In the past few weeks, Netflix’s film schedule has been in the news, mostly because of a shocking claim that the streaming giant plans to stop supporting expensive prestige films like “The Irishman” in favor of more accessible entertainment.
While Scorsese isn’t likely to direct another picture for Netflix anytime soon (he’s gone on to Apple with “The Killers of the Flower Moon”), one of his finest films is returning to the streaming service this June. Scorsese’s late-career masterpiece, “The Departed,” which won him the Oscar he had been trying to get for decades, is now on Netflix, along with a lot of other great old movies.
If Boston crime dramas aren’t your thing, don’t despair. Period romances, big-budget action pictures, frightening horror, and just about anything else are among Netflix’s latest choices. Even though Netflix intends to invest less on innovative original films, its existing film catalog remains fantastic. Continue reading for a list of seven of our favorites.
“The Departed” (Now Streaming)
Martin Scorsese’s name is connected with New York crime films, yet he didn’t win an Academy Award until he moved his skills to Boston. “The Departed” is a fantastic, surprising tale of deception that follows an undercover officer attempting to discover a Mafia mole–who also happens to be on the lookout for him. This picture has it all: Scorsese’s gorgeous direction, an endlessly quotable writing, and a fantastic ensemble that includes Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, and Jack Nicholson in what may be his final great part.
‘Mission: Impossible’ (Now Streaming)
If Tom Cruise isn’t on your thoughts right now, you’re probably deceiving yourself. The actor and his death-defying feats are dominating cinematic talk, thanks to “Top Gun: Maverick” and the “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One” trailers. So why not return to the film that established the actor’s most successful franchise? “Mission: Impossible” by Brian De Palma introduced the world to Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and set the stunt-heavy espionage formula that has kept the series running for over two decades.
The film “The Hurt Locker”
Kathryn Bigelow’s heartfelt war drama follows a bomb disposal squad, depicting the horrible everyday realities of military forces in the Iraq war with a realism unseen before or since. The picture is also historic in that Bigelow was the first woman to win an Academy Award for directing. And, as if that weren’t enough, “The Hurt Locker” was the first Best Picture winner directed by a woman.
“Titanic” (Now Stream)
“Titanic” by James Cameron is one of those films that is a victim of its own success. It infiltrated American pop culture so deeply that we were accustomed to watching its most memorable scenes absent of context, removing much of its charm. Years of memes and pop culture gags frequently keep us from appreciating the film for what it actually is: a tragic romantic classic with absolutely outstanding period production value. Watch it before “Avatar 2” comes out in theaters to be reminded of how good a director James Cameron is.
Steel Magnolias (Now Streaming)
Herbert Ross’ adaptation of Robert Harling’s play of the same name, “Steel Magnolias,” is a charming look at the strong links of community that may establish in tiny towns across America. The film is led by an exceptional cast of actresses, including Sally Fields, Dolly Parton, and Julia Roberts, and follows a group of Southern ladies grieving the death of a friend. “Steel Magnolias” mixes comedy and drama with ease, and it’s becoming more and more important as America deals with issues of loneliness and isolation in places like the one shown in the movie.
“Closet Monster” (Streaming June 10)
“Closet Monster” could be the film for you if you’re searching for an amazing LGBT film to see during Pride Month or if David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future” has you craving more body horror. Stephen Dunn’s creative take on internalized homophobia uses the human body as a metaphor, mixing fantasy and reality in a way that makes this film a truly unique addition to the LGBT film canon.
‘The Mist’ (Streaming June 22)
Few things go as well together as Frank Darabont and Stephen King tales. The filmmaker of “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile” adapted another of King’s novels for this dark sci-fi horror picture about monsters attacking a Maine hamlet during a violent thunderstorm. Even though it may be called a “monster movie,” the best thing about it is the human drama and the way it shows how evil can come out in normal people when they are scared.