Netflix is a joy. Sadly, it’s one spoiled by users who give The Fantastic Four a five-star review. To save two hours trying to decide which of the platform’s St George’s Cross-covered Danny Dyer vehicles to watch (tip: none of them), we’ve sorted wheat from chaff, so you can spend less time scrolling this September. You just need to provide the snacks.
The Wrestler (2008)
Anyone who’s ever worked in a supermarket will understand the megalomania of fruit-and-veg supervisors. They’ll also appreciate Mickey Rourke giving the finger to aisle seven clean-ups, in this Academy Award-winning tale of a former fighter’s path from Walmart back into the ring.
But don’t expect WWE overacting. Rourke’s portrayal of redemptive, retrospective ‘what could’ve been’ is deeply affecting. Do not watch on a hangover, you’ll weep.
The Lobster (2015)
Imagine hungover Sunday Tinder sessions crossed with The Hunger Games, and you’re almost at The Lobster – an absurdist black comedy in which singledom is a crime punishable not by death, but by transformation into an animal of your choice.
Led by Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, it’s a staccato take on modern dating for those who like their jokes dark and their narratives dystopian. Plus, it’s probably the only film in which a newly-adopted child getting kicked is considered funny. Let that be some insight.
Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2015)
Not Michael Bay’s pyrotechnic mess, but a nostalgia-laden reboot of the cartoon variety. If you remember Bumblebee and Sideswipe long before the days of greenscreen, this 2015 take revisits all the fun of the original series without the grainy animation – and you’ll be pleased to know there’s no Shia LaBeouf in sight.
The Cartoon Network-produced series currently boasts two seasons of back-to-back action that will soothe your head on the morning after. Bank holiday Monday, roll out.
Chef’s Table: France (2015)
The #foodporn shots of your Old El Paso fajita aren’t a scratch on Chef’s Table. And, as the Netflix exclusive continues for another series, we get a glimpse into the lives of France’s finest gastronomists.
Chef’s Table doesn’t just focus on a banging dish, though; we see the influences behind the likes of Alain Passard and Alexandre Couillon, and the sacrifices that a Michelin star requires. One to make you reconsider that Just Eat order.
Narcos: Season 2 (2016)
Everyone’s favourite drug trafficker is back for another line with the second season of Narcos. And, while the Netflix smash hit doesn’t air till early September, there’s been plenty of speculation surrounding Pablo Escobar’s latest exploits and the DEAs hell bent on bringing him down.
Will Pedro Pascal’s super-slick agent Javier Pena snuff it? Will Escobar retrieve his subterranean Benjamins? And, most importantly, who will capture the kingpin first? Cuban collars at the ready, because Narcos could well be the Scarface of 2016.
Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story (2015)
Ah, secondary school. Those golden days of drug-fuelled orgies and YouTube. No? Well, you can live that experience vicariously through Bang Gang, a 2015 take on teenagers, social media and sex.
Protagonist Alex (Finnegan Oldfield) is responsible for various filmed sex parties (or bang gangs) that are posted on a password-protected website. Obviously, footage falls into the wrong hands (as is tradition) and the party turns sour; throw in some embittered sixth formers, an unwanted pregnancy and a few STIs and the film paints an unpretty picture of modern youth.
Utterly inappropriate for a ‘Netflix and chill session’, but a worthwhile watch if you like your films arty and your sex scenes alarming.