In the Netflix catalog, you can find some quite demanding movies. For lovers of cinephile challenges. Put the popcorn in the microwave and those neurons to work!
If you woke up particularly inspired today, as if you could write the theory of relativity on a paper napkin while eating some toast, you might want to put that good mental activity to the test. You have to take advantage of it, it may not last For those days we have searched the Netflix catalog in search of a good group of unconventional films, the kind that plays with your mind and leave you thinking for a long time, either because of the forceful reflection that it has left in its last scene or because ‘The End’ has arrived and you still haven’t understood what happened. In addition, they are all great and entertaining stories that will solve a night of “blanket-and-movie”.
Put the popcorn in the microwave and those neurons to work!
- 1. 12 monkeys (Terry Gilliam, 1995)
- 2. I’m thinking of ending things (Charlie Kaufman, 2020)
- 4. The Platform(Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, 2019)
- 5. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 2000)
- 6. Night of the Wolves (Jeremy Saulnier, 2017)
- 7. Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997)
- 8. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
- 9. Cam (Daniel Goldhaber, 2018)
- 10. Fracture (Brad Anderson, 2019)
- 11. Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)
- 12. Gerald’s Game (Mike Flanagan, 2017)
- 13. The girl who leapt through time (Mamoru Hosoda, 2006)
- 14. The Cloverfield Paradox (Julius Onah, 2018)
- 15. Good times (Safdie Brothers, 2017)
Terry Gilliam never makes it easy for us. His 1995 film, starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, takes us on an adventure well suited to our time: the protagonist, a prisoner in the year 2035, volunteers to travel back in time and to collect a sample of the virus to save humanity. In the end, the film will leave us with many doubts, and an idea: the past cannot be changed, we can only be prepared for the future.
We have already tried to find all the possible meanings to this Charlie Kaufman film, but the important thing is to give it a chance to immerse yourself in his mysterious journey. The director puts us in a car with Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons, a couple who, after dating for just a few weeks, are heading to dinner with his parents. From there, everything changes. Oddities multiply and we understand that someone is controlling the story.
Never has a spinning top given so much to think about. This acclaimed film by Christopher Nolan placed us in a world in which dreams were accessible and passable spaces, and consequently a fertile ground for manipulation and information theft. The gang led by Leonardo DiCaprio accepts the mission of implanting an idea in someone’s mind, but someone follows closely behind them. Thus, the story becomes an intense thriller that ends in the most ambiguous way possible. Michael Caine claimed to have understood. DiCaprio is still thinking about it.
Winner of the Sitges Festival and international success in its premiere on Netflix, this film by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia left us with our mouths open. The approach is not surprising: a group of people survives in a vertical structure made up of hundreds of levels, through which a platform full of food passes through every day that empties as they go down. Thus, those who have been put up in the monthly draw will eat like royalty, while those who have had less luck will have to settle for the remains. Or, well, they can also eat their level partner or jump through the central gap in anticipation of a quick death. This cross between ‘Snowpiercer’ and ‘Cube’it is very intense, but it also hides interesting reflections on collective solidarity. And that ending? Let the debate begin.
Marriage problems take unexpected forms. For Tom Cruise, this Stanley Kubrick film is a night of strange encounters, haunting masquerade parties, and sinister characters, a series of events that we do not know if they happen for real or simply in his head. His marriage to the character of Nicole Kidman (at that time, she was his wife in real life too) is watering and it seems that the sexual flame has gone out. Can they turn it back on?
The son of Medora ( Riley Keough ) has disappeared because of the wolves that stalk the town of Alaska in which she lives, and, in the absence of her soldier husband ( Alexander Skarsgard ), she asks for help from a retired writer and expert in the wolf world, Russell Core ( Jeffrey Wright ), to find the little one. Alive or dead. But the story of this Jeremy Saulnier film, full of disturbing and confusing moments, leads us to a reflection on violence, the construction of the enemy, and that saying of Hobbes: ‘ Homo Homini Lupus ‘. Man is a wolf to man. Draw your own conclusions.
If you’ve seen ‘Black Swan’, some things in this movie will sound familiar to you. More than a decade earlier, the Japanese filmmaker Satoshi Kon signed this story about a singer plunged into depression by her recent failures, and which lead her to question her entire career. The situation will get even worse when reality and dreams get confused and your own identity is called into question. An iconic, surprising, and risky film that will leave you thinking beyond its incredible ending.
A classic horror film that, after 40 years, we keep revisiting again and again. Then why is in plain sight: there are so many layers of meaning, detail, and readings to put into this Stanley Kubrick film that you never quite finish it. Although Stephen King, author of the novel on which it is based, hates this adaptation to death, the filmmaker must be recognized for his ability to create suggestive images that relate domestic violence to collective violence, to the creation of the United States and the blood of the slaughtered natives still gushing out of the elevators.
Alice in Wonderland in the age of the internet. Or a reflection of Lynchian touches on identity in times of self-constructed profiles and online alter egos. All that can be extracted from this thriller directed by Daniel Goldhaber, where Alice ( Madeline Brewer ) turns her life upside down when she discovers that a girl identical to her is impersonating her on her ‘cam girl’ channel and has changed all her passwords. A film is full of disturbing moments that leave us wondering what is real and what is pure postmodern reflection.
When Ray ( Sam Worthington ) stops at a gas station with his family, tragedy happens: his daughter, scared by a dog, falls on a plot that is under construction and is knocked unconscious. They all run to the hospital, where mother and daughter enter to see the doctor. But after waiting for hours, Ray asks about them and they all act as they’ve never been there. Who is lying? Is there a conspiracy in that place? Or has Ray lost his mind?
It did not go through theaters, but that does not mean that it is one of the best films of the season. The news from Alex Garland (‘Ex-Machina’) will test your ability to make philosophical theories of a science fiction plot. If you tried ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, you are more than ready. Here, however, there is less of the human being (than also), and more of the sadness and pain turned into an alien world.
12. Gerald’s Game (Mike Flanagan, 2017)
Adaptation of the Stephen King novel, this is probably one of the best Netflix original productions. Perhaps because it is directed by Mike Flanagan, the promise of Yankee terror (‘Oculus: The Mirror of Evil’), perhaps because of King’s always insurmountable narratives, or, perhaps, because of a blessed collaboration of both. The fact is that the story of this woman who remains handcuffed to the bed while having adventurous sex with her husband will not leave you indifferent.
13. The girl who leapt through time (Mamoru Hosoda, 2006)
It is still one of the best films of Mamoru Hosoda, master of Japanese anime, and it brings us again something that always gives life to a movie: time travel! See if you can figure out how this teen can make the scene she repeats over and over have a happy ending. It costs her a lot.
14. The Cloverfield Paradox (Julius Onah, 2018)
Maybe the first thing this movie makes you really think about it: what the hell is happening here and why did I decide to see this mess? Don’t worry, it’s the usual reaction, as pointed out by the critics it has received since its premiere in early February. However, this Julius Onah film, which functions as a third part/prequel to ‘Cloververse’, poses a situation of parallel universes and extremities that separate from the body that is well worth a good reflection. Or a laugh, as you see.
15. Good times (Safdie Brothers, 2017)
Proclaimed already as one of the best films of 2018, this drama signed by the Safdie brothers finds in the fall into hell of its protagonist ( Robert Pattinson ) an opportunity to make us live a journey in the dark and underground worlds of crime. From Cannes to Netflix, this movie will ask you a lot. But don’t worry: he will give you another lot in return.
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