So you've signed up as a new Netflix streaming subscriber and you're feeling the initial rush of the seemingless endless choices of indie movies from all corners of the world. The variety and options can be exhilarating. It can also lead to some bad, bad choices. Here's five indie movies that are must see picks for Netflix newbies.
Who knew there was still a time travel story in Hollywood that hasn't been told? Between Marty McFly and The Doctor, I didn't think I needed any more time travel in my life. I'm glad I was wrong. Mark Duplass and Audrey Plaza are funny, charming and surprisingly vulnerable in this under-appreciated 2012 movie.
2. Howl I know what you are thinking: how can entire movie about a poem be good? Well, when James Franco and Jon Hamm are involved, it's easy to see why. Franco brings Allen Ginsburg's love of poetry to the screen in a way that's honest, effective and engaging. I was so inspired after seeing this movie, I picked up a couple of Ginsburg's poems.
3. Bernie Jack Black is one of the most under-appreciated actors of our time. Yes, that's a bold statement, but I stand by it. The trailer for this movie is deceiving, because this indie movie isn't nearly that corny. In reality, it combines classic narrative fiction acting in the lead roles with documentary interviews with real people from Carthage, Texas serving as the supporting cast.
4. Wet Hot American Summer Speaking of time travel, this movie is like taking a trip back to early 2000s Hollywood and spying on today's biggest stars before they made it big. Elizabeth Banks and Paul Rudd star as angsty teenage lovers. Amy Poehler is an earlier version of her wise-cracking self and Bradley Cooper is, well, being younger version of his handsome self.
5. Mary & Max This animated indie about two unlikely pen pals is not just fun to watch for its artistic direction, but also for its attitude. The story is so touching and so unexpected that you'll find yourself thinking about it for days.
(Image: Duplass Brothers Production)
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