Netflix has such an abundance of titles, it can often be overwhelming. What should you spend your precious evenings watching? Which movies and series are worth your time? Back in February, we surfaced 13 hidden gems on the streaming service to make your decision easier. Due to popular demand, here are 13 additional titles we’ve crowdsourced from our writers and editors at The Huffington Post who watch Netflix for a living.
1. “In the Loop“
“In the Loop” is the kind of movie that will make you a worse person. Based on the BBC’s darkly comedic series “The Thick of It,” this 2009 masterpiece follows British and American political operatives in the run-up to a contentious Middle Eastern war. Directed and co-written by Armando Iannucci (creator of HBO’s similarly sharp “Veep”), “In the Loop” is as tough on its characters as it is on the insanity of modern politics. Peter Capaldi pretty much steals the show as a communications director whose vitriolic tirades are equal parts soul crushing and beautiful. To call “In the Loop” a political satire feels like an understatement; “In the Loop” is so cynical and devastating that it verges on anarchy. On a lighter note, it’s also really, really funny. – Madeline Kaplan
2. “Hot Coffee“
Most of us don’t hit the couch on a Friday night thinking, I just want a documentary critiquing the tort reform movement to accompany my Pad Thai and pinot. At least, I don’t — but “Hot Coffee” was good enough for me to make an exception. The title refers to a famous case in which a woman sued McDonald’s after spilling a cup of their coffee on her lap and suffering burns. She won damages, but McDonald’s won the PR battle — most of us are familiar with the story as a cautionary tale about entitled Americans taking advantage of the justice system to bleed virtuous corporations of their fairly earned profits. “Hot Coffee” uncovers the real, rather gruesome, story, and the truth about tort law hiding behind an avalanche of corporate-sponsored pro-reform propaganda. It’s dramatic, revelatory, and downright educational, all in one. – Claire Fallon
From the moment you hear a man knock on the door and shout, “Gotta shit,” you know you’re in for a treat with “Zombeavers.”
“Zombeavers” is a ridiculous “horror” flick that’s more funny than scary. Written and directed by Jordan Rubin, a former writer for “Crank Yankers” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,” the movie plays on a lot of horror film tropes, like women being topless, sex scenes that serve no purpose and a woodsy setting. The premise of the movie is that a group of young, sexually active friends head off to a cabin for a couple days and get ravaged by rabid, mutant beavers — zombie beavers.
The look of “Zombeavers” makes it appear like a major motion picture, except when you get to the beavers, which seem to be nothing more than puppets. Vicious puppets that eventually bite one of the character’s penis and turn others into zombie-human beavers. OK, actually they’re animatronics that look like puppets that turn characters into zombie-human beavers. The movie is stupid, but it’s so dumb that you really need to watch this with your stoner roommate and make fun of how stupid it is for the best lazy Tuesday night you’ll have all summer. – Tyler Kindgkade
4. “Dogs with Jobs“
A few months ago, I had a horrible fever and stomach flu. I was so nauseous, I couldn’t sleep or watch anything without throwing up. Until I found “Dogs with Jobs.” This Canadian documentary series features lots of different dogs around the world who have real jobs — like police dogs, herding dogs and so many more. It’s a great show for kids and also for the ill. It’s heartwarming and makes you feel so proud of the dogs. – Sasha Bronner
Back in the ’80s, it still wasn’t considered insensitive to have over-the-top cartoonish Asian characters in films. (The character Long Duk Dong of “Sixteen Candles” for instance is pretty cringeworthy now). But “Big Trouble in Little China” flipped that on its head to some degree. The fantasy-laden plot and roles not withstanding, the film features realistic, strong-minded Asian characters, and it turned the white-guy-protagonist dynamic upside down. Jack Burton, white guy action hero type (played by Kurt Russell), thinks he’s saving the day, but to the viewer and the characters around him, he’s a clumsy, out-of-place buffoon who’s really just along for the ride.
It should be seen by everyone because it’s indescribably awesome. Trying to describe it to friends is a fairly Herculean task. That being said, here’s Netflix trying to describe it: “When an ancient magician kidnaps his friend’s fiancée, a two-fisted trucker and a sexy attorney must navigate a shadowy realm to capture the culprit.” Yeah, I know. Amazing. – Andy McDonald
If Albert Camus had chosen to enter the Swedish police academy today, he’d probably have become BFFs with Kurt Wallander, the brooding but lovable detective character in the eponymous BBC series, “Wallander.” The show’s stunning cinematography — think “The Killing” or “True Detective” — is matched only by the utter absurdity of the violence Wallander is tasked with upending. Kenneth Branagh fans, assemble, ’cause there are three seasons of the show available on Netflix now. Bonus: the original series made for Swedish TV, and based on Henning Mankell’s novels, is streaming too. – Katherine Brooks
7. “Death in Paradise“
“Death in Paradise” is a perfect pick for the mystery lover who’s crazy about detective stories, but still a little queasy when it comes to blood, guts, gore or overly creepy storylines. While murders — as investigated by a small Caribbean island’s police department, under the direction of a perpetually sweaty detective inspector (an English transplant) — are the show’s bread and butter, the content is never too graphic, and the real fun comes from simply following the shenanigans of the highly likable cast. Its upbeat tone, whimsical nature and beautiful backdrop make this the ideal thing to fall asleep to at the end of a long day. – Emma Mustich
8. “Doc Martin“
“Doc Martin” may not be a hidden gem (it ran on PBS for many years), but it sure is a gem. This charming, fish-out-of-water show revolves around Dr. Martin Ellingham, a London surgeon who develops an aversion to blood and relocates to a village in picturesque Cornwall, England. He is grouchy, gruff and socially awkward — traits that lead to some hilarious encounters with the village’s colorful locals. If you like wry humor, fabulous Cornish accents and lovely scenery, check it out. – Christy Havranek
Everyone in my life is sick of hearing me rave about this earnest, suspenseful and Emily Nussbaum-approved drama about Danish coalition politics. Think “West Wing” without Aaron Sorkin’s smug self-regard and with a strong female cast, helmed by Sidse Babett Knudsen in the role of the country’s first-ever female prime minister, Birgitte Nyborg.
The series opens with Nyborg, previously an underdog, wresting the prime ministership from a doltish incumbent thanks to a stirring speech on national TV about Danish identity, inclusion and social justice. First of all, in a bit of life imitating art, two seasons into its three-season run, Denmark really did elect its first-ever female prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
Refreshingly, there is no handwringing about “having it all” in the series and no discussion of what her leadership “means for women.” Nyborg goes to work as PM and has the complicated matrix of motivations and foibles of any male antihero. Her life in office comes at great personal cost, but there is never any question that she should be there.
A fast-talking “spindoktor” (what it sounds like), intrepid press corps and a number of needy and strange MPs round out the cast. Run, don’t walk before what is bound to be a deeply weird U.S. remake clouds your ability to appreciate the original. – Meredith Melnick
10. “Hot Girls Wanted“
Whether porn is your thing or not, this documentary (co-produced by Rashida Jones) is an important lesson in the choices we make as individuals and the pressure society puts on women as a whole. Even if you set aside the fact that “Hot Girls Wanted” focuses on amateur porn, a frighteningly lucrative business that values youth and presumed innocence, the fact that these women are dispensable, with a shelf life of six months max, says something about our collective attention span and the ease with which we dispose of the old and demand the new. You can also get angry at the exploitive porn industry and poor working conditions these girls have to endure. That is, if you can stop shaking your head for just a few minutes. – Liat Kornowski
11. “Mortified Nation“
Luckily for me, my sister is a lot more patient with the Netflix queue than I am, hence how I landed on “Mortified Nation.” This documentary follows a live stage show in which people read diary entries and other writings from their adolescence on stage, in front of a crowd. Hilarious, at times cringeworthy, and overall poignant, “Mortified Nation” will definitely make you laugh, maybe make your eyeballs rain a little bit, and will definitely inspire you to pull that old shoebox full of notes from yesteryear out from under the bed. (For more information on “Mortified Nation,” read our Q&A with the creator of the stage show.) – Lauren Zupkus
12. “Scrotal Recall“
It’s hard not to judge a TV series by its title, especially when it has one as awful as “Scrotal Recall.” But wait, hear me out for a moment. The British sitcom, which aired on Channel 4 in the U.K. and is billed a Netflix Original in the U.S., follows Dylan (Johnny Flynn) after he finds out he has chlamydia. Being the sensitive, sweet kind of guy he is, Dylan decides to make a list of all the girls he’s slept with and go through them one-by-one, alphabetically, to break the bad news. (Get the title now?) In each episode, we learn a little more about Dylan, his romantic past and friend-drama as we flashback to each of the girls and tangled scenarios. It’s hilarious, charming and one of the most clever sitcoms in a while. Also, Antonia Thomas from Channel 4’s “Misfits” is in it, which is enough of a reason to watch. – Erin Whitney
13. “No Place on Earth“
A Holocaust story that you haven’t heard before. – Marc Janks
Source: Huffington Post