When at home, I tend to watch the same movies over and over. Between work and classic adult responsibilities, life is wild enough without throwing in the stress of navigating an unfamiliar movie plot. The only time I will typically watch a new film is while visiting a cinema. Around this time last year, my sister and I were watching The Invisible Man in a movie theater. In the moment, we didn’t realize a global health crisis was looming; therefore, it would be the last time we would be sitting at the show for the foreseeable future.
Several months passed and I finally branched out into new cinematic territory. Here are ten of my favorite movies (and two series) that I’ve streamed during lockdown.
- The Florida Project (2017)
Set on a stretch of highway in a budget motel managed by Bobby (a career-best William Dafoe), just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, The Florida Project follows 6-year-old Moonee and her rebellious mother over the course of a single summer.
- The Irishman (2019)
Hit man Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) looks back at the secrets he kept as a loyal member of the Bufalino crime family in this acclaimed film from Martin Scorsese.
- Firefly Lane (2021)
This Netflix series follows best friends, Tully and Kate, and their 30-year friendship that sees each girl follow a different path in life – one finding success in her career, while the other finds love and comfort in starting a family.
- Chef (2014)
After igniting a Twitter war with a well-known culinary critic, a Los Angeles chef (Jon Favreau) packs his knives, and teams up with his ex-wife, best friend, and son to launch a food truck business in Miami.
- The Crown (2016 – present)
Based on an award-winning play (“The Audience”) by showrunner Peter Morgan, this lavish, Netflix-original drama chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to modern times. The series begins with an inside look at the early reign of the queen, who ascended the throne at age 25 after the death of her father, King George VI. As the decades pass, personal intrigues, romances, and political rivalries are revealed that played a big role in events that shapes the later years of the 20th century.
- Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
An urgent phone call pulls a Yale Law student back to his Ohio hometown, where he reflects on three generations of family history and his own future.
- Erin Brockovich (2000)
Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is a woman in a tight spot. Following a car accident in which Erin is not at fault, Erin pleads with her attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to hire her at his law firm. Erin stumbles upon some medical records placed in real estate files. She convinces Ed to allow her to investigate, where she discovers a cover-up involving a city’s contaminated water supply.
- The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Will Smith stars in this moving tale inspired by the true story about a struggling single father who dreams of a better life for his young son. Finding themselves homeless, he risks everything by embarking on an unpaid internship in a highly competitive stockbroker training program where only one in twenty interns make the grade.
- Cast Away (2000)
After FedEx systems engineer Chuck Noland’s (Tom Hanks) plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean, he finds himself fighting to survive on a deserted island for four years.
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Sex. Money. Power. Drugs. Brace yourself for an outrageous true story from legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a young stockbroker hungry for a life of non-stop thrills, where corruption was king and more was never enough.
- Marriage Story (2019)
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach directs this incisive and compassionate look at a marriage coming apartment and a family staying together.
- The Post (2017)
When a rival newspaper lands a major scoop, detailing a decades-long cover-up about Vietnam involving the president, the Washington Post faces a choice. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star in this drama that details how Washington Post staffers risked everything to publish the Pentagon Papers.