With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's library can be overwhelming. So we offer this biweekly column as a tool to cut through the clutter by highlighting some now streaming titles that pair nicely with the latest theatrical releases.
Looking to Gangster Squad, Mama and The Last Stand for inspiration, we've pulled together a selection of California crime thrillers, kid-centered horror, and gritty games of cat and mouse.
Loosely based on the true story of the downfall of gangster Mickey Cohen, this very violent crime drama set in 1949 Los Angeles reveals what happened when cops turned vigilante to take the malevolent mob boss. Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin co-star; Ruben Fleischer directs.
California is a great place to set a crime narrative, and Netflix has plenty to pick from. Katey recommends Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, and Sean suggests Roman's Polanskis' Chinatown. Sadly, Mack's and my picks aren't streaming, but you can still make a California crime thriller marathon of your own with this chilling trio.
Memento (2000) Christopher Nolan's breakout film focuses on a lone man covered in strange tattoos. This is Leonard Shelby, a widower who suffers short-term memory loss since his wife died under tragic circumstances. Now, he dedicates each waking moment to finding her killer and wreaking vengeance. But when you can't remember the day before, how do you know whom you can trust? Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano co-star.
Mulholland Dr. (2001) David Lynch also tackled an amnesiac tale set in California with this Oscar-nominated drama. In it, a mysterious woman narrowly survives a car accident only to discover she has no memory of who she is. Teaming up with a fresh-faced aspiring actress, she journeys through Los Angeles trying to trace her steps and uncover her past. Naomi Watts, Laura Harring and Justin Theroux co-star. Lynch writes and directs.
Brick (2005) The feature debut of writer-director Rian Johnson took LA noir to school--well, high school--to make a movie that is as disturbing as it is slyly funny. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a brooding teen shamus investigating what's become of his missing ex girlfriend who has fallen into a bad crowd. Lukas Haas and Nora Zehetner co-star.