Now is the time to kick back, relax, and marathon movies! We at Novella Magazine have created a list of great Netflix shows and movies for you to watch this summer.
1. Jessica Jones
Follow Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), a private investigator with strange abilities and a dark past, as she solves cases across New York City. Jessica Jones is the kind of show that ends on cliff-hangers and leaves its viewers anxiously waiting for more –the kind of show that’s easy to get addicted to. It has a dark tone, and deals with issues like PTSD, rape, and assault, but it also has its lighter comedic moments. The series premiered on Netflix on November 20, 2015, and is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether you’re a Marvel fanatic or not, whether you need to watch all the Marvel spin-offs or simply want a new action-packed show to watch, Jessica Jones is a show that everyone can enjoy.
2. House of Cards
If you like political dramas like The West Wing, The Newsroom, and Scandal, then House of Cards is a show you need to watch. The show is set in present-day Washington, D.C., and follows Democrat and House Majority Whip Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey). The story starts with the inauguration of the Democratic presidential candidate, who promised Underwood the position of Secretary of State – however, as viewers soon discover, the new president doesn’t keep to his word. Underwood decides to spend his time in office destroying his own party from the inside to exact revenge and gain power for himself. The show first premiered on Netflix on February 1, 2013, and a fifth season will be released in 2017. If you enjoy the strategy and manipulation of politics, then House of Cards is the show for you.
3. Gilmore Girls
In light of the revival coming out this fall, re-watch the quintessential mother-daughter comedy to refresh your memory on their crazy shenanigans. Follow Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) through the years, as they deal with typical drama and find themselves in strange and humorous situations. Don’t forget to finish your review of the show before November 25, 2016 – because that’s when the four-part revival is officially released on Netflix!
Since the musical production of Roald Dahl’s famous novel is playing in Toronto theatres this summer, why not watch the classic movie? Matilda tells the story of Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson) – a gifted young girl with cruel parents who wants more than anything to learn and be loved. Watch as young Matilda uses her gifted abilities to guarantee a happy ending not just for herself, but also for those around her.
5. The Martian
Watch last year’s blockbuster hit whenever you want, because the science fiction film based on Andy Weir’s novel The Martian is officially out on Netflix. The film starts with the emergency evacuation of the Ares III crew from Mars, during which astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is lost in the storm and presumed dead. The story follows Watney as he struggles to survive on the deserted planet and make contact with NASA back on earth. And despite the suspenseful and death-defying adventures, the movie still uses witty humour to lighten the tense mood.
In Ashby, teenager Ed Wallis (Nat Wolff) and his single mother (Sarah Silverman) move to a new town. As Wallis struggles to adapt to his new school and find the courage to take risks in his life, he makes an unusual friend. And unlike other coming-of-age films, Ashby has a thrilling and humorous twist – Wallis ends up befriending his neighbour Ashby (Mickey Rourke), who just so happens to be a former CIA assassin. Wallis and Ashby have a symbiotic relationship that demonstrates that it’s never too late to meet someone who will change your life.
7. Jenny’s Wedding
Jenny (Katherine Heigl) is a thirty-something woman whose family has been pressing her to settle down and marry. When she finally announces her engagement, she reveals something no one in her conservative family expected: she’s marrying a woman (Alexis Bledel). The film follows each member of her family and how they react to Jenny’s sexuality, but the star of the story is Jenny, who proudly declares that she will no longer hide who she truly is.
8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
In this comedy-drama, seven British seniors (Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Tom Wilkinson) decide to travel to India for their retirement. Although the advertisements for the Marigold Hotel promise them leisure accommodations, when they arrive they soon discover that the owner (Dev Patel) was merely… embellishing. In spite of this strange twist of events, as the retirees begin to explore the area and befriend one another, they soon discover that you can always have a new beginning.
9. Testament of Youth
Vera Brittain, the renowned British writer, was perhaps most famous for her memoir entitled Testament of Youth, which chronicles her experience as a nurse during World War I. In the 2014 drama of the same name, director James Kent brings to life Brittain’s famous work. In the film, Brittain (Alicia Vikander) struggles to convince her father to allow her to attend Oxford University – until the First World War begins. After her little brother (Taron Egerton), her close friend (Colin Morgan), and her fiancé (Kit Harington) all enlist in the war, Brittain decides to leave Oxford to become a war nurse. The heartbreaking film doesn’t glamourize the cruel toll the war had on soldiers, nurses, and family members – rather, it shows the gritty tragedy it inflicted on people across countries.
In this 2014 documentary, director Orlando von Einsiedel travels to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The documentary follows the park rangers who strive to protect Virunga – particularly because it is home to the world’s few remaining mountain gorillas. In light of the rising rebel groups, civil war, poaching, and expanding oil corporations, the home of the mountain gorillas is becoming increasingly threatened. Watch these inspirational and underappreciated park rangers as they sacrifice everything to protect the last mountain gorillas.