Netflix instant-streaming drama movies you have never heard of. It’s a big world out there with foreign markets and direct-to-DVD productions, so absolve yourself for missing some good films because discovering a new story is half the fun. Set down your sand shovel and bucket as winter arrives because the television beckons you with its electric warmth.
“Downfall” By now you’ve probably seen a baker’s dozen of inspired YouTube parodies subtitling Hitler screaming at his generals about everything from superheroes to the plots of sequels but the actual film might never have crossed your path. Capturing the final days of Hitler from the point of view of his secretary, "Downfall" gives insight into the depths of a dictator as he's confronted with losing control over his conquest to remake the world. With an unflinching eye, “Downfall” displays the human failings of a monster making an already terrifying man even more horrifying. The rage of a newly impotent ruler resonates in the scene where Hitler yells at Koller about artillery falling on Berlin.
“No One Killed Jessica” With the majority of films based on true events, you could spend a year on the Internet struggling to find the single grain of truth in the shore of fiction. “No One Killed Jessica” actually goes to the trouble of informing you that liberties were taken in this story of Jessica Lal, thus making you want to dive deeper into the facts once the credits roll. The feel of corruption as influence and power win over the truth gives a sticky, disgusting feeling like gum sticking to your shoe. The crush of humanity in a big city can lead to the drowning out of single voices, but this story starts with a mewling cacophony that grows into a populated focused scream of rage. The scene where witness after witness describes departing well before the shooting triggers both fury and disgust.
“Mad Bastards” This movie is a stirring tale of love as an absentee father seeks to push his son off the same dark path he took years before. “Mad Bastards” doesn’t push so much as welcome you into a strange country and world not your own, allowing you to find your own intimacy with the characters and environment. The short heart-to-heart conversation that follows the football scene rings true with anyone who has had to face consequences. A film that snuck by you unnoticed, “Mad Bastards” is a story that affects your heart and mind with permanence.
“The Robber” The discipline of a marathon runner coupled with a complete lack of control over his addiction to bank robbery creates a life that is too intriguing to miss. “The Robber” is a character study of the dichotomy of one man (Johann Rettenberger), who upon his release from prison becomes a star in the marathon world while robbing banks. With action you would not expect from a story that relies on the foundation of a sport that's less exciting than shaving your girlfriend’s unibrow while she sleeps, "The Robber" has the pacing of running a great race with each breath giving the feeling that you are starving for breath along with Rettenberger. His encounter with his parole officer moments after winning another race stays true to his lack of impulse control yet comes off as surprising.