With Winter Storm Juno bearing down on the East Coast this week, residents of those states hit hardest get to experience what we always wished for as kids: the ultimate snow day. Even New York governor Andrew Cuomo called for a travel ban, barring any and all cars — outside of emergency vehicles — to drive on city streets after 11 p.m. Monday night (A rule that’s punishable with a misdemeanor if violated!),
So as the eastern United States hunkers down for 2015’s edition of snowmageddon, we understand how boring it is to actually stay cooped up inside for days on end. To help those of you enduring Juno we’ve got your ticket to keeping busy, staying sane, and thoroughly enjoying those snow days. What follows are our picks of the 10 best movies and TV shows currently streaming on Netflix.
No movie caused more of a dispute in 2014 — both global and domestic — than Seth Rogan and James Franco’s comedy, The Interview. Rogan plays Aaron Rapoport, television producer of the popular celebrity tabloid show hosted by the eccentric Dave Skylark (Franco). After the duo finds out North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a massive fan of the show, they decide to set up an interview with the controversial figure. Once the CIA gets wind of said interview, they recruit Skylark and Rapoport to assassinate Kim despite their obvious inadequacies. Give this a watch if for no other reason than to see what all the hullabaloo is about.
Nothing beats waiting out a blizzard like watching a Tarantino spaghetti western, and Django Unchained is as good as they come in the genre. Jamie Foxx stars as freed slave Django, who embarks on a journey to rescue his captured wife from the grips of the violent plantation owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). The fantastic Christoph Waltz plays Dr. King Schulz, a former dentist turned bounty hunter who trains Django in the art of killing and accompanies him on his grandiose adventure. Filled with spectacular acting, ridiculous shootouts, and Tarantino’s signature comedic timing, Django Unchained is a wild good time.
The entrancing BBC-original crime series The Fall not only features the guy tackling the tricky on-screen role of Christian Grey, but also proves Gillian Anderson still has a little Dana Scully in her — and something more. Set in the Northern Ireland city of Belfast, The Fall follows the lives of two people: Detective Stella Gibson (Anderson), and serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). After arriving in Belfast to oversee the investigation of a 28-day-old murder, Gibson and local Belfast detectives realize a serial killer is on the loose and avert their attention to him. Its disturbing and dark tone will have you double-checking your locked doors.
You likely don’t need much convincing about joining Will Ferrell on his return as the dapper and mustachioed news anchor, Ron Burgundy. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues finds Burgundy living in the Big Apple and anchoring the news alongside wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate). After a firing sends Burgundy spiraling out of control (and somehow at Sea World in San Diego), he reunites with his old pals Champ, Brick, and Brian to do what they do best: the news. While not as funny as the original, Anchorman 2 still delivers some hearty laughs.
David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook takes the touchy subject of mental illness and puts it front and center in this dramedy starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The movie finds Pat Solatano Jr. (Cooper) returning home from a Maryland mental health institution — against the institution’s wishes — to attempt to pick up the pieces from a failed marriage. However, due to Solatano’s anger issues and bi-polar disorder, this task is much easier said than done. Lawrence’s turn as recovering sex addict Tiffany earned her an Oscar for Best Actress, though the entire movie is a feel-good triumph.
Before Richard Linklater made a movie over 12 years in Boyhood, or even allowed Matthew McConaughey to tell audiences what he thought of high school girls, the unique filmmaker wrote and directed the seemingly plotless film, Slacker. In the movie, Linklater traces a number of weird and strange characters over the course of one day in Austin, Texas. No character receives more than a few minutes of screen time before the camera fixates on another colorful Austenite. It’s an interesting piece of storytelling and Linklater’s direction is where the film truly shines.
As far as recent spy thrillers go, 2011’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy ranks among the absolute best in the genre, second arguably only to Matt Damon’s Bourne movies. In this Gary Oldman-starring film, an aging spy finds himself back in the espionage business, tasked with finding a Soviet mole buried deep inside MI6. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, and John Hurt also star in this enigmatic feature from Tomas Alfredson — director of the superb Let the Right One In. For fans of John le Carre’s 1974 novel of the same name, breath easy, Alfredson carefully heeded le Carre’s advice to uphold the sanctity of his original story.
Bruce Dern and Will Forte star in this Oscar-nominated film about a father and son who set out on a road trip to collect $1 million in supposed prize money. Dern’s turn as the alcoholic father earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor, and is some of his best work during a prolific 57-year career. Don’t let Nebraska’s black-and-white visual style throw you off, this is a remarkable film about family and how hollow life seems sometimes. Even Forte, known more as an off-the-wall comedian than dramatic actor, shines as Dern’s son David.
Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time
Funny man Patton Oswalt returned to the stage in 2014 for his latest stand-up special, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time. Perhaps known most for his role in the TV sitcom King of Queens, Oswalt got his start in comedy writing for the SNL-competing show, MADtv. Oswalt’s penchant for wit and goofiness shine as he tackles subjects ranging from a father/daughter date gone bad, to the future of the United States. It also wouldn’t be a Patton Oswalt set if he didn’t take hilariously wicked jabs at himself, something Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time offers in hefty doses.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 dark comedy Fargo should feel right at home on your TV during Winter Storm Juno as it takes place in snowy Fargo, North Dakota. The film stars William H. Macy as a struggling car salesman who decides to have his wife kidnapped, and subsequently ransomed, to save him from crippling debt. Opposing Macy is the brilliant Frances McDormand, who plays a very pregnant Fargo police chief tasked with investigating a string of homicides in the city. The film is rife with plenty of the signature comedy and drama fans of the Coen brothers have come to expect, proving to be an over-the-top ride throughout.