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If you have to watch one Netflix movie in July, stream this one

A man floats in the air in The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar.
Netflix

Thanks to a combination of new releases and archival titles, Netflix has made sure that you always have something to watch. The streaming service defines its own success in large part through its ability to hook viewers and keep them engaged and coming back for more. Sometimes, though, you may know that you want to watch something, but struggle with actually finding anything interesting.

Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with the perfect way to spend some time on the streaming service. Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is the ideal Netflix watch. Adapted from a short story by Roald Dahl, the film follows Henry Sugar as he becomes a master gambler, and then questions what he should do with the vast fortune he amasses. Here are three reasons you should check it out.

Wes Anderson’s style is on full display

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Three More | Official Trailer | Netflix

Whatever you might think of Wes Anderson, or whether you think anything about him at all, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a perfect vehicle for everything he wants to do as a filmmaker. The story unfolds like a picture book, complete with sets that seem to effortlessly morph into one another and perfectly framed images that seem to be completely custom crafted.

Anderson is always in full control of the worlds that he creates, but in Henry Sugar, that world seems to be unusually beautiful, so much so that even the obviously artificial elements have a lovely quality to them.

It’s under an hour long

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.
Netflix

While some movies on Netflix can be punishing because of their sheer length, Henry Sugar is remarkably easy to fit into your schedule no matter who you are. Even though it tells a full story within a story, it does so remarkably concisely, introducing a panoply of interesting characters while always moving at a breakneck speed.

In spite of that relatively short running time, though, Henry Sugar still lands with a pretty impressive punch. It’s the kind of movie you can watch over and over again and continue to find new things every time you turn it on.

It features a roster of great actors

Three men look perplexed in The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar.
Netflix

Anderson is at the point in his career when it seems like he can work with basically anyone he wants, and that’s a privilege he takes full advantage of here. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as Henry Sugar, but Ben Kingsley, Monkey Man‘s Dev Patel, Ralph Fiennes, and the rest of his ensemble are equally up to the task of making their characters compelling while delivering their dialogue with a relatively flat effect.

Cumberbatch is particularly great, though, because of all the life he’s able to imbue into a character who intentionally starts the movie feeling like a bit of a cipher for the audience.

The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar is streaming on Netflix.

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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