10 Netflix Picks, The Indie Edition

by Spencer Rothman · October 19, 2011

Unless you've been under a rock the last year, you've probably noticed the recent Netflix revolution. While everyone's had their fair share of Lifetime movies starring Raven Symone on a rainy day, here's a list of low budget goodies that are must see's.

1. C.R.A.Z.Y.

Netflix Says:

"There are five boys in the Beaulieu family -- Christian, Raymond, Antoine, Zachary and Yvan. But Zac (played by Emile Vallee and Marc-Andre Grondin) is the only one who's gay. That's why growing up in Montreal alongside his heterosexual brothers and his strict, emotionally distant father (Michel Cote) proves especially challenging for the blossoming outsider, who finds solace in the music of Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie."

Spencer Says:

This French film from the director of The Young Victoria is one of very few gay-themed films that doesn’t borderline a porno American Pie rip-off. The soundtrack itself is enough to make you fall in love with the film.

2. Slacker

Netflix Says:

"Richard Linklater's 1991 cult classic gives viewers surreal slices of what it's like to be a twentysomething in the college town of Austin, Texas. Told through a series of vignettes starring Linklater himself, Rudy Basquez, Keith McCormack, Jean Caffeine, Stephan and Jan Hockey, Bob Boyd and Mark James, the film includes a strange meditation on Madonna's pap smear; a conspiracy theorist riffing on the United States government; and more."

Spencer Says:

The epitome of pre-90's grit is captured in this film, leaving you with catch phrases you wont be able to shake off. Perfect for any pretentious film school student.

3. Alice

Netflix Says:

"After her stuffed rabbit opens a portal inside her dresser, Alice (Kristýna Kohoutová) crosses over into a world of puppets and dead animals in Czech director Jan Svankmajer's bizarre adaptation of Lewis Carroll's children's book, considered a classic of surreal cinema. Svankmajer gives the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat equally warped makeovers via stop-motion animation and stark cinematography."

Spencer Says:

This movie is probably one of, if not the strangest film you will ever watch. Nonetheless, it will keep you entertained for all 86 minutes. Prepare to question your insanity.

4. Pretty Persuasion

Netflix Says:

"Kimberly (Evan Rachel Wood), a sophomore at a posh Beverly Hills high school, is obsessed with the idea of fame and popularity and will stop at nothing to get what she wants, with no thought for how her actions might affect others in her path. But when Kimberly and two friends (Elisabeth Harnois and Adi Schnall) decide to file a sexual harassment suit against a teacher, the three girls find themselves on the ride of their lives."

Spencer Says:

Pretty Persuasion is the love child of 'Heathers' and 'Mean Girls' with a more campy feel. 30 Rock's Jane Krakowski is hilarious as the washed up local news reporter. Think 'The Craft' minus the magic.

5. Best In Show

Netflix Says:

"Master mockumentarian Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman) is at it again with this snarky send-up of canine culture that traverses the galloping neuroses surrounding one highly competitive dog show in Pennsylvania. Talented improvisers Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean and Catherine O'Hara elevate this satire to the stuff of genius. Fans of This Is Spinal Tap, television's "SCTV" -- and dogs, of course -- will find much to love."

Spencer Says:

Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch (Way pre-glee), Parker Posey, and Jennifer Coolidge. What's not to love? Perfect for those with two left feet...And will no doubt leave you asking, "Where the f*ck did Busy Bee go?"

6. The Hebrew Hammer

Netflix Says:

"This hilarious tribute to the Blaxploitation genre stars Adam Goldberg as Mordechai, an Orthodox Jewish "superhero detective" who joins the Jewish Justice League to stop the evil machinations of Damien (the always-wacky Andy Dick), son of Santa (Richard Riehle), who aims to wipe out Hanukkah from calendars forever. Mordechai and his sidekick, Esther (Judy Greer), enlist the aid of Mohammed (Mario Van Peebles), a superhero protecting Kwanzaa."

Spencer Says:

I don't even know where to start with 'The Hebrew Hammer'. Andy Dick plays the son of Santa Claus, and is trying to take down Mordechai the superhero Orthodox detective. Enough said.

7. The Machinist

Netflix Says:

Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) hasn't slept in a year, and his physical and mental health have eroded. So when cryptic notes pop up in his apartment and he has visions of a co-worker nobody else can see, is it reality -- or just the next level of insomnia? His call-girl girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) seems to be the only bright spot in Trevor's quickly deteriorating world. And he, too, seems to be breaking down.

Spencer Says:

'The Machinist' is an insane roller coaster ride from start to end. Christian Bale is a hot mess minus the hot. See Batman at his worst.

8. Billy Elliot

Netflix Says:

"When 11-year-old Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) trades boxing school for ballet lessons, his father (Gary Lewis) -- a hardworking miner from Northern England who despises the idea of his son running around in toe shoes -- is less than pleased. But when the boy wins an audition for the Royal Ballet School, he experiences a change of heart. Stephen Daldry directs this Oscar-nominated drama that spawned a Tony-winning Broadway musical of the same name."

Spencer Says:

This movie is one you'll always come back to. Dysfunctional families at their best. Get the tissues ready, this ones a tear jerker.

9. Muriel's Wedding

Netflix Says:

"Misfit Muriel (Toni Collette) has always escaped life by listening to ABBA ditties and dreaming about marriage. When she and her flighty friend Rhoda (Rachel Griffiths) leave small-town Porpoise Spit, Australia, behind them, her fantasy starts to come to life. That comes along in the form of a hunky swimmer (Daniel Lapaine) looking for Aussie citizenship. At long last, her storybook dreams have come true, but is Muriel ready for this reality?"

Spencer Says:

This dark screwed up kind-of-sort-of version of Mama Mia will win you over with every tang in Toni Collette's Australian accent. Muriel's friends all make fun of her and decide to kick her out of their group because she only listens to ABBA and can't keep up with the "Modern Times" (Basically Muriel's an OG hipster). All Muriel wants is to get married, and you'll laugh and cry along with her throughout her entire journey to matrimony.

10. For Your Consideration

Netflix Says:

"A director who's never had a hit film pins his hopes on the independent drama Home for Purim, a movie about a Jewish family living in the 1940s South that's earning buzz for its standout performances."

Spencer Says:

The second Christopher Guest film on the list, 'For Your Consideration' is one rainy day movie you won't regret watching. From Catherine O'Hara's performance as a washed up actress who "never really made it", to Jane Lynch and Fred Willards roles as over zealous media anchors you can't go wrong here.