Best Netflix and Chill Movies | January 2018
Last Updated January 5th
Look, we know you want to Netflix and Chill. Who doesn’t? But until Netflix creates a “Netflix and Chill” category–a real one, this time–you might find yourself struggling to come up with new movie suggestions to keep things fresh. Sure, you might have your tried and true, go-to make-out movies, but if you’re tired of watching Titanic or Pretty Woman for the 100th time, you need to change it up. That’s where we come in.
The staff here at Collider put in some hard hours researching the best movies that the streaming giant had available for your next Netflix and Chill session, so you’re welcome. We tastemakers have provided you with an eclectic selection of the best films to suggest the next time a certain someone invites you over for a cuddle, or vice versa. From arthouse cinema to pop culture classics to Oscar-winning pictures, we’ve got you covered. So allow Collider to do the homework while Netflix provides the entertainment; now all you have to do is chill.
Director: Andy Tennant
Writer: Kevin Bisch
Cast: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta
Okay, so Hitch may not be the best movie around, and in today’s society that’s hyper-conscious when it comes to relationship dynamics and how they’re portrayed in the media, it’s honestly a little gross. But if you’re just looking for a light, very silly rom-com that features some on-screen heat between Smith and Mendes, along with the bumbling and sometimes surprisingly balletic James, Hitch is an easy watch.
It stars Smith as a suave and charismatic “Date Doctor”, a relationship fixer that helps his clients find true love. Again, the premise could be super cute or super creepy depending on which side of the divide you want to fall on, but Hitch tries to keep it on the side of good intentions. Smith’s title character wasn’t always a ladies man; in fact, he used to be quite awkward and overly dramatic. And when we meet him, Hitch still doesn’t have it all figured out despite his successful track record; he screws up a bunch along the way. So what makes this movie a fun watch is the twists and turns the various relationships take throughout the slightly long two-hour runtime, despite the tropes it ends up falling into along the way. If you don’t take it too seriously, Hitch remains a delight. - Dave Trumbore
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Reid Carolin
Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello
Magic Mike is much more than you think it is. Oh, make no mistake, there’s definitely plenty of shirtless dudes grinding it out to the sounds of Ginuwine, but this is a Soderberg film after all. Loosely based on Tatum’s own experiences as a stripper in his youth, Magic Mike is actually a drama centered on Tatum’s character’s dreams for a better life and his failure to prevent the vices of his side job from corrupting a young dancer. It’s quite a surprising installment in Soderbergh’s filmography.
Then again, if you just want to see a bunch of very fit actors performing stripteases, Magic Mike will do that for you just as well. - Dave Trumbore
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Joe Eszterhas
Cast: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Denis Arndt, Leilani Sarelle, Wayne Knight, Daniel von Bargen
Paul Verhoeven exceeds at indulgence, and with the notoriously steamy neo-noir Basic Instinct, he seemingly surpassed himself on all accounts. In detailing the investigation into the ice-pick murder of a retired rock star, led by Michael Douglas’ mildly reformed detective, Verhoeven gives the genre one of its maximalist masterpieces, one that at once exemplifies the genre and expertly undermines it. Thank the surprisingly rich chemistry between Douglas and Sharon Stone, as his lead suspect, for keeping the thin story buzzing but it’s Verhoeven’s quiet upending of social and genre norms – from feminine archetypes to homosexuality to eroticism – and ingenious handling of Joe Eszterhas’ script, that gets the blood flowing to every corner of this wild thing. - Chris Cabin
Y Tu Mamá También
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writer: Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón
Cast: Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Daniel Giménez Cacho
Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Y Tu Mamá También is a stunning Mexican drama that stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna as two teenage friends who embark on a road trip, and are unexpectedly joined by a young married woman (Maribel Verdú), which makes all the difference. The trips means different things for each of them (escape, coming-of-age, an exploration of sexuality), but on a macro level, it showcases (visually and through narration) the realities of late-90s, rural Mexico, as well as historical footnotes and commentary. Y Tu Mamá También is occasionally difficult and bittersweet, and filmed in a documentary-realist style that only deepens the truths about love, friendship, sexuality, politics, and more that it betrays. But mostly the film is emotional, gorgeously filmed, and very sexy. (In fact, because of its portrayal of sex and drug use, the film was released as unrated in the U.S. to avoid a NC-17 marker). — Allison Keene
Director: Errol Morris
Cast: Joyce McKinney
So, you meet this guy named Kirk Anderson and almost immediately form a connection with him, even though he’s a Mormon. The problem is that you don’t know exactly how to show him you’re the one. Well, if you’re Joyce McKinney, you kidnap the guy and allegedly rape him in a hideaway cabin in England for several days.
This crime was at the center of one of the biggest tabloid wars of the 1970s, and director Errol Morris finds the haltingly strange heart of the matter by talking directly with McKinney in his customary fashion in Tabloid. Morris asks questions that might seem obvious, but the way he words them and builds up a rapport with McKinney teases out an unhinged yet startlingly sincere persona in a woman that fueled some of the most eye-grabbing tabloid headlines in history. McKinney would go on to pose nude, attempt to write a novel, become a courtroom starlet, and, in her elder years, adopt a cloned dog of her late, beloved pet. The result of all of this is a bewildering case of romantic obsession and an oddly endearing ode to having a lust for life even when you can’t quite control it. – Chris Cabin
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban, Jason Schwartzman, and Tilda Swinton
There is one scene that lands right about in the middle of Moonrise Kingdom that could have gone so wrong. The two (very) young lovers at the center of the film, played by Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, are stripped down to their underwear, dancing to a turntable record, and begin to, um, experiment with each other. Nothing like a Larry Clark movie, mind you, but enough to stare directly at the discomfiting realities of budding sexuality. It’s in Wes Anderson’s tenderness as a writer, and as a director of actors, that makes the scene not only work but prove to be spellbinding and endearing. There’s plenty to love about this wild, wondrous, and estimable romantic comedy, but at the center of the deadpan laughs, the lacerating emotional disconnections, and the general, glorious chaos, there are these two kids who have decided they’re in love and cannot be told otherwise. Another director would look at the foolishness and naivete of these young characters, but Anderson looks at them with sincerity and heartbreaking, discombobulating empathy that rattles you to your very core. - Chris Cabin
Director: Joe Swanberg
Writer: Joe Swanberg
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Ti West, and Jason Sudeikis
The thing you might call “modern romance” has been at the center of Joe Swanberg’s films since his big breakout, Hannah Takes the Stairs, and continues to be what drives his most recent works, including Digging for Fire and Drinking Buddies. The latter is arguably the most satisfying film that Swanberg has made in his career, which has as much to do with bigger actors – Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, etc. – as it does with the complex emotional scenarios that Swanberg puts his characters in. The film centers on a tentative romance between two co-workers (Wilde and Johnson) at a Chicago brewery, and Swanberg captures plenty of convincing detail in the day-to-day labor that goes into such a business. More importantly, Swanberg, who wrote the script, studies the nuances and illusions that come with casual sexual attraction and flirtations, how the proposition of a lasting relationship is a far different beast than an actual romantic relationship with responsibilities and intimate discussions. Swanberg picks up on the thrill, the arousal, of casual sexual attraction and how it can be viewed as an escape from a monotonous serious relationship, but he also sees how quickly attraction turns into duty and the frustrating lack of independence that comes with such maturation. - Chris Cabin
Blue Is the Warmest Color
This entry originally appeared in our Best Movies on Netflix article.
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writers: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix
Cast: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos
While Blue Is the Warmest Color got plenty of press for its explicit sex scenes and the subsequent rift between its stars and director, the film remains an epically intimate portrait of love that is among the most engrossing and effective romances of all time. The movie tracks the life of a young woman named Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos), who falls in love with another girl (Léa Seydoux) while in high school and develops a complex and deeply emotional relationship. This is a deeply felt love drama that, while long, feels wholly complete and personal. Exarchopoulos turns in a brilliant lead performance that deserved much more recognition upon release, and the cinematography is hauntingly beautiful. If you’re in the mood for a love story that feels real, human, and epic, go for Blue Is the Warmest Color – Adam Chitwood
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