Streaming services have replaced video stores as the new secondary market for films to find their way into people’s homes in the 21st century. With all the convenience and ease of just turning on your television and scanning through rows of virtual box art, audiences have never had more immediate access to entertainment in history.
Through its enormous success, Netflix–currently the biggest streaming service in the world–often has first pick when it comes to the content it chooses to make available on its service. This even includes films released just this year, so audiences at home are able to watch brand-new films that have been theatrically released just a few months ago.
Currently on Netflix, there are a number of movies made in 2017 that are available for streaming, but to save you some time (and some disappointment), here are the 10 best films from 2017 to watch on Netflix right now.
1. Dig Two Graves
Set in the 1970’s, Jacqueline Mather loses her brother in a drowning accident and is soon visited by three gypsy moonshiners who tell her they can bring her brother back to life but only by taking the life of another in his place. Meanwhile, her grandfather–who’s the Sheriff–has his own dark secrets going back decades that connect him to these mysterious gypsies and the former sheriff that ended in tragedy.
A dark, haunting film of grief and regret, Dig Two Graves was partially produced by the Independent Filmmakers Project and the Southern Illinois University film department. Shot in and around Southern Illinois, Dig Two Graves employs flashbacks and subtle, haunting cinematography to evoke suspense and mystery throughout its running time. An indie film that looks like a studio effort, Dig Two Graves is a gothic thriller that uses its Midwestern setting to great effect.
2. Berlin Syndrome
A romance struck up on holiday turns into a nightmare as Clare, an Australian photographer, visits Berlin to shoot the city’s architecture. Using the vacation as a way to find herself, she strikes up a romance with a charming man she meets on the street. She ends up spending a few days and nights with him–which turns into weeks and months, since he has trapped her in his apartment and refuses to let her leave.
Adapted from the novel of the same name, this psychological thriller features a riveting performance from Teresa Palmer as Clare, who’s alone on-screen much of the time confined to just a few rooms and transmitting her character’s emotional state in an often wordless performance.
The frightening prospect of being trapped by a stranger in a foreign country where nobody understands your language provides Berlin Syndrome much of its horror, and not knowing what will happen to this young woman in this precarious situation will keep you on the edge of your seat.
3. What The Health
We are what we eat, but what exactly are we eating? That’s the central question in Kip Andersen’s documentary What The Health, as he interviews physicians and representatives of health organizations about the effects of our modern, highly processed food on our health. In particular, Andersen finds a meat-based diet unhealthy and promotes a vegan diet instead.
What The Health has come under fire for cherry-picking data to support its conclusions that meat–particularly fat–causes diabetes and cancer, but Andersen’s documentary, while certainly pushing an agenda, also reveals the behind-the-scenes collusion between health advocacy groups and big business that finance their studies.
Perhaps the most provocative aspect of What The Health is in how it reveals that every group is pushing their own agenda–to the detriment of the public’s health in general.
4. I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
After a bad day that ends with coming home to find her house burglarized, Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) contacts the police, but they are uninterested in helping her. She tracks down her computer via mobile app, Ruth and her neighbor Tony (Elijah Wood) confront the thief and, finding the confrontation satisfying and wanting to seek out more justice perceived wrong-doings, the two find more than they bargained for, with an unexpectedly violent conclusion.
This off-kilter indie details the two main characters and their odd partnership as the unstable Tony and low-key Ruth begin reversing positions until they both find themselves in way over their head. I Don’t Feel At Home in This World Anymore is for indie fans who enjoy watching normal situations quickly spin out of the characters’ control.
5. The Invisible Guardian
In Spain, police officer Amaia Salazar returns to her hometown to investigate the murder of a young girl, which is linked to a serial killer. Returning to her home and reuniting with her family, who still live there, Amaia begins confronting her own tragic past, including a childhood filled with trauma. Her unfortunate conclusion is that someone close to her is the serial killer, all while a mysterious “guardian” ghost that supposedly lives in the woods haunts the shadows of her investigation.
The Invisible Guardian is a highly anticipated adaptation of the international bestselling novel El guardián invisible, the first of a trilogy. Atmospheric and stylish, The Invisible Guardian is a Spanish thriller of the first order. With an outstanding performance by Marta Etura as the competent and smart Salazar, who confronts tragedy past and present, The Invisible Guardian is one of the best thrillers of the year–and it’s streaming now on Netflix.