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Movies to watch on Netflix over break

Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 23:12

Blockbusters: If you want a big name blockbuster, Netflix has “The Avengers”, “The Hunger Games”, “Terminator 2”, “Thor”, “Skyfall” and “Mission Impossible 4”.

Action: Last year’s “Dredd” turned out to be a huge flop. It’s a shame because it’s really a great action movie. With over the top violent sequences and a well written screenplay, “Dredd” surprisingly entertains and is a lot more fun than you may have expected it to be. Set in a dystopian future, two “judges”, cops who execute on sight, find themselves trapped in a large complex ruled by drug den and must fight to escape.

Another action film with a bit more substance is “Olympus Has Fallen”. Similarly, “Olympus Has Fallen” involves a disgraced secret service agent (Gerard Butler) trapped in the White House after a North Korean invasion. The agent races against time to save the US President and his cabinet members who have been taken hostage. Both are sure to please a thrill seeking audience.

Thrillers: “Dead Man Down” is an underrated crime thriller. The film noir involves a man who has set an elaborate plan to exact his revenge on the crime lord who had his wife and child killed and left him for dead. His plans become more complicated when his neighbor, a woman disfigured in a car accident, records him murdering a gangster and demands he kill the drunk driver responsible for her accident or else.

While a great film, “Oldboy” really does everything Dead Man Down does better. The only reason you haven’t seen or heard of the South Korean cult classic “Oldboy” is due to American Xenophobia. If you can read subtitles and don’t mind an Asian cast then “Oldboy” is one of the most disturbing, chilling and thought provoking thrillers you will ever see.

Another thriller available is Christopher Nolan’s “Memento”. “The Dark Knight” trilogy director needs no introduction. “Memento” tells the story of Leonard, a man left with short term memory loss following his wife’s murder. He uses notes and tattoos to remember important details and hunts the man he believes to have killed his wife. Like every other Nolan film, it is both thought provoking and mind blowing.

“Pulp Fiction” is an undisputed classic where the lives of several criminals clash together in four stories of violence and redemption. Tarantino’s crime thriller masterpiece is what made him the famous director he is today and revived the careers of several of its cast members. Whether you’ve never seen it or have seen it before, there is so much in this film that it warrants and demands multiple viewings.

Drama: Denzel Washington earned an Oscar nomination last year in “Flight” as an alcoholic pilot whose behavior is called into question after he heroically lands a failing plane. “Flight” was one of the best movies of 2012.

Another little known film is the MMA drama “Warrior”. Although it was one of the best films of 2011 by far, “Warrior” did not receive a single Oscar nomination. “Warrior” tells the story of two estranged brothers, a school teacher (Joel Edgarton) and a veteran (Tom Hardy) whose family was torn apart by their mother’s death and their abusive alcoholic father. Years later, the two compete in a mixed martial arts tournament for different motivations and find themselves along with their baggage going head to head. Deep, inspiring and tear provoking, “Warrior” is a film that deserved much more attention than it ever received.

“End of Watch” received some attention and praise upon its release, but not really as much as it deserved. In “End of Watch” the found footage style movie is actually used productively to aim for realism in the depiction of a year in the life of two police officers whose actions eventually make them targets of the Mexican drug cartel. Realistic, thrilling and touching, “End of Watch” is the groundbreaking police drama we’ve been waiting for.

Comedy: A great comedy that Netflix has helped gain some attention is “Tucker and Dale vs Evil”. The film is a satire on American youth and horror movies. Two lovable hillbillies go camping in the same woods as a group of college students. While this isn’t at all a horror movie, the students believe it to be and act accordingly. Shockingly, the body count rises, but so do the laughs.

Although better than “Borat” or “Bruno”, nobody really gave “The Dictator” a chance. It is Sacha Baron Cohen’s funniest movie where he drops the mockumentary style for a studio film. Cohen’s over the top performance and a great supporting cast make for a really funny movie. Also available is “American Wedding”. Whether or not you have seen the rest of the series, it is sure to entertain and provide some big laughs.

 

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