3 underrated Netflix movies you should watch this weekend (May 10-12)

A man points his gun in The Interpreter.
Universal Pictures

Last weekend, The Fall Guy arrived in movie theaters nationwide to thunderous … indifference. It grossed less than $28 million dollars at the domestic box office, which means most moviegoers decided to stay in and check out what’s on their favorite streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and, of course, Netflix.

And can you blame them? Netflix in particular has a lot to choose from, from the hit show Baby Reindeer to original movies like Damsel. This weekend, these three movies haven’t gotten much of the spotlight recently, but are worth your time and attention. One is a political thriller starring a pair of Oscar winners, another is one of the great 1980s dramas, and the last one is a comedy starring a bunch of talented Saturday Night Live veterans.

Need more recommendations? Read our guides to the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best movies on HBO

The Interpreter (2005)

A man talks to a woman in The Interpreter.
Universal Pictures

Hollywood doesn’t make political thrillers anymore, and that’s a shame. From The Manchurian Candidate in 1962 to 1974’s The Parallax View to 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, these movies are some of the best films ever made, and they skillfully tackle complicated subjects but tell them in an entertaining way. The Interpreter isn’t as good as those films, but it mostly succeeds in providing a decent, thought-provoking good time.

Directed by Sydney Pollack, The Interpreter focuses on Sylvia Broome (Birth‘s Nicole Kidman), an interpreter who works at the United Nations and has the misfortune of overhearing an assassination plot late one night. After telling the authorities, she’s protected by Tobin Keller (Sean Penn), a Secret Service agent who doesn’t quite believe her. Once the bodies start piling up, however, Tobin helps Sylvia uncover the masterminds behind the assassination plot and save Sylvia’s life.

The Interpreter is streaming on Netflix.

A Passage to India (1984)

A woman and a man ride an elephant in A Passage to India.
Columbia Pictures

One of the most critically acclaimed movies of the 1980s, A Passage to India isn’t much talked about anymore. It’s what many consider to be “respectable cinema,” an effective adaptation of one of the best novels of the 20th century by E.M. Forster. And it’s tempting to classify this movie, which was director David Lean’s last work before his death, as just another stuffy costume drama when, in fact, it’s coursing with life and mystery underneath its genteel British surface.

In 1920s India, which is still ruled by the British Empire, two English women, Adela Quested (Judy Davis) and Mrs. Moore (Peggy Ashcroft, who won an Oscar for her work here), venture into the mysterious Marabar Caves with the help of a local guide, the enthusiastic and friendly Dr. Aziz (Victor Banerjee). But once they reach the caves, something happens to both women: Mrs. Moore confronts her mortality head-on, while Adela becomes so unnerved by how the foreign place awakens her repressed sexual desire that she accuses Dr. Aziz of rape. A Passage to India is many things — a courtroom drama, a travelogue showcasing the beauty of India, a cultural clash dark comedy — but its strange mystique is something that makes it so memorable, and so worthy of rediscovery.

A Passage to India is streaming on Netflix.

Wine Country (2019)

Three women raise their wine glasses in Wine Country.
Netflix

Some comedies, like 2011’s Bridesmaids, are just about perfect because of their great actors, terrific scripts, and on-point direction. Most comedies aren’t that spotless; one will have a game cast, but writing that isn’t up to par with its performers. That’s the case for Wine Country, a 2019 comedy that sports a killer lineup of comediennes: Amy Poehler (who also directed), Tina Fey, Mya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Ana Gasteyer, and Rachel Dratch. Asteroid City‘s Jason Schwartzman and Mr. & Mrs. Smith‘s Maya Erskine pop up, too, as does California’s beautiful Napa Valley, which the film largely takes place in.

Wine Country revolves around the celebration of a group of friends who all want to celebrate one of them turning the big 5-0 by venturing to Napa, kicking up their heels, and sipping some very expensive wine. Comedic hijinks ensue, which includes a romance with a younger suitor, an art exhibit that is somehow related to the TV show The Nanny, and a tarot reading that goes hilariously wrong. Wine Country isn’t perfect (the third act drags with a series of out-of-nowhere revelations that dampers the lightness of the material), but it offers a rare opportunity to hang out with some of the most talented SNL cast members that have ever existed. That alone is enough to recommend the movie, especially if you want to have a chill weekend.

Wine Country is streaming on Netflix.

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