big screen. Netflix is full of underrated movies just waiting for you to fall in love with them.
From indie darlings to quirky comedies and spooky treats, there is at least one underappreciated movie on Netflix to please everyone. The next time you find yourself staring down a search spiral that will inevitably end in you giving up and watching Love Actually again, treat yourself to one of the movies on this handy-dandy list I have crafted for you. I know it's not quite the same as watching Colin Firth rock his fuzzy sweater of ennui, but these 17 movies are all delightful in their own way. The best part is, you probably haven't seen them yet, which is just what you need when you are trying to break out of a movie-night rut.
1. Big Eyes
This true story of artist Margaret Keane reclaiming ownership of her work is outstanding. Amy Adams gives one of her best performances to date as Keane, and thanks to director Tim Burton adding a small dash of his trademark whimsy, the movie has a dreamlike quality despite its very real roots.
2. A Royal Night Out
Very loosely based on a true story, this so-charming-it-will-make-your-heart-grow-three-sizes-Grinch-style film chronicles Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret's wild night out in London on the day World War II officially ended.
3. In Your Eyes
Perhaps the most underrated of all Joss Whedon's works is this supernatural romance. The concept is odd, but if you allow yourself to accept the possibility that two people who had never met could share a profound psychic bond, then you fall hard for this evocative story of unconventional love.
Meet your new favorite high school movie. One night at the wrong party sends a trio of self-proclaimed geeks on an adventure through the world of drug culture that they just hope won't end up with them dead — or worse, not getting into Harvard.
There is nothing easy about Difret. Based on the true story of a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl who shot the man who tried to force her into marriage, the film is full of courageous women determined to enact change. It is a heavy film, but one you will never forget.
6. Batkid Begins
Would you like to cry a river of tears over the cutest kid in the world? Then watch this documentary with at least 10 boxes of tissues nearby.
If you like found footage horror movies like Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project, then you are going to flip for Trollhunter. The Norwegian film is completely outlandish and way too entertaining for its own good, and, yes, you will see lots of the troll.
8. Jenny's Wedding
Any movie that features Rory Gilmore marrying Izzie Stevens is one you need in your life.
9. The Invitation
It is best to go into this movie knowing as little as possible. The only summary I can offer is that a dinner party is thrown and things go awry in the worst possible way. And I'm not talking running out of the good cheese here, people.
10. Cairo Time
Beautifully shot and full of longing, Cairo Time is a love story in the vein of Once or The English Patient, with even more quiet longing between the leads.
11. The Overnight
Another dinner party movie, but this one goes in a vastly different direction than The Invitation. If you need more reassurance that you are in for a good time, it stars Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling.
A cross-country road trip, the most beautiful shots of food you can imagine, and lots of father-son bonding — this movie has it all.
13. Instructions Not Included
When a bachelor finds out he is a father, he gives up everything to give his daughter the most beautiful life possible. Fair warning, this movie is designed to sucker punch you when you least expect it.
14. Secrets of War
War threatens the friendship of three children, but watching the bond between the young stars blossom is worth the heartache you know is coming.
15. Boy Meets Girl
A trans woman and her best friend slowly realize they are in love with each other in this sweet, funny, and groundbreaking film.
16. Ain't Them Bodies Saints
Aside from having one of the most poetic titles of all time, this movie boasts the kind of aching, doomed love story you won't be able to look away from, even when you want to.
Rupert Grint fakes the moon landing and it is so much fun.
You now have 17 good reasons to plan a movie night, so go forth and start popping the popcorn now.
Image: The Weinstein Company