5 Hidden Gems on Netflix

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Bob Mahoney, Netflix

“Dumplin'” is a hidden gem on Netflix that shows Jennifer Aniston in a different type of role as the overbearing ex-beauty queen mother.

There are about 4,000 movies on Netflix, according to Up Next by Reelgood. No one can be expected to watch all those movies, but here are a few of my favorites.

“The Game” (1997)

This two-hour mystery thriller, directed by David Fincher and released in 1997, received an 84% audience score, according to Rotten Tomatoes. “The Game” follows a tremendously wealthy investment banker, Nicolas Van Orton, played by Michael Douglas. Van Orton’s life falls into paranoia and despair after his younger, estranged brother gives him an opportunity to spice up his life, through an increasingly personal game, as a birthday present. This movie had me on the edge of my seat the entire movie. I wanted to peer into the future to see how the game would get resolved, or if it would get resolved. Due to this film being R-rated, I would avoid watching this with any younger siblings, but it would be a good movie to watch with your friends or parents.

“Good Time” (2017)

Tired of living the low city life in New York, brothers Connie (played by Robert Pattinson) and Nick (played by Benny Safdie) try to rob a bank in attempt to buy a farm inVirginia. The robbery goes south, mentally disabled brother Nick gets arrested, and Connie starts his night long journey in attempt to break his brother out of jail while avoiding capture. “Good Time is saturated with vibrant colors and gave me not only a need to call my own brother, but also an adrenaline rush. “Good Time” is an R-rated film but is a great night watch.

“Dumplin’” (2018)

Jennifer Aniston stars as former beauty queen whose daughter feels trapped in her shadow. Her daughter, a slightly rejected plus-size Willowdean Dickson (played by Danielle Macdonald), signs up for her mother’s pageant as a protest and in the hope that her mom will be more accepting of her. Dickson is seen as an inspiration and other outsiders follow her and sign up as well, creating a modernization of pageantry in their small southern town. This feel-good, two-hour film was a pandemic favorite in my family, and always made my mother cry and give me a big hug.

“Safe Haven” (2013)

“Safe Haven,” based on a Nicolas Sparks book, follows Katie Feldmen, played by Julianne Hough, after she moves to a small southern town determined to pave a new path for herself. She quickly falls in love with a widower, Alex, who is played by Josh Duhamel, and makes friends with her neighbor Jo, but secrets from her past start to find her and threaten her new life. This film runs two hours and is a romantic thriller perfect for a pandemic date night at home.

“To The Bone” (2017)

This film maybe be troublesome to watch for people who have struggled with eating disorders or mental illness in the past, but it’s a worthwhile watch for those who can get through it. Ellen, played by Lily Collins, is a rebellious 20-year-old anorexic girl who has been in all the recovery programs, and nothing seems to work for her. Her family, determined to get Ellen the help she needs, finds an unconventional doctor who leads a group home. Ellen is forced to learn how to recover for herself versus for her family and faces her illness head-on with the help of her new support system.