We’ve been very impressed with Netflix’s lineup these last few months, but February 2018 is something we’ve never seen before. In the first round of picks for this month, we had 18—yes, one-eight—titles we wanted to include. And let us tell ya, it was really difficult to shave that number down to ten. But after a lengthy discovery session of ratings, critic reviews, trailers, and clips, we finally grouped up 10 solid picks we’re confident about.
It depends on who you ask, but more people than not consider this movie Scorsese’s definitive masterpiece. You know the plot, but here’s a quick reminder Goodfellas is an American crime film starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci in some of their most iconic roles. Henry Hill (Liotta) is a small-time mobster, thief, and eventual drug dealer. His friends, Tommy (Pesci) and Jimmy (De Niro) work with him on heists and other mobster-type rackets, until things go south, and people start getting whacked or sent up the river. It’s the quintessential mob flick, and we say with strong conviction that there hasn’t been another one like it. It received numerous awards, and currently holds a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Ocean’s films also make their triumphant return to Netflix this month. The award-winning franchise revolves around Danny Ocean and his mix-and-match crew of grafters and thieves as they plot to steal some of the world’s most valuable things—from priceless art, to Vegas fortunes—while avoiding ending up in jail. The film’s all-star cast includes the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Elliott Gould, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Julia Roberts, and approximately a million others. The franchise is one of those rare and beautiful occurrences in which the sequels are actually as good as their predecessors.
How the Beatles Changed the World
When you think of rock and roll bands like The Beatles, it’s easy to acknowledge their talent and musical accomplishments, but their social and historical significance can get lost in the melodies of songs like “Yesterday” and “All You Need is Love.” The Beatles were musical revolutionaries who had a tremendous influence on everything from the way people wore their hair to the politicians they elected, and had a direct line into the hearts and minds of an entire cultural movement—a movement that ended up being one of the most important in modern human history. How The Beatles Changed the World is a vibrant and excellent refresher in just how powerful The Beatles were as a musical group, and how they managed to change the course of history with their unique sound, timeless style, and powerful lyrics.
42 Grams tells the story of Jack Bickelhaupt; how he began his culinary career in an illegal restaurant he ran out of his apartment, and transformed it into a business and career in less than one year’s time. It’s incredible knowing that their original 15-course dinner parties were supposed to be nothing more than an outlet for Jake’s creative food inspirations, but turned into something unique and remarkable. The film also looks into the dangers of what happens when people get a little too popular a little too quickly, and then have to figure out the balance between fame and humility.
National Parks Adventure
Stunning. That’s really the only word that comes to mind when we think of National Parks Adventure, a documentary that explores the natural beauty and wonder of America’s National Parks system. The film, narrated by Robert Redford, follows three adventurers as they embark on Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir’s camping trip—the very one they were on when they decided to found the National Park System. The film creates an incredible balance between broadcasting the adventure of the explorers Rachel, Conrad, and Max, while also telling the incredible story of how Muir and Roosevelt set off on a 3-day trek through Yosemite Valley, and changed history along the way.
Altered Carbon: Season 1
This Netflix Original, based on the Richard K. Morgan novel of the same name, is about more than the streaming giant flexing its muscles (Although the budget for this series was more than the first three seasons of Game of Thrones—allegedly). The futuristic crime noir murder mystery is set 300 years from now, in an electric world where technology allows a person to transfer their subconscious from one physical body to another. Big budget filming, mixed with a beautiful Blade Runner-esque aesthetic, coupled with an intriguing murder mystery plot, makes Altered Carbon a show we’re certain will be binge-worthy.
Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers
If you’ve ever seen Portlandia, you know that Fred Armisen has a pretty weird and unique comedy style. In his latest Netflix standup special, Standup for Drummers, he certainly doesn’t disappoint. Armisen performs to a sold-out crowd of drummers (No, really), and discusses his views on drummers and drummer quirks, to music and even regional accents. He also whips out an excellent Ringo Starr impression, at one point.
Everything Sucks! Season 1
We can’t really tell from the trailers if Everything Sucks! is a show for kids, or a show for adults who were kids in the ‘90s, but either way, we’re real excited for this new Netflix Original series. This coming-of-age comedy takes place in 1996 and features 10 half-hour episodes about a group of high school kids in a town literally named Boring, and how they live in order to survive life as teenagers growing up in the age of bad ska punk music and VHS tapes. The trailer features an Everclear song, Pop-Up Video-style graphics, and a bunch of other nostalgia from our childhood. We imagine it’s going to feel a lot like Stranger Things’ homage to the ‘80s, but, you know, without all the demogorgons running around and eating cats.
Another big-name Netflix Original film, Mute stars Alexander Skarsgard as Leo Beiler, a mute bartender searching for his missing wife in futuristic Berlin. Beiler must carefully navigate Berlin’s seedy underbelly, and wade his way from back-alley crooks and gangsters to illegal surgeons. Paul Rudd also makes an appearance in the film as one of the sketchy back-alley surgeons, and while we have absolutely zero contextual info about it, we know one thing for certain: His mustache looks superb. From the looks of the small trailer we’ve seen (and screen shots from the film), it appears Netflix has knocked another one out of the park with Mute.
Ugly Delicious: Season 1
We love eating good food, and we love learning about good food. But, if we’re being honest, there are certainly times where we could do without all the weird pretentiousness of the common food show. Enter: Ugly Delicious. This new Netflix Original series stars renowned chef David Chang (as well as other chefs, activists, and artists) on a mission to travel the world and use food to break down barriers between culture and identity, as well as share stories and experiences about life and our mostly insignificant places in it. It’s a fresh take on the genre of “Cooking Docu-Series,” and we love what we’ve seen so far.