We all have some serious (and embarrassing) gaps in our movie education. You know, the ‘must-see’ movies that everyone is supposed to have seen at least once. In that sense, the current, surreal quarantine-era can also serve as an opportunity: so, we sat down in front of Netflix, went over the whole catalogue, and compiled for you a list of the most essential movies in all top categories, from The Host to My Best Friend’s Wedding. It’s time to get educated, people.
Netflix offers a huge variety of comedies, and they are naturally at different levels of 'funny', so when choosing one you should proceed with caution. We suggest you start with Beetlejuice, the crazy, stylish, macabre comedy from Tim Burton’s cinematic peak. After you’re done tapping yourself on the forward and saying ‘oh, now I see why everybody’s obsessed with Winona Ryder’, move on to Superbad, the teen-comedy that more-or-less redefined high school movies in the 2000s.
Speaking of comedic genres, Not Another Teen Movie is another must-see – not because it’s especially funny, but because it’s the perfect representation of a whole genre that went extinct: 90s teen comedies that were 50% horny and 50% self-conscious. In this spirit, please don’t skip over Blockers, a comedic blend between the raunchiness and cringiness of Not Another Teen Movie with the sweet heart beating in the core of Superbad.
Plus: Jim Carrey’s The Mask hasn’t aged very well, but it’s still a must-see.
American History X is a movie full of mmannerism, but the story that’s in its core and Edward Norton’s iconic role upgraded it from the educational movie it could have been and instead turned it into a nerve-wrecking drama about the ugliest parts of the American existence in the late 20th century.
If our previous recommendation got you down, make a day out of it and continue to Girl, Interrupted, the mother of all under-rated 90s movies, a bitter-sweet drama about a friendship hiding behind an ‘Oscar movie’ taking place in a psychiatric hospital. Finish the day with Alfonso Cuarón’s exhilarating Gravity depicting astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone’s terrible day – and go to sleep with a smile and a renewed faith in mankind.
Plus: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, because it’s smart and touching, and because your friends will freak-out if you tell them that you haven’t seen it.
With all due respect to the Pretty Woman’s moving love story between a prostitute and her client, My Best Friend’s Wedding is by far Julia Roberts’ best movie. With a great supporting role by Cameron Diaz, and an unforgettable karaoke scene, this movie is absolutely must-see. Crazy, Stupid, Love is a witty and sweet movie that succeeds in being more than a cliché, and is comprised of a dream cast (Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Steve Carell and Julian Moore).
Ending the lighthearted part of the evening, we move onto The Bodyguard, a thrilling, iconic drama about a bodyguard who falls in love with the star he’s hired to protect. And remember that if the neighbors don’t hear you scream-signing ‘And I will Always Love You’ it doesn’t count.
Plus: Clueless, because if you haven’t seen it yet it’s actually kind of embarrassing, and The Diary – for the few who’ve been able to escape the movie that’s actually a huge conspiracy driven by tissue manufacturers.
Action movies come in many forms, and we'd like to recommend two non-generic classics: first, the original Ghostbusters, that’s received hundreds of references in other movies and tv shows thanks to its silly but efficient humor, and captivating style. Miss Congeniality has also rightfully earned its many reruns, and is just as funny and quotable today as it was 20 years ago.
Plus: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, a tounge-in-cheek British crime tale with heavy accents and a lot of violence.
If the Oscars have stopped fearing foreign films so can we, and if (understandably) loved Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite you should watch The Host, one of his earlier hits, an unexpected story blending a family tale, an adventure movie, and a modern horror story. On the other side of the spectrum, check out Lady Bird, 90 minutes of laughter and tears and a movie that will still be discussed in 20 years.
Plus: Seven, starring Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey, a film that's rightfully became a cult classic.
Netflix is not lacking any classis crime dramas, but Donnie Brasco is an excellent, under-rated mafia movie from the days when Johnny Depp actually chose good projects. The NeverEnding Story it an adventure movie for children (and adults) that will take you back to the 80s even if you weren’t born in that decade.
And if all you like is scrolling through Instagram, check out Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette - it looks like a dream, it’s detached from reality (in a good way), and offers a very-Hollywood take on a fascinating historical story.
Plus: Christopher Nolan’s original, intriguing and very entertaining Inception.