Top 50 Movies on Netflix: January 2019

Happy New Year and welcome to the latest What’s on Netflix top 50 movies currently streaming on Netflix for January 2019. Our selection covers a mix of the best comedy, action, romantic, sci-fi and animated movies currently streaming on Netflix. We update this list every month with the new movies that have been added to Netflix.

We have many exciting new arrivals and some welcome returns this month. Look out for the multiple entries for Ridley Scott and it’s almost certainly time for another viewing of The Dark Knight if you haven’t seen it already. Let us know what you think.


50. (49) Disney’s 101 Dalmatians – 1996

Directed by: Stephen Herek
Starring: Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson
Running time: 1hr 43min

The animated version of 101 Dalmatians was released in 1966 and was a Disney classic. The 1996 comes pretty close. Hugh Lawrie and Mark Williams – British comedians – are excellent as the bumbling dog catchers (who wouldn’t be when there’s 101 of them) and Glenn Close must have had a ball playing the evil Cruella. Of course, the dogs are clearly more inteeligent than the humans and this is why 101 Dalmatians must be taken most seriously. Or not. This is a great family watch.


49. (-) Mr. Bean’s Holiday – 2007

Directed by: Steve Bendelack
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Willem Dafoe, Steve Pemberton
Running time: 1h 30min

Mr Bean is a disaster. By that we mean that everything he touches turns to mud rather than that the movie is a disaster. There will always be room for good old fashioned British slapstick and Atkinson’s character delivers in trumps. While there is a strong hint of cynical devices to involve a more international audience, that really doesn’t detract from some fine comedy.


48. (46) Sand Castle – 2017

Directed by: Fernando Coimbra
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Logan Marshall-Green, Henry Cavill
Running time: 1h 53min

It is arguable that not enough time has yet passed for the movie industry to look at events in the middle east with any great authority. Sand Castle is a Netflix movie (Netflix are primarily TV producers) and the script could well have started out as a TV show. There are good lines and some pleasantly funny bits. This is a good movie dealing with a difficult subject matter. Perhaps it could have been better? You decide.


47. (45) Goosebumps – 2015

Directed by: Rob Letterman
Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush
Running time: 1h 43min

goosebumps-2015

Goosebumps is a family friendly monsters movie with some nice special effects and quality performances from a largely unknown supporting cast. Jack Black in the lead role is his usual competent self. Based loosely on the series of Shivers children’s books (Black’s character is rather shamelessly called Shivers) which were, in turn, a “rip off” of the earlier series of Goosebumps books. This is the end of a procession of, er, recycled material that actually works.


46. (43) Transcendence – 2014

Directed by: Wally Pfister
Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman
Running time: 1hr 59min

It’s curious how often Johnny Depp has appeared in our list over time. He certainly has talent and works with great directors and writers. We might have answered our own question. Transcendence is a movie that will challenge you belief system on a number of levels. The idea that man can create perfect intellegence has been explored often in movies. Usually it looks at the results; Transcendence goes further.


45. (41) The Water Horse – 2007

Directed by: Jay Russell
Starring: Emily Watson, David Morrissey, Alex Etel
Running time: 1hr 52min

Have you been missing the Loch Ness Monster? We have. Thankfully, it’s been brought to life. This is a family movie with an endearing story and fine CGI. Set before WWII, the period attitudes add to the romance of the movie and add a depth that might be missed by the kids but will be appreciated by an older audience.


44. (40) Armageddon – 1998

Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck
Running time: 2h 31min

armageddon

This is the story of Bruce Willis efforts to save the world from yet another threat from space. It’s hardly a recruitment campaign for NASA, but they took it seriously enough to allow filming in normally restricted areas of their premises. The dialogue is excellent and witty, and it’s worth watching just for that. Wouldn’t it be great if it was a true story; but it’s not. It’s two and a half hours of pure escapism with great visuals, great sound, a love interest for the ladies and a happy ending. Couldn’t be better.


43. (39) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – 2005

Directed by: Garth Jennings
Starring: Martin Freeman, Yasiin Bey, Sam Rockwell
Running time: 1hrs 49min

Far from one of the greatest movies ever made but from one of the best books ever written, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy has to sneak into our list. The movie came after hit radio and TV series, a five-part trilogy of novels and a BAFTA-winning computer game as if the opportunity for total absorption was not already sufficient. While this is essentially a British movie, the planet has been destroyed so that doesn’t count.


42. (-) Mona Lisa Smile – 2003

Directed by: Mike Newell
Starring: Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles
Running time: 1h 57min

The idea of a progressive and adventurous teacher is hackneyed in the movies. That Julia Roberts should give it a go is little surprise. The good news is that the performances, without exception, are excellent. The characters draw us in and it’s easy to empathize. Roberts puts in a considerably better delivery than her Erin Brockovich for which she won her Oscar


41. (38) Julie & Julia – 2009

Directed by: Nora Ephron
Starring: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina
Running time: 1h 58min

Meryl Streep hasn’t featured in out Top 50 for a while now and the outstanding work of Nora Ephron (lets not forget You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally…) is well represented here. This is actually a true story from the memoirs of Julia Child and Julie Powell who were remote in real life but joined but that most important of ingredients, butter. Why not learn to bake as well?


40. (37) 9 – 2009

Directed by: Shane Acker
Starring: Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover
Running time: 1h 19min

It would be easy to dismiss 9 as animation for animations sake. That would be wrong. While the concept is pretty surreal and the story rather indifferent, the delivery is very good. The bad guys are pleasantly bad and the good guys pleasantly endearing. This one draws you in and holds you. Against the backdrop of some exceptional artwork and great animation, this is probably not one for the kids. And therein lies the message. An animated movie for grown-ups has got be something special.


39. (-) Tears of the Sun – 2003

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci
Running time: 2h 1min

Tears of the Sun is a vehicle for Bruce Willis to do what he does best. The tough action-man expressionless hero delivering a deep morality story. There is nothing sanitized here. The movie is brutal and there’s plenty of action. The premise that “grunts” might have minds of their own and a healthy disregard for the Geneva convention is really rather refreshing.


38. (34) Chocolat – 2000

Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina
Running time: 2h 1min

Nominated for 5 Oscars, Chocolat is up there with the best of the romcoms. This is a gentle movie about many things that matter life – love, sincerity, tolerance, good over evil and the enjoyment of life simple pleasures. And that includes chocolate of course. The performances from Jonny Depp, Judi Dench, Juliette Binoche in supporting roles are immaculate. Joanne Harris’ novel is brought to the screen perfectly.


37. (33) Hercules – 1997

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
Starring: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, James Woods
Running time: 1h 33min

Hercules is a true story. Really. It’s just very, very old. For a Disney movie, Hercules is quite exceptional in the depth of the wit and humor in the dialogue. James Woods as Hades is magnificent and the other voice overs work equally well. There has been plenty of urban myth over the years about subliminal “adult” material buried in the movie and you can follow that debate yourselves. Suffice it to say that you don’t need kids around for a viewing of Hercules. This stands on it’s own two feet as a movie for grown-ups.


36. (32) Cape Fear – 1991

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Running time: 2hr 8min

Cape Fear is a remake of the 1962 original starring Rober Mitcham. It received two nominations and is a powerful psycho-thriller and you don’t need to be a Scorcese fan to watch it. This is one of De Niro’s better but more understated performances and there are some fine cameos from the cast of the original movie. This is definitely one to make your hair stand on end.


35. (31) From Dusk Till Dawn – 1996

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis
Running time: 1hr 48min

From Dusk Till Dawn, written by Quentin Tarantino, is a nice piece of vampire/zombie horror. It’s an interesting twist that the bad guys (Tarantino plays a particularly nasty bad guy) are out done by some really really bad guys. Essentially a vehicle for the ocean of violence and gore that Tarantino fans expect, the subplot of a preacher who has lost his faith and has to find it again is the only depth to the movie, but even that is necessary rather than thought provoking. This is one for the boys, and that is proved by Salma Hayek in a bikini.


34. (30) The English Patient – 1996

Directed by: Anthony Minghella
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe
Running time: 2hr 42min

The English Patient bagged a mere 9 Oscars. Perhaps it should rank higher on our list. In reality, winning Oscars doesn’t always relate to the popularity of a movie. To watch this triumph requires an investment in the understanding of the material and not everyone has been prepared to do that. You should. The character portrayals are immaculate, the scenery powerful and the story complex without being over whelming.


33. (29) The Aviator – 2004

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Running time: 2hr 50min

Many have heard of Howard Hughes but not everyone is aware of what a complete OCD weirdo he was. The Aviator goes a long way towards correcting that. Nominated for 11 Oscars and winner of 5, it plumbs the depths of Hughes mind with enormous sensitivity. Hughes inherited his fathers tool company (and therewith substantial wealth) at a young age. This allowed him to indulge his passion for aviation. The great story comes from the Outlaw where he engaged his aircraft designers in the creation of a new concept in bras for Jane Russell.


32. (-) Happy Feet – 2006

Directed by: George Miller, Warren Coleman
Starring: Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman
Running time: 1h 48min

It’s not often we get to use the word adorable but Happy Feet fully justifies it. Imagine a world where friends are made through singing and you can’t sing. Bummer. Fortunately for Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) he can tap dance. And he’s very good at it. But the movie isn’t all sweetness and light. It deals with some big issues, not least the environment, but in a splendidly child friendly way. Trust us, by the end of this you’ll want your own penguin.


31. (27) Film Worker – 2017

Directed by: Tony Zierra
Starring: Leon Vitali, Ryan O’Neal, Danny Lloyd
Running time: 1h 34min

Leon Vitali gave up a thriving career as an actor to become Stanley Kubrick’s loyal right-hand man. This is a biopic that offers deep insights into the workings of Kubrick specifically and the movie industry generally. Anecdotes from actors, family, crew members, and key film industry professionals abound. Behind every genius there is nearly always the one who take the vision and helps turn it into reality. Vitali is that one.


30. (23) Animal House – 1978

Directed by: John Landis
Starring: John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce
Running time: 1hr 49min

Animal House was, and probably still is, one of the funniest movies every made. There have been many attempts to imitate but none has ever come close. The late great John Belushi’s creation of Bluto Blutarsky is a true piece of his genius. If you’ve never watched it, you should; and if you’ve seen it before, you’ll want to see it again. And if you’ve never crushed a beer can on your forehead, what better time to start.


29. (-) Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back – 2001

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck
Running time: 1h 44min

Jay and Silent Bob have appeared in several movies involving Kevin Smith. If you haven’t seen it, Dogma is probably the best. Through their multiple appearances, the two protagonists have developed a considerable back story including the idea that his first word as a child was the F bomb. These are fine comedy creations and we hope to see them appear again in the future.


28. (21) Close Encounters of The Third Kind – 1977

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr
Running time: 2h 18min

Looking back, it’s amazing that Close Encounters only bagged a single Oscar. Of it’s time, it was story telling of the very best – what would you expect from Spielberg? The idea of contact from an alien race touched many nerves and the idea the communication would be through music was a really nice touch. The movie hasn’t really aged and it’s nice to watch aliens who don’t want to wipe the human race out now and again.


27. (20) Beasts of No Nation – 2015

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga
Starring: Abraham Attah, Emmanuel Affadzi, Ricky Adelayitor
Running time: 2h 17min

beasts-of-no-nation

Beasts of No Nation was the movie that Netflix had in its inventory to change cinema forever. While it didn’t quite cause the revolution they were hoping for, it did leave Netflixers with one of the best movies of 2015. Thought-provoking and moving, the movie starred Idris Elba and followed the civil conflict in Africa.


26. (19) The Hateful Eight – 2015

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Running time: 3h 7min

The Hateful Eight takes over 3 hours to earn its Oscar and that was for the music. As Tarantino movies go, there’s plenty of gore and violence but the dialogue really isn’t up to his usual standard. Also, the story is virtually non-existent; its just people killing other people. The movie was much hyped before its release and the script was leaked adding to the hype. If you’re a Tarantino fan, give it a go. If you’re a western fan, don’t expect a lot of glorious scenery.


25. (18) Ghostbusters – 1984

Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Running time: 1h 45min

Ghostbusters is, quite simply, a latter day comedy classic. The sequels do not do it justice and this is the movie of the franchise that has stood the test of time. Rick Moranis actually steals the show despite great performances from Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver and the laughs just keep coming. The two Oscar nominations include the theme song by Ray Parker Jr which anyone can still whistle. Excellent.


24. (17) Hot Fuzz – 2007

Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman
Running time: 2h 1min

hot-fuzz

The second movie in the Cornetto trilogy is by far my favorite and thankfully, streaming on Netflix. With Nick Frost and Simon Pegg back in action, this time, instead of fighting zombies they’re patrolling a quaint and quiet town in the countryside. But not all is as it seems. Yes, Simon Peggs runs into a fence. Watch it.


23. (-) The Addams Family – 1991

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd
Running time: 1h 39min

The Addams Family is a dark comedy masterpiece. Developed from the cartoon series which launched in the New Yorker in 1938, the movie has been highly influential in Goth subculture. The character portrayals are immaculate and while it would have been easy to stray into nudity and profanity, the movie avoids this. It’s a great family watch. Now try and keep the catchy theme out of your head!


22. (16) Shrek – 2001

Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz
Running time: 1hr 30min

Even Mike Myers bizarre Scottish accent adds something to Shrek. Years ahead of it’s time, this CGI masterpiece has value in every line and in every shot. The comedy works for children and adults alike and the storyline is worthy of the Brothers Grimm. But the stand out creation is Donkey as voiced by Eddie Murphy. This irrepressible oaf is one of the finest characters the movie industry has ever dreamt up. Watch it on Netflix while you can and then buy the DVD.


21. (15) The Big Lebowski – 1998

Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore
Running time: 1h 57min

The Big Lebowski features high in may people’s list of all time favorite movies. It also features high in may peoples all time hated movies. And therein lies the crux of the matter. The Coen brothers produced another movie with a difference. This is an extremely funny movie if you get the comedy. It’s full of quotable quotes and the casting and acting couldn’t be better. This is a great spin on th mistkaen identity motif.


20. (-) Black Hawk Down – 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore
Running time: 2h 24min

Collecting two Oscars, Black Hawk Down is the true story of a disastrous American operation in Somalia. This is brutal realism (slightly unusual for Ridley Scott) with no undercurrents. No love story, no contrived dialogue, no happy ending. War is gruesome and the movie pulls no punches. This is not one for the faint-hearted. And ask yourself, what were the Americans doing in Somalia in the first place?


19. (14) The King’s Speech – 2010

Directed by: Tom Hooper
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Running time: 1h 58min

When the British knock out a great movie, they don’t hang around. The King’s Speech collected 4 Oscars from it’s 12 nominations. There is an enduring respect if not love for the British royal family around the world and there seems to be and enduring appetite for stories about them. Reference, of course, the Netflix Original drama The Crown. Events surrounding the abdication are well know but this is a nice look at what was going on from a completely different angle.


18. (13) Kill Bill

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah and many more
Running times: 1h 51min, 2h 17min

We’ve bundled the two Kill Bill movies together because they’re basically one movie and should be watched in one sitting. Apart from the combined length, it remains a mystery why they were released separately. This is Tarantino trademark violence and gore. The scenes in Japan are especially powerful and the use of animation is a really clever stuff.


17. (-) American Gangster – 2007

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Running time: 2h 37min

We have yet another Ridley Scott! And why not? He’s a genius. Based on a true story, American Gangster is a realistic view of drug trafficking and no-one in the unfortunate chain of the world of drugs is spared. It might have done better than it’s two Oscar nominations as the violence is rationed and therefore far more powerful than a full action movie.


16. (12) The Theory of Everything – 2014

Directed by: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
Running time: 2hr 3min

The number of biopic movies that have won the best actor Oscar in the last 30 years is disproportionate. Stephen Hawking was an extraordinary man and Eddie Redmayne, an extraordinary actor delivers an extraordinary performance in the story of his life. There’s no great hidden depth or message here; just a story of a life well lived. Inspirational? Definitely. Moving? Very. Will you end up understanding black holes? Almost certainly not.


15. (11) No Country for Old Men – 2007

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Running time: 2hr 2min

The Coen brothers at the top of their game bring us a multi-Oscar winning masterpiece.  Javier Bardem who plays the worst of baddies is the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar, and it’s obvious why he won from his first scene. The movie has no music, and that adds to the tension. Cast your mind back to Jaws and what the music did for that movie, and you’ll start to realise just how well this movie is made to maintain it’s tension without a soundtrack. Here’s a throwaway: did you know that a movie which starts with a voice over should always end with a voice over.


14. (-) The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – 2008

Directed by: Mark Herman
Starring: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend
Running time: 1h 34min

A deeply moving movie about the friendship between two young boys through the wire of a holocaust concentration camp, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is an examination of the devastating effect of war on two innocents. The holocaust is one of the indictments of the Germans during this desperate period of their history – “We were only following orders” – but that it should have been imposed on young children who knew nothing of the concept is beyond comprehension.


13. (10) The Truman Show – 1998

Directed by: Peter Weir
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Running time: 1h 43min

Jim Carrey made his name as a lightning fast rubber faced comedian and his ventures into serious roles have not always been comfortable. The Truman Show stands apart. The concept is a wonderful piece of “what if” imagination and it’s perfectly explored. The metaphorical development of the boy to the man and his ultimate liberation will leave you with tears in your eyes.


12. (9) Shaun of the Dead – 2004

Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield
Running time: 1h 39min

Shaun Of The Dead is an archetypal British comedy. A pom zom rom com. There are parodies of any number of movie genres going on here and the pace never lets you go. George Romero was so impressed he invited Pegg and Frost into cameos in his Land of the Dead. This movie is worth it for the “Don’t Stop Me Now” scene alone.


11. (-) The Departed – 2006

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
Running time: 2h 31min

For a movie with a slightly contrived story line, The Departed collected a respectable 4 Oscars. Scorsese is a great director and with some top acting talent, this should not be a surprise. Without wishing to give any spoilers away, the Departed has a unique and shocking scene that you will take away for a long time. Both intense and, at times funny, this movie does not have a dull moment.


10. (-) Monty Python and the Holy Grail – 1975

Directed by: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle & many more
Running time: 1h 31min

Monty Python and the Holy Grail has been described as one of the funniest movies ever made. Anyone familiar with the Pythons irreverent and surrealistic view of the world can only agree. This is loosely a romp through the history of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Since the story is largely myth and legend, the Pythons have a free rein to shred it. And they do.


9. (8) LA Confidential – 1997

Directed by: Curtis Hanson
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger and more
Running time: 2hr 18min

A strait-laced, a brutal, and a sleazy cop – three crime drama stereotypes – hammer through the corruption of 1950s Los Angeles. Ho hum. We have an all star cast, a fine adaptation of a novel, excellent direction, observant production and some great photography. Even though she didn’t get top billing, she’s the focus of the poster and Kim Bassinger is superb. As we’ve already observed, there’s more tha enough crime drama about but this one of the better.


8. (-) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark – 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Running time: 1h 55min

Archeology eh! Now there’s a dull subject. Except when the reward is priceless riches and power. Odd since Indiana Jones isn’t particularly interested in either. This a Spielberg adventure with plenty of comedy, action and one-liners which will come round time and time again. Get yourself a whip and a homburg why don’t you?


7. (6) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 2004

Directed by: Michel Gondry
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson
Running time: 1hr 48min

With an Oscar for best writing, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a love story with a twist. The love has apparently gone and the two lovers seek to have the memories erased from their minds. But they can’t. This movie works on many levels and the emotional backdrop will draw you in like no other love story.


6. (5) Good Will Hunting – 1997

Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Starring: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
Running time: 2hr 6min

By the time he made Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was firmly established as a highly competent serious actor. The storyline is not complicated but the characterisations are and the professor student relationship is perfectly delivered. In April this year, The Empire Top 100 list had Good Will Hunting at no97. For unknown reasons, the movie wasn’t universally well received but, we think, should have been higher in the list.


5. (4) Se7en – 1995

Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
Running time: 2hr 7min

Pitched as a crime drama (yawn), Se7en is much nearer to a horror classic (unyawn). This is a darkly disturbing movie in which the serial killer is on a project to get rid of seven people guilty of the seven deadly sins. These are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth in case you’d forgotten. Spoiler alert? The seventh victim…. no, no no.


4. (3) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – 2001

Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
Running time: 2hr 58min

The almighty Lord of the Rings trilogy from the classic novel by J.R.R Tolkein begins with The Fellowship of the Ring. No doubt, The Two Towers and the Return of the King will follow soon. The three hours will seem so much shorter as the incredible CGI and other special effects become totally absorbing. It’s rare that something on this epic scale is attempted and rarer still when it completely succeeds. Watch this with awe.


3. (-) Pulp Fiction – 1994

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson
Running time: 2h 34min

Pulp Fiction moves seamlessly between 4 simultaneous story lines with plenty of trademark Tarantino violence and humour. The big unanswered question is what is in the briefcase? There have been many speculations over the years but no definitive answers. Our favourite explanation is that it’s Marcellus’ soul and the band-aid on his neck is where it was taken out. But the way it shines, it could just be gold. The performances in Pulp Fiction are as good as it gets, Tarantino’s choice of music is superb, and the screenplay is a masterpiece. This movie works on every level.


2. (-) The Dark Knight – 2008

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
Running time: 2h 32min

Much has been written about the heights Heath Ledger might have scaled but for his untimely demise. The Dark Knight was his last screen appearance and spawned the discussion. This is a grim revisit of the caricature 1989 version of Batman and the Joker and much closer to the Batman and Joker with their inherent angst and blackness that was originally intended. Ledger was awarded a posthumous Oscar.


1. (2) Schindlers List – 1993

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
Running time: 3h 15min

Another classic from the great Steven Spielberg, Schindlers List is the true story of the efforts of a conscientious German businessman to help Jews avoid the Nazi concentration camps. Oskar Schindler was not a particularly likeable person which makes this story even more remarkable. This is a long movie at over 3 hours but the 7 Oscars it won explain why it’s a must watch. Let’s hope it’s lessons have been learned for all time.

Tim Colman

Tim helped co-found What's on Netflix with Kasey back in 2013 after a career in publishing covering both the skiing and the scuba diving sectors. Tim loves the older movies and cult classics which shines through in his features and top movies list. Tim also maintains the central database for What's on Netflix driving the A-Z library. Tim resides in Norwich, UK.