7 Best Netflix Movies in April 2022
Awards season is officially behind us, which means it's a great time to take a deep breath, put your ballots and score sheets back in the drawer, and catch up on some of the older films you might have missed while scrolling through Netflix over the past few years. April sees an eclectic mix of titles getting ready to leave the streaming service, so now is a great opportunity to sit back and enjoy a film or two without the pressure of prognosticating. From Oscar-nominated classics to chilling psychological and crime thrillers, there's something for everyone to sink their teeth into.
1. Truth or Dare
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs, Chris Roach, and Jeff Wadlow
Cast: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Sophia Taylor Ali, Nolan Gerard Funk, and Hayden Szeto
Truth or Dare isn't the scariest horror film you'll ever watch, but it's hard to deny that it's a lot of fun. What begins as an innocuous Mexico getaway soon turns deadly when a friendly stranger (Landon Liboiron) leads a group of friends to an abandoned church for a game of truth or dare. What he doesn't tell them is that he has tricked them into playing a much darker version of the childhood game, one where the consequences for not following the rules are deadly. The supernatural twist is entertaining, as is the film's "Ten Little Indians" format as the friends are picked off one by one. If you enjoyed other Blumhouse releases like Ouija or Fantasy Island, this one is for you.
2. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
MDirector: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou (inspired by Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis)
Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic, Alicia Silverstone, and Bill Camp
If you're looking for an unsettling film that will stick in your mind after watching, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a good place to start. The eerie psychological horror film follows a surgeon named Steven (Colin Farrell) who finds himself at the mercy of a young man named Martin (Barry Keoghan) who accuses Steven of causing his father's death. The Killing of a Sacred Deer isn't outright scary in the traditional sense, but its psychological elements and the cold, sociopathic nature of Martin (and Keoghan's wonderful performance) make for a chilling atmosphere. It's a little too long and a little too ambiguous to be completely satisfying, though it's a successful and unnerving peak into the minds of people with darker tendencies.
3. The Florida Project
Director: Sean Baker
Writers: Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Brooklyn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera, and Caleb Landry Jones
The Florida Project has a simple plot, but that doesn't make it any less captivating. The drama revolves around six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) who is being raised by single mom Halley (Bria Vinaite) in a Florida motel as they struggle to make ends meet. Moonee desperately yearns to go to Disney World only miles away from their motel, even though she knows her mother can't afford it. Instead, Moonee uses her imagination to make the world around her into her playground. The Florida Project has been consistently praised for its raw performances, especially Willem Dafoe as the motel's manager, in addition to its empathetic look at poverty.
4. The Artist
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Writer: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcolm McDowell, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter, Joel Murray, John Goodman
The Artist proved that there's still an appetite for old school Hollywood charm in modern filmmaking. The black-and-white silent film takes place in the early 20th century and focuses on the relationship between silent film star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) and young newcomer Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) as silent films are slowly being replaced by the "talkies". Despite its retro sensibilities, there's nothing pretentious about The Artist; instead, it's a light-hearted and joyous tribute to the magic of the movies. Whether you're looking to catch up on your Best Picture Oscar-winners or are seeking to take a step back in time to Old Hollywood, The Artist might be just the film you're looking for.
5. The Shawshank Redemption
Director: Frank Darabont
Writer: Frank Darabont (based on Stephen King's novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption)
Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Clancy Brown, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Gil Bellows, and James Whitmore
The Shawshank Redemption is often cited as one of the best Stephen King adaptations. And when it's directed by Frank Darabont, who also directed other fan-favorite King adaptations like The Green Mile and The Mist, why shouldn't it be? The tale of the unlikely friendship between two prison inmates (Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman) has withstood the test of time and remains part of our cultural conversation almost 30 years after its release. Between its performances and Darabont's direction and screenplay, The Shawshank Redemption remains an inspirational prison drama that's both a critical darling and audience favorite.
Director: Bennett Miller
Writer: Stan Chervin (based on Michael Lewis' book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game)
Cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Kerris Dorsey, and Chris Pratt
Moneyball is unique in that it's a sports drama that can be enjoyed by people who don't usually enjoy sports dramas. The true story follows the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), and his assistant, Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), and their attempt to build a strong, winning team using math and statistics rather than financial resources. Moneyball is often lauded for its dedicated performances by Pitt and Hill, as well as Stan Chervin's snappy screenplay, leading to its status as a smart sports film that's as accessible as it is touching.
7. The Town
16101 Ventura Blvd., #255, Encino
Director: Ben Affleck
Writers: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, and Aaron Stockard (based on Chuck Hogan's novel, Prince of Thieves)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Chris Cooper, Titus Welliver, and Pete Postlethwaite
If you're looking for a Boston-set crime thriller in the vein of The Departed or Mystic River, The Town might be a good bet. The film revolves around a group of four lifelong friends who are also bank robbers. But when Claire (Rebecca Hall), one of the hostages in their latest heist, is released, Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) follows her to figure out how much she has told the police about what she witnessed. The result is a forbidden romance that threatens Doug's criminal life as well as Claire's safety. The Town was widely praised for its smart screenplay, Affleck's direction, as well as the performances, with Jeremy Renner receiving an Oscar nomination for his role.
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