Netflix Picks – January 2017

Need some pointers on finding something great to watch on Netflix this January? We’ve compiled a few of the best relative new-comers to the streaming service that are well worth your time…

In a World…

‘In a World…’ is a charmingly unique comedy directed by, and starring, Lake Bell (Shrek Forever After, The Secret Life of Pets). Its unusual plot follows Carol Solomon (Bell), a vocal coach attempting to climb to the top of the voice over industry and become the new recognisable voice of film trailers. The film follows Carol as she works to surpass her father, the ‘king of voice-overs’ and is a pleasant and convincing mix of comedy, drama and romance all enhanced by the films absurd ‘voice-over industry’ setting.

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Son of Saul

A film of un-surpassed intensity, Son of Saul is a Hungarian concentration camp drama which follows a Jewish father who finds the body of his son in the camp. The plot depicts his efforts to bury his son in the Jewish tradition, rather than see his body burned alongside the other victims of the camp. Son of Saul is filmed entirely in a narrow aspect ratio, framing the film in a portrait-like way and adding to the intensity of the already blood-curdling situations. The eponymous Saul is part of the Jewish Sonderkommando, a unit forced by the German camp operators to dispose of the bodies of the camp’s victims.

Son of Saul won the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards and it’s no surprise. The film creates a tense and tangible atmosphere using its camerawork and its real-time depiction of Saul’s journey- equally it’s telling an important and tragic story. The story of the Sonderkommando is a grim one and one that is rarely told. Son of Saul is an important, exceedingly well-made and deeply affecting film.

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Fury

David Ayer’s 2014 WWII action-drama Fury offers great action and a fantastic set of performances, with Brad Pitt in the lead role. Ayer’s experience as a submariner in the US Navy underpinned his writing of Fury as he took the lead as both director and screen-writer.

Shia LaBeouf and Michael Peña co-star as they make up a Sherman tank crew alongside Pitt. The trio join the push into Nazi Germany as the war draws to a close. Fury’s action is simply brilliant and is differentiated from the WWII action-film crowd by the claustrophobic setting of the tank itself as well as the well-developed dynamic relationships that grow between its crew.

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Bone Tomahawk

An unusual mix of Western and Horror, Bone Tomahawk is an atmospheric film with a strong performance from Kurt Russell at its heart.

Click here for our full Bone Tomahawk review.

What starts off as a seemingly traditional Western plot gradually evolves into something much stranger. A small frontier village is attacked and the town doctor’s wife is kidnapped in the night. He the sheriff (Kurt Russell) and some other concerned citizens set off in pursuit of the kidnappers who turn out to be of a much more supernatural nature than expected.

Bone Tomahawk isn’t exactly awards bait but it’s a very interesting watch because of its unusual genre-mixing plot. Horror fans will love the other-worldly villains of the piece and the western elements of the plot and setting are well executed too. Kurt Russell’s performance is crucial at the film’s core and the genre experimentation is innovative and well worth a watch for any horror, western or action fans.

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By George Storr

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