While Netflix original movies like To All the Boys I've Loved Before and Velvet Buzzsaw have received tons of mainstream coverage and buzz (ha!), there are dozens of lesser-known Netflix films to wade through. Here, 12 titles released with very little fanfare-and whether or not they're worth your time.
1. 'When We First Met'
This romantic comedy stars Pitch Perfect and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates alum Adam DeVine as a twentysomething who's secretly in love with his best friend. She gets engaged to another man, but Devine's character gets another chance to try to woo her by traveling back in time via a magical photo booth. (No, seriously.) It's sort of a twee millennial version of Groundhog Day, featuring details like an authentic A League of Their Own costume, a piano bar performance of "Shout!", and a heavy dose of the manic pixie dream girl trope.
This movie is the story of a nerdy high-schooler who gives herself a makeover so that she can be more popular on social media and catch a cute boy's eye, only to be constantly thwarted by her long-time nemesis, who already has 9 million vlog followers. Truly, a tale as old as time! It's a pretty tired, rehash(tag) of films like She's All That and Mean Girls, and while the movie makes an effort to update that story for the Snapchat generation, you can see its "Just be yourself and the rest will follow!" resolution coming from a mile away.
Should you watch it? The presence of a hashtag in a film title is always a red flag, and #realityhigh is unfortunately no exception. Unless you're really, really hard up for teen drama, feel free to #pass.
3. 'Irreplaceable You'
Irreplaceable You stars the inimitable Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Black Mirror) as a young woman who's shocked by a cancer diagnosis. She embarks on a journey to make sure her fiancé will be okay in the event of her death…by trying to fix him up with a new girlfriend to take her place. There's more than a little hokeyness to the film, and some aspects seem directly borrowed from Nicholas Sparks or The Fault in Our Stars, but moments in a cancer support group with characters played by Christopher Walken and Kate McKinnon are genuinely touching.
Should you watch it? Yes. While the film is uneven and the premise is nothing new, it's worth letting Netflix know that you support films with female directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, and actors.
It feels bizarre to even type these words, but: iBoy is the story of a young man who gets smartphone shards lodged in his brain, and the shards give him superpowers. (Ideally, this film will not lead to a rash of teens smashing their phones on their heads to see if they can get the same results.) He uses his newly found powers to avenge criminals who raped and kidnapped his best female friend, Lucy, who's played by Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams. Spoiler: The good guys win and lots of phones explode!
Should you watch it? I'll level with you: This movie was way too stressful for me, but you'll like it if you're a fan of movies like, say, Taken. In fact, this movie is pretty much Taken, but with a teen avenging the honor of a kidnapping victim.
Wheelman (yep, that's the actual title of an actual movie) takes place entirely in a car driven by a getaway driver (played by Frank Grillo) on assignment for the mafia. After he's told to abandon the bank robbers he was driving and take off with the money himself, high-stakes hijinks ensue. There's double crossing, threatening phone calls, a mysterious motorcycle man, a teen daughter who the Wheelman will do anything to protect, and a lot of extremely fast driving. Aside from its admirable commitment to seatbelt wearing, the movie doesn't do much to stand out in the over-saturated genre of Fast Car Films.
Should you watch it? No. Watch Baby Driver instead.
6. 'Take the Ten'
While Netflix's descriptions of movie and TV shows can be frustratingly vague, Take the Ten's is refreshingly straightforward: "Embezzlement, fake concert tickets, a drug dealer, and a Craigslist disaster. Weird day at the gourmet grocery store." Sounds fun, right? It definitely could have been. Instead, it's an odd mishmash of bro comedy and action-adventure, and it relies too much on flashbacks (instead of a solid plot), moderately funny one-liners, and crude/raunchy jokes. Plus, there's not a single three-dimensional female character in the mix.
Should you watch it? Unless you're a Josh Peck superfan, why Take the Ten when you could take a nap instead?
7. 'Roxanne Roxanne'
This biopic is produced by the same team behind Fruitvale Station and Dope and stars Chanté Adams as real-life rap and hip-hop artist Roxanne Shante. The movie follows Roxanne's life, beginning with her childhood in New York City's Queensbridge Projects, where she's the best battle rapper in the neighborhood, even as a kid. After she records a dis track that blows up, Roxanne Roxanne follows her rise to stardom. What sets the movie apart from other musician biopics is the intention with which it focuses on Roxanne the person, rather than solely her evolution as an artist.
Should you watch it? Absolutely-and then you should write Netflix a strongly-worded letter about how this movie deserved wayyy more promotion than they gave it.
This remake of a Swedish film called Naken stars Marlon Wayans as who wakes up in an elevator on his wedding day, completely naked. To make matters worse, he then gets stuck in a time loop, continuing to wake up in that same elevator naked, reliving the same hour over and over again, unable to get to his waiting bride. It's a pretty basic slapstick romcom, with more emphasis on the comedy than the romance. The trailer includes the line "it's deja groom all over again!" and that line, like the rest of the movie, is somehow more charming and endearing than you might expect.
Should you watch it? Hey, why not? The film also stars powerhouses like Regina Hall and Loretta Devine, Scott Foley, and singer Brian McKnight (?!) and if nothing else, Marlon Wayans looks great.
9. 'Before I Wake'
Remember Jacob Tremblay, the wunderkind from Room? Well, get ready to see him in a whole new, frankly terrifying light. After the death of their son, Mark and Jessie decide to move on by fostering a new child, Cody. As is always the case in the horror genre, it doesn't go well.
Should you watch it? Not if you're tired of the literal demonization of foster kids. But if you just love a good, terrifying romp, Jacob is definitely your guy.
10. 'Gerald's Game'
Based on a Stephen King novel (aren't they all?), Gerald's Game tells the thrilling tale of what happens when a sex game goes horribly wrong. Jessie (Carla Gugino) and her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) decide to get sexy in a remote cabin by handcuffing her to the bed. Bad idea. When Gerald dies of a heart attack, Jessie must survive the terrifying situation.
Should you watch it? Yes. One of the better Stephen King adaptions to date, and Gugino's performance is absolutely incredible.
11. 'The Kindergarten Teacher'
Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a pretty unstable kindergarten teacher who is convinced one of her students is a child prodigy. But instead of fostering his talents in a professional manner, she chooses to claim is work as her own poetry. Yeah......
Should you watch it? PLEASE. This is one of the best movies of 2018, and Gyllenhaal hits it out of the park. It's shocking Netflix didn't give this one more love considering how truly twisty and delicious the entire film is. You'll find yourself saying "WTF" more than once, but believing every second of it.
12. 'You Get Me'
Looking for a sexy movie starring sexy people? Well, Bella Thorne and Taylor John Smith (Sharp Objects) star in this creepy thriller about a guy named Tyler who hooks up with a mystery girl immediately after a breakup with his high-school sweetheart. The bad news? The ex takes him back, but his clingy hookup will do anything to claim him for herself. And I mean anything.
Should you watch this? LOL, no. Obviously feel free to make your own choices and follow you're heart, but this little film got a 26% audience score (a definitive SPLAT) on Rotten Tomatoes. But in case you still want to:
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