You’ve exhausted every recommendation by now, and your binge-fest is more of a snoozefest. But before you melt into your couch, don’t worry—there are still some Netflix hidden gems to hold you over this weekend and into the next.
Maybe you’ve stumbled upon Netflix’s own selection of hidden gems. After a little digging, however, you’ll realize there are still a ton of blockbuster releases and critically acclaimed films on the streaming giant’s list. Nobody wants to hear that 2014’s Snowpiercer is underrated by now—the Chris Evans-starring film was written by none other than Bong Joon-ho, whose 2019 film Parasite even went on to win an Oscar. That’s definitively popular.
Instead, StyleCaster is here to provide the real deep cuts. These are the films and limited series that might have fallen under your radar, received little media coverage, or missed the local market altogether before ending up on Netflix. And we promise you, they’re worth a watch.
Read on below for our list of the best hidden gems on Netflix now, and for more recommendations, check out list of other films to stream on Netflix.
If you’re a fan of abduction thrillers like the Liam Neeson Taken franchise, or better yet, Halle Berry’s mother/son edition in Kidnap, then 2019’s Furie is your latest update. The Vietnamese film sees a mother, played by superstar Veronica Ngo, playing the mother of a young girl stolen into a child trafficking ring. What Furie accomplishes anew, however, sets it apart from the rest. Aside from its impeccable pace—the chase kicks off quicker than most—we see an inherently feminine perspective to the kidnapping narrative. Furie‘s silent onlookers include women, while one ringleader is a lady, too. It challenges our understanding of what complicity looks when it comes to issues like trafficking. All that, wrapped into a movie where Ngo and her peers also manage to give us seriously enviable martial arts skills. You can’t go wrong.
This is an unlikely feel-good movie, but you’ll realize why it works as soon as you meet Mark Duplass and Ray Romano’s characters. Heading well into middle-age and all the ornery wit that comes with it, these two act as neighbors suddenly faced with an unwelcome guest in town. It’s cancer. When one of the guys is diagnosed, the pair resolve themselves to an honorable mission: to the pharmacy. Normally, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem. But in this instance, it’s a six-hour drive away. What ensues is a hilarious, yet bittersweet, journey between two uncommon friends.
We the Animals (2018)
This Sundance darling swept up the eyes and hearts of indie filmgoers, but it was lost on wider audiences until landing at Netflix. But don’t let the artsy haze of its initial rollout fool you—We the Animals remains impactful inasmuch as it looks gorgeous. Based on author Justin Torres’ semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, this poignant coming-of-age film follows three young boys as they live with abusive parents in upstate New York. Most of the credit here goes to the promising child actors, Evan Rosado, Isaiah Kristian, and Josiah Gabriel, whose portrayal speaks volumes to children’s capacity to persevere. We the Animals, while rooted in neglect, finds tenderness for these young boys and anyone who has gone through the same.
Seven Seconds (2018)
Regina King in anything should frankly be enough reason to stream. But the actress certainly missed some love on this underrated limited series, based on a Russian film, The Major. King plays the mother of a young Black teen who is hit by the car of a white police officer. Weary of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the officer immediately attempts to cover-up the accident—without checking to see if the teen in question was still alive or dead. We all know how this one goes, but Seven Seconds is worth a watch for its strong acting and always relevant message.
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
An unpredictable take on the road trip movie, The Fundamentals of Caring acts almost like a precursor to the aforementioned Paddleton. Actor Paul Rudd stars as Ben, a divorcee out of luck, suddenly looking for work as a caretaker for the ill or elderly. He doesn’t expect to be paired with a snarky teen, Trevor, who lives with muscular dystrophy. Yet they form an unexpected friendship, rooted in their shared sarcasm and depression. It gets them riled enough to embark on a drive across the West Coast, which is filled with as many follies and fun as you could expect. Not to mention, the Netflix original even features Selena Gomez—a worthwhile chance to see the songstress back in her acting groove.