With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's library can be overwhelming. And 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.
This week we found inspiration from The Hobbit, This Is 40 and Zero Dark Thirty, so have provided a selection of family-friendly adaptations, raunchy R-rated comedies, and true and remarkable true tales for you to enjoy over the holiday.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Lord of the Rings' trilogy director Peter Jackson returns to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien with this spirited adventure set in Middle Earth. Martin Freeman stars as young Bilbo Baggins, a homebody Hobbit who dares to leave the Shire, setting out on a grand adventure where he'll meet a band of dwarves, a trio of trolls and a strange creature called Gollum. Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis co-star.
Based on the iconic children's book, Jackson's adaptation will bring to life a host of characters many have long loved. For more exhilarating adventures that were born from the pages of great kid-friendly books, we suggest this triple play of adventures the whole family can enjoy.
The Adventures of Tintin (2011) Steven Spielberg took motion-capture to new highs with his epic adaptation of Georges Remi's classic comic strip about a fearless young journalist named Tintin and his dedicated dog, Snowy. When a flea market purchase leads Tintin to a mystery, nothing can stop him from tracking down the truth behind a sunken treasure! Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig lend their voices; Peter Jackson produces.
Hugo (2011) Last winter, Martin Scorsese's ambitious adaptation of Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret was being heralded by critics, and delighting audiences with its captivating tale of a boy who lives in the walls of a Parisian train station. This holiday season, you can enjoy Hugo from the comfort of your couch, and revel in the film's quirky characters—including a snooty inspector played by Sacha Baron Cohen—and its wonder-filled world. This one will be especially engaging to cinephiles, though to avoid spoilers I won't say why. Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Ben Kingsley co-star.
Alice in Wonderland (1951) Netflix recently inked a deal with Disney that has unleashed a slew of tantalizing titles from the Disney vault. Among them is their colorful classic adapted from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The story centers on a British school girl who chases a frantic white rabbit, then stumbles into a wacky world where caterpillars smoke hookahs, walruses can't be trusted, and the queen has a rage that can make her lose her head…and could make you lose yours! Kathryn Beaumont and Ed Wynn lend their voices, Winston Hibler, Ted Sears, and Bill Peet direct.