We Recommend / Or Not

 Page 1: We Recommend / Or Not - Titles Scheduled to Expire - You Are Here
 Page 2: We Recommend / Or Not - New and Existing Titles

The following titles are scheduled to expire soon. One or more of our contributors has shared a review, recommendation, some relevant facts, or perhaps, a word of caution. Titles are listed by the last day to watch.   Please scroll down to find the date and movie you want.

Review Credits
Two of our frequent contributors have distinctively recognizable styles. In order to make reading through the page breezier, they are credited here:
> All details of Oscar wins and nominations: Pox Voldius
> All reviews with star-ratings: Eric Vandenberg (see Eric's explanation of his star ratings)
> Pox and Eric will be specifically credited where there would be any ambiguity without doing so.
> All other contributors will be credited at the end of their review.
> If others wish to mention Oscar awards or give a star rating, please feel free to do so. You will be clearly credited for your review.

December 14
Jackie & Ryan (2014)  2.5 stars
Well acted, moderately paced, romantic drama.

Jake Squared (2013)  3.0 stars
Well acted and paced, unique, relationship dramedy.

Jeff Dunham: Arguing with Myself (2006)  3.0 stars
Well paced, amusing, stand-up comedy.

Make Believe (2010)  2.5 stars
Well paced, interesting, teen-magicians documentary.

The Sixties - 10-Part Mini-Series (2014)  3.5 stars
Well paced, interesting, in-depth, 8.5 hour cultural, social, and political documentary. Good mix of interviews and archival footage. I learned many historical details I had never heard of previously.

Slow Learners (2015)  2.5 stars
Well acted and paced, romantic dramedy.

Step Dogs (2013)  2.0 stars
Fairly well acted and paced, talking-dog "Home Alone," children's crime comedy.

Time Out of Mind (2014)  1.5 stars
Well acted, very slow paced, overly long, homeless-man drama.

December 15
Blood, Sweat and Sequins (2013)  2.5 stars
Well paced, 50 min., Australian biograpical and cultural documentary about pole dancing. Blood, Sweat and Stilettos would have been a better title.

Dear Dumb Diary (2013)  2.5 stars
Well acted and paced, tween middle-school musical dramedy.

The Road to Freedom Peak (2013)  2.5 stars
Fairly well paced, 52 min., biographical and cultural documentary about a [former] child soldier.

The Vasectomist (2013)  2.5 stars
Well paced, interesting, 52 min., medical and cultural documentary.

December 16
Bo Burnham: what. (2013)  3.0 stars
Well paced, amusing, 60 min., musical stand-up comedy.

Straight A’s (2013)  2.0 stars
Well acted, slow paced, relationship drama.

December 17
Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)  2.5 stars
Well acted, variably paced, 8-episode, 6-hour Hindi film. (I am in the middle of the 5th episode, watching about one episode per day, but don't expect the quality to change.)

Ragnarok (2013)  3.0 stars
Well acted and paced, Norwegian action adventure / creature horror.

December 19
Che (2008) two-part movie  2.0 stars
Well acted, moderately paced, overly long, Spanish historical-revolution drama. Part 1 jumped back and forth in time too much; Part 2 was very slow.

El cumple de la abuela (2015)  3.0 stars
Well acted and paced, Mexican dysfunctional-family relationship comedy-drama.

Tiny Furniture (2010)  2.0 stars
Well acted, slow paced, boring, relationship drama.

December 20
The Mend (2015)  1.0 stars
Well acted, slow paced, meandering, confusing, annoying, relationship drama.

December 21
Queen of Earth (2015)  2.0 stars
Well acted, slow paced, mental illness, relationship drama.

December 22
Boys Over Flowers - 1 Season (2009)
Boys Over Flowers launched my love for Lee Min-ho. Seriously, the show is pretty boys. After saving a kid's life at a very rich high school, Jan Di is invited to attend in order to help some of the media furor die down. There, she clashes with F4, the four most popular and attractive boys at school. Jun Pyo (Lee Min-ho) is the most annoyed by her - and seriously attracted by the fact that she is totally not into him (though he doesn't realize it at first). I do remember this show dragging on in spots, and as much as I love Lee Min-ho, I was not always rooting for Jun Pyo. This show introduced me to the concept of Second Lead Syndrome. A bit longer than Secret Garden [no longer streaming on Netflix], it is still a lot of fun, and made me want to stay up super late to keep watching. It is based on the Japanese manga, Hana Yori Dango.
— Nica, May 4, 2016

Invisible Sister (2015)  2.5 stars
Well acted and paced, teen high-school Halloween dramedy.

December 23
Amores Perros (2000)
1 Oscar nom: Foreign Language Film (Mexico)   — Pox Voldius, November 21, 2017

Well acted, fairly well paced, Mexican intertwined-relationships drama.  2.5 stars
— Eric Vandenberg, November 20, 2017

December 24
Backtrack (2015)  2.5 stars
Well acted, fairly well paced, Australian supernatural horror / crime drama.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
5 Oscar noms
Actor in a Leading Role (Johnny Depp)
Sound Editing
Sound Mixing
Visual Effects (John Knoll)

A very fun movie!   — Pox Voldius, November 21, 2017

Great pirate film that's a blend of fine acting (yes, including Johnny Depp), thrilling action, and light romance. Also significant because it marks the first DVD that I owned as a Christmas present.
— Brian Clarkson, December 12, 2017

December 29
The Eighties - 1 Season (2016)  3.0 stars
Well paced, interesting, in-depth cultural, social and political documentary. Good mix of interviews and archival footage. Good follow-up to previous mini-series, although some repetition between episodes.

The Seventies - 1 Season (2015)  3.0 stars
Well paced, interesting, in-depth cultural, social and political documentary. Good mix of interviews and archival footage. Good follow-up to "The Sixties" mini-series.

December 31
Ruby Gloom (2008)  3.0 stars
Well voiced and paced, animated friendship / adventure / comedy-drama. Aimed at children, but with many touches for adults. Netflix only has 13 of the 40 episodes that run about 22 minutes each.

The Switch (2010)  3.0 stars
Well acted and paced, romantic comedy-drama.

January 2
V/H/S (2012)  1.5 stars
Well acted, disjointed mishmash of shaky-cam "found" footage.

Eric's star system and review process

"I use the Videohound rating system out of 4 stars. 
> Essentially, 1.5 or less, I do not consider to be worth watching for anyone.
> 2 stars may be greater enjoyment for others than what I derived from it.
> 2.5 is competent.
> 3.0 or more is very enjoyable.
The most important factors for me are acting and pacing."

Have you watched one of the expiring shows, and want to share your thoughts, feelings, reactions? All reviews are welcome, even if you would like to add your two cents about one of the titles above.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Thank you for sharing your Oscar Best Films list, Pox Voldius. Hard to complain about Netflix content when looking at all these titles. It might take me a couple days, but I want to give these a special place on the page. Sure hope these don't expire soon. I'm surprised by how many I haven't seen.

    2. You're welcome. Perhaps at some point I'll search some of the other categories & post which ones are on NF. [Though, I can tell you right now that the nominees for Directing largely overlap with the nominees for Best Picture.]

    3. You're right about the overlap - Best Film tends to overlap in a lot of categories. I'm on the fence about whether it makes good sense to list additional categories for all films on Netflix. Directing and writing, and usually acting overlap. While some people are into a great musical score, and others may like films that look terrific, not everyone cares about the same stuff. Those nominated for Best Film are not a guarantee of anything, but I think we can justify calling those out as something readers might want to consider. If you feel like it, it would be nice to have the same kinds of lists for Documentary and Animated films, but only if you feel like it. You've been more than generous already.

      Because evaluating the quality of titles isn't the main point here, I don't want to distract readers too much from why they came to this blog. But I do feel some sense of responsibility to give them something in the way of a suggestion or two. I did like that you called out the Oscar wins/noms for the expiring titles, (I also liked David's counterpoint to a couple of them.) I plan to put a link to this page next to any expiring title that has a review or other info to help with a decision.

      Thanks again for contributing the lists, both for the sake of the blog and for my own. And, any other thoughts you have on all of this are, of course, welcome.

  2. Linklisa & Pox Voldius - A friend of mine came to the blog; As It Is in Heaven had already expired, but she ordered it from the library based on the reviews here. Also, she printed out the Oscar page. Kudos to both of you for all your efforts to help others get the most out of Netflix!

  3. Braveheart (1995) [last day 1/15] - 5 Oscar wins: Cinematography, Directing [Mel Gibson], Makeup, Best Picture, Sound Effects Editing; 5 Oscar noms: Costume Design, Film Editing, Music (Original Dramatic Score), Sound, Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

    And anyone interested in reading a historian's take on everything that's wrong or amusing about Beowulf (2007), Braveheart (1995) [it may be a good film, but it's terribly inaccurate in regards to history!], Gladiator (2000), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and several other films & TV shows with historical settings, can check out the entries in this blog --> http://aelarsen.wordpress.com/ It's really quite a fascinating and entertaining read. ;)

  4. Bus Stop (1956) -- The lead male character is a detestable pig that thinks women are property to be dragged back to his cave by their hair. This film would have been much improved if Marilyn Monroe's character had just snapped and kicked his teeth in when he barged into her bedroom uninvited.

    1. Okay, technically the Academy considered Don Murray a supporting actor in this film, but he spent a heck of a lot of time chewing up the scenery.

      And the ending is like some kind of creeper's fantasy. He kidnaps the girl, then she changes her mind and they live happily ever after.

    2. Well, it was released in 1956, when all men WERE pigs.

    3. There have always been good men and women, and there have always been those who don't give much thought to whether their actions are really the right thing to do. Movies have a way of exaggerating examples of both, sometimes hoping to teach us something, sometimes just having fun - or what the filmmakers perceive to be fun. They are human, too.

      Bus Stop was a huge hit when it came out. My parents took me to see it, but it went over my head - I was in grade school. When I saw it later, as an adult, I felt the same way you do, P.V. I really didn't understand why it was supposed to be such a great movie. Maybe it was just the likability of the stars at the time, and something different in the way of a "romantic" plot.

      One of the things I love about movies is how they give us a snapshot of the socio-political thinking of the times in which they were made. In terms of male-female relationships, compare Bus Stop (1956) to Sunrise (1929). If I had to choose, I'd much rather be the Marilyn character. Then take a look at Borat (2006), by which time thinking had evolved to the point where we were making fun of the whole, "bag her (literally) and carry her off," mind-set. We're making progress.

  5. To all contributors of 5/31 title reviews:

    I'm sorry the 5/31 reviews are not up yet. And now there's the new wrinkle of maybe-they-won't-expire-after-all. I want to give 5/31 titles their own review page. Larry G is working on making the whole process of putting up reviews more streamlined (thank you, Larry!). Please bear with me for a couple days more.

    In the meantime, titles for other dates will go up as usual. And, of course, your reviews will stay in the comments so people can see them here. Any 5/31 titles that turn out to not be expiring will have your reviews entered on the We Recommend/Or Not page for New and Existing titles.

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and knowledge about movies and shows. It enriches the site, and gives a valuable personal touch that strengthens the feel of community. I always love reading all your reviews, and no doubt others do, as well.

    1. When I chatted with NF customer service yesterday or the day before, they said there were actually multiple deals with Miramax rather than just the one.

  6. Carol - re: The Mummy, I know it's supposed to be fantasy, but they didn't even try to get their supposed setting correct. I know some people are able to enjoy films that failed the homework that badly, but I'm not one of those people. For me, this is like setting a story in 20th century New York and then putting the Eiffel Tower in the skyline and dressing everyone in Roman togas.

    1. *Particularly not when it comes to failing the homework on ancient history and pre-history, anyway. That's one of my favorite study subjects.

    2. Thanks, P.V. The wonderful thing about preference is that everybody's always right. I completely respect - and understand - your preference here. You're obviously not the only one put off by gaping inaccuracies in historical and geographical elements. For me, though, fiction gets to be as fictional as it wants to be - I'm not looking for edification in the likes of The Mummy. And I would so totally see the movie you propose, with the Eiffel Tower and Roman togas in 20th century NY. Vive la différence!

    3. I think that I would rather see the Eiffel Tower movie. That would likely indicate intent upon the part of the filmmaker rather than historical inaccuracy due to pure sloppiness.

  7. 12/31--Believeland (2016): A great documentary summarizing 50 years of sports frustration for those of us who were born or lived in northeastern Ohio. I believe the documentary came out in 2014 or 2015 and had the 2016 Cavs win added on in 2016..

    1/5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009). I have to disagree with Eric. I found the film faithful to the book and extremely riveting. In fact, I would rate this the best of the three film trilogy and greatly superior to the American remake.

    1. W72, anyone is free to disagree with me at any time, it is only my opinion. In fact things that I rate as a 2 could be a 4 for some people. I have not read the book, but given the hype for this particular film I was quite disappointed.

    2. Eric, thanks for the work you do on these reviews!

  8. January 13
    The Act of Killing (2012) -- also on the Documentary list

    1. Which Best Documentary list are you referring to?


    2. The one on "Page 3: We Recommend - Oscar Winners & Nominees on Netflix".

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Hi Carol,
      I noticed that there were 3 movies titled 'Love Me', so I put them all on my list and have watched 2 so far. I had the impression that this blog had already identified the 2013 title as the one expiring. In any case, however you want to run the blog is fine with me. Let me know if there are any tweaks you need me to make in the reviews.
      Also, if it is not intrusive, you might want to reconsider accepting advertising, the amount of work you do on this deserves some remuneration.

    2. Hi Eric, sorry about the confusion over Love Me. My best guess is that the one you reviewed IS the right one, but want to wait until I can be 100% sure.

      Your reviews format is fine - thanks for all your work here. I do make copy edits where I think it will help with read-ability or clarify things, or sometimes, to keep style issues consistent. But that's just what I do - I'd copy edit Shakespeare.

      As far as accepting ads, I appreciate your sentiment, but I'm old-school internet - free sharing of information. If I didn't enjoy working on the blog, I wouldn't do it. :-)


    3. Hi Eric - we were both right about which "Love Me" is expiring. I have put your review up, now.


  10. Note to Linklisa:
    Hi, just want to thank you for your review of DamNation (exp. 5/1). I would never have watched it if not for your description, especially the part about being visually beautiful. I agreed with you completely, and learned about something I wasn't really aware of. For me, personal recommendations from people I trust beat out algorithms every time - thank you!


  11. Following are 4 reviews sent by Wellesley72 yesterday. I have moved them here from higher on the page (I think they were mistakenly entered into a "reply" box to an old comment.)
    Please be aware that there are some unannounced spoilers. I will be putting the reviews up in the top section in just a bit, and have included Spoiler alerts with them.

    Wellesley72 July 7, 2017 at 11:01 PM

    With all due respect to Eric, I found The Last Survivors (last day 7/14) to be poorly acted and tedious until about the last ten minutes. Notwithstanding the premise of the movie, some apocalyptic event that has caused the rain to stop falling somewhere in the Western US and the takeover of all water wells by an evil "water baron", the teenage female protagonist (at least for 4/5ths of the movie) looked impeccably groomed, as if she had been showering twice daily. The climax of the movie comes after our heroine's boyfriend or brother (could never tell which) is killed by the water baron, after which the heroine goes on a killing spree with a rifle, shotgun and samurai sword. After killing the water baron, she goes after his daughter who is apparently also proficient with a samurai sword. Then comes a great line from the daughter: "Well I guess it's just the two of us now". After dispatching the daughter, our heroine and an orphan boy she has befriended get into what looks like a crop duster plane and fly off into the sunset, although it's not clear that things are better anywhere else. Cue the credits. I confess that I have never heard of any of the actors which gives you a sense of the quality of the acting.

    The Heavy Water War (2015) is about the efforts of the allies in World War II to destroy heavy water factories in Norway which were being used to produce heavy water that could be used to create an atomic bomb. Well written and acted and good production values. In Norwegian and English. I highly recommend. Also streaming on MHZ Choice.

    Lunch Monkeys, two seasons. A fairly bawdy British comedy about the antics of the back staff in a British law firm. Pretty funny if you are into this kind of humor, but clearly not for everyone. Aptly rated TV-MA.

    Female Agents (2014). Fairly suspenseful, if somewhat derivative, story of four female Frenchwomen sent from England to France to rescue an English geologist who holds the key to where the D-Day landings will be held. After rescuing the geologist they are tasked to kill a German colonel, although the plot never says why. Plays like the Dirty Dozen if you replaced them with four women. Whoever thinks women are inferior to men never watched this movie. Recommended for devotees of action or war movies. Lots of violence and some brief nudity.


    1. I meant to thank you for these, but got distracted, then busy, and now I'm catching up on all things left undone.

      Thanks for these excellent reviews. Very helpful. Eric and Pox Voldius do an amazing job of keeping us supplied with great reviews and info about the expiring titles, but it's nice to have some other voices, too. I appreciate the time you took to share these.

    2. You are very welcome. Next time I will remember to scroll to the bottom of the page when I write reviews and will resist "spoilers".

    3. To Wellesley72: As to Female Agents, the German Colonel task followed from the geologist's note.

      I also recommend The Heavy Water War, which follows actual events and characters, with some dramatic license. If you like languages, there's some German and Danish in here too.

  12. 9/29
    Dear Zachary (2008): Documentary about a man's letter to his friend's son explaining what happened to his friend when he was killed. Tissues will be needed, but be sure to google around for a short post-script that explains that Dear Zachary was useful in changing Canadian law!

    1. Unfortunately, we used to be able to find this "then what happened" info on the IMBd user coments pages but Amazon, which owns IMDb, has eliminated these comments, apparently because it was too expensive to hire a competent blog administrator--they don't work cheap.


  13. Eric - stupendous effort! Thank you!

    1. You are welcome, my modest contribution for all that you do.

  14. Some random notes that might make "Valhalla Rising" slightly less of a "What The Fudge" experience.

    Some critics have interpreted it as a retelling, like "Apocalypse Now," of "Heart of Darkness." Nicolas Winding Refn has stated in interviews that it is a recasting of science fiction movies, in particular, Kubrick's "2001," riffing off of the characters, plot lines, themes, motifs, tropes etc. but in a different genre. I wonder if he didn't acutally mean science fantasy.

    The movie opens in barren, northernmost Scotland in the 11th Century, when Vikings, many of them pagans on the losing end of religiopolitical conflict in Scandinavia, fled there(I myself am partially descended from such).

    Refn, a Dane, no doubt grew up quite familiar with stories of Odin, the chieftain of the pagan Viking Gods. In one of the myths about Odin he went to the giant(or possibly god) Mímir, who at that time lived beside a well at the roots of the Cosmic Tree Of The Worlds, Ygdrassil. This was also where one of the Viking underworlds, Hel, was located (from whence we get the word "Hell," altough the Norse Hel was probably more like the Greek Hades). This is significant in light of where the pagan boy says the film's protagonist is from. Mímir offered Odin two drinks from his well, which would give Odin all the wisdom in the world, in exchange for Odin's eyes. No doubt after some haggling, Odin agreed to give up one of his eyes for one draught of half the wisdom in the world. This made him the wisest of beings, but less than omniscient. Thus one of his appellations was Hoárr(One Eye).

    Another legend says he gained his dark spiritual power by hanging from the branches of Ygdrassil, "spear wounded" for 9 (3 x 3) days, as a sacrifice of himself to Himself as God (a syncretization from Christianity?). Thus Odin, in mythology, is associated with hanging from a tree (or pole), having a noose around one's neck; cf. the opening segments of the movie. Also relevant to the opening segment is Grímnir, one of Odin's many names, which translates as the "Hooded One."

    There were many other beliefs about Odin that might (or might not) be insightful to a reading of the film. E.g.: The word "Odin" shares roots with words connoting godly(or demonic)possession & divinely(or demonically) inspired madness. In particular, his was the battle madness of the berserker. He was said to have never been defeated in battle. He had visions of the future, including his own death at the end (& rebirth) of the universe, but was either unable or unwilling to use these visions to attempt to alter fate. He was a wind god and a god of sorcery as well.

    Gangar(World-weary Wanderer) was another of his titles, because he was thought to frequently wander the world in mortal disguse dressed as a mysterious, ragged, vagabond. At about 1:05:20 one the characters says there are "more tramps than heroes." The name & dress of (Odin as) Gangari, by the way, is considered a possible partial inspiration for Tolkien's character of Gandalf.

    Odin was also the "Chooser of the Slain," deciding who would live & who would die in battle, as well as a psychopomp, a guide for the dead to the underworld or afterlife. In "Valhalla Rising" note the dialogue at about 53:40 followed by what seems to be a Charon reference in the visuals at about 48:00 - & the latter is right when the leader says "It's a river!" Then, at about 44:00, what's the first thing encountered after landfall?

    I could natter on about several other points regarding a possible interpretation of the film, including the Norse myth of Ragnarök,their cosmology, and a possible Mímir's talking head and/or nithing pole reference at the end of Part I. But I am sure I have long since strayed from the realm of brief film review into the kingdom of Norse mythology TMI.


    1. Thanks, Doc Entropy, for this viewing-enhancement guide. Rather than repeat it in the top section, I'll put a note there to let readers know your interesting and informative notes are here, in the comment section. Thanks again!

  15. 14-Dec Jackie & Ryan (2014) 2.5 Stars. Well acted, moderately paced romantic drama.
    14-Dec Jake Squared (2013) 3.0 Stars. Well acted and paced, unique, relationship dramedy.
    14-Dec Make Believe (2010) 2.5 Stars. Well paced, interesting, teen magic documentary.
    14-Dec Step Dogs (2013) 2.0 Stars. Fairly well acted and paced talking dog "Home Alone" children's crime comedy.
    14-Dec Time Out of Mind (2014) 1.5 Stars. Well acted, very slow paced, overly long, homeless man drama.
    17-Dec Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) 2.5 Stars. Well acted, variably paced, Hindi 8 episode, 6 hour Mini-Series. (I am in the middle of the 5th episode, watching about one episode per day, but don't expect the quality to change.)
    19-Dec Tiny Furniture (2010) 2.0 Stars. Well acted, slow paced, boring relationship drama.
    31-Dec Ruby Gloom (2008) 3.0 Stars. Well voiced and paced, animated friendship adventure comedy-drama. Aimed at children, but with many touches for adults. Netflix only has 13 of the 40*episodes that run about 22 minutes each.

  16. 15-Dec Blood, Sweat and Sequins (2013) 2.5 Stars. Well paced, 50 min Australian pole dancing biograpical & cultural documentary. Blood, Sweat & Stilettos would have been a better title.
    15-Dec Dear Dumb Diary (2013) 2.5 Stars. Well acted and paced tween middle school musical dramedy.
    15-Dec The Road to Freedom Peak (2013) 2.5 Stars. Fairly well paced, 52 min child soldier biographical & cultural documentary.
    15-Dec The Vasectomist (2013) 2.5 Stars. Well paced, interesting, 52 min medical & cultural documentary.
    16-Dec Bo Burnham: what. (2013) 3.0 Stars. Well paced, amusing 60 min musical standup comedy.
    16-Dec Straight A’s (2013) 2.0 Stars. Well acted, slow paced relationship drama.
    22-Dec Invisible Sister (2015) 2.5 Stars. Well acted and paced teen high school Halloween dramedy.
    24-Dec Backtrack (2015) 2.5 Stars. Well acted, fairly well paced, Australian supernatural horror crime drama.

  17. December 24:
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003): Great pirate film that's a blend of fine acting (yes, including Johnny Depp), thrilling action, and light romance. Also significant because it marks the first DVD that I owned as a Christmas present.

  18. The following comment from Eric was in my email, but must have evaporated from this page:

    Eric Vandenberg December 13, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    17-Dec Ragnarok (2013) 3.0 Stars. Well acted and paced Norwegian action adventure creature horror.
    19-Dec El cumple de la abuela (2015) 3.0 Stars. Well acted and paced Mexican dysfunctional family relationship comedy-drama.
    21-Dec Queen of Earth (2015) 2.0 Stars. Well acted, slow paced, mental illness, relationship drama.
    31-Dec The Switch (2010) 3.0 Stars. Well acted and paced romantic comedy-drama.
    2-Jan V/H/S (2012) 1.5 Stars. Well acted, disjointed mishmash of shaky-cam "found" footage.


  19. All reviews to this point have been formatted in the top section of this page.