Connect with us


Netflix hidden gem with 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating is disappearing soon-Steve Charnock-Entertainment – Metro

Three picks of overlooked quality from the streamers including a near-perfect Oscar-nominated kidnap thriller

Netflix hidden gem with 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating is disappearing soon-Steve Charnock-Entertainment – Metro

Digging deep into the streamers’ vaults… (Picture: Miramax Films/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Each week our man Steve Charnock breaks into the vast vaults of the UK’s many streaming services, emerging with a swag bag of deserted diamonds, hidden gems and genre gold. Forget the latest in disposable ‘content’, it’s time to work on your watchlist…

Streaming services are always telling us all about their endless new films and TV shows. Some of it’s worth watching, while a lot of it is a bigger waste of time than asking Tom Hardy to just try doing a normal voice for a part.

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney Plus, NOW TV, BBC iPlayer… They’re all jammed solid with high-quality old stuff, though. Or ‘content’ as they rather off-puttingly refer to it.

When it’s not being pushed at you, it’s all rather easy to overlook. So why waste time watching potentially ropey new films and TV series, when you can enjoy excellent old ones?

Just like these…

Gone Baby Gone (2007)Netflix

Casey Affleck, Ed Harris and Ed Harris’ wig (Picture: Miramax Films/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

When you think of Ben Affleck, what do you think of? An extremely successful A-list Hollywood actor? The third-best Batman of the last 12 years? Or maybe you picture him as the bloke who has a quick sad-smoke when taking out J-Lo’s bins.

It’s easy to forget that Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt’s also a highly capable, award-winning director who’s made some genuinely standout films in his short career behind the camera.

There’s The Town, Argo, Air, Live by Night (alright, maybe not Live by Night…). But arguably the best of the bunch came in 2007 with his debut in the director’s chair, the impeccable crime thriller Gone Baby Gone.

In it, big bro Ben directs lil’ bro Casey, who gives a typically committed showing as a private detective hunting down a missing girl with his colleague and girlfriend, played by True Detective’s Michelle Monaghan.

Amy Ryan’s Oscar nomination was largely appreciation from the Academy for her portrayal of a woman who can believe that Ed Harris has hair (Picture: Miramax Films/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

It’s based on Dennis Lehane’s 1998 neo-noir novel and set in Boston (Massachusetts, not Lincolnshire), the city of The Affleck Brothers’ youth. So expect some ‘wicked’ BAAASTUN accents, plenty of seedy dive bars and a lot of dubious vest/chain/tracksuit combos.

Watch out too for top supporting performances from Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris and – in particular – Amy Ryan, who bagged an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work here.

Holding a deserved Rotten Tomatoes rating of 94%, Gone Baby Gone is gritty, tense, and packs a weighty punch with a genuinely surprising – and clever – twist ending. Not only that, but it presents its audience with a genuine moral quandary at the end that you’ll be left contemplating for days.  

This perfectly-paced thriller leaves UK Netflix on June 14. So if you’re keen to catch it, hurry up before it’s gone, baby, gone.

If you like it, try streaming: Mystic River, Prisoners, The Pledge

Blow Out (1981)Amazon Prime Video

John Travolta and Nancy Allen discuss just how contagious Saturday Night Fever can really be (Picture: Columbia/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

In terms of his career, John Travolta came in seriously hot. The now-iconic horror smash Carrie was just his second movie, filmed as a fresh-faced 21 year-old. A year after Carrie’s release he was starring in Saturday Night Fever, a bona fide cultural phenomenon. His next role? Only Danny Zuko in Grease.

Not a bad start, eh?

Three features later and he was Jack Terry in Blow Out, a movie sound effects technician who unintentionally captures audio evidence proving that a supposed car crash that killed a presidential candidate was actually murder. Putting him in the middle of a political conspiracy. As was so often the case for the poor folk starring in films of the late 1970s and early ‘80s.

3rd Rock From the Gun: John Lithgow’s triggerman intimidates Nancy Allen’s escort Sally (Picture: Columbia/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Critics of director Brian De Palma (Scarface, The Untouchables, Casualties of War) tend to dismiss him as something of a cuckoo helmsman, lifting themes, styles and ideas from his peers and predecessors. While his fans would point out that Hollywood is all about homage (a fancy way to say ‘nicking stuff’). Quentin Tarantino’s made a career of it, after all.

Blow Out is actually one of QT’s favourite flicks, and with good reason. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but films of this era tend to be. Travolta swaggers about, all impossibly young and handsome, while Nancy Allen is great as a sex worker caught up in all the intrigue. Then there’s an early-ish outing from a young-ish (and brilliantly over-the-top) John Lithgow as the bad guy hitman type.

If political conspiracies aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to enjoy here. Especially for film buffs… From the tongue-in-cheek schlocky horror-film-within-a-film Terry works on, to the hat tips to Michelangelo Antonioni’s ’60s classic Blow-Up. That not float your interest boat? Just stream it for Travolta’s beautifully-coiffed hair.

If you like it, try streaming: The Conversation, Rear Window, Berberian Sound Studio

The English (2022)Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer

See Emily play… rough (Picture: Drama Republic/BBC/Amazon Studios)

Unlike so many of the trigger-happy gunslingers, buffoonish sheriffs, poor innocent ranchers, black hat bad guys and arrow-firing Native Americans in them, The Great American Western never seems to die.

There’s something comforting about the format, style and tropes of the dusty, chewing tobacco-stained genre. Even when more modern takes on the western subvert things a tad.

This six-part ‘revisionist’ western series ‘revises’ the traditional cowboy flick by making its lead not only entirely ignorant about cows, but a girl. And an English one, at that. In the unlikely leading role is the always flawless Emily Blunt.

Everyone knows that aristocratic English women make the best cowboys (Picture: Drama Republic/BBC/Amazon Studios)

Western fans needn’t worry, though. The crux of the story is as familiar and consoling as your favourite old gnarly ten gallon hat, that sarsaparilla-flecked Stetson passed down to you by your pappy… Only The English is all about revenge.

Blunt’s Lady Cornelia Locke heads out West looking to heap some vengeance on the man responsible for the death of her son. It soon becomes apparent that meting out justice isn’t all that easy when you’re a well-to-do woman in the wild, wild west.

This is rough, tough watching, no doubt about it. With villains oozing untold deviance and menace. Gruelling plotlines and heartbreaking developments are soothed somewhat by the gorgeous scenery and cinematography, though.

Barbaric violence has never looked so lovely or felt so classy. And all without John Wayne’s pot belly in sight.

If you like it, try streaming: Godless, Deadwood, 1883

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the entertainment team by emailing us, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

Entertainment – MetroRead More

Exit mobile version