Surely, by now, no one’s a stranger to Netflix, the streaming service juggernaut that monopolizes our time as soon as the weekend hits. For indie film buffs, casual television watchers alike and those obsessed with the cult classics, there are a plethora of titles (foreign and domestic, might I add) to choose from. The thing is, folks forget there are more than just the heavily promoted releases (hello to all my fellow On My Block stans). Some quality films and series settle to the bottom of your recommendation algorithm, leaving you to miss out on some hidden gems.
Lucky for you, we’ve done a bit of browsing on your behalf. From quirky romantic teen comedies to film festival darlings, here are 6 titles you need in your queue:
Do you love Luke Cage and The Equalizer? Then say hello to this supernatural badass from South Africa. Named for the lead character played by Pallance Dladla, Shadow follows an ex-cop who feels no pain. He’s a big-hearted mercenary who seeks justice for the powerless and catches criminals who elude cops regularly. Thrill-seekers and action junkies will get a kick out of this newly added crime series.
Morris From America
If you know anything about A24, you know that the entertainment company rarely, if ever, misses the mark. In another stunning coming-of-age feature, Morris (Markees Christmas), a teenage aspiring rapper, and his widowed father (Craig Robinson) move to Germany. In a new country, the young boy struggles to find his footing, juggling girl crushes, curfews and tight beats.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is nothing less than a star in this warmhearted tale of a dying woman preparing for the end. As Abbie (Raw) and her lover Sam (Michiel Huisman) get her affairs in order, she begins to plan his future for when she passes over. The Netflix original feature is a deep look at pure, enduring love, a re-figuring of what “forever” means and a celebration of life when there’s someone by side.
It’s been said that you know the ending of a relationship as soon as it starts. And for James, played by Jameel Saleem, that’s facts only. When his relationship goes sour, he devises a plan to get out quicker than a Jordan Peele character. Cameos by Kevin Hart and Big Boi up the funny factor in this un-romantic comedy. However, the film, which was adapted from a seven-part web series, does a good job of holding its own, and your attention.
Travel to The Ends in this gritty drama series (originally from the UK’s Channel 4), about two drug dealers who lord over East London public housing estates. The BAFTA award-winning series centers on Dushane (Ashley Walters) as he strives to be king in a crime-riddled world, and the honest, everyday lives of gangsters, junkies and officers. And let’s not forget pre-Black Panther Letitia Wright, who appears for four episodes as Chantelle. It boasts a bunch of treats that’ll make you add this to your list. And in case you missed it, thanks to assists from Drake and LeBron, the series is being revived at Netflix!
Jacob Latimore stars opposite Sami Gayle in this Netflix original teen comedy about two overly ambitious great debaters. Latimore’s Bennett is a whip-smart, wealthy student and Gayle’s Lona is an equally intelligent scholar — and of course, they hate each other. The sky-high importance of their entry into college causes them to work together (No Aunt Becky entries allowed, obvi), and that is where the magic, and laughs, happen.