First World Problem #987: What To Watch On Netflix

I’d like to say I cut the cord before it was cool like Ben Hanson, but how can you cut something you never really had? Sure, in high school my parents had DirecTV, but when I left for college all of life’s amenities were left behind, including cable or satellite television.

Though I shared a duplex with my four best friends, our residence was only set up with one cable hookup situated in the upstairs living room. For a very short while, we each paid $20 a month to fight over share one television with cable. But after lots of frustration (and too many nights of ramen noodles on the menu), we collectively decided there were better things to spend that money on, including a meal that couldn’t be cooked in the microwave and two-too-many drinks during Wednesday night karaoke. (What? Twenty dollars can get you a lot of beers when they’re just $1.50 a piece.)

While we were happy with our decision to cut back on expenses, we quickly noted the downfalls of Netflix as our only option for entertainment. Our greatest irritation was having to actually choose what we were going to watch. (Yes, I know… #FirstWorldProblem.) But seriously, it seemed we’d spend the most time trying to decide on a show or movie that was interesting… but not too distracting… and semi-serious… but just funny enough to keep us awake into the wee hours of the night to do homework.

It seemed that task was more daunting than the homework itself. How could we please everyone? Cable had always just made that choice for us. We could just turn it on and blame our arguments on the remote. “What? This was just what was on.”

Now, I have no roommates to argue with and still no cable television—nothing to fall back on when I don’t want to actually choose what to watch. “My List” on Netflix is great, but when I’ve exhausted it, I’m back to square one. The pain that’s felt when I finish a season is overbearing—not just because I have to wait until the next season is uploaded, but because the worst question lingers… What do I watch now?

That’s why I was so excited when I stumbled upon some fantastic Netflix movies. If, like me, you’d rather not struggle with picking what to watch next, check out these 10 Netflix movies you probably haven’t seen yet:

The Kids Are Alright (2010)

Comedy, drama (7.1 stars*)

Each having a child from the same unknown sperm donor, Nic and Jules are in a committed, lesbian relationship and have two children. Curious, the children search and eventually find their biological father… behind their mothers’ backs. Although Nic and Jules were hesitant to meet their donor at first, it might have been just what the family needed. (It’s humorous, endearing, and worth a few tears.)

Blue Ruin (2013)

Crime, drama, thriller (7.1 stars*)

Returning to his hometown to act on vengeance, Dwight soon finds assassination requires more skill than he originally thought. The estranged outsider gets thrown into a brutal fight to protect his family, whom he had been distant from for a number of years. Make your popcorn beforehand… you won’t want to get off the couch.

Your Sister’s Sister (2012)

Comedy, drama (6.7 stars*)

After losing his brother, Jack is invited by his best friend, Iris, to spend the weekend away at her cabin to recuperate. Hannah, Iris’ sister has also planned to spend the weekend there, recovering from a recent breakup. The three of them console each other. Sharing a bottle of tequila makes Jack and Hannah more vulnerable, leaving them to answer Iris’ questions about the night. #Oops #TeKillYa

Mr. Nobody (2009)

Drama, fantasy, romance (7.9 stars*)

Focusing on his life at three different ages, 118-year-old Nemo tells a reporter of the alternate life paths he could have pursued if in those moments in time he had made a different choice. The film will have your mind scrambling and second-guessing every decision you make. Ice cream or popcorn? Don’t choose incorrectly.

The Imposter (2012)

Documentary, biography (7.5 stars*)

Nicholas Barclay disappeared from Antonio, Texas, in 1994. Three years later, police found the boy in Spain. Or did they? Was this the son his parents were grieving over? This eerie documentary will make you question everything you know.

Headhunters (2011)

Crime, thriller (7.6 stars*)

A very powerful and wealthy headhunter, Roger Brown, lives in Norway with his wife, Diana, who owns an art gallery. In addition to headhunting, Roger and his friend Ove also steal famous artwork and replace them with forgeries. Life begins to catch up with him after he steals the painting from the man he later discovers is his wife’s lover. It seems the tables have turned. Someone is headhunting him now… but who is it? #”TheSuspenseIsKillingMe

Short Term 12 (2013)

Drama (8.0 stars*)

Grace, a young adult who counsels at-risk teens in a residential treatment facility, is trying her best to provide for teens who don’t know what a great home life is. While balancing her career, personal life, and an upcoming a wedding, Grace finds she will have to make some difficult decisions about her priorities. #ButWhatAboutTheKids?

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Drama, war (7.9 stars*)

This Netflix original film is based on a 2005 novel by Uzodinma Iweala. Child soldier, Agu, is forced to join the civil war in an unnamed West African country. With that one sentence, you might imagine the blood and toil that the boy experiences throughout the film. Grab a tissue. This film is all too timely in today’s war-ravaged world.

August: Osage County (2013)

Drama (7.3 stars*)

Meryl Streep plays the dysfunctional mother of three daughters—all strong-willed women who have drifted apart from each other and herself. When a family crisis bring them all back home to Oklahoma, the women will be forced to examine their lives and deal with one another again.

Tracks (2013)

Adventure, biography, drama (7.2 stars*)

In this film, a woman journeys 1,700 miles across the Australian desert. With four camels and a dog, Robyn seeks serenity and accomplishment, but instead is sporadically accompanied by a photographer wanting to capture her journey. This film is moving and inspirational—a great way to spend a Saturday night in.

If you have cable, you likely won’t be able to watch these fantastic films… because they won’t be on. But that’s your own problem. Netflix fans, this one’s for you; I’m making the decision for you. Sorry cable fans, I can only solve one #FirstWorldProblem at a time.


Feel free to print this guide to lay next to your remote. Never again question what to watch (well… at least until you’ve exhausted this list).

*(Out of 10 stars), according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

Feature photo via

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