10 Movies You Should Watch on Netflix This Holiday Season

Home for the holidays? Looking for something to throw on the TV to keep everyone occupied? Well, if youre going to be scrolling through Netflix anyway, you might as well watch some of the movies and shows that will be leaving the service next month before they vanish for good. Two birds with one stone, as they say. In this post were going to cover all of the highlights that are worth putting in your queue to watch before you have to seek them out elsewhere online.

There are a few great movies on the list so have a look at them:

1. Mudbound 

An American masterpiece from filmmaker Dee Rees, the Netflix film is gorgeously shot by cinematographer Rachel Morrison, has an evocative score from Tamar-Kali Brown, and boasts a fantastic ensemble with Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, Rob Morgan, Jonathan Banks, and Carey Mulligan. It is a reminder of the brutality of American history, of the weight of generations of institutionalized bondage and familial racism, and of the possibility of love as survival. It is worthy of being discussed alongside The Grapes of Wrath and Giant and The Deer Hunter and Days of Heaven and other classics that analyze our relationship with the land and the promise of the American dream.

2. Carol 

 Cate Blanchett plays the title character, Carol Aird, a woman going through divorce and a bitter custody battle with her husband. She becomes involved very quickly in a love affair with Therese (Mara Rooney) a young sales assistant and aspiring photographer. Blanchett and Mara do a close to miraculous job here, conveying through an unbelievable precision of gesture all their excitement, anxiety and repressed joy at the outset of this relationship. The scene in which they first meet and talk over Therese's sales counter is a marvel of acting, each look exchanged between them building on the previous one, each quickly cast glance loaded with a metric tonne of emotion. They also succeed in creating a heady chemistry that grows with each scene, so that the film's later stages have a thumping intensity that sort of grips and chokes you. Finally, the best part of the actors' performances is their difference in tone: Rooney Mara plays Therese with a great deal of naturalism, showing her often on the brink of tears, always prey to her feelings of confusion, desire and guilt. Meanwhile Blanchett's performance exists on a far more stylised level, presenting someone who is a prisoner of her own life, whose every day is a struggle to put a face on her feelings. This difference in registers lends the movie an added charge: the two women complement each other, and feed the spirit of the film itself.

3. Beasts of No Nation

Nobody knows how to direct increasingly insane human ecosystems like Cary Fukunaga. The formerly-man-braided auteur behind the masterful first season of True Detective delivers a nuanced tragedy based on the child soldiers of African civil wars-marking Netflix's first foray into Oscar territory, though the picture was (somewhat unfairly) snubbed. His unflinching camera tracks a bright boy, Agu, from his childhood where he lives with his family in a dirt-floored hut and plays "imagination TV" with his cheeky friends. But after being cursed by a bent witch, things turn ugly when armed-to-the-teeth rebels cut through his home and slaughter the men who refuse to yield the land passed down to them by their ancestors. 
Agu sprints into the jungle, where a pack of yapping youngsters with thousand yard stares happen upon him in a helpless state. Enter Idris Elba as the kingpin of this feral collective. The exalted Brit monologues in a flawless African baritone about war, heritage and his warped, but necessary vision of masculine survival in a lawless country ravaged by the ruthless. Agu enters under his shady protection because he has no one else and becomes a hardened soldier who machetes an innocent engineer and puts a bullet in the brain of a mother being raped by his comrades. 
Fukunaga contrasts the mind-bending violence with stunning vistas and inspired cinematography of tiny details that bring the heart-smushing tale to vivid life. He highlights the utter lack of options presented to inhabitants of this torn corner of the world and presents a far more intricate picture of this humanitarian catastrophe than the fairly naive Invisible Children organization. When reflecting on the continental carnage, Elba's second-hand man says it best with his dying breath, "This was all for nothing."

4. Lion

Lion is the award-sweeping movie based on the true story of a kid in India who gets lost in a train and suddenly finds himself thousands of kilometers away from home. 25 years later, after being adopted by an Australian couple, he embarks on a journey through his memory and across continents to reconnect with his lost family. Dev Patel plays the kid in question, Saroo, and Nicole Kidman plays his Australian adopting mother. Two truly amazing performances that will transport you to the time and place of the events, as well as its emotions spanning tear-jerking moments and pure joy. An uplifting, meaningful and beautiful movie.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 

Vol. 2 brings the whole damn band back together Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his Ravagers, and Gamora's psychotic sister Nebula (Karen Gillian). There's a host of other recognizable faces, some of them surprises, some not, but all of them contributing in some fashion to making another hilarious, fantastical, breathless adventure tale of intergalactic derring-do. Gunn is in prime form, easily guiding the audience through a story that's equal parts action and comedy, and both parts are absolutely sublime. Baby Groot will be the highlight of the comedic aspect, with a couple of scenes literally making me laugh until I was having trouble breathing. Vol. 2 is funny as hell, playing off the idea of a group of madcap renegades perfectly. If the Fast and Furious franchise has you at times rolling your eyes at their slavering devotion to the concept of family, Guardians of the Galaxy is the salve for your cynical soul. It's an homage to familial love, but it does so with all of the bitterness and bickering and rowdy, unruly weirdness that comes with a real family.

6. Okja

Director Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer) does something quite amazing with the $50 million budget Netflix gave him: he makes a simplistic movie.  But boy is it good. Okja tells the story of a "super pig" experimentation that sends genetically modified pigs to top farmers around the world. In Korea, a farmer's granddaughter forms a special relationship with one of these super pigs (called Okja), only to be confronted by the company who runs the experimentation in the persons of Johnny Wilcox (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton). When they try to take away Okja, she finds an ally in an animal advocacy group lead by Jay (Paul Dano), and goes on an adventure to retrieve her friend.  Again, it's a straightforward movie, and in that sense it is very entertaining - but its also full of thought-provoking themes, and mostly incredibly thoughtful performances from the ensemble cast.

7. Raw 

Methodically paced, Ducournau's film reveals a confidence all the more impressive in a first-time filmmaker. And Raw's surreal atmosphere smudged in grime, sprinkled with fur, splashed with paint, and splattered in viscera makes it throb like a nightmare that follows you into your morning. There's a wildness here that's fierce and thrilling, building to one shocking reveal after another. Then comes a final beat so sharply funny and fucked up that it left this critic cackling over the end credits. And that's its menacing magic. Biting and brilliant, Rawis a chilling tale with a wicked wit that'll make dark hearts cackle.

8. Captain America: Civil War 

After all is said and done, it's a great film filled with great performances and amazing, exciting action sequences. The story is dense and complex and while it sometimes staggers under its weight, in the end it comes out strong. Its action is fast and spectacular, but never overwhelming or edited into incomprehensibility. There's a nice mix of tightly-shot, violently intimate, almost Daredevil-esque fight scenes, as well as large-scale punchy-smashy-shooty superhero battle royals. By leaving out the most powerful characters (Thor and Hulk), the Russos are able to create much more even matchups and it feels less like city-destroying devastation and more like superpowered fisticuffs. Sure, there are times when airplanes are being torn in half, but even then it never feels like too much. Perhaps most importantly is that even though its themes are complicated, and its tone is often grim, there is a remarkable amount of joy to be found in Civil War. Its action is harrowing, its storyline labyrinthine, but damn it, it's also just fucking fun, and that's what makes it my kind of superhero movie, and one of the best in Marvel's franchise.

9. Zootopia

 Sure to speak to kids and grown-ups alike, Zooptopia unfolds a poignant lesson about how prejudice can hurt people, but also how it can be overcome. And it does all this in a wonderfully fun film with big laughs, clever casting (did I mention Kristen Bell has a cameo as a sloth?), and delightful animation that boasts photo-real textures, telling physicality, and undeniable verve. And as a bonus: Zootopia sets up a charismatic critter partnership that could easily carry a thrilling and fun animated franchise I'd actually be happy to see.

10. Sing Street

In 1980s Dublin, a young Irish catholic-school boy, whose family is facing financial problems starts his own band with the sole objective of impressing a mysterious femme fatale. The film will take you on a beautiful and witty journey through the band's path to success and our protagonist's quest of conquering his love all to the rhythm of some of the biggest 80's pop-rock hits and the band's own original soundtrack. Without a doubt this film is the culmination of John Carney's work (OnceBegin Again) as a filmmaker and dare I say his long awaited passion project.

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