NerdGlow’s Netflix Recommendations Pt. 1

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Changing Lanes

From Alex Lowe

On a recent Ben Affleck binge (yes, that’s something I do), I came across Changing Lanes on Netflix. Touted as a thriller and co-starring Samuel L. Jackson, I figured I didn’t have much to lose by giving it a shot. What happened next was an absolutely thrilling 90 minutes.

I can’t say too much about the plot without giving essentials away, but essentially the film tells the story of one day in the lives of a successful lawyer (Affleck) and a recovering alcoholic (Jackson) after they have an accident on the highway. Basically, that accident has far greater implications than some slightly higher insurance rates.

The Fall

From Claire Rychlewski

Set in Northern Ireland, The Fall is a split screen between with icily assertive Detective Stella Gibson—a tough role, played with quiet restraint by Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame— and serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan, managing creepy and sexy simultaneously), a father of two with a penchant for killing successful brunettes. Gibson’s the cat; Spector’s the mouse— though sometimes it feels like it’s the other way around.

Law and Order: SVU it’s not; The Fall is an understated study of both police culture and the compulsions of a serial murderer. The show spends enough time with each character that you almost find yourself rooting for both to succeed—an impressive feat considering how abhorrent Spector is. The Fall is intelligent, suspenseful, subtle and brief—with only five episodes in the first season, the commitment is relatively low. Season two should be airing on BBC TWO in the fall, so it’s a perfect time to watch.

Grand Piano

From Alex Lowe

After finishing season 3 of Wilfred, I decided to search for Elijah Wood. One title that popped up was Grand Piano. I remembered it was a Chicago-set thriller from Eugenio Mira starring Elijah Wood and John Cusack, so it didn’t take too much more convincing. And it shouldn’t take too much more convincing for you either, but I might as well have a go.

Wood plays a concert pianist, one of the best in the world, who messed up trying to play an unplayable piece. On the night of the film, he’s getting back on stage for the first time, armed with sheet music and the grand piano of his mentor, set to conquer his fears. Unfortunately for him, stage fright turns out to be the least of his worries as he soon finds out he has to fear being shot off the stage by some mysterious voice who’s out to get him.

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