We Recommend / Or Not - Archive

Page 1:  We Recommend / Or Not - Titles Scheduled to Expire
Page 2:  We Recommend / Or Not - New and Existing Titles
Page 3:  We Recommend - Oscar Winners & Nominees on Netflix
Page 4: We Recommend / Or Not - Archive - You Are Here
Page 4-A:  We Recommend / Or Not - Oscar Details Archive

These titles were recommended (or not) by contributors to What's Expiring on Netflix Soon?, but sadly, the titles have now expired, and are not currently streaming on Netflix. Of course, they can be found elsewhere, e.g., another streaming site, your local library, or video rental store. We're hoping they return to Netflix, so we can post them on the page for New and Existing Titles, and you can enjoy them at your convenience.

Please note: In addition to the reviews below, we also have an extensive list of Oscar-winning/nominated films that have expired, with details of all Oscar wins and nominations. Oscar Details Archive

The Angels' Share (2012)
The Angels' Share is a British heist dramedy with an unusual target for the heist - whiskey. It's light fun, with some serious moments, and has a good heart. Not knowing much about whiskey, I also learned a lot, for example, what the angels' share is. The movie caught me up in its story, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.   Carol, November 14, 2015

As It Is in Heaven (2004)
"As It Is in Heaven" is one of the most transcendent movies I have ever seen. It vividly brings to life the power of music to touch lives, and calls into question any division of sacred and profane. 7 stars for me, when 5 is usually enough. If you love music, or want to understand why anyone else does, I hope you can find time to watch it.   — Linklisa, October 7, 2015

As It Is in Heaven was nominated for the Oscar for Foreign Language Film (Sweden).
— Pox Voldius, October 7, 2015

I liked As It Is in Heaven, too. The plot might not be terribly original, but redemption deserves to be seen many times. It has great characters and pretty scenery, and it has an inspirational lift that is given wings by the heartfelt connection to music.  — Carol, October 8, 2015

Blue Ruin (2013)
I can vouch for the soon to expire Blue Ruin. It's tough to watch at times, but it's an expert revenge film that examines the costs of continuing a family feud decades after an incident that started it all. It never loses sight of the fact that its protagonist is an amateur. Highly recommended.   Brian Clarkson, February 14, 2016

Bottle Shock (2008)
This one premiered at Sundance, and while it hasn't got any major award nominations to its name, I thought it was a fun little film. An underdog story of the California wine that surprised the world by defeating the French in a blind taste test competition in Paris. And it has Alan Rickman in it.
 Pox Voldius, January 10, 2016

The Boys from Brazil (1978) - Returned to streaming in April 2016
The Boys from Brazil has 3 Oscar noms (actor in a leading role - Laurence Olivier, film editing, music - original score)   — Pox Voldius, October 7, 2015

Keep your expectations low for The Boys from Brazil. Prestigious, yes. High quality? Eh, not so much. ;-)   —David Speranza, October 7, 2015*

Chico and Rita (2010)
Chico and Rita was nominated  for the Oscar for Animated Feature Film.
— Pox Voldius, October 7, 2015

I loved Chico and Rita. Though animated, it is not a kid's movie. The Cuban music is simply wonderful, and the whole film is sensual in every respect.  — Carol, October 8, 2015

Cleopatra (1963)  - Returned to streaming in April 2016
Cleopatra has 4 Oscar wins (art direction - color, cinematography - color, costume design, special effects) and 5 Oscar noms (actor - Rex Harrison, film editing, music - score, best picture, sound). 
— Pox Voldius, October 7, 2015

Keep your expectations low for Cleopatra. Prestigious, yes. High quality? Eh, not so much. ;-)
—David Speranza, October 7, 2015*

Doctor Who - 8 Seasons (2006-2014)
Classic Doctor Who - 18 Collections (1989) and
One of the best science fiction TV shows of all time. You can't keep a good Doctor down.  
 Wellesley72, January 26, 2016

Get Low (2009)
The title is a colloquial expression meaning to die and be buried - get low - get it? Get Low is based on a true story about a reclusive backwoodsman in the 1930's who threw himself a funeral extravaganza while he was still alive, and attracted thousands of people to attend.  Most of the movie is about the lead-up to the funeral, and getting to know the main character, Felix, played by the always brilliant Robert Duvall.

What I liked best about Get Low was the interplay between Felix, a man of few words, and Frank, the fast-talking, self-serving, but not-without-a-heart funeral director hired by Felix, and played by Bill Murray, who I could swear was channeling Venkman, from Ghostbusters. Felix, in his slow and steady way, makes Frank walk the line. Now, it would be fun to watch anybody make a Bill Murray character walk the line, but it's especially delightful to watch Duvall do it. There's also very nice period set design, and some lovely cinematography, not to mention a great supporting cast.   Carol, November 14, 2015

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
The House of the Devil (2009)
As a horror buff, I highly recommend "The House of the Devil" and "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," both expiring on the 14th.

The former is a wonderful homage to late 70's/early 80's Satanic/possession films. Ti West, the director, is obviously influenced by Polanski ("Rosemary's Baby"), Argento ("Suspiria"), and Fulci ("The Beyond"). It's good, smart horror. Then check out [West's] latest on Netflix, "The Sacrament," a thinly veiled take on the Jonestown massacre.

"Henry" is a whole other enchilada. Based on the boastings of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, this is a matter-of-fact portrayal of evil. It's just grim, ugly, and banal. Don't watch if you're easily offended, but it is a mesmerizing film.  — jim, October 10, 2015

jim - I watched The House of the Devil - Brilliant! Makes you wait for the payoff, but creeps the hell out of you while you wait. Thanks for the nudge. Warning to non-horror fans: there are some scenes that are hard to watch; caution advised.  — Carol, October 15, 2015

House of Flying Daggers (2004)
House of Flying Daggers was nominated for the Oscar for Cinematography. [Also, I just finished watching it and quite liked it.]
— Pox Voldius, October 21, 2015

The Invisible War (2012)   
Hard to watch, but absolutely must-see. You will be completely outraged. You may also need a box of tissues. This is the one that should have won the Oscar.  
— Pox Voldius, November 6, 2015

I give a strong recommendation to catch The Invisible War before it expires. It's really good at making you think about what you would do if you were in the subject's situations, and make you think twice before sending your children off to boot camp. It'll make you sad and angry, deservedly so.  
 Brian Clarkson, November 11, 2015

Jesus Camp (2006)
This documentary has got to be the scariest horror film I've seen in a long time.  
 Pox Voldius, January 25, 2016

The Last White Knight (2012)
The Last White Knight was a rare experience to witness. Canadian civil rights activist Paul Saltzman re-established contact with the KKK member who had beaten him in Mississippi in 1965: Delay de la Beckwith, the son of Byron de la Beckwith who was convicted of murdering NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers. Saltzman and fellow activist Harry Belafonte took a film crew to visit, after a long restorative dialogue between the two men had turned into a friendship.

The film is largely conversational interviews, mostly with Beckwith and Mississippi residents, supplemented with historical photographs and visits to local sites. Beckwith's candor, along with his ready smile and courtesy, are surprisingly disarming. Saltzman's questions to him do not provoke polarization or demand apology, inviting a sharing of viewpoints and life experience that I have never heard spoken so directly. I flinched at some of Beckwith's language, even more so that of a white supremacist lawyer who was briefly interviewed, and wondered how painful it would be for a person of color to hear. But I'm glad I stuck with it.

Overall, I was very impressed with and grateful for Saltzman's courage and deep peace activism, in seeking common humanity with his assailant, and opening a window for viewers to witness the mutual respect they were able to build over time.   Linklisa, February 19, 2016

Life in a Day (2011)
I see that Life in a Day is set to expire. I didn't even know it was on Netflix. I did see it at the theater. I highly recommend it, and recomend reading about it on Wikipedia. It was edited from 80,000 submitted clips. Some of the scenes are rather rough, butchering of animals for food, and some are just bed, boys first shave and the ending teen girl talks about her day, but overall it is very interesting.  
— Achernar, October 31, 2015

The Missing Picture (2013)
So, the version of this that NF has is actually not the original French-language version that was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, but the English-language one, instead. However, it is still well worth seeing. It's a powerful account of the horrors of life under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. It's also visually interesting, told with a combination of archival footage and sculpted clay figurines. They just swapped out the narrator.   Pox Voldius, December 2, 2015

My Week with Marilyn (2011)
My Week with Marilyn has 2 Oscar noms—Kenneth Branagh was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Michelle Williams was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 
— Pox Voldius, October 27, 2015

My Week with Marilyn held my attention throughout, and I found most of the acting believable, with the odd exception of Kenneth Branagh trying too hard to honor the role of Laurence Olivier. But the portrayal of Marilyn, as written, seemed to lean on tropes rather than flesh out her humanity. The most refreshing scene had Derek Jacobi as the Royal Librarian, perhaps not even recognizing her, but welcoming her as a friend of his godson. On the whole, it was almost an hour and a half well spent, but I could only give it 4 stars.
— Linklisa, November 14, 2015

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
I tried to watch The Naked Gun, and couldn't get past the first 12 minutes. I'm afraid I fail to see why people in the 1980s considered this movie to be funny.   Pox Voldius, January 23, 2016

I decided to watch The Naked Gun again after reading your thoughts, P.V. (I saw it when it was originally released, and have watched all or part of it a couple of times on TV since then, but it has been quite a while since the last time.) The first 12 minutes do not play the same as they did in 1988. O.J. Simpson was still a football hero, beloved and respected. It was cool to see him in a comedic role. Now, it's uncomfortable to watch him that way, and seems, well, unseemly. In 1988, the "evil" world leaders talking about destroying America through terrorism, and blowing up New York City was easier to take as a joke than it is now. I couldn't help cringing as I watched and listened to that opening scene, here in 2016.

As a whole, though, Naked Gun's inanity still tickles my funny bone. Not all the gags work, and some of it is a bit crude for my taste, but I've loved Leslie Nielsen since Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), there are some great send-ups of police procedural movie staples, and it has quite a few creative, truly funny lines. The parody of Casablanca's hill-of-beans speech at the end will make me laugh for the rest of my life. The Naked Gun might be a little rickety for the wear, but for me, it's still a fun ride.   Carol, January 24, 2016

Oldboy (2013)
The 2013 version of Oldboy stars James Brolin, and was directed by Spike Lee. It is a remake of a critically acclaimed [South] Korean film also titled Oldboy, which is NOT expiring. The remake was universally panned. Having read the reviews on IMDb, I have not watched the 2013 version.  
 Wellesley72, December 7, 2015

Quest for Fire (1981)
1 Oscar win - Makeup
Personally, I thought this movie was terrible. The Neanderthals were not the least bit like what modern science has discovered about them - the ones in the film acted like something between overgrown chimpanzees and hunched over, severely brain-damaged, drunken frat boys. (Or were the ones that I figured represented Neanderthals actually supposed to be the Cro-Magnon people? If so, that's even worse. This film gets so much wrong that it's really hard to tell which ones are meant to be what!) And the timeline is all wrong for when anatomically modern humans & Neanderthals were coexisting in Europe (film puts it far too early), and when people learned to use fire (film puts it far too late).   Pox Voldius, January 5, 2016

Saturday Night Fever (1977) - Returned to Streaming on March 1, 2016
Saturday Night Fever garnered John Travolta his first Oscar nomination.   Pox, November 1, 2015

In addition to John's Best Actor nomination at the Oscars, the film received 4 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy, another Best Actor for John, and 2 for the BeeGees' incredible music - Original Score and Original Song ("How Deep Is Your Love?").
Don't have time to watch the whole movie again? Here is a really nice 3 1/2 minute compilation set to "Night Fever:"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op5FxEs1aR0   Carol, January 10, 2016

The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
The original aspect ratio of this film was a 1.85:1 widescreen, but the version that NF is streaming is a 1.33:1 pan-and-scan crop made to fit the screen of a traditional tube TV.   Pox Voldius, December 13, 2015

Shut Up & Let's Go - 1 Season, 16 Episodes (2012)
aka, Shut Up: Flower Boy Band (on IMDb)
I am really enjoying the Korean series Shut Up & Let's Go. I was a bit slow to warm up to it in the first couple of episodes, which set the stage for the rest, but are roughly filmed. The early boy band club scenes suggest it might be fluff, but it runs deeper than that. From the end of the second episode on, it is a binge-worthy, nuanced story of friendship, rock music, high school, class differences, and romance. Male-female love triangles give some dramatic tension to the story line, but the strong camaraderie within the band "Eye Candy" is what really carries the show.  
— Linklisa, November 15, 2015

The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011)
This is like a semester course in the history of cinema, very international. Using the medium of film to tell its story allows for great demonstrations and comparisons of cinematic techniques. 15 hours is a lot to squeeze in, but it's well worth whatever time you can make for any of it.   Linklisa, December 9, 2015

The Verdict (1982)  Returned to streaming August 1, 2016
5 Oscar noms
Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Newman)
Actor in a Supporting Role (James Mason)
Directing (Sidney Lumet)
Best Picture
Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium - David Mamet)  
 Pox Voldius, January 5, 2016

A minor point, surely, but The Verdict was cited in my law school Evidence class, decades ago, for getting wrong nearly every rule of evidence it refers to.   CanandaiguaNY, January 8, 2016

Ha ha, nice! Come to think of it, I still have a copy of David Mamet's script for The Verdict left over from my Screenwriting class. I think it was supposed to be an example of a well-written screenplay. ;)  
 Pox Voldius, January 8, 2016

*This is to clarify that David made one comment that included both The Boys of Brazil and Cleopatra, with the same caveat for both.

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