Top 10 Best Movies to Watch on Netflix in 2021
|Photo: No Film School|
The Minimalists: Less Is Now
Available: January 1
Director: Matt D'Avella
If you're into culture and lifestyle entertainment or spend any decent amount of time on YouTube, you're probably pretty well acquainted with minimalism by now. In that regard, Netflix's new documentary The Minimalists: Less Is Now, doesn't necessarily add anything new to the conversation, but at a trim 93 minutes it serves as a short-and-sweet intro to a lifestyle change our hyper-consumerist, fast-fashion culture could definitely benefit from hearing.
While this one might have been better served by adopting a series format a la Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which would allow the hosts to actually provide actionable guides to reducing the clutter - in our space and in our minds - but all the same, Less Is Now is a nice little spark of inspiration to remind you that you probably don't need whatever it was you were about to hit "purchase" on.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever
Available: February 12
Director: Michael Fimognari
This is the third movie in the teen romantic series “To All the Boys” and serves as the conclusion of the trilogy. It focuses on the threat that long-distance poses to the central romance. The theme is first teased during an extended vacation as the female protagonist visits South Korea with her family. But the deeper tension comes when she doesn’t get into her partner’s preferred college.
Like the first two movies, the one is based on a young adult novel by Jenny Han ― in this case, 2017’s “Always and Forever, Lara Jean.”
Drawing lines crawl across the screen to create a minimalist cafe scene. Lana Condor’s character sits down and places a postcard on the table that has the word “Soulmates” on it ― a pun as she’s visiting South Korea. She begins writing to her boyfriend while narrating the words.
“Dear Peter,” she says. “Hello from Seoul!”
Available: February 21
Director: James Wan
James Wan had already made a name for himself in the horror genre with mega-franchise starters SAW in 2004 and Insidious in 2010, and he pulled off the impossible once again with the 2013 pic, The Conjuring. This is a film that was “so scary and intense” at the time that Warner Bros. slapped it with an R rating despite the fact that there was no blood, gore, excessive violence, or profanity. I can remember a convention hall full of people muttering to themselves and shifting nervously as the “clapping game” scene played out, to gasps and thunderous applause. You can relive the same terrifying experience in the comfort of your own home.
Catch Me If You Can
Available: January 16
Director: Steven Spielberg
Catch Me If You Can is lowkey one of Steven Spielberg’s best films that also boasts one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s best performances and one of John Williams’ best scores — and all of that is saying something. Based on a true story, DiCaprio plays Frank Abagnale Jr., a man who became a professional con man by the age of 19, earning millions of dollars while trotting around the globe. It’s fun, flighty, and surprising in equal measure, but at heart Catch Me If You Can is the story of a father and a son, and is actually one of Spielberg’s most personal films he’s ever made — it was directly influenced by Spielberg learning new information about his father’s divorce.
Penguins of Madagascar
Available: January 17
Director: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
The snappy, wisecracking penguins with the military discipline and can-do attitude are front-and-center in this latest Madagascar adventure, and it’s the best of the series. The Penguins’ adventure is exhilarating and delirious and hilarious, and Brandon Sawyer’s script is supercharged with gags; it positively effervesces with great lines. Now the guys are menaced by a giant octopus called Brine (voiced by John Malkovich), a resentful supervillain haunted by the past – maybe inspired by Syndrome from The Incredibles – who resents the way cute penguins stole his thunder when they were all in the zoo together.
Available: January 1
Director: Guy Ritchie
In the months following Iron Man’s blockbuster success, Robert Downey Jr. doubled-down by filming a very different kind of iconic role: that of Sherlock Holmes. Filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his tough guy sensibilities to this 2009 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, which positions Holmes as a bit of a superhero using slow-motion camera techniques and a punishing sound mix that makes you feel every punch landed by this surprisingly buff detective. The story finds Holmes (Downey) and Watson (Jude Law) investigating a plot to control Britain by supernatural means, with Rachel McAdams proving to be a bright spot as Irene Adler. This one’s fun.
Available: January 31
Director: Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan wrote the screenplay and directed this story about a thief who has developed a method for entering people’s dreams to steal their secrets. When he gets the seemingly impossible task of planting an idea in someone’s head, he puts together a team to help him travel many levels into the target’s subconscious. All the while, the man yearns to return to a family he lost because of his status as a criminal. “Inception” won four Academy Awards in 2011, including Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography. It earned an additional four nominations, including for Best Picture.
There are establishing shots of waves crashing onto a giant rock and then themselves. We see a closeup of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character as he lies facedown in the sand and spits up water.
Strip Down, Rise Up
Initial release: February 5
Director: Michele Ohayon
Strip Down, Rise Up opens with a montage that tells us about how finding the erotic body can heal women from shame and trauma and all the other ugly stuff we hold onto. Celebrity instructor Sheila Kelley (who also happens to be married to The West Wing star Richard Schiff, who makes a brief appearance in the film) has dedicated years to helping women reclaim themselves at her studio S Factor, where she teaches pole and erotic dance. Decider cites.
She wants people to step into their power through movement, to expose shame to the light of day and let it go. We witness a group of two dozen women embarks on a six-month journey with Sheila, and they’ve all got stories; there’s Evelyn, a widow still processing her late husband’s affair, Megan, a survivor of infamous gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s horrific abuse, there are women who have struggled with body image issues, self-loathing, sexual assault, sexual identity. And they’re all here to take this terrifying journey.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Available: February 1
Directors/Writers: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Before filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller upended convention with wildly entertaining films like The LEGO Movie and the Jump Street films, they wrote and directed the 2009 animated feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs—and it is delightful. The film is absolutely in the same vein of Lord and Miller’s other films; a mix of goofy humor, gloriously intricate jokes, inventive visuals, and most importantly genuine compassion. Bill Hader voices a wannabe scientist named Flint who lives in a tiny town called Swallow Falls, which is thrown into peril when one of Flint’s wild inventions starts turning water into food, at which point it literally starts raining all sorts of delicious—and gigantic—treats. It’s a great film for all ages really, and a terrifically science-positive story.
Available: January 31
Director: Lana Wilson
The Taylor Swift Netflix documentary Miss Americana is far from your typical music doc. It isn’t even really all that focused on Swift’s music so much as it is on Swift as a person. More specifically, it’s a film about Swift’s long journey to figuring out how not to care what people think about her, and how that manifests in her feminist awakening and decision to publicly express her political opinion—which we see occur in real-time. Some will ding the film for being too manicured, and in truth, it’s impossible to tell just how heavy a hand Swift had in the tailoring of the documentary re her self-image. But the film’s true moments of insight are hard to ignore, and it’s fascinating to watch Swift come to terms with who she is as a human being while also being one of the most famous people on the planet.
| Disney Plus in March 2021: Full Schedule of Best Movies, TV Shows, Titles Coming |
What is new on Disney + (Plus) coming in March 2021: Best Movies, TV Shows, Premiere, full release schedule and everything to know.
| Netflix in March 2021: Full List of Best Movies, TV Shows, New Titles Day by Day |
What is new on Netflix in March, 2021: Full List of Best Movies and TV Shows, New Titles Day by Day. Read on for more ...
| Best Movies on HBO Max: Updated List for March, 2021 |
If you are filmoholic and you don't want to miss any good films on HBO Max for March. Check this article for more detailed information ...