With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's library can be overwhelming. So we bring you this biweekly column as a tool to cut through the clutter by highlighting some now streaming titles that pair well with the latest theatrical releases.
Looking to The Lone Ranger, Despicable Me 2 and The Heat for inspiration, we've pulled together a selection of standout westerns, colorful animated adventures, and features with kick-ass heroines.
The Lone Ranger
How did a lawman named John Reid transform into the legendary hero The Lone Ranger? This big-budgeted tent pole with a western flare starring Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter wants to clue you in. Gore Verbinski directs. (Read our review here.)
The July 4th holiday is a fantastic time to revel in the most All-American genre: westerns! Whether you want something classic or cutting edge, flashy or thoughtful, Netflix has got a title that should tantalize.
True Grit (1969) For something classic and full of old school brass, check out John Wayne in his Academy Award-winning turn as the cantankerous U.S. Marshal with a heart of gold, Rooster Cogburn. The adventure begins when tomboy Mattie Ross's father is murdered, and his killer runs off. Determined to find justice for her slain father, Mattie hires a marshal as stubborn as herself to help her track the varmint down. Kim Darby and Glen Campbell co-star; Henry Hathaway directs.
Blackthorn (2011) For a more modern take on westerns, try this indie that imagines Butch Cassidy survived that legendary showdown in 1808, but fled to a corner of Bolivia where he created a new name (James Blackthorn) and found some peace. Craving to see the US once more before he dies, this legend begins a journey home along with an ambitious young thief, who attracts all sorts of trouble. Sam Shepard stars; Eduardo Noriega, Stephen Rea, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau co-star. Mateo Gil directs.
Rango (2011) Also directed by Verbinski and starring Depp is this deeply quirky western that centers on a pet chameleon who must learn to blend into the deserts of the Wild West when a freak accident separates him from his humans. Left to his own devices, Rango creates an intimidating persona in the town of Dirt, and soon becomes their new sheriff, entangled in a treacherous quest to uncover what happened to the local water supply. Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Harry Dean Stanton and Ned Beatty also lend their voices.