From mask-headed rockers to knife-wielding chop-sockers, some of 2014’s finest films were added to Netflix in February – along with one of the most hilariously awful revenge flicks ever made. So put your feet up and be entertained by our list of the ten best films new to stream – plus one that simply has to be seen to be believed.
Director Shane Black
Cast Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe
Last year’s best comedy, by a mile. ‘Lethal Weapon’ creator Shane Black offers us another mismatched pair of crimefighters in way out of their depth: cowardly private dick Ryan Gosling and none-too-bright ‘enforcer’ Russell Crowe. Oh and it’s set in the ’70s, so hot threads and cool tunes abound.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Lethal Weapon’
Director Joss Whedon
Cast Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson
Is it as good as the first ‘Avengers’? No way. Is it worth a lazy night on the sofa? Absolutely. The cast is terrific – Jeremy Renner finally gets the chance to shine as perennial sidekick Hawkeye. It’s also crammed with all the explosions, dust-ups and wise-ass banter you need from a blockbuster.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Captain America: Civil War’
Director Whit Stillman
Cast Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny
One of last year’s smartest, sharpest films, this adaptation of Jane Austen’s first novel ‘Lady Susan’ follows the exploits of a charming but manipulative aristocrat as she tries to secure a future for herself and her daughter.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Pride and Prejudice’
Directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney
In the 1980s, academic John Hull discovered that he was losing his sight and made a series of audiotapes documenting his experience. This remarkable film takes those tapes and transforms them into a fascinating story of how a small tragedy can have big ripples.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Life, Animated’
Director Na Hong-jin
Cast Jun Kunimura, Hwang Jung-min
One of last year’s best films, this bonkers Korean horror starts out grim and chilling, as lazy smalltown cop Jong-Goo investigates a series of horrific murders. But it soon lurches into far weirder territory, taking in black comedy, savage violence, supernatural goings-on and the best exorcism scene since 1973.
Watch it if you liked… ‘The Host’
Director Phyllida Lloyd
Cast Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried
Come on, you know what it’s about: girl invites group of men who might be her dad to a Mediterranean holiday cottage, everyone sings Abba, Meryl Streep gets overexcited, the end. It’s still the most successful homegrown British film ever made, if you don’t count James Bond.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Chicago’
Director Danny Boyle
Cast James Franco
Danny Boyle (‘Trainspotting’) sticks James Franco down a hole for five days – and the results are unexpectedly gripping. Franco plays real-life mountaineer Aron Ralston, who amputated his arm after getting trapped in a desert crevice and almost starving to death. Fair warning: when the penknife comes out, cover your eyes.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Touching the Void’
Director Judd Apatow
Cast Steve Carell, Catherine Keener
For most of us, this was our first exposure to ‘Knocked Up’ director Judd Apatow’s signature blend of salty sex comedy and sweetly truthful romance. Steve Carell plays the eponymous shagless nice-guy who sets out to bust his cherry before middle age sets in. It’s feelgood and very, very funny.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Knocked Up’
Director Joel Coen
Cast Jeff Bridges, John Goodman
The Coen brothers’ goofy stoner comedy has become a cult classic, with Lebowski festivals springing up all across the US and Europe. It’s a breeze of a film, starring Jeff Bridges as Creedence-loving wastoid Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski, who becomes embroiled in a kidnap plot.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Hail, Caesar!’
Director Neal Blomkamp
Cast Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel
The critics loathed ‘District 9’ director Blomkamp’s tale of a robot who achieves self-awareness. But the critics were dead wrong: this is fast, funny and razor-sharp, with fascinating things to say about the growth of artificial intelligence. Hugh Jackman’s seedy, mulleted bad guy is a joy.
Watch it if you liked… ‘District 9’