Many movies that you see in theatres follow the same trends and use big budgets to wow us with affects rather than storylines. For me, independent movies are where you can find real stories that can be pretty different than the usual Hollywood blockbusters. Netflix has a long list of independent movies that make you want to go back and watch them again, and the best part is they are easy to access. So, here is my list of the 5 best independent movies on Netflix. Feel free to add to the list with your own favorites in the comments!
This movie has many familiar faces in it, including, Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Garner. The whole movie is focused on a foster child who has finally found a stable family to live with and her own hidden talent: butter carving. Based in a town where butter-carving contests are as big as Texas Football the competitions can get pretty intense. The comedy is spot on and the use of A-list stars just adds to it.
2. Safety Not Guaranteed
You may have seen this one advertised when it was coming out, but it never made the “must-watch” list for most people. It was made by the people who made Little Miss Sunshine. Two of the main characters are played by Aubrey Plaza, from Parks and Recreation, and Jake Johnson, from New Girl. They set off to write a newspaper article about a man who advertised that he is looking for a time travel partner. It’s a strange premise that follows somewhat clichéd rom-com paths, but ends with a surprise. It also delves into some soul searching for many of the characters and isn’t just a shallow romance.
It won the Waldo Scott Screenwriting award at the 2012 Sundance film festival.
3. Lars and the Real Girl
Ryan Gosling stars in this strange romance about a socially inept man who buys an anatomically correct doll, Bianca, and begins bringing her around the small town he lives in as if she were a real person. The community, while wary at first, soon accepts Bianca as one of their own for Gosling’s sake. Soon they are all emotionally attached to Bianca and realize how big of an impact she has had on the community. It’s an enjoyable, ridiculous story that really makes you think about the acceptance of others, and the unity of a community.
This movie received and Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and Gosling was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
4. Rid of Me
This is definitely and underdog film and may not be for everyone. The film making paired with the acting makes for a purposefully uncomfortable movie. Meris moves to her husband’s hometown with him where she meets his old high school friends. Immediately ostracized from the group, Meris makes a fool of herself as she tries desperately to fit in. Once her marriage ends, she continues to drown in this new environment until she finds a new rebellious friend who in the end helps Meris find herself. The entire time you are torn between rooting for Meris and wanting to cover your eyes to not see anymore of her embarrassment. It shocked me many times, and I was left incredulous until the end where it all came together and you felt you could move on, just as Meris was. If you are interested in things that are definitely out of the box, and you like underdog movies, then you will probably love this.
This is a black-comedy dystopian film starring Zach Galifianakis. The people in this society believe happiness is something you can force on yourself and something is wrong with you if you feel any other sort of emotion. They go to great lengths to keep up this fake happiness, but suddenly people start spontaneously exploding. As more and more people begin exploding, more forced happiness is forced upon them. Zach’s character is in the middle of this, and in fear of exploding himself he finds true happiness. It’s a deep movie with a great cast that accurately portrays how we get stuck in our daily routines and forget what it is like to be truly happy.