In no particular order…
I’m sure during lockdown we have all rinsed the streaming services. Now is a great time to explore new films and television shows that you may not have watched if you’re weren’t confined to your homes for 3 months. I’ve put together a list of some TV shows and films that I have enjoyed from both Netflix and Amazon Prime. Some of these are ones that I watched a while back and some I discovered during lockdown. Nevertheless they’re all worth a watch because I don’t recommend garbage.
The Boys – Amazon Prime
If you’re getting a bit sick and tired of the same old superhero films, Prime’s The Boys may be right up your alley. A new and fresh take on an arguably tired film genre. The Boys take you to a world where superheroes are owned by the corporate machine and corrupt. Funny, dark and a bit outrageous.
The Sinner – Netflix
The Sinner follows detective follows Detective Harry Ambrose as he investigates peculiar crimes that leads to very dark and sinister territory. Full of engaging characters, dramatic twists and spectacular acting it will not leave you disappointed. Arguably the show peaked with it’s first season but the second is still worth a watch. Haven’t seen season 3 yet, unfortunately the reviews don’t look good but I’ll give it a chance anyway.
Circle – Netflix
I can guarantee you have never seen a film quite like Circle. The pure definition of a high concept premise, a bunch of strangers find themselves in a circle where they must all vote on who to kill. It is absolutely nuts and gives an insight into human nature and the lengths people will go to to survive.
Alex Rider – Amazon Prime
A very nice surprise. Did you read the Alex Rider books when you were a kid. They were some of my favourites. Following a disappointing film adaptation in 2006 (which I quite liked actually, not to mention that absolute elite cast it had) Alex Rider gets new life for the small screen. Depicting the events of the second book “Point Blanc”, teenager Alex Rider finds himself working as a spy for MI6 following the death of his uncle. The series is a slow burner, but stick with it and you’ll be treated to some pretty good scenes in the latter half of the series.
Hereditary – Netflix
Horror is one of my favourite film genres without a doubt. I am always looking for the next horror film to completely scare the pants off me but I am always left disappointed. Hereditary was a nice surprise as it is probably very different to any horror you’ve seen before. I wouldn’t call it scary, but I would say it’s disturbing. There are some scenes that will truly leave you shaken as you follow this family’s journey following the death of their grandma. Beautiful cinematography, great acting and a story that keeps you guessing and maybe slightly confused.
The Killing – Netflix
I can’t remember why I even decided to watch this. No one recommended it to me and it wasn’t something people were shouting about on social media. But I love crime dramas and The Killing looked like something I’d enjoy. Needless to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t quite put my finger on what makes The Killing different from every other run of the mill detective series out there but it may have something to do with it’s gritty perspective and engaging mysteries that truly keep you guessing and give you numerous surprises along the way.
My Spy – Amazon Prime
I literally only watched this a few days ago. I needed something light and didn’t expect much from this honestly. Of course it’s not the best thing I’ve ever seen and it certainly won’t win any awards but if you’re in the mood for a heartwarming story sprinkled with action then this might be a good choice. I am a sucker for adult and child relationship films which is why I decided to watch it in the first place. Not overly funny, but definitely has it’s moments if you’re looking for an easy watch then My Spy is a decent consideration.
The Babysitter – Netflix
I had no expectations for this film when I first watched it. It’s definitely one of those films that you find when you’re just browsing and you just say “screw it”. The Babysitter blends comedy and horror into a nice little package semi reminiscent of the Scream films. The film follows a young boy who spies on his Babysitter and her friends one night. Very absurd, very ridiculous and very much not what you’re expecting. It’s best to watch this one with an open mind and an empty stomach because it does have it’s fair share of gore.
Evil Genius – Netflix
If you don’t know the story of Brian Wells, actually even if you do, a highly recommend watching this truly fascinating documentary. Brian Wells was a pizza delivery guy who found himself with a collar bomb round his neck in Eerie Pennsylvania. The question is how did delivering pizza lead to such a dire situation. Evil Genius explores the multiple suspects in the case as we try to piece together the story of how and why this happened.
Unforgotten – Netflix
I have no hesitation in claiming that Unforgotten is one of the best crime dramas I have ever watched, and I’ve seen my fair share. This one is particularly interesting because it focuses on cold cases meaning it gives a fresh new perspective on the crime format. Each season starts with the discovery an old body leaving our protagonists with the tough task of identifying the remains and deducing what occurred decades ago. Not your typical action packed cop drama but instead focuses on emotional drama and an intricate plot that constantly subverts your expectations.
Kidnap – Netflix
Pretty much does what it says on the tin and sometimes that’s what you need from a film. Kidnap follows the abduction of a child who’s mother stops at nothing to get him back. If you like Halle Berry and high octane drama then Kidnap will more than likely hit the spot. And if you like this film I highly recommend watching another, similar film with Halle Berry called The Call. Arguably superior to this film but follows a similar format with a slightly more interesting set up.
Angel Has Fallen – Amazon Prime
Angel Has Fallen is the last film in the “Has Fallen” trilogy and by this point you know exactly what you’re getting… Gerard Butler kicking some serious ass. At this point he is passed his prime which poses the question if he is still up for the task. Doesn’t divert too much from the formula that made the series successful so if you want action and to see things blow up then this will not disappoint.
Don’t F**k With Cats – Netflix
One of the most shocking documentaries I have ever seen and yes I have seen Tiger King but this is MILES better in my opinion. There are a few reasons why Don’t F**k with Cats is so good. The visual storytelling is unique and something you don’t see with your typical documentary. The story itself is interesting and keeps you hooked as you follow the numerous twists and turns. Our contributors in the documentary being interviewed are themselves charismatic and only elevate the story being told. It is like one big twisted version of Catfish. If you like animals you may be scarred, actually, if you’re human you probably will be.
The Stranger – Netflix
Speaking of twists and turns this is Harlan Coben’s forté. Every episode throws you another curveball and it very much starts to feel as though the twists came first and the story came afterward. I love television shows that don’t spoon feed you information and keep you constantly guessing. However with a story like this you are going to reach a point of absurdness and improbability which in my opinion doesn’t detract from the story but if you’re going to nitpick then that is a clear downside of the series. The Stranger follows the life of a family man who comes into contact with a mysterious stranger who seems to know a lot of information about him.
Attack the Block – Amazon Prime
If you want to see John Boyega in one of his early film roles then Attack the Block is it. At face value looks like another run of the mill London teen gangster film but takes a unique perspective when it includes elements of sci-fi. What happens when a group of good for nothing teenagers come face to face with a herd of dangerous alien demons attacking their block?
Patriots Day – Amazon Prime
An unapologetic depiction of the 2013 Boston marathon bombings Patriots Day follows a Boston cop as they team up with the FBI to hunt down the suspects and bring them to justice. Patriots day isn’t for the faint hearted as we are presented with some devastating stories and bloody visuals as we attempt to dive into a scenario that left 3 people dead and injured hundreds of others. The film concludes with interviews of real life survivors for the incident to wrap up an emotionally draining drama about the heroism that took place on that fateful day and the days afterwards.
Line of Duty – Netflix
Arguably the best police drama on TV. If I am recommending TV shows to people this will ALWAYS be on it no matter what. Line of Duty follows the work of AC-12 an anti corruption unit as they aim to bring bent coppers to justice. A new take and perspective not typical of a police drama and with a new “bent copper” taking the stage with each series the show has an endless scope of possibilities. Match this with some of the best written scenes you will ever watch and constant red herrings you have a show that keeps you on your toes from beginning to end.
Cold Case Files – Netflix
A great documentary series that looks at cold cases that weren’t solved until years after the fact. If you need the gratification of knowing how something ended and want an insight into some unknown criminal cases of the past Cold Case Files is a good watch. Every episode tackles a new case so it is not something you have to binge.
Luther – Netflix
Had to give my man Idris a shout out. Luther first aired in 2010 so it is now a decade old. Watching the first few series it still holds up with the police dramas we are presented with today. The hook of Luther is it’s main protagonist who isn’t your typical cop. Hot headed and doesn’t always do things by the book but is highly intelligent and resourceful we are taken into some dark territory. I will say Luther is in its prime with Series 1-3 and does take a significant drop in quality for series 4 and 5 mainly due to the shows altered format and tone. Nevertheless still something I highly recommend on all counts.
Sex Education – Netflix
I’m going to assume you’ve already seen this. Because if you haven’t then what are you doing? The series follows socially awkward Otis as he opens a sex clinic at his high school. One of the best comedies in recent times. The thing that sets Sex Education apart from the rest is that it has a lot of heart. It’s both wholesome and crude and really does give it’s audience a sex education. With lovable characters and thoughtful stories Sex Education is a Netflix experience like no other.
Some Honourable Mentions Happy Valley – Netflix Safe – Netflix How to get Away with Murder – Netflix Money Heist – Netflix White Lines – Netflix Escape Room – Netflix Prison Break – Netflix Fargo – Netflix When They See Us – Netflix Bodyguard – Netflix The Confession Tapes – Netflix Unfriended – Netflix Ex Machina – Netflix You – Netflix The Visit – Netflix Catfish – Amazon Prime
Can you tell I prefer Netflix to Amazon Prime? Oops.