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The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Cold and Bored? Watch These 5 Movies

Things aren’t great outside right now. Frigid temperatures, record wind chills, and eerie darkness cast a dull shadow on your hard-earned free time. You’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors. Like it or not, your roommates are too. So, what should you do to beat both the elements and cabin fever?  

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime obviously offer a great way to pass the time. Yet when people think of these platforms, it’s usually in terms of TV shows. While binging shows is a modern staple, consuming seven episodes in one sitting often feels like a massive commitment. If you’re in the mood for a quick escape instead, or, are actually looking to enjoy the company of the people you live with, there’s a great collection of streamable movies out there. Below are just a few of the excellent choices. All five offer something a little different.

If you’re looking for a thrill ride: The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Made in Indonesia, The Raid is an action movie on steroids. Revolving around our hero Rama (Iko Uwais), a squad of brave cops are tasked with invading a thirty-story building that houses the biggest crime lord in Jakarta and his bloodthirsty gang. As they move floor to floor, the carnage intensifies. Gruesome violence rules the day, and each action sequence is flush with adrenaline-inducing combat. Everything about this movie is badass.

Note: The movie is in Indonesian with English subtitles. However, most of the communication is done with fists, making the inconvenience negligible.

Runtime: 1 hr 41 min

Watch it on: Netflix

If you’re looking for a mystery: Shutter Island (2010)

Martin Scorsese’s 2010 chiller is excellent psychological cinema. Follow U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) as they investigate the disappearance of a murderer from the mysterious Shutter Island. The Island also happens to be an insane asylum, run with, at best, questionable ethics. Ripe with twists and turns, be warned: things are not what they seem.

Runtime: 2 hr 18 min

Watch it on: Hulu

If you’re looking for a classic: Apocalypse Now (1979)

Often considered one of the most important movies ever made, Apocalypse Now is entirely its own beast. The plot is simple. Deep in the jungle during the Vietnam War, Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) must find and kill rogue U.S. Colonel Walter Kurtz (Marlon Brando). The ensuing journey down the river to find Kurtz, however, is one marked by death, destruction, and insanity. Apocalypse Now plunges you into a haze, likely coming as close as cinematically possible to mimicking the mental experience of U.S. troops in Vietnam. If you like war movies, this is required viewing. Sit back, experience this classic, and then look up how difficult it was to actually make.

Runtime: 2 hr 27 min

Watch it on: Netflix

If you’re looking for some weird fun: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) falls in love with delivery girl Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The only problem? Her seven exes all want to kill him. Scott must use his wits and musical ability (aided by his industrious band Sex Bob-omb) to defeat them and earn the right to date the coveted Ramona. Visually, it’s incredible. The movie looks and feels like a comic book. Edgar Wright tightly directs this gem, the follow-up to his famed Cornetto Trilogy (all three also excellent choices for a cold day). It’s a strange, but electric ride. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, for better or for worse, is probably unlike anything you’ve seen. That makes it worth a shot.

Runtime: 1 hr 52 min

Watch it on: Netflix

If you want an absolute shitshow: A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Sometimes, the worst choice is actually the best choice. A Wrinkle in Time is so confusing and so strange that it winds up being accidentally brilliant. Featuring Mega-Oprah, puppet Michael Peña, an all-time movie villain, and batshit costumes – it’s hard to put into words what exactly this movie is. On the surface, it’s supposed to be an epic coming of age tale in a fantasy land. However, upon closer inspection you’ll find real comedic value as nothing they try, well, works. Rip it up with your friends! Intoxication is recommended.

Runtime: 1 hr 49 min

Watch it on: Netflix

-Nick Shiffman

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