Netflix hidden gems: 13 movies and shows you’ll love

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Netflix

1. sense8 (2015-2018)

Eight people all around the world find themselves inexplicably tied to each other: they share their feelings, knowledge, thoughts, and skills. As they get used to this phenomenon and try to help each other as much as possible, they learn that they are a part of a more significant issue that puts their lives in peril.

Almost the entire Netflix show, which consists of two seasons, was shot on location worldwide, making sense8 a unique project, reuniting a diverse and professional cast and crew from different cultures. This is one of my comfort shows because of its central theme: that we are not alone, that somebody out there might feel like we do. All we have to do is be kind to each other, hoping that we will find the people we belong with.

2. Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeasts (2020)

In a dystopic future where humans live underground, fearing the mutated intelligent animals who roam the surface of the Earth, Kipo, a 13-year-old, feels the sun’s warmth for the first time. Kipo wants to find her father and discover what had caused the collapse of their community, but she has many dangers to face. Fortunately, she befriends Wolf and Benson and two mutants (Dave and Mandu), who will help her and learn from her.

Although it’s mainly aimed at young audiences, Kipo is a lovely three seasons Netflix show who will lift your spirit. Its central themes are family, friendship, unity, justice, forgiveness, and the power of sacrifice. I strongly recommend it to whoever needs a funny and refreshing series to binge-watch. Oh, and by the way, the soundtrack is a killer!

3. Dark Tourist (2018)

David Farrier, a New Zealand filmmaker, travels the world to investigate its peculiarities and mysteries, sometimes endangering his own life in the process. From the US to Africa and Asia, he visits the strangest places and experiences what it’s like to assist in a voodoo ceremony, travel through high-radiation areas, and meet ‘real-life vampires.’ This Netflix documentary is not for the squeamish, but I’m sure some of you will appreciate it and find holiday inspiration in David’s adventures.

4. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (2016-2017)

Based on Douglas Adams’ books, the two-seasoned show follows Dirk Gently’s adventures as he takes on another strange case that defies logic. When a man dies in a hotel, and the only witness is a black kitten, it looks like it’s a dead end. Not for Dirk (Samuel Barnett)! Helped by the reluctant Todd (Elijah Wood) and Farah (Jade Eshete), they figure the case out. Clue: it involves time travel, people with special abilities, technology, and madness. It looks like a mess, but don’t worry; everything is connected!

While this Netflix show is chaotic and it’s pretty much crazy, it has that feel-good vibe that will instantly make you feel better. Give it a chance!

5. Shadow (2018)

And now, something for the wuxia fans out there: this Netflix Chinese drama directed by Zhang Yimou focuses on the war between two kingdoms: Pei and Yang. Pei Commander Ziyu plans his revenge on Yang Cang, the adversary’s undefeated champion. Still, he has a card up his sleeve: sharing his identity with another man is both an advantage and a curse when nobody else knows the truth. To further confuse the viewer, Deng Chao plays both Ziyu and his shadow Jingzhou. Will they reclaim the city? Which one of them will survive?

6. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

If you’re a true crime enthusiast, the name Ted Bundy surely rings a bell. This Netflix movie, starring Zac Efron as the charismatic serial killer, focuses on the criminal investigation that shook the US in the 70s and 80s. Told from Ted’s then-girlfriend Liz (Lily Collins), Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile shows Ted in an ambiguous light, emphasizing the society’s disbelief that such a nice, young, helpful man could take somebody’s life. As we all know, appearances can be deceitful; the gruesome deeds of Ted Bundy still fascinate the public more than 30 years after his execution.

7. Solace (2015)

Retired Dr. John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins) decides to take one last case when a series of murders baffle the FBI. His secret weapon? His psychic powers. John knows and feels things out of typical people’s reach. Unfortunately, the man they’re after has the same gift, only stronger. Charles Ambrose (Colin Farrell) will not give up until he fulfills his ghastly plan, and John does everything he can to stop him.

This underrated Netflix gem is a beautiful mix of Death Note and Silence of the Lambs, a cop flick with a paranormal twist. I feel it needs more recognition, as the actors put on a convincing act, and the visuals effects are stunning.

8. Synchronic (2020)

This horror/SF Netflix movie stars Anthony Mackie as Steve and Jamie Dornan as Dennis, two New Orleans paramedics. They encounter a series of eerie deaths connected to a reality-altering drug called Synchronic. After finding he doesn’t have much to live, Steve starts experimenting with the drug and finds that it sends him back in time. Through trial and error, he discovers how the process works and finds himself stranded in the middle of a battle. With another person’s life at stake besides his own, Steve has to decide what he will do with the last pill.

9. Mune: The Guardian Of The Moon (2014)

This French animation takes us into a fantastic world, where the Moon and the Sun guardians work closely together to maintain balance. While the new generation of guardians still struggles with the task, a magma giant rises and steals the Moon, bringing chaos to the world. Mune (Michaël Grégorio) and Sohone (Omar Sy) team-up with Glim (Izïa Higelin) to defeat the titan and to face their inner demons.

The storyline is easy to follow so that you can watch this Netflix animation with your family. What I’ve enjoyed best about Mune is the animation style and all the details that brought the world to life in such vivid colors.

10. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

‘What do you want?’
‘For people not to be assholes.’

That’s the bit of dialogue that sold this movie to me. A black comedy unlike any I’ve seen, this Netflix movie is about Ruth (Melanie Lynskey), who seeks revenge on people who broke into her house. Tony (Elijah Wood) offers to help her, but soon the situation degenerates, and the duo finds that they got more than they had signed up for.

11. The Valhalla Murders (2020)

This one-season series tells the story of Arnar Böðvarsson, a detective who returns to Iceland, hunting a serial killer with a link to a mysterious photograph. Based on a real-life case from the 40s, the Nordic noir show stands out as a suspenseful and sinister story.

12. Castlevania (2017-2021)

Based on the Japanese video game series with the same name, Castlevania focuses on the war between humans as vampires. After his innocent wife is burned alive, Dracula (Graham McTavish) summons hellish demons to seek revenge on all the people in Wallachia. As his powers threaten to drown the world in blood, Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage), the last of a renowned family of monster hunters, Sypha (Alejandra Reynoso), a powerful magician, and Alucard (James Callis) ally to stop him. But it turns out there are more forces who want to rule the land and prey on humans…

If you need more details about the animated series, you can read the entire spoiler-free review here.

13. The Old Guard (2020)

This has been my favorite Netflix movie since it came out last summer. Andy (Charlize Theron), Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), Joe (Marwan Kenzari), and Nicki (Luca Marinelli) welcome young Nile (KiKi Layne) into their mercenary family. After a failed mission, they became a corporation’s targets due to their out-of-this-world skills, so they have to fight their way out. While it’s action-packed, with combat scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat, The Old Guard is much more than your typical kill-them-all movie. The nuanced relationship between the members’ newly found family steals the show, shaping them as humans first and as seasoned killers next.

Since the trailer gives away the main catch of the movie, I’ve decided to share with you one of the fight scenes instead. Please enjoy Charlize Theron single-handed taking down an entire army squad in a deserted church.

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