The new movies on Netflix:
“The Platform” (Netflix Film)
Premise: In this horror thriller, inmates live in a tower prison in which a table of food descends from level to level, starting from the top. This process means there’s less and less food for the prisoners near the bottom. The lack of options leads to panic, violence and cannibalism, creating a metaphor on contemporary capitalism. The film is in Spanish.
Setting: A mysterious tower prison
Netflix Descriptors: “Unsettling,” “Violent” and “Dark”
How it starts: A hammer-like noise beats over a few production credits on a black screen. The camera cuts to a violin player in formal clothes playing as a man in a gray suit and black bowtie walks by with his chest puffed out. The man inspects various preparations of food, including numerous animal carcasses.
The screen returns to black. A voiceover says, “There are three types of person: Those at the top, those at the bottom, and those who fall.”
Is it any good? This movie has a Metacritic score of 73 out of 100. Metacritic aggregates the assessments of top critics.
Since its debut on March 20, “The Platform” has been in Netflix’s list of the top 10 most popular movies in the U.S. As of this writing, it’s at number one.
The top status is quite the feat given the movie is subtitled for English speakers. Perhaps the recent Oscar win by “Parasite” for Best Picture has persuaded more Americans not to fear subtitles. The only thing to fear with this movie is the rampant cannibalism!
Notable Cast: Iván Massagué and Antonia San Juan.
Runtime: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Bonus: Critic Jason Bailey began his New York Times review of the movie by using a few words that don’t often make it into the paper:
Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s horror thriller “The Platform” has been a regular fixture on Netflix’s daily Top 10 since it hit the streaming service last Friday, and no wonder: with its generous helpings of cannibalism, suicide, starvation, blood, guts and feces, how could it not be a crowd-pleaser?
“Uncorked” (Netflix Film)
Premise: In this comedic drama, a young man balances his growing interest in fine wine with his duties as a cook at his family’s barbecue restaurant. The man decides to pursue sommelier training, but his father wants him to stay in the family business.
Setting: Contemporary Memphis
Netflix Descriptors: “Understated,” “Intimate” and “Emotional”
How it starts: The camera follows behind a man’s head as he opens a door and enters a dimly lit space. “Juice” by Yo Gotti plays. The camera does varying establishing shots of a barbecue restaurant, with close-ups of the man cutting meat. Then the focus abruptly switches to establishing shots of workers in a vineyard. The film intersperses the two versions of food-related work back and forth.
Is it any good? The general critical consensus so far indicates that the movie is fine, but not fantastic.
Annoyingly, many critics have used barbecue and wine puns in their reviews to describe the movie.
“There’s not enough special sauce here to make it linger, it’s a palate cleanser at best,” wrote Benjamin Lee for The Guardian.
“An enjoyable but not exactly full-bodied drama,” wrote Travis Hopson for Punch Drunk Critics.
“So long as Netflix doesn’t begin charging a corking fee, Penny’s film is a satisfying weeknight binge,” wrote Barry Hertz for The Globe and Mail.
Notable Cast: Mamoudou Athie, Matt McGorry, Niecy Nash and Courtney Vance
Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes
Bonus: The Hallmark Channel has a 2009 movie with the same name. Here’s the trailer for that much more formulaic movie:
Movies from earlier in the month:
Premise: In this romantic comedy, a divorced man with bipolar disorder moves back with his parents after a stay at a mental health facility. He meets someone new who wants to team up for a dance competition.
Setting: A Pennsylvania suburb
Is it any good? Metacritic, which aggregates critic evaluations of the quality, scores it 81 out of 100. It earned eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for her role. The New York Times make a video highlighting the craft of a particular scene:
Notable Cast: Along with Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker and Jacki Weaver.
Runtime: 2 hours, 2 minutes
Premise: In this espionage thriller based on a John le Carré novel, a career British intelligence officer comes out of retirement to try and find a mole in the organization.
Setting: Mainly London during the 1970s Cold War
Is it any good? Metacritic score: 85. It earned three Oscar nominations, including Best Actor for Gary Oldman. Like with “Silver Linings Playbook,” The New York Times created a craft video:
Notable Cast: Along with Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Ciarán Hands and Tom Hardy.
Runtime: 2 hours, 2 minutes
“Spenser Confidential” (Netflix Film)
“Lost Girls” (Netflix Film)
All the movies that have joined Netflix this month so far:
- “Always a Bridesmaid”
- “Beyond the Mat”
- “Cop Out”
- “Corpse Bride”
- “Donnie Brasco”
- “Freedom Writers”
- “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”
- “The Gift”
- “He’s Just Not That Into You”
- “The Interview”
- “Kung Fu Panda 2”
- “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”
- “Life as We Know It”
- “Looney Tunes: Back in Action”
- “Resident Evil: Apocalypse”
- “Resident Evil: Extinction”
- “Richie Rich”
- “The Shawshank Redemption”
- “Space Jam”
- “There Will Be Blood”
- “Valentine’s Day”
- “Velvet Colección: Grand Finale”
- “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas”
- “Lil Peep: Everybody’s Everything”
- “Guilty” (Netflix Film)
- “I Am Jonas” (Netflix Film)
- “Spenser Confidential” (Netflix Film)
- “Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City” (Netflix Film)
- “Sitara: Let Girls Dream” (Netflix Film)
- “Last Ferry”
- “Summer Night”
- “Go Karts” (Netflix Film)
- “Lost Girls” (Netflix Film)
- “Search Party”
- “Silver Linings Playbook”
- “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
- “The Young Messiah”
- “Lu Over the Wall”
- “Last Ferry”
- “Summer Night”
- “A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story” (Netflix Documentary)
- “The Platform” (Netflix Film)
- “Ultras” (Netflix Film)
- “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” (Netflix Documentary)
- “Curtiz” (Netflix Film)
- “The Occupant (Hogar)” (Netflix Film)
- “Blood Father”
- “The Decline” (Netflix Film)
- “Killing Them Softly”
- “There’s Something in the Water”
- “Uncorked” (Netflix Film)