What to Watch on Netflix While Waiting at Home

What to Watch on Netflix While Waiting at Home
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism and Performing Arts from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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With people most of spending their time at home for the next few weeks, now is the perfect time to watch new things on Netflix. Undiscovered treasures both new and old are waiting to be seen while you’re waiting at home. But with so many choices, where do you start looking?

Entertainment is going to look a little different than normal for a short time. Going to the cinema will always be the best way to see new movies. That’s not possible, however, now that all cinemas in Ontario have been closed for the time being. That means it’s a great time for features exclusively available on Netflix you can enjoy at home.

While people around the world are staying home to help slow down the spread of Covid-19, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of our favourites for you to watch. This is the first in a series of stories this week of great things to see online.

Starting today with Netflix, we’ve broken 15 titles into five categories. Hopefully these can help you find which original movies you can enjoy – and which ones to avoid.

New Netflix Originals

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

First are Netflix exclusive films that have been released in the last several weeks. These represent the best of what’s come out so far in 2020, though Netflix has moved the release up for a few titles in light of recent events.

The best feature of the year so far, surprisingly, is Miss Americana, Lana Wilson’s biography documentary of Taylor Swift. What makes it interesting is the subject isn’t Swift the celebrity but rather Swift the person.

Just this past Friday also saw the release of Go Carts, a charming family sports film from Australia. Finally, I Lost My Body, an Oscar nominee for Animated Feature from France, rounds out the best of new releases. (Note: I Lost My Body is a great sci-fi romance, but decidedly not for kids.)

Recent Netflix Originals

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

You might know Netflix has a large crop of Oscar hopeful movies, but some of them are less known than others. Beyond Roma and The Irishman, there’s some fabulously entertaining movies that work well on small screens.

Eddie Murphy returned to movies for the first time since 2012 in Dolemite is My Name. His performance of Rudy Ray Moore is wickedly smart and deliriously fun, like a mix of his stand-up and Dreamgirls. Murphy is great, but the entire cast is equally exciting.

Adam Sandler’s absurd crime drama Uncut Gems is another great star turn, showcasing his best movie in decades. Of the more famous offerings, if you haven’t seen Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson’s Marriage Story, now’s the time.

Older Hollywood Favourites

Photo: Lionsgate and Vestron Pictures

Photo: Lionsgate and Vestron Pictures

Another fun part of accessing Netflix’s library is combing their collection of classic movies. It’s just as fun to finally watch something you’ve heard of but somehow never seen.

One recent discovery I made is 1987’s summertime extravaganza Dirty Dancing. Not ever iconic film of this notoriety is actually entertaining (Top Gun, for example) but the choreography and the screenplay are fantastic.

Two more personal favourites are best depending on your mood. The 2001 Ocean’s Eleven is among my favourite movies to watch – constantly cool and a great cast. For more serious drama, Citizen Kane (1941) is regarded among the best movies of all time for good reason.

Movies to Avoid

Not all movies on Netflix, however, are worth your time seeing. For every good original film they distribute there’s one or two more that are horribly boring or badly made.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

January offered two of the site’s worst stinkers yet. The first is The Last Thing He Ever Wanted, starring Anne Hathaway in an astoundingly lame script. The other is A Fall from Grace, the latest from Tyler Perry. He boasted online of shooting the film in less than a week. And based on the number of continuity errors, it’s painfully obvious.

But the worst possible choice you could see right about now is 2011’s Contagion, Steven Soderbergh’s ensemble thriller. It’s a well-made movie worth watching, yes. But given the current nervousness in the climate, there’s a better time in the future to see it.

Noteworthy Titles from 2019

Finally, there are specialty programs and documentaries that are both entertaining and thought-provoking. It may be hard to see them in theatres or live, but these films and specials are my picks from late last year.

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

In terms of specials, Mike Birbiglia’s The New One is gut-bustlingly funny and shockingly heartfelt. Filmed on Broadway in January 2019, the comedy special is the staged story of Birbiglia as he starts a family.

Two more excellent documentaries, both on the subject of food and science, are The Biggest Little Farm and The Game Changers. The former is the story of a couple in California creating a self-sufficient biodiverse farm. The latter is an investigative look about the relationship between vegan diets and the world’s elite bodybuilders.

The best of Netflix at home

Those are the best offerings on Netflix for you to enjoy while at home. We’ll have more this week on great things to see across different platforms.

If you’d like to read about a wider range of movies to watch in a variety of places, Tyler Collins (this story’s author) is watching 365 movies this year. You can read about his project at www.2020inCinema.com

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