Cops and robbers have been some of the most durable subjects for TV since the inception of broadcast television: Jack Webb's Dragnet was the original docudrama. And Netflix is no exception, with great shows like Orange Is The New Black, Breaking Bad, and Peaky Blinders tackling everything from the emotional connections between gang members to the struggles of surviving prison. But, when you're done with those, there are thousands of hours of mysteries, questionable crimes, and dangerous criminals, but we've narrowed it down to the fifteen best crime shows on Netflix to binge on.
Ryan Murphy has made a name for himself on TV thanks to his nightmare-inducing anthology series, but this mini-series, which chronicles the events leading up to and following the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, proved the showrunner can do drama like no one else. Employing an award-winning cast including Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown, Courtney B. Vance, Cuba Gooding Jr., and John Travolta, Murphy charts the fall of one of the most beloved sports stars in a case that gripped the nation. The events are well-known, but it's the meat added to the behind-the-scenes details, particularly Paulson's portrayal of Marcia Clark, that make this a worthwhile watch. In its second season, the show moves focus on the assassination of design legend Gianni Versace by Andrew Cunanan. While not as strong as the amazing ensemble in Season 1, Season 2 boasts memorable portrayals of conflicted, complex figures by Darren Criss, Penelope Cruz, Édgar Ramírez, and surprisingly Ricky Martin.
The UK's most popular new drama has made its way across the pond. The procedural thriller stars Game of Thrones' Richard Madden as David Budd, a military vet turned police officer tasked with protecting a high-profile politician during a particularly dicey time. There's plenty of suspense and action to string you along, coupled with a vulnerable performance by Madden, who ditches his King of the North swagger to play a man conflicted by his past and his present duty to his country.
This is one of Netflix's most popular documentary series, and you'll understand why after one episode. The show follows the case of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, who were arrested for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. But what initially appears to be a clear-cut case becomes much more questionable once filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi take you inside a system that seems designed to generate guilty verdicts rather than discover the truth. The show's second season, perhaps its strongest, follows Avery's appeal process led by a tough-as-nails attorney who digs past the red tape to expose corruption at the highest levels of our judicial system. If the first season is a whodunnit, the second explores how such a crime was pinned on what very well could be an innocent man.
Director Ava DuVernay's limited series about the wrongfully accused men in the Central Park Five case is an emotionally heavy reimagining of a truly tragic event in our history. The series sheds light on racial profiling and corruption in the NYPD as a group of young Black men are targeted for a heinous crime and put on trial with little evidence. It's a gripping, heartbreaking retelling, but one that feels sadly relevant.
Based on the book by John Douglas, the real-life FBI agent who made “criminal profiler” a job Hollywood thought every FBI agent had, David Fincher's moody procedural series is less focused on the whodunit, as usually that's solved by the time they show up, and more about the psychological wear and tear that comes from trying to explore the minds of people compelled to murder, or do it because they're bored, or any of a host of other reasons. It's a fascinating character drama about crime and how some crimes eat at us.
Ozark, from part of the team behind Ben Affleck's The Accountant, is an example of what I call stress-watching television. A combination of Breaking Bad and Bloodline, Ozark sees a money launderer Jason Bateman and his wife Laura Linney move from Chicago to backwoods Missouri in an effort to clean $8 million in three months, lest their entire family be killed by a Mexican drug cartel. It's not a fun show, and it's barely entertaining, but like Bloodline, it's the kind of series where the viewer is anxious to binge through it just to see if the antagonists will survive and how. It's a seedy, well-written, well-acted series, and Bateman is terrific, but the entire point of Ozark is to put the viewer through the wringer: It's tense and stressful, and we don't watch for resolution; we watch for relief.
This ironically titled show follows beat cop Catherine Cawood Sarah Lancashire as she juggles her job, her complicated feelings about a local man, and the brutal crime that drove her daughter to suicide. As she methodically assembles the case against who she thinks the perpetrator is, a tragedy begins to come into focus. Happy Valley can be a tough watch, but the focus on day-to-day policing, and Lancashire's rich performance makes it a show we're glad Netflix tracked down.
With Narcos, Netflix takes on the rise and fall of Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellín drug cartel. Splicing together dramatized scenes and actual news footage, Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha Elite Squad combines Scarface and Goodfellas to track the life of Escobar. However, the real story here is not the characters as much as it is the Colombian drug trade and the spread of cocaine from South America into the U.S. in the 1980s. Escobar is used as a vehicle to illustrate the futility of the American drug war and the toll it took on both the criminals in Colombia and the authorities in the U.S. The show's fourth season, billed as an entire separate entry, gives us a stylish re-imagining of the early days of Mexico's drug war with Diego Luna playing the new big bad, a drug lord looking to expand his reach, while Michael Pena plays the fed tasked with busting his operation.
Originally airing on A&E, and adapted from a popular mystery series, Longmire follows the sheriff of the title as he solves murder mysteries in and around the Wyoming county he's elected sheriff of, while battling with local tribal authorities, the county government, and powerful families. What makes Longmire such a fascinating series is that what could just be Law & Order: Wyoming quickly becomes a series about aging men struggling with their feelings, their choices, and the truth hollowing out the comfortable world they've built for themselves, often looking squarely at the tropes of the Western and how they do and don't hold up in the modern world. Anchored by Robert Taylor in the title role you might remember him as one of Agent Smith's sidekicks in The Matrix and Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry Standing Bear, Longmire's good friend and a man often stuck between his native heritage and the “white” world he's expected to blend into, it's a thoughtful, unexpectedly engaging series.
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy TapesNetflix
Ted Bundy is one of the most infamous serial killers in American history so you'd think we'd know the whole of this sociopath's exploits by now, but this docuseries manages to find a new angle on the story of Bundy's descent into madness. Through confessional recordings, victims' testimonies, and investigative reporting, the short series charts how Bundy, a handsome, educated white man, was able to deceive so many for so long, murdering young women along the way. What's even more interesting about this series is that, while the show explores how Bundy's crimes made him an idol for some, it also does justice by his victims, detailing their backstories and interviewing their surviving family members.
Jessica Biel stars as a woman with a dark past in this mystery series with Bill Pullman and Christopher Abbot. Biel plays Cora, a wife and mother who commits a horrific act of violence during a family beach trip for no apparent reason. It's only once a detective Pullman begins looking into her life before the murder does he discover a conspiracy plot as tangled as it is gruesome.
It's the question every TV fan hears sooner or later: “Have you seen The Wire?” Sadly, The Wire is over at Amazon, but on Netflix, there's a sometimes overlooked spiritual sibling worth looking into. Irish novelist and screenwriter Ronan Bennett's series follows Ra'Nell, a boy struggling to survive in public housing when his mother is committed to an institution, and two young drug dealers find themselves working their way up the food chain to the top of a questionable heap. Bennett's warmth and humanity helps bring into focus the very real struggles preteens at the bottom of Irish society and makes for a series you won't soon forget.
If Orange Is The New Black is taking forever to come back for you, consider picking up the more serious Australian take on women in prison, Wentworth. A reimagining of the classic Australian drama Prisoner, it follows a woman in jail for attempted murder as the court figures out her case. It's a compelling take on the prison drama with unexpected turns, being in Australia, and one of Netflix's best sleeper series.
Ostensibly a story about the city of Batman while Batman is still just young Bruce Wayne, Gotham quickly became the kind of sprawling, bizarre campy drama that shows like Law & Order: SVU and NCIS can only wish they were. While the show has recognizable Batman villains and even makes characters like Jim Gordon and the Penguin central to the plot, in the end it's a grandiose melodrama about an utterly corrupt city and the one man at its center hoping to change it one case at a time. Also a character is kidnapped by pirates. No, really. That happens.
Sometimes the justice system fails, and the wrong person is punished for a crime they didn't commit. Rectify follows Daniel Holden Aden Young as, after spending half his life with a death sentence hanging over his head, is cleared by DNA evidence and has to adjust to life as not just a free man, even as many around him seek to undo his release.
Until the last few years, Hulu was only known as the best place to find current shows from elsewhere on television. But now, with more and more acclaimed series under its belt, Hulu has proved it can compete with the other streaming services' original programming. If you're trying to figure out exactly which original show to watch next on Hulu, here's a great place to start with a look at the 20 best Hulu original series right now.
Related: The Best Shows On Hulu Right Now, Ranked
1. The Handmaid's Tale
3 seasons, 36 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
Based on the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, Handmaid's Tale is set in a dystopian future run by a fundamentalist government renamed Gilead. The fertility rate has bottomed out, women have been deprived of their rights, and the men have turned them into reproductive vessels. This future, however, is so recently removed from the present that the misery of the women — forced to be submissive through electroshock and other forms of torture — is compounded by haunting memories of their most recent past. Top-lined by the exceptional performance of Elizabeth Moss, the series also boasts strong supporting turns from Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Joseph Fiennes, and Alexis Bledel, whose character attempts to rebel against the autocratic government and suffers excruciating consequences. It's a harrowing series, often so bleak that it's difficult to watch, but in our current political climate, the themes of The Handmaid's Tale resonate loudly, and the second season is even darker and more powerful.
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2. Castle Rock
2 seasons, 15 episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
Stephen King experienced a bit of a renaissance this year, at least on TV, but out of all of the adaptations from different streaming platforms, Hulu's Castle Rock felt like the most realized, and most terrifying, of the lot. The show, which stars Sissy Spacek, Andre Holland, and Bill Skarsgard, follows the story of Henry Holland a death row attorney summoned home after a young man is found imprisoned beneath Shawshank prison. Henry's got a murky past too, one that involves the unsolved murder of his father —- an event he has no memory of — and the strange happenings around town intensify as The Kid Skarsgard is set free and must figure out how he's connected to Henry, his family, and the history of the town. It's equal parts brilliant and terrifying, all you could ask for in a King adaptation. The show's second run feels just as compelling, with Lizzy Caplan stepping into the orthopedic shoes of nurse Annie Wilkes, before her Misery days. She still troubled and causing trouble for the town of Castle Rock while trying to keep to the shadows with her daughter played by Eighth Grade's Elsie Fisher.
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4 seasons, 44 episodes | IMDb: 7.5/10
Michaela Watkins stars as Valerie, a forty-something Mom whose husband just left her for a grad student in one of his classes it's a cliche for a reason. She and her daughter move in with her layabout brother, Alex Tommy Dewey, an independently wealthy co-creator of a dating website. Alex is caddish but intensely likable, especially once viewers realize that his womanizing is a pretense, that he's simply too afraid to reveal his true self for fear of rejection. Like Transparent, with which Casual shares some DNA, there's an organic, improvised feel to the series, which alternates between funny and heartbreaking as it seeks to find the humor in the devastation of loss and the awkward challenges of finding someone new. It's a tremendously good show that only gets better in its later seasons.
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4. The Act
1 season, 8 episodes | IMDb: 8/10
Patricia Arquette and Joey King star in this painfully measured series that follows the true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Gypsy Rose was a young woman living with her mother, Dee Dee, in a small town in Missouri when police found her mother murdered in their home, and Gypsy nowhere to be found. The mystery surrounding the case soon spiraled into a story about the complicated bonds between mother and daughter, chronicling one woman's descent into madness. Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a condition that caused her to fake many of Gypsy's “illnesses” — from cancer to brain damage. When Gypsy finally realized the truth, she concocted a plan so outrageous and heinous, it had to be given the TV treatment.
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1 season, 10 episodes | IMDb: 7.9/10
Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle write, direct, and star in this cringe-worthy coming-of-age comedy about two preteens entering the 7th grade. The twist here is that both Erskine and Konkle, actresses in their 30s, play their middle-school-aged characters alongside actual 13-year-olds, elevating their comedy about awkward firsts and embarrassing pubescent mishaps to new s. The show is full of humor while also covering some relatable, real-life issues that normally don't make it to the small screen.
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1 season, 10 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Comedian Ramy Youssef stars in this semi-autobiographical dramedy, playing a version of himself, a character named Ramy Hassan. Ramy navigates life growing up in New Jersey while straddling the line between the millennial generation he's a part of and the Muslim community he belongs to. He wrestles with the constraints of his religion and his upbringing, while searching for meaning in more modern pursuits — drinking, partying, and hooking up. It's heartwarming, eye-opening, and never takes itself too seriously.
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7 seasons, 47 episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
You've probably found yourself asking, “What the hell is Letterkenny?” That question has probably come after yet another friend/co-worker/stranger on the street has stopped you to demand you watch the Hulu original. Well, here's the answer: Letterkenny is a snappy comedy about a group of small-town folk just trying to get by. It mainly centers on two bros, Wayne and Darryl, and the schemes they come up with to make a buck, have a good time, and stir up their boring old town.
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8. Catch 22
1 season, 6 episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10
George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Christopher Abbott star in this re-telling of Joseph Heller's classic novel. Abbot plays young recruit, Yossarian, a U.S. Air Force bombardier in World War II. Yossarian hopes to dodge having to serve in combat after the military ups the number of missions required before one's service can be considered complete. He's forced to face off against a truly sadistic colonel while fighting for his life on the front line. It's ridiculous that Abbott isn't a bigger name than he is, but he leads this farcical troupe with A-list swagger, and Chandler is surprisingly wonderful playing against his normal, lovable-dad typecasting.
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9. Veronica Mars
1 season, 8 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
The cult teen drama returns after a years-long hiatus and a successful Kickstarter-funded film to re-open the case. This time, Veronica Kristen Bell is investigating a catastrophic bombing of a popular spring break destination for college kids: Neptune, her hometown. She's also struggling to balance her career and her tumultuous relationship with Logan Jason Dohring while pushing her ailing father to come clean about his health issues. This season, which is intended to be a continuance — so you should definitely check out Rob Thomas' original work, also available on Hulu — marks a return to the show's noir crime roots, and it's so much better for it.
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10. The Looming Tower
1 season, 10 episodes | IMDb: 8/10
This historical drama starring Jeff Daniels and Peter Sarsgaard charts the build-up to 9/11 as seen through the eyes of agents in both the FBI and CIA. Daniels plays John O'Neill, the chief of the New York FBI's Counterterrorism Center in the 1990s, who is convinced that a terrorist attack on the U.S. is imminent. He butts heads with Martin Schmidt Sarsgaard, the CIA head of counterterrorism, who believes his agency is better equipped to deal with the threat of Al Qaeda and keeps valuable intel from the FBI. The action in this comes from watching Daniels and Sarsgaard, two incredibly talented actors, go head-to-head, chewing up every scene they're in and obviously having fun doing it.
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1 season, 6 episodes | IMDb: 7.4/10
SNL breakout Aidy Bryant headlines this comedy series based on the best-selling book by Lindy West. Bryant plays Annie, a young writer living on the West Coast who struggles with body image issues, a floundering career as a journalist, and a family health crisis. Over the course of six episodes, she manages a toxic relationship with her sometimes-hookup, confronts an abusive boss, and takes on internet trolls, all while learning how to love her size. Bryant shines here and though there's not as much in-your-face comedy from her as SNL fans might be used to, her quiet, reserved style better serves the story, which is a refreshing one.
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2 seasons, 23 episodes | IMDb: 7.1/10
Adapted by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage from Adrian Alphona and Brian K. Vaughan's Marvel comic, Runaways is a slick, briskly paced teen soap featuring high school students discovering and coming to terms with their burgeoning superpowers. Runaways finds that happy space between the heaviness of Marvel's Netflix dramas and the more lightweight nature of their network series Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter. It's a potent combination of compelling mystery and coming of age tale. The teen characters here are fantastic as they grapple with their own powers while investigating the dark history of their parents. Runaways takes a lot of cues from Schwartz and Savage's The O.C. and Gossip Girl, respectively, although the series is not half as interesting when it's exploring the conspiracy surrounding the parent characters, who are essentially the series' supervillains. That storytelling deficit, however, is more than made up for by the existence of a dinosaur!
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13. Future Man
2 seasons, 26 episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10
From creators Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir and executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg the team behind Sausage Party, Future Man is basically a mash-up of The Last Starfighter, Back to the Future, and The Terminator. Josh Hutcherson stars as Josh Futterman, a loser-ish janitor at a science lab who becomes the first person ever to finish a nearly impossible-to-beat video game. The game, it turns out, is a training application sent back from the future to find humanity's savior. Characters from the video game recruit Josh to travel back into the past to kill the head of the science lab Keith David where Josh works in the present to prevent his boss from developing a cure for herpes that somehow ends up wiping out humanity in the future. There's a lot to unpack in its premise, but once Future Man gets to its feet and finds its heart, the character evolves into more than mouthpieces for quick-fire pop-culture riffs. Eliza Coupe Happy Endings is fantastic as a fast-talking badass with an arsenic-laced “rathole” and a fondness for hand-to-hand combat. It's Preacher's Derek Wilson, however, who proves to be the scene stealer. He's basically Firefly's Jayne Cobb plus an obsession with '80s pop culture, cooking, and two-hit wonder Corey Hart, who also makes a cameo appearance. It's a fast-paced, filthy, and hilarious homage to time-travel movies that boasts a hysterical hatred for James Cameron, who is the target of a lot of the series' best jokes. What Future Man lacks in substance, it more than makes up for in laughs and season two of the series doubles down on that philosophy, thrusting characters in even more bizarre situations and tighter spandex costumes.
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14. The Wrong Mans
2 seasons, 10 episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10
Co-produced by Hulu and the BBC, The Wrong Mans stars the current host of The Late Show, James Corden, as well as his fellow Gavin & Stacey co-star Mathew Baynton. It's an exuberantly zippy series that combines office-comedy with action movie tropes as it sees two co-workers involve themselves in a complicated criminal conspiracy in an effort to enliven their humdrum lives and, more importantly, make heroes out of themselves. It's a quick binge the two seasons are only 8 half-hour episodes in all and immensely entertaining. It's light, unpredictable, surprisingly suspenseful and funny — often times hysterically so — as it mashes up and pokes fun of a number of different tropes, doing for the office comedy what Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz did for the buddy-cop film.
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3 seasons, 22 episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
Written and directed by women Moira Buffini and Coky Giedroyc, respectively, Harlots is set in 1763 England where one in every five women is a prostitute. The story concerns two competing brothels operated by Lydia Quigley Lesley Manville and Margaret Wells Samantha Morton, the latter of whom reluctantly pimps out her two daughters, one of whom is a popular courtesan Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay and another whose maidenhead is being auctioned off at a hefty price. There's plenty of sex in Harlots, as one might expect from a series about competing brothels, but it's not a sexy show. It's more of a serious family drama about hardscrabble women using the only card they have in their 18th-century deck in an effort to maintain some sense of control over their lives. There's power in sex, but as Harlots reveals, it only gets them so far. The series is a thoughtful costume drama that can be bleak at times the corpse of a prostitute is used as a gruesome prop in the ongoing war between the brothels, but there are moments of crackling wit and a few stand-out performances, particularly that of Samantha Morton. Unfortunately, as the series' first season progresses, it loses some of its momentum as it gets bogged down in its more soapy elements.
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1 seasons, 8 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Produced by J.J. Abrams and created by Bridget Carpenter a writer on Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, 11.22.63 is adapted from a Stephen King novel and stars James Franco as newly divorced high school teacher, Jake Epping, who finds a portal that takes him back to October 1960. There, Jake decides to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, though doing so will upend the life he has made for himself. It's an exhilarating premise, and it's nearly impossible not to get hooked by the pilot. Unfortunately, once Epping finds himself in the 1960s, the series drops many of the time-travel elements and settles into a more conventional — and often tiresome — conspiracy thriller. Franco is solid in the lead role, but the series is derailed by its devotion to the source material. It's not one of King's best books, and while it does provide viewers with a satisfying, heartfelt pay-off, the slow pace makes the journey more of a chore than the destination ultimately warrants.
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2 seasons, 20 episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
Based on the Kem Nunn novel of the same name, Chance stars Hugh Laurie as a forensic neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Eldon Chance. Chance — who is going through a divorce — becomes romantically involved with a patient named Lucy Greta Lee. Pulled into her troubled life, Chance finds himself embroiled in a dispute between the femme fatale and her abusive husband, a violently jealous police officer who has his sights set on Chance. It's a moody, psychological noir with heavy doses of intrigue and mystery, but the pacing here suggest that it would have been better told in half the number of episodes. The series too often drifts and seems more preoccupied with mood setting than telling a story. Hugh Laurie's compelling performance keeps it afloat, while Ethan Suplee — who plays a street-smart assistant in an antique shop — steals every scene he's in, delivering occasional bursts of violence to stir viewers awake.
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18. The Path
3 seasons, 36 episodes | IMDb: 7.3/10
Set in upstate New York, The Path concerns members of a fictional spiritual moment or cult called Meyerism. The series primarily revolves around Eddie Lane Aaron Paul, who has a revelation while on a retreat that leads him to question his faith. Eddie, however, won't confess his doubts to his devout wife, Sarah Michelle Monaghan, who believes her husband is hiding an affair from her. Things are further complicated by Cal Hugh Dancy, the charismatic and corrupt leader of the Meyerist Movement, whose ambitions are often at odds with the more altruistic motives of the movement. While featuring strong performances from its leads, The Path is an achingly slow burn that doesn't catch fire until near the end of the first season only to fizzle out again when the second season kicks off. There's a fascinating story being told on The Path, but it's not currently one that warrants 10 episodes a season, and the series often labors to spread its thin story across a canvass that is too large. The magical realist elements of the series only exacerbate its problems. It's not a bad show thanks to the strong efforts of its leads, but it is one that struggles to figure out what it wants to say. Unfortunately, it got the ax after three seasons.
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19. Four Weddings And A Funeral
Via https://youtu.be/604JeF9RNu8 Hulu
1 season, 10 episodes | IMDb: 6.9/10
Mindy Kaling givies the classic rom-com a modernized reboot with this miniseries, which follows four American friends who reunite for a London wedding. Sounds fun, until a bombshell dropped during the nuptials throws everyone's lives into chaos, setting them up for a year's worth of heartbreak as they attend a few more weddings, and one funeral. The plot feels familiar, but the talented, diverse cast makes it feel fresh, with Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel getting to show off her charming comedic chops.
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20. Difficult People
3 seasons, 28 episodes | IMDb: 7/10
Difficult People is not for everyone. Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner, who co-wrote and star in the series, play best friends and aspiring comedians. The series, however, is not about their careers; in fact, it's not about much of anything, like a more misanthropic Seinfeld. Difficult People is primarily about Billy and Julie being assholes and making fun of other people, often to their faces. They're incredibly unlikable: selfish, cranky, narcissistic, catty and cruel. It's as hilarious as it is mean-spirited, but the humor is esoteric and requires an audience as steeped in pop culture as the characters. It rewards those who keep up with the gossip blogs. It's also relentlessly funny, but like Curb Your Enthusiasm, the humor is often uncomfortable. Billy and Julie, in fact, are more hostile to both the other characters on the show and its audience than Larry David is. It's a fun watch but it's toxic enough that it should be consumed in short doses.
Amazon Prime is way more than just a way to get your electronics and books in two days or less. There's a wide breadth of good movies and TV shows out there to choose from if you know what you're looking for.
To help you out, we've rounded the 30 best movies on Amazon Prime right now. From new Oscar winners to classic titles, you might be surprised as to what the service has available.
Related: The Best Horror Movies On Amazon Prime Right Now
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson star in this neo-noir about a private investigator who becomes entangled in a government scheme. Nicholson plays Jake Gittes, a P.I. hired by Evelyn Malwray Dunaway to follow her husband and report on his dealings. It turns out, Mr. Malwray was at the center of a government cover-up as the local water authority was trying to run people off their land by drying up their water source. There's a lot going on here — corruption, a twisted family secret, romance, and plenty of violence — but watching Nicholson confusedly sort through it all is most of the fun.
12 Monkeys 1998
Run Time: 129 min | IMDb: 8/10
Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt star in this quintessential '90s flick, a mind-bending sci-fi story about a convict sent back in time to save humanity. Willis plays Cole, a criminal given a chance to prevent a virus from wiping out most of Earth's population by traveling back in time to prevent the disease from spreading. He teams up with a psychiatric patient named Goines an off-his-meds Pitt, who has a read on the mysterious agency responsible for the virus. The two fight their way through conspiracy theories and involuntary psych procedures to get to the truth of why the group wants to destroy the world.
The Virgin Suicides 1999
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
An early work of director Sofia Coppola, this film based on a 1993 novel of the same name, follows the story of the Lisbon sisters, five girls aged 13-17 who make a suicide pact after their youngest sibling kills herself. A sense of mystery and aloofness adds to the girls' appeal when it comes to the neighborhood boys, through whom much of the story is told. Confined to their house after the death of their sister, the girls find ways of communicating with the outside world through secret phone calls and late-night trysts. Eventually, the sisters make good on their pact, but Coppola chooses to find a sense of freedom and validation in their decision to commit suicide, one that paints the end of the film in a strangely victorious light.
Sunshine Cleaning 2008
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
A comedy about a pair of sisters who run a maid service that cleans up crime scenes is the definition of dark, but there are some bright spots in Amy Adams and Emily Blunt's Sunshine Cleaning. The two play siblings struggling to find themselves and stay afloat in a small town before they happen upon a macabre idea for a new business. Mopping up blood and hazardous waste isn't the most reputable of jobs, and the two aren't particularly good at it, especially Blunt, who plays a woman floundering in her personal and professional life, but if you've got a strong stomach, there's plenty of payoff here.
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Mel Brooks' hilarious space odyssey has become something of a cult classic over the decades. It's a parody of George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy, so it follows the same plot: a rogue pilot and his sidekick must rescue a princess and save the galaxy, but instead of Startroopers, the bad guys are known as Space Balls, and everyone is hopelessly out of their depth playing hero and villain.
Requiem For A Dream 2000
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Darren Aronofsky gives us a true mindf*ck with this early aughts drama that follows the drug-induced hallucinations of four Coney Island residents who descend further into their respective addictions as the film goes on. Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, and Jennifer Connelly star in the film, which serves as a cautionary tale about the way people find happiness and how it can be easily snatched away. It's pretty dark and depressing, but plenty of people like it anyway.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior 1981
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
George Miller's follow-up reunites fans with Max Rockatansky Mel Gibson, who's still roaming the desert with his dog, looking for fuel. He finds it in a small village that's been plagued by raiders, led by an unhinged biker and a goliath named Lord Humungus. Max ends up helping the village, rediscovering a bit of his humanity in the process. It's a worthy installment in the franchise and the action is top-notch.
Run Time: 152 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Luca Guadagnino's buzzed-about horror remake is a mind-bending exercise in the cinematic. Dakota Johnson plays Susie, a young dancer who arrives at a prestigious academy where disturbing happenings begin to take place. After one dancer goes missing, another dies, and a third is severely injured, the students begin investigating their instructors to discover they belong to a coven of witches with troubling rituals that rest upon the dancers playing their parts.
It's A Wonderful Life 1946
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 8.6/10
James Stewart stars in this holiday flick about a down-on-his-luck businessman who laments his suburban life. George Bailey wishes for a different, more successful life, one unencumbered by a wife and kids but when his wish is granted and an angel shows him what life would be like without him, Bailey must figure out how to make the most of the present. Stewart is magnetic in the role and though it's thought of as a Christmas classic, this film can and should be enjoyed year-round.
Short Term 12 2013
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 8/10
This film by Destin Daniel Cretton the guy Marvel's tapped to direct Shang-Chi marks the first leading role for Brie Larson. Long before her Captain Marvel days, Larson was playing Grace Howard, a young woman navigating life as a supervisor of a group home for troubled teens. Other soon-to-be stars like Lakeith Stanfield and Rami Malek also have a role in this thing but it's Larson's vehicle and she's in full command of it.
Run Time: 85 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Jonah Hill's directorial debut is a nostalgic ode to growing up in the 90s. The film follows a 13-year-old kid named Stevie who spends one summer in L.A. navigating between his troubled home life and a new group of friends that push to him to test his own boundaries. The movie is heavy in skater culture, a scene L.A. was known for at the time, but it's also an introspective look on making the transition from boyhood to adulthood, and how perilous that time can be.
Lady Bird 2017
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Greta Gerwig's love letter to her hometown of Sacramento, California follows Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf as they navigate the often-frustrating relationship between mother and daughter. Ronan plays “Ladybird,” a young woman attending Catholic school who longs for the culture and change of scenery that New York City promises. Her mother, Metcalf, is overbearing and overprotective, and the family's lack of money and social standing contributes to a rift between the two. Some hard truths are explored in this film, but watching Ronan manage teenage angst, first love, and everything in between will give you all kinds of nostalgia.
Run Time: 127 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Toni Collette stars in this terrifying nightmare by first-time director Ari Aster. The film charts the grief and shared trauma of the Graham family. Annie Collette is mourning the loss of her secretive mother, worrying over her inherited mental health issues and her children. When her son Peter accidentally kills his sister, hauntings begin happenings. Malevolent spirits, possessions, a seance gone wrong — this is pure nightmare fuel people.
First Reformed 2017
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
A dark, morose examination on everything from faith and fidelity to climate change, grief, and mental health issues, Paul Schrader's drama about a Protestant minister struggling to reconcile his beliefs with the changing world around him is a poignant, if heavy-handed, commentary on some pretty complicated universal themes. Ethan Hawke gives a stand-out performance as Reverend Toller, a man mourning the loss of his son, facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, and grappling with the reality of his dwindling church membership. He counsels a young woman named Mary Amanda Seyfried about her husband, who's entered a dangerous state of depression over the very real issue of climate change; and through his relationship with her, Toller confronts his own demons and his community's narrow-minded views. It's by no means a fun watch, but Hawke is such an underrated actor that being surprised by his stroke of genius in this role is reason enough to stream.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father 2008
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 8.6/10
When filmmaker Kurt Kuenne's childhood friend Andrew Bagby is killed and his suspected killer/ex-girlfriend reveals she's pregnant, Kurt decides to make a documentary chronicling Andrew's life. While largely a love letter to a man who touched the lives of many for Zachary, the son he never met, Dear Zachary also tells the starkly bitter side of a broken Canadian legal system that directly endangered a baby. We follow the drawn-out custody battle between Andrew's parents and Zachary's mother, interspersed with loving snapshots into the Bagby family. The story sucks you in, but it's also the at times comedic, fast-paced, and downright enraging documentary style of the film that breaks up the emotional tale.
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Natalie Portman leads this cast of badass women investigating a natural phenomenon that is slowly invading Earth. Portman plays Lena, a biologist who leads a team of women consisting of a psychologist Jennifer Jason Leigh, a scientist Tessa Thompson, and a paramedic Gina Rodriguez into “The Shimmer,” a quarantined zone mutated by alien DNA that seems to be transforming matter at will and spreading further each day. Past teams, including one led by Lena's husband Oscar Isaac, have disappeared in The Shimmer and Lena goes searching for a clue as to what happened to them and how she can save her husband — who returned changed from his mission. The entire journey is filled with bizarre happenings tied to meta-commentary about evolution and the human condition but honestly, the coolest thing about this movie is its cast and the kick-ass characters they play
Late Night 2019
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson team up for this comedy that imagines the grit and humor it takes to lead a late-night talk show as a woman. Thompson plays Katherine Newbury, an accomplished TV personality who fears she may lose her talk show because of declining ratings and competition from a younger, male comedian. She hires Molly Kaling a comedy writer with little experience to diversify her team, and the two women weather hilarious mishaps and a few scandals to bring the show back on track.
Eighth Grade 2017
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Comedian Bo Burnham's directorial debut looks at the social anxieties of a young girl on the cusp of her high school career. Elsie Fisher plays Kayla, a pre-teen in her final week of eighth grade. She's virtually friendless, choosing to spend her time creating inspiring Youtube videos that no one sees. When she decides to venture from her computer screen, attending pool parties and hanging out with older kids, she's thrust into situations she's not entirely ready for. The film is a painfully honest look at the pressure of growing up, the loss of innocence, and how social media can contribute to feelings of anxiety and isolation in teens, especially young girls who are forced to grow up much more quickly than their male counterparts.
Run Time: 121 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Darren Aronofsky's mystery thriller might best be described as “polarizing.” You'll either tap into the various themes churning just under the surface of this thing, or you'll walk away after the two hours are up thinking, “What in the hell did I just see?” Either way, the film does A LOT and it gives its A-list cast including Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ed Harris, even more to chew on. Whether you love it or hate it, mother! is a film you need to see at least once.
The Handmaiden 2016
Run Time: 144 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Based on a historical crime novel set in Victoria-Era England, Park Chan-wook's lavish, mesmerizing thriller focuses on two young women fighting to escape oppression by the men in their lives. Chan-woo has traded the stuffy British countryside for Japanese-occupied Korea, telling the stories of Lady Hideko and her handmaiden Sook-hee in three parts, weaving a tale of passion, betrayal, dark secrets, and revenge with grander themes of imperialism, colonial rule, and patriarchal corruption. The two women are the draw of the film with both resorting to illicit, illegal, morally compromising schemes in order to gain their freedom, but love is an unintended consequence that leaves the third act — one you might think you have figured out halfway through the film — completely unpredictable.
The Big Sick 2017
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon drew from their own unusual love story for their script about a Chicago comic named Kumail Nanjiani who falls in love with Emily, a woman Zoe Kazan who falls into a coma while in the midst of a rift in their relationship created by the expectations of Kumail's traditional parents. The funny, moving romantic comedy also features strong supporting work from Ray Romano and Holly Hunter as Emily's parents, who form an awkward bond with Kumail as they wait for Emily's recovery.
You Were Never Really Here 2017
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Joaquin Phoenix stars as a troubled hitman with a dark past in this thrilling crime flick from Lynne Ramsay. Phoenix plays Joe, a gun for hire, former military man and FBI agent, who spends most of his time rescuing victims of sex trafficking. He's recruited to save a Senator's daughter from a brothel that caters to high-end clientele, but the job thrusts him into the center of a conspiracy that costs him everything and ends in blood and tragedy. It's a relentless slog to be sure, but it works because Ramsay is more interested in profiling the man, not the hits he makes.
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 8/10
This family drama based on an NY Times bestseller stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as parents to a truly remarkable little boy named Auggie. Auggie has a facial deformity that affects his social life as he begins going to school for the first time. Since we're nearing the holidays, and this is a time that's all about families, it makes sense Amazon added this to their library. The kids will love it and, hopefully, learn from it.
Via https://youtu.be/8NR8w8s9zWA Amazon Studios
Beautiful Boy 2018
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet star in this heartbreaking drama about a father trying to save his son from a drug addiction that's slowly eating away at his family. Carell plays David, a New York Times writer who struggles to help his son Nic Chalamet after he falls victim to a worrying drug habit. He has moments of sobriety, attending college, living with his mother in L.A., and working at a drug clinic to help others battling the disease. Yet eventually, his addiction returns, and Nic is powerless to fight it. David is forced to choose between sacrificing his family and his own sanity or continuing to help his son. Both Carell and Chalamet give powerful performances that elevate what essentially is an emotionally restrained look at father-son relationships and the landmines they navigate.
Inside Llewyn Davis 2013
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
A portrait of a particular moment in music history, when the folk revival found young musicians discovering their voices in old styles and old songs, Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac as a singer/songwriter who can never quite translate his talent into professional success. Joel and Ethan Coen both exactingly recreate early '60s New York and use it as the site of one of an affecting tale of the clash between artistic impulses and the needs of the material world, a theme they'd previously explored with Barton Fink and would pick up again with Hail, Caesar!.
The Disaster Artist 2017
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Only an actor as confusing and committed to swimming against the Hollywood tide as James Franco could direct this pseudo-biography of Tommy Wiseau, an aspiring filmmaker who made the wrong kind of noise in the industry with his theatrics while trying to get a feature film made. Wiseau in real life is an enigmatic kind of train wreck, and Franco plays him brilliantly here, injecting heart and a dreamy sense of possibility to his story.
We Need To Talk About Kevin 2011
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Eva Khatchadourian Tilda Swinton, who's unwilling and unable to properly care for her troubled son Kevin, watches her life unravel as her husband John C. Reilly ignores their problems and Kevin grows more and more sociopathic and violent. The story jumps around in time, showing Swinton's character as both a new mother who blames her son for ruining her life and as a woman who eventually blames herself for what becomes of her son. Swinton proves once again that she's the actress that indie movies need for complex characters that live their lives in grey areas. At its core, We Need To Talk is about the importance of proper parenting, communication, and probably therapy. And it's not for the faint of heart.
Logan Lucky 2017
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Ten years after his last Ocean's entry, Steven Soderbergh revisits the heist genre, this time centering on a pair of unlucky brothers Channing Tatum and Adam Driver working a scheme to rip off a big NASCAR race. Memorable side characters, rapid-fire dialogue, and charismatic performances keep the story from becoming too predictable even for a twist-filled heist tale. Soderbergh was even able to cut out major studios and keep complete creative control over the movie, thanks to streaming services and international distribution. It's a largely light-hearted movie, and frankly, that's necessary sometimes.
The Man From Nowhere 2010
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
A mysterious pawnshop owner Won Bin, whose only friend is a child that lives next door, tears the local criminal presence apart after she's kidnapped. This South Korean thriller from Lee Jeong-beom follows a similar format to such films as Léon: The Professional and Man On Fire of “guy with a shady past protects little girl”, but The Man From Nowhere still crafts an original tale of a heartbroken man out to save the only thing he has left in this world. The action sequences are bloody and intense, and Bin's stoic performance brings a painful depth to the brutal savior.
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Coherence is one of those low-budget sci-fi stories that is extremely tough to explain without either giving too much away or requiring an extended entry. Essentially, a group of friends sifts through their own issues and insecurities during a mind-bending paradoxical experience. Taking place almost entirely in the same room on a single night, the characters struggle to find answers just as much as the viewer. It's a challenging yet enthralling film, perfect for those who love to overthink things.
Recent Changes Through November 2019:Removed: The Terminator, The Fifth Element, The Silence Of The LambsAdded: Chinatown, 12 Monkeys, The Virgin Suicides
Stephen King is the most adapted author of his generation. His work has been hitting the screen since his first novel, Carrie, was translated to film in 1976, and the adaptations haven't really slowed down since that launching point. If anything, they've sped up, as evidenced by everything from the two-part IT film series to Hulu's Castle Rock to the most recent adaptation, Mike Flanagan's film version of Doctor Sleep. King is so frequently adapted that Carrie has been made into a film three different times, and one of his short stories, “Children of the Corn,” spawned a film franchise that's stretched across 30 years and ten different movies.
The dozens of adaptations of his work over the last four decades prove that King has struck a nerve with filmmakers, even if they're not all able to pay back that favor with a good adaptations. The filmmakers that do manage to make good movies, even masterpieces, out of King's works, are the ones with either a firm understanding of the underlying cinematic power of his language or the huge heart present in his voice. The very best King films, listed from worst to best below, are good enough to do both.
10. Gerald's Game 2017
Gerald's Game is one of King's most conceptually daring novels, and depending on who you ask, the boldness didn't exactly pay off. It's the story of a woman who's left to fight for survival after her husband suddenly has a heart attack during a sex game at their secluded lake house. When he dies, she's left handcuffed to the bed, and as hallucinations set, in she's forced to reckon with her past while fighting for her future.
King stretched this intriguing hook into an entire novel by having much of its conflict play out entirely in a single desperate character's mind, making it both a challenging book for even longtime fans and an especially confounding story for anyone trying to make a visually arresting film out of it. Somehow, Mike Flanagan Oculus pulled it off. His film version of Gerald's Game — anchored by a commanding performance from Carla Gugino — is somehow both a streamlined version of King's narrative and a more expansive take on the story that delves into the nature of trauma, memory, and the lies we tell ourselves just to get through a day. It's a rare adaptation that's arguably a better version of the story than its source material.
9. IT 2017
IT is a novel about a group of friends during two very distinct periods in their lives, with a 27-year gap between one pivotal childhood summer and their dark reunion to battle an ancient evil decades later. Director Andy Muschietti and company decided these two eras should be largely split into two different films, in contrast to King's constant interweaving of them on the page. It was a gamble, and while it didn't always work for 2019's IT Chapter Two, the gamble paid off in magical ways for the initial installment in 2017.
Though the film moves the childhood action from the 1950s to the 1980s, Muschietti's adaptation retains the sense of nostalgia-smeared mythology the book instills in its ensemble. With an immensely charismatic cast of young actors, IT makes the jump to the screen with a few key changes, but the heart of the story remains an epic saga of a group of weird kids who set out to hunt down a monster. Throw in Bill Skarsgard's unforgettable take on Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and you've got a new King classic.
Watch On Amazon Prime
8. Pet Sematary 1989
Pet Sematary is, famously, the novel that even King thought might be too horrifying to publish. With this chilling story about a family in the midst of tragedy and the supernatural force that could offer a way out, King felt that he'd pushed himself into particularly uncomfortable territory. Readers agreed, but they were still happy to devour the novel and its grim story of what happens when a grieving father tries to cheat death. Mary Lambert's film adaptation, scripted by King himself, sets out to retain this sense of creeping discomfort, and succeeds in just about every frame. The film is skin-crawlingly effective, from the peaceful country bliss we know will soon be shattered to that final disgusting gore effect.
Watch On Amazon Prime
7. Misery 1989
In On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, King describes the conception of the story that would become Misery, and reveals that he initially thought of it as a rather gruesome short story with a sad ending for stranded novelist Paul Sheldon. Fortunately for all of us, King is not a writer who likes to marry himself to a rigid plot outline, and Paul Sheldon managed to find a way to survive the devastating devotion of his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. Misery succeeds, as both a novel and a film, in no small part because King is able to create the seat-of-your-pants sense that the story could all go horribly wrong at any second, no matter how many pages you have left.
Director Rob Reiner retains that feeling for the film adaptation, weaving a taut thriller out of a stripped down story about two people who are each willing to go as far as it takes to get what they want. Of course, Misery doesn't work without two dynamite actors in the leading roles, and it's here that the movie is left is in the capable hands of Kathy Bates and James Caan. They trade blows for 100 pulse-pounding minutes, making this movie so much more than just that one, stomach-churning scene everyone knows about.
Watch On Amazon Prime
6. The Shawshank Redemption 1994
Though he will forever be known as the man who dreamed up haunted hotels and vampire boys tapping on windows for many readers, King's greatest asset as a composer of fiction might be his knack for voice. This is one of the reasons that one of his novellas, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, is so compelling to begin with, and perhaps the best decision Frank Darabont ever made as a filmmaker was to retain the novella's narrative voice for the movie. The Shawshank Redemption's success begins and ends with the soothing, soulful narration of Morgan Freeman's Red. The stirring visuals, sensational ensemble cast, and gorgeous Thomas Newman score do a lot of the heavy lifting along the way, but it's Red's voice — much of it lifted directly from King's text — that makes the film truly soar. Sometimes adapting prose to film is a lot like cooking: find the best ingredients you can, and do as little to them as possible.
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5. The Dead Zone 1983
The Dead Zone is one of King's best novels, and also among his most unwieldy when it comes to cinematic translation. It's the story of an ordinary man so ordinary that his name is actually John Smith with the extraordinary power to see the future when he touches someone, which already means much of the most exciting stuff is taking place in one guy's head. Throw in the sprawling timeline of the book, and it's a tricky thing to get up onscreen indeed.
Director David Cronenberg, producer Debra Hill, and writer Jeffrey Boam somehow made it work. Their version of The Dead Zone is a heavily abbreviated version of King's story, so much so that the primary antagonist Martin Sheen as a morally bankrupt politician doesn't show up until halfway through the movie. Copious edits aside, though, they retain the frightening spirit of King's original work, thanks in no small part to Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith. When you get an actor who always looks like something strange is going on just behind his eyes to begin with, you're halfway to where you want to be. Cronenberg's precise direction does the rest.
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4. Christine 1983
Stephen King is so good at what he does that he can pitch you things like “a kid buys a car that turns out to be haunted and can repair itself between murders” and then somehow make them work on the page even as you might be scoffing at the logline. Christine works like gangbusters on the page, but coming up with a convingly evil car for the big screen was another story, especially in 1983.
Fortunately for everyone involved, John Carpenter is also the kind of horror storyteller who can come up with a wild idea on the page “guy sees aliens through magic sunglasses,” etc. and then pull it off onscreen. His Christine is fast-paced, playful, and truly scary thanks to both Carpenter's expert pacing and the convincingly menacing antics of the car itself. Leave it to John Carpenter and Stephen King to make a Plymouth Fury popping dents out of its own hood into something truly nightmarish.
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3. Stand By Me 1986
The Shawshank Redemption is a basic cable staple, so it's often held up as the first and only necessary evidence that Stephen King can do more than just horror. As great as Shawshank is, though, it's not the only proof of King's ability to tell a non-scary story, nor is it the best. That honor belongs to Rob Reiner's adaptation of King's novella, The Body, which appeared in the same collection as the Shawshank story, Different Season. Stand By Me is the story of four friends who embark on a two-day adventure to find a dead body out in the Oregon woods, and the dangers and personal struggles they encounter along the way. The wonderful ensemble — led by Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell — carries the film through its emotional beats, but its greatest asset seems to be Reiner's ability to know exactly which heartstring to pluck at any given time, like some kind of tearjerking virtuoso. It's a beautifully realized, nostalgic gem.
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2. The Shining 1980
No other horror film has been studied, dissected, and mythologized quite like Stanley Kubrick's The Shining has. This movie is so lodged in our collective pop culture consciousness that an entire movie exists that's just about how fascinated some people are with The Shining. It's that ubiquitous and that impactful. Watching the film now, nearly 40 years after its initial release, it's still easy to see why. The Shining is a masterpiece of strange, sustained tension and judicious use of the supernatural. It's a textbook example of how to create a dread-inducing atmosphere out of a single location, and remains a masterpiece of the genre. There's no denying The Shining's impact or its masterful depiction of a man slowly unraveling in a supposedly haunted hotel. As an adaptation of a Stephen King work, though, it leaves something to be desired, and King hasn't been shy about saying so. The liberties the film takes with King's overall plot are fine, and often they're improvements Jack Torrance freezing to death in a hedge maze is more memorable than Jack Torrance dying in a boiler explosion, but the fundamental thematic core of the book feels tampered with, and that's enough to just edge The Shining out of first place here.
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1. Carrie 1976
Carrie, King's debut novel, is a lean, mean thriller about a girl who's so disliked at her high school that she's bullied for being frightened by her first period, who then manages to exact revenge thanks to telekinetic powers she's only just learning to use. It's a slim book and therefore lends itself to a fast-paced film adaptation, but where other filmmakers might have simply delivered a solid thriller, Brian De Palma instead turned Carrie into an ultra-stylized, operatic bloodbath that's as funny as it is scary. Led by Sissy Spacek in the title role and a mesmerizing Piper Laurie as Carrie's overbearing mother, the film version of Carrie takes King's high-school-as-hell metaphors and writes them even larger and louder. The moment when Carrie's gauzy, dreamlike prom queen celebration descends into blood-drenched madness is a perfect encapsulation of the film's bold, relentless aesthetic. De Palma knew exactly what kind of film Carrie would make, and he didn't miss a step in giving it to us.
Netflix has a lot of cooking and baking shows, but in my humble opinion, the best of the best is Nailed It! The series takes a group of very unprofessional bakers and asks them to recreate fancy, Instagram-ready treats. The results are disastrous. That may sound like a mean-spirited show that mocks its contestants, but Nailed It! is actually very good-natured. We’re not laughing at the terrible bakers – we’re laughing with them. Nailed It! already unleashed one holiday special upon us, and now they’re about to drop another one. Watch the Nailed It! Holiday! season 2 trailer below.
Nailed It Holiday Season 2 Trailer
If you’ve never watched Nailed It! on Netflix, I urge you to check it out there are also several spin-offs, like Nailed It! France and Nailed It! Mexico. It’s a funny, charming, and altogether wholesome show, and a surefire cure for the blues disclaimer: I’m not suggesting a TV baking show can cure clinical depression because that would just be silly.
Now that Halloween is over we’re officially in the holiday season like it or not, and if you’re already in the midst of full-blown holiday anxiety, here comes Nailed It! Holiday! to ease some of the tension. Here’s the rundown:
Grab your loved ones because Nailed It! Holiday! is back! The messes are-a-plenty as St. Nicole and Jacques Frost deliver the best of the worst baking fails this season. Whether wrecking the halls or destroying the dreidel, jaws drop as the bakers attempt all new challenges inspired by the holidays. From Santa to Scrooge and angels to elves, these bakers find new ways to destroy the kitchen and ruin more taste buds in Nailed It! Holiday! – even The Grinch makes an appearance to help ring in the New Year! Guest judges include: Maya Rudolph, Jillian Bell, David Burkta, Bridget Everett, Jason Mantzoukas and Ron Ben Israel.
Nailed It! Holiday! arrives on Netflix November 22, 2019.
Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings tackled a wide array of issues surrounding the streaming giant during a packed 30-minute keynote session at the New York Times‘ DealBook conference Wednesday.
Asked about Topic A, the unprecedented wave of streaming competition coming from Apple and Disney this month and then WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal next year, Hastings reiterated his confidence in his company. Reprising the sentiment he has expressed on recent earnings calls and other public appearances, he said customers would subscribe to several services. Subscription numbers, though, should not be the metric being tracked, he argued.
“The real measurement will be time,” he told moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin. “How do consumers vote with their evenings?”
Apple and traditional media players have spotted Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube more than a decade, Hastings said. “Everyone has realized, ‘Wow, this internet thing really works!” he cracked.
Content spending, which has reached a once-unfathomable $15 billion a year, is not going to moderate anytime soon, Hastings said. “We’re planning on taking spending up quite a bit.”
With linear TV around the world in a secular decline, there are plenty of viewers to harvest, Hasting said. Asked during the Q&A portion if the subscriber dip as business matures is going to be reversible, Hastings said,”We’re going to try to do the absolute best content that we can. And ultimately that’s going to draw in more subscribers. Whether that’s more or less than last year or next year, it’s hard to tell.”
Hastings defended Netflix’s decision to edit an episode of Patriot Act in which host Hasan Minhaj criticized Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman at behest of the Saudi government. “We're not in the news business,” he said matter-of-factly. “We're not trying to do ‘truth to power.’ … We can accomplish more by being entertainment and trying to influence the way people live, rather than being another news channel.”
Sorkin read from a New York Times editorial criticizing the move as rank censorship. Hastings shrugged, “You’re the New York Times. You’re in the truth-to-power business.”
As to movie release windows, Hastings said he didn’t expect any dramatic changes coming to the Netflix model. After intense negotiations, the company just released Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman in a limited run after large circuits declined to shorten the traditional window. While Hastings said he sees “a lot of movies in theaters” and enjoys the experience, he wasn’t inclined to move toward acquiring theaters, as some have speculated. The traditional lag between the big screen and the small deprives subscribers of what they want, he reasoned.