Netflix Canada Selection: 207 Movies Worth Watching (2014 Update)

The long awaited part deux!

The long awaited part deux!

My post about the selection on Netflix Canada (from three years ago) is the most popular post on my blog. It’s viewed at least once a day, every day. That means a lot of people are interested on what’s worth watching on the service, and unfortunately, I’ve neglected to update the post because I thought “hey – I already directed people to check out New on Netflix and Instantwatcher, two Netflix title crawlers that do a better job of listing titles than I do.”

Alas, in a bald attempt to increase my page views, below is my selection of movies on Netflix Canada that you should check out (or put in your Netflix lists). Note: going through the list, I already noticed that some of these movies will expire this week (looking at you, Donnie Darko and Requiem for a Dream), so watch ’em quick! Also, I haven’t seen all of these movies, but the word I’ve heard about most of them is that they’re good/cult favourites/solid action/funny/scary. Enjoy…and watch as this post melts into obscurity in the next month!

Number Movie Title Year
1 The Rock 1996
2 Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2008
3 The Bourne Identity 2002
4 The Bourne Supremacy 2004
5 The Bourne Ultimatum 2007
6 Black Swan 2010
7 Shame 2011
8 Inside Man 2006
9 The Breakfast Club 1985
10 Drive 2011
11 The Hunger Games 2012
12 Accepted 2006
13 South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut 1999
14 Before Midnight 2013
15 Requiem for a Dream 2000
16 Midnight in Paris 2011
17 Enemy of the State 1998
18 Pulp Fiction 1994
19 Good Morning Vietnam 1987
20 No Country for Old Men 2007
21 Get Shorty 1995
22 Lost in Translation 2003
23 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004
24 Zoolander 2001
25 Frances Ha 2012
26 Wedding Crashers 2005
27 21 Jump Street 2012
28 The Social Network 2010
29 Robocop 1987
30 Team America: World Police 2004
31 Vicky Cristina Barcelona 2008
32 Wet Hot American Summer 2001
33 Spring Breakers 2012
34 Titanic 1997
35 The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999
36 The Hunt 2012
37 The Rainmaker 1997
38 Room 237 2012
39 Gone Baby Gone 2007
40 Robin Hood: Men in Tights 1993
41 City of God 2002
42 Exit Through the Gift Shop 2010
43 Donnie Darko 2001
44 Ghostbusters 1984
45 Braveheart 1995
46 Major League 1989
47 Tommy Boy 1995
48 Clerks 1994
49 Jerry Maguire 1996
50 The Firm 1993
51 West of Memphis 2012
52 Starship Troopers 1997
53 A History of Violence 2005
54 Contagion 2011
55 Insidious 2011
56 Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop 2011
57 Traffic 2000
58 Punch-Drunk Love 2002
59 The Faculty 1998
60 The Hustler 1961
61 The Hunt for Red October 1990
62 Take Shelter 2011
63 Young Frankenstein 1974
64 The Raid: Redemption 2011
65 Planet of the Apes 1968
66 From Dusk til’ Dawn 1996
67 Black Hawk Down 2001
68 Hackers 1990
69 The Guard 2011
70 The Verdict 1982
71 The Station Agent 2003
72 Broken Flowers 2005
73 1408 2007
74 Star Trek: First Contact 1996
75 Bronson 2008
76 The Fly 1986
77 The Road 2009
78 Ip Man 2008
79 The Devil’s Rejects 2005
80 Terri 2011
81 This is England 2006
82 Shoot ‘Em Up 2007
83 Bobby Fischer Against the World 2011
84 The Debt 2010
85 Woody Allen: A Documentary 2011
86 21 Grams 2003
87 The Magnificent Seven 1960
88 Upstream Color 2013
89 In the Line of Fire 1993
90 Lawrence of Arabia 1962
91 The Crazies 2010
92 Cop Land 1997
93 The Crow 1994
94 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer 2006
95 The Skin I Live In 2011
96 Hoop Dreams 1994
97 Tears of the Sun 2003
98 Slacker 1991
99 13 Assassins 2010
100 The Wave 2008
101 Ravenous 1999
102 Leprechaun 1993
103 Solitary Man 2009
104 Heavenly Creatures 1994
105 The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
106 Headhunters 2011
107 In a Better World 2010
108 The Thin Blue Line 1988
109 Margaret 2011
110 Elite Squad 2007
111 Confessions of a Superhero 2007
112 Strange Days 1995
113 City of Men 2007
114 Assault on Precinct 13 2005
115 The Illusionist 2010
116 Way of the Gun 2000
117 A Hijacking 2012
118 Don’t Look Now 1973
119 The Disappearance of Alice Creed 2009
120 North Face 2008
121 The Puffy Chair 2005
122 The Limits of Control 2009
123 The Prophecy 1995
124 The Messenger 2009
125 Iron Monkey 1993
126 The Parallax View 1974
127 Kill List 2011
128 The Naked Prey 1966
129 The White Ribbon 2009
130 The American Scream 2012
131 Drug War 2012
132 Red Riding: 1974 2009
133 Red Riding: 1980 2009
134 Red Riding: 1983 2009
135 New World 2013
136 The Man of the Year 2003
137 The Man from Nowhere 2010
138 Pan’s Labyrinth 2006
139 Amelie 2001
140 The Bicycle Thief 1948
141 A Separation 2011
142 A Prophet 2009
143 The Secret in Their Eyes 2009
144 Hero 2002
145 District 13 2004
146 Ong-Bak: Thai Warrior 2003
147 The Legend of Drunken Master 1994
148 The Protector 2005
149 Rumble in the Bronx 1995
150 Holy Motors 2012
151 Carnage 2011
152 Ip Man 2 2010
153 Blackfish 2013
154 Searching for Sugar Man 2012
155 The Central Park Five 2012
156 The Imposter 2012
157 Senna 2010
158 Inside Job 2010
159 The Queen of Versailles 2012
160 The Greatest Movie Ever Sold 2011
161 Indie Game 2012
162 Chasing Ice 2012
163 The “Up” Series Various
164 The Terminator 1984
165 In Bruges 2008
166 The Warriors 1979
167 Life of Pi 2012
168 Hanna 2011
169 Attack the Block 2011
170 Kick Ass 2010
171 Patton 1970
172 The Fifth Element 1997
173 Pirates of the Caribbean 2003
174 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 2011
175 Haywire 2011
176 Fast and the Furious Series Various
177 Escape from LA 1996
178 Jackie Brown 1997
179 Blue Valentine 2010
180 Rocky Series Various
181 Rounders 1998
182 Breaking Away 1979
183 Fargo 1996
184 Fatal Attraction 1987
185 Father of the Bride 1991
186 The Ice Storm 1997
187 The Virgin Suicides 1999
188 Chasing Amy 1997
189 Brokeback Mountain 2005
190 Flight 2012
191 Shaun of the Dead 2004
192 The Descent 2005
193 Child’s Play 1988
194 Session 9 2001
195 The Mist 2007
196 Maniac 2012
197 Scream Series Various
198 Moon 2009
199 Cube 1997
200 Super 8 2011
201 Blue Velvet 1986
202 Pi 1998
203 Frailty 2002
204 Sightseers 2012
205 Prince Avalanche 2013
206 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2011
207 Tiny Furniture 2010

Crackle: Free Movies Worth Watching

Crackle-Free-Movies

We may have lost the brick-and-mortar video stores, but right now may be the best time to be an at-home moviegoer. But with thousands of films at our fingertips, and multiple (legal) streaming sites to sift through, it can be difficult to discover the true gems. There’s one site in particular I want to look at that doesn’t get quite as much press as streaming titans Hulu and Netflix: Crackle.

Crackle is a free (ad-supported) streaming service with limited selection. However, despite this major drawback, Crackle has a few hidden gems that are well worth watching. Plus, if you haven’t jumped on the Netflix bandwagon yet, this service is a good “taster” of what streaming video is like without having to provide your credit card number for a one-month free trial.

Here’s some flicks streaming on Crackle that you should check out if you haven’t seen them:

The Good

See Dennis Hopper get crazy in "Blue Velvet" for the low cost of free.

See Dennis Hopper get crazy in “Blue Velvet” for the low cost of free.

Classic Woody Allen films like Annie Hall and Manhattan. The Terry Zwigoff documentary Crumb. Dennis Hopper’s sadistic Frank Booth in Blue Velvet. A documentary about two aspiring filmmakers in American Movie. The incredible Australian crime flick Animal Kingdom (reviewed here). The Oliver Stone-penned thriller Midnight Express and his award-winning Platoon. The coming-of-age Stand by Me. The Martin Scorsese masterpiece Taxi Driver. The original The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. The stylish Tarantino-written flick True Romance. And twisty The Usual Suspects.

The Guilty Pleasures

double-team

Or if those are a bit too highbrow, check out these guilty pleasures: the “best worst movie” Troll 2, the original Russian invasion movie Red Dawn, Schwarzenegger’s meta-action movie Last Action Hero, or Jean-Claude Van Damme in Double Team (with Dennis Rodman!) and Kickboxer.

Check out Crackle if you’re looking for some more streaming options.

The $1.99 Oscar-nominated Documentary

"Searching for Sugar Man" was partially shot on a smartphone.

“Searching for Sugar Man” was partially shot on a smartphone.

Okay, so being a $1.99 Oscar-nominated documentary is a bit of a misnomer for “Searching for Sugar Man” – the producers just ran out of money for their film and had to complete the footage using an iPhone video recording app.

Still, nice to know for anyone out there with dreams of shooting their own movie, an Oscar may just be a pocketful of change and a smartphone away.

Best 5 Movies of 2011

2011 was a pretty good year for movies, despite what the Oscar nominations would have you believe. The whole “Awards Season” shebang has become increasingly irrelevant as the nominees don’t represent the cream of the crop but mediocre fare masquerading as masterpieces. If anything, a film with none (or few) Oscar nominations is a better indication of quality than a slew of statues. So it goes.

Below are my top 5 movies of 2011 – with a sixth spot for Shame, when I finally get around to seeing it.

5. Contagion

I’ve heard a lot of people don’t like this movie. And that’s fine. But it is the greatest infectious disease ensemble thriller of all time. So there, Outbreak.

4. The Muppets

The most delightful and fun movie-going experience I had in 2011. Effortlessly enjoyable.

3. Warrior

Nick Nolte’s performance really makes the movie for me. Heartbreaking and incredible stuff.

2. Midnight in Paris

One of the few deserving nominees this year. Ironic that its theme is about moving past nostalgia and enjoying the present. And then the Best Picture this year is a black-and-white silent film. Huh.

1. Drive

Just a lean, stylish neo-noir with a killer soundtrack and a scary (yes, really) Albert Brooks. See it if you haven’t.

Nathan Rabin’s My Year of Flops

Here at Modest Movie world headquarters, I sometimes take time off from watching movies to do something entirely different: read books about people watching movies.

In Nathan Rabin’s My Year of Flops, the A.V. Club author chronicles his experiences with some of Hollywood’s most maligned films. This sorry list of cinematic failure includes the likes of relationship-ruining Gigli, tween superficiality masquerading as morality in Bratz: The Movie, and the eyeball-gouging consequences of sitting down to watch the extended cut (177 minutes!) of Waterworld, the water-logged epic that sank Costner’s career and the coffers of Universal Pictures. While doing so, he uncovers a surprising truth about some (emphasis on some) of the films – they’re actually misunderstood masterpieces.

Rabin rates the films into three categories: Failure, Fiasco, or Secret Success. Even though most of the films fall into the first two categories, the sarcastic and detailed descriptions of the on-screen insanity that Rabin witnesses makes it enticing to seek out these bastard children of celluloid and see for yourself if it really is true that John Wayne donned yellowface to play Genghis Khan in Howard Hughes’ misogynistic epic The Conqueror. Or if Rosie O’Donnell really did wear S & M gear as an undercover detective in Exit to Eden (okay maybe the cartoon depiction in the book was enough). Or experience the bizarro-world film Paint Your Wagon with Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin singing and dancing in choreographed numbers rather than acting gruff and kicking ass (how does this actually exist?).

Brando in "The Island of Dr. Moreau" - Failure, Fiasco, or Secret Success?

Despite being a collection of previously published (i.e. free) material, the book doesn’t feel like a quick cash-grab, and Rabin includes 15 never-before-seen Case Files including the Jim Carrey flop The Cable Guy, Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero, and the infamous Uwe Boll’s Postal. Reading Rabin is a refreshing adventure in the oft-neglected realm of film criticism – reviewing horrible, horrible films rather than the overdone praising of usual suspects like Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Taxi Driver. A highly recommended read.

Now excuse me, but I’m going to go watch The Rocketeer and Hulk again with new-found eyes.

Free Movie Screenings: Tips on Getting Tickets (Canada)

This may come as a shock to some because of the staggering quality of this blog, but I don’t actually get paid to do this. Nor do I get sent screening passes to see movies two days before they come out. I haven’t hit the peak of the blog-o-sphere yet that hand-wringing executives send me boatloads of freebies in the hopes that my highly-esteemed opinion will be a positive one. I have to live on my wits and my ability to procure free movie screening tickets to keep this ship afloat.

And now, for the benefit of everyone who reads this blog, I’m going to give you the secrets to seeing free movies, before they come out…legally.

1) Live in a city

The most obvious, but important rule of free movie screenings (in Canada) is this: live in a city. Specifically Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal (and sometimes Halifax). If you had to chose one of these cities to live in, it would be Toronto. It has the most free movie screenings of any of the other cities, plus it gets films that the other cities don’t (I’ve seen multiple mentions of the Jesse Eisenberg flick 30 Minutes or Less screening in Toronto, but haven’t heard it being screened anywhere else). In general though, if you don’t live if one of the above cities, you won’t have as much luck getting free movies.

2) Read the Newspaper

It’s a simple one, but easily overlooked. Most newspapers have contests giving away two free passes to movie screenings. You can enter online, and it usually involves giving your full name and e-mail address. That’s about it. The competition for these contests isn’t that fierce either – my girlfriend and I entered one to see Friends with Benefits and we both ended up winning double passes.

3) Read Movie Blogs

There’s one movie blog that I occasionally contribute to called Criticize This! that has weekly contests for readers. Whether it be a Blu-ray collection, DVD, poster, or free screening, this is a good place to go. I don’t enter the contests (it seems like a conflict of interest to me) but my friends who have entered have managed to snag a free screening or two.

4) “Like” Film Companies on Facebook

Put your Facebook account to good use and like Warner Brothers Studios Canada and Walt Disney Studios Canada. Warner Bros. tends to have a monthly giveaway for a free screening, and it hasn’t been hard for me to get passes (I saw Arthur, Horrible Bosses, and Crazy, Stupid, Love thanks to liking them on Facebook) and I just recently liked Walt Disney and managed to see The Help six days before it’s general release. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

5) Watch the Freebie forum on Redflagdeals.com

This one is a little tricky because you have to constantly be on the lookout for free screening posts on the Freebie section of Redflagdeals.com forums. Generally what happens is a kind user will post a link to a free screening and it directs the user to enter their e-mail address and how many tickets they want (up to a max of four) to a screening. And then it sends the passes directly to your e-mail account. No contest needed. Of course, thirty minutes after one of these posts the screening is sold out, so you have to be quick. I recommend Bookmarking the Freebie forum and checking it periodically throughout the day – free screening posts tend to go up between 3 PM – 5 PM.

Anyway, those are the tips I’ve been using this year to see free films and they’ve been pretty successful for me thus far. Here’s the list of movies I’ve seen for free this year:

Arthur

Crazy Stupid Love

The Help

Friends with Benefits

Meet Monica Velour

Red Riding Hood

Insidious

Horrible Bosses

Win Win

Edit:

Fright Night 3D

The Debt

Drive

Contagion

The Ides of March

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas

Netflix Canada Selection: 169 Films Worth Watching

EDIT: Check out the updated list for 2014 HERE!

EDIT: I’ve been told that a good portion of the films on this list have been taken off because of the fallout between some distributors with Netflix. If you are looking for a good Netflix Canada Selection list check out What’s New on Netflix or Instant Watcher.

Having just recently signed up for the Netflix Canada one-month free trial, I was surprised to find out that though the selection of movies is limited, there are still enough gems that it would be worth it to keep the service (at least for another couple of months).

The local movie store I go to facetiously calls Netflix “NetShitz” and rails against the corporate drivel that the service presumably shells out for $8 a month. This isn’t entirely correct. In fact, I scoured through the list and found 169 films on Netflix Canada’s selection that even a discerning cinephile should be able to appreciate (or at least find a handful they’re interested in).

NOTE: I haven’t seen all the movies on this list. Of those that I have, I liked. And of those that I haven’t, I’m interested in seeing. Also, the numbers don’t reflect a ranking system. This is just the order I found these movies in.

Netflix Canada Selection (Or 169 films worth paying $8 a month for):

1

The Game

1998

2

The Player

1992

3

Memento

2000

4

Lost Highway

1997

5

Inherit the Wind

1960

6

Paths of Glory

1957

7

The Killing

1956

8

Witness for the Prosecution

1957

9

Anatomy of a Murder

1959

10

The Apartment

1960

11

Vertigo

1958

12

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

1965

13

The Hustler

1961

14

The Lives of Others

2007

15

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

1969

16

On the Waterfront

1954

17

Patton

1970

18

The Last Detail

1973

19

Easy Rider

1969

20

The French Connection

1971

21

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

1974

22

Boyz N the Hood

1991

23

American History X

1998

24

Lord of War

2005

25

American Psycho

2000

26

Taken

2008

27

…And Justice for All

1979

28

The Long Goodbye

1973

29

Donnie Brasco

1997

30

Being John Malkovich

1999

31

Raising Arizona

1987

32

Adaptation

2002

33

Office Space

1999

34

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004

35

Barton Fink

1991

36

Gosford Park

2001

37

Affliction

1997

38

The Thin Red Line

1998

39

Little Children

2006

40

The Ice Storm

1997

41

Happiness

1998

42

Closer

2004

43

The Night of the Hunter

1955

44

Psycho

1960

45

Dr. Strangelove

1964

46

The Full Monty

1997

47

About a Boy

2002

48

Pleasantville

1998

49

Groundhog Day

1993

50

Donnie Darko

2001

51

Stand By Me

1986

52

Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip

1982

53

Date Night

2010

54

Superbad

2007

55

Louis C.K.: Chewed Up

2008

56

Shaun of the Dead

2004

57

Hot Fuzz

2007

58

(500) Days of Summer

2009

59

Stripes

1981

60

Dazed and Confused

1993

61

Harry Brown

2009

62

Snatch

2000

63

Spy Game

2001

64

Reservoir Dogs

1992

65

Frailty

2002

66

Dark City

1998

67

La Femme Nikita

1990

68

Das Boot: Director’s Cut

1981

69

Pi

1998

70

Cronos

1993

71

Arlington Road

1999

72

Amores Perros

2000

73

House of Games

1987

74

In Bruges

2008

75

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

2000

76

Miller’s Crossing

1990

77

Assault on Precinct 13

1976

78

Audition

1999

79

Ip Man

2008

80

Kung Fu Hustle

2004

81

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

2000

82

The 400 Blows

1959

83

M

1931

84

Exit Through the Gift Shop

2010

85

American Movie

1999

86

The Kid Stays in The Picture

2002

87

Glory

1989

88

Born into Brothels

2004

89

Capturing the Friedmans

2003

90

Taxi Driver

1976

91

Mysterious Skin

2004

92

The Last of the Mohicans

1992

93

Carlito’s Way

1993

94

21 Grams

2003

95

Traffic

2000

96

The Limey

1999

97

Out of Sight

1998

98

Monster’s Ball

2001

99

Requiem for a Dream

2000

100

The Wrestler

2008

101

Lost in Translation

2003

102

Crazy Heart

2009

103

Primer

2004

104

The Fly

1986

105

The People vs Larry Flynt

1996

106

The Paper Chase

1973

107

The Eiger Sanction

1975

108

Predator

1987

109

Aliens

1986

110

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

1991

111

The Thing

1982

112

Minority Report

2002

113

Blade

1998

114

12 Monkeys

1995

115

Cube

1997

116

Funny Games

2007

117

Planet of the Apes

1968

118

Gattaca

1997

119

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

2008

120

The Last Emperor

1987

121

Sixteen Candles

1984

122

Weird Science

1985

123

Revenge of the Nerds

1985

124

Hustle and Flow

2005

125

Five Easy Pieces

1970

126

The Bridge on the River Kwai

1957

127

Krull

1983

128

Primer

2004

129

The Last Picture Show

1971

130

The King of Kong

2007

131

The Fog of War

2003

132

Confessions of a Superhero

2007

133

Deliver Us From Evil

2006

134

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

1989

135

Death Wish

1974

136

Pollock

2000

137

Waltz with Bashir

2008

138

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

1998

139

Thief

1981

140

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

1976

141

Fletch

1985

142

The Birds

1963

143

The Ghost and the Darkness

1996

144

Bully

2001

145

Brick

2005

146

Fright Night

1985

147

Bubba Ho-Tep

2003

148

Catch Me if You Can

2002

149

Boogie Nights

1997

150

Gods and Monsters

1998

151

Hoop Dreams

1994

152

Gandhi

1982

153

Repulsion

1965

154

The Crimson Rivers

2000

155

The ‘burbs

1989

156

Young Frankenstein

1974

157

Tootsie

1982

158

Mother

2009

159

The Host

2006

160

Cache

2005

161

Control

2007

162

A Prophet

2009

163

Tell No One

2006

164

Eddie Murphy: Raw

1987

165

An Education

2008

166

Rumble in the Bronx

1995

167

The Princess Bride

1987

168

Death at a Funeral

2007

169

The Straight Story

1999