Matthew Ellmore/Staff Writer
Netflix offers a wide array of content for its viewers to watch, and it can be daunting to skim through its large collection to try and find something that interests you. However, there are some documentaries, series, and movies that are available on Netflix and that stand out from the rest. Some of them may be well-known, others may not. Hopefully, you can find something that interests you.
The first film from director Duncan Jones, “Moon” is a science fiction film that’s set in the near future where Earth has a serious power problem. In order to solve this problem, astronaut Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell) has stayed on the moon for three years, sending resources back to Earth. As he comes up on the end of his stay, he makes a startling discovery. “Moon” makes an interesting choice in focusing on the psychology of it’s main character and how the stay in space has affected him, rather than focus on space battles, aliens, and laser blasters that are so common in many other space sci-fi’s. While some films are marred by their small budgets, “Moon” uses it as an advantage and turns a classic sci-fi plot into a one-man show. It paints space as the lonely abyss that so many movies tend to romanticize and Sam Rockwell makes this clear in a harrowing performance, making the viewer feel his loneliness.
“The Thin Blue Line” (1988)
Before true crime documentaries like “Making a Murderer” became popular, there was “The Thin Blue Line”, a 1988 documentary by Errol Morris that tells the story of Randall Dale Adams, a man wrongly convicted of murder. Although some of it’s reenactments are pretty cheesy, “The Thin Blue Line” was way ahead of its time in both subject matter and how it chooses to present that subject matter. Like many recent true crime documentaries, this one takes a deep look at the American justice system and how complex some of these cases can become. What’s so amazing about “The Thin Blue Line” is that it achieves this just by interviews. There are reenactments and headlines thrown in, but most of the information that the audience receives is through interviews with the people involved.
“Maniac” is a series “set in a world somewhat like our world, in a time quite similar to our time,” According to the official Netflix description. The show follows two strangers who decide to enroll in a sketchy pharmaceutical trial that promises to repair any problem in a patient’s life. Without going into too much detail, the show takes this premise and strays further away from it every episode. Each episode takes the viewer further and further into the two main character’s minds and it’s fantastic. Heartbreakingly accurate at times, the show pulls no punches when discussing mental illness and how complex relationships can become. The idea of the human connection comes up a lot in the show but instead of romanticizing the idea of connection, “Maniac” often shows how far these connections can be stretched before they’re allowed to be mended or even broken. Whether it be coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, seeking to understand someone’s mental illness, or accepting the flaws of your family, “Maniac” shows all sides of these connections. At times, “Maniac” almost feels like a dream. Something that you know you’ve felt and seen before but can’t really remember where or when. There are places that you feel like you know, people that you feel like you’ve met, and relationships that you feel like you’ve shared.