Another month has come and gone, which means it’s time for Netflix (opens in new tab) to hit refresh on their servers and junk a couple of titles. Out of those titles are the following eight prime cut picks that are leaving our digital libraries for now, and we’re not shy about telling you that they’re well worth your time. Here now is the list of eight awesome movies that you should get down to watching, before they leave your Netflix queue.
Everybody remembers The Matrix trilogy, but only die-hard Matrix / anime fans remember The Animatrix, and for good reason. Told over an anthology of stories, The Animatrix fills in crucial backstory that fleshes out the world of The Matrix. In particular, stand out installments like The Final Flight Of The Osiris and The Second Renaissance provide details that enrich the events of all three Matrix films, as well as directly influence the course of events in the films. And then there are shorts like World Record and Program that are just fun, beautiful exercises in the Matrix universe.
Election years are tough, what with the aggressive campaigning, mudslinging, and generally bitchy sound bites that come out of it. So what better way to relieve yourself of the electoral burden of the contentious primary season than with Alexander Payne’s dark comedy Election? Between Matthew Broderick’s surprising turn as a caddish high school teacher who has it out for his most overachieving student, or Reese Witherspoon’s portrayal of said student, this recent classic deserves one last ride before it leaves Netflix. That, and it really helps to imagine the candidate you like the least as the Tracy Flick character.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
In case you didn’t know, Doctor Who won’t be on the air again until this Christmas, with a full season coming some time next year. So if you’re looking for some time travel action involving a phone booth, a wise older man that pilots it, and a couple of young kids who could learn a thing or two from said older man, then Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is exactly the movie you should be watching. Though if you haven’t already seen the 1989 comedy that brought Keanu Reeves to the forefront, you might want to watch this flick on the quick. You’ve made it this far without embarrassment, but you can never be too careful.
A good heist movie is hard to find, especially if you’re trying to look for an option off of the beaten path. If you’re the type of movie viewer that’s looking for this breath of fresh air, then Frank Oz’s 2001 caper, The Score, is the film you’re looking for. A recently retired thief (Robert DeNiro) is goaded into one last heist in the name of vanity by a punky hot shot (Edward Norton,) and the results are unpredictable. A frequently overlooked film in director Frank Oz’s canon, a viewing of The Score more than makes up for the torture the director endured with a combative Marlon Brando - who made his last film appearance in this picture.
Blade Runner: Theatrical Cut
Ridley Scott gets a doozy of a double feature in this month’s Netflix cull, as one of his best science fiction pieces and one of his best historical pieces are both leaving. In the arena of science fiction, Scott’s Philip K. Dick adaptation, Blade Runner, is being pulled - like teardrops in the rain. Part film noir mystery, part existential parable on humanity’s responsibility to sentient life that it creates, and all masterpiece - Blade Runner’s garden variety version is the perfect gateway into the Director and Final cuts that came after the cult success of the original film. With a sequel coming out next October, now’s a good time to refresh / introduce yourself to the world of replicants, and the Blade Runners that hunt them.
Black Hawk Down
The other half of the Ridley Scott duology leaving Netflix this month is the true story of the Battle of Mogadishu. While the film’s accuracy has been brought into question in the 15 years since the film’s release, Black Hawk Down is still a riveting portrait of heroism under fire. Not to mention, the film is stuffed with a cast of actors that will have you recognizing figures that went on to bigger films in their careers. But most importantly, the film is an efficient exercise in wartime storytelling. While he may not have known it when he made the film, Ridley Scott created the blueprint for the modern war movie, and he crafted it pretty damned well.
Escape From Tomorrow
Disney World is usually labeled as the "happiest place on Earth," but in the case of Escape From Tomorrow, it temporarily turns into a nightmarish hell hole of obsession and hallucination. Jim (Roy Abramsohn) starts his vacation to Orlando finding out that he’s been fired from his job. If this was the worst of his worries, we’d be in store for a by-the-numbers family drama. However, with a growing infatuation with a pair of French teenagers, and a state of mind that is becoming increasingly desperate, Jim’s adventures in Escape From Tomorrow are as harrowing as they are trippy. If that’s not reason enough to watch this film, keep in mind that this entire movie was covertly shot on the Disney World grounds, under the cover of secrecy.
Kevin Smith has evolved as a filmmaker over the 22 years his career has spanned. Yet as much as he’s diversified his resume, he’s never strayed too far from the same wit and wisdom he exhibited in his first film ever. Clerks is the bedrock of Smith’s career, as it showcases legendary masters of raunchiness, Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), during a day in their lives as convenience store / video store clerks in mid-1990’s New Jersey. With a mix of deep philosophical questions, and raucous humor, Clerks is the Rosetta Stone of Kevin Smith’s sensibilities, as well as fond reminder of what he can do when he cranks his talents up to 11.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.