The best feel-good movies on Netflix UK
Ivan Radford | On 16, Jan 2016
Let’s face it. Sometimes, life isn’t easy. Sometimes, there isn’t an easy solution. Sometimes, elections, referendums or other global events seem completely beyond your control. And sometimes, you just need something to distract you, cheer you up and make you feel that bit better about the world.
The great Roger Ebert once wrote that the movies are “like a machine that generates empathy”. At a time when politics seems increasingly driven by division, empathy is something we could all do with a little more of. As chocolate boxy as it sounds, the moment you begin to lose sight of the good stuff about humans, that’s the moment humanity loses. So rather than despair, give up or switch off in anger, see if some of the below can help get the old empathy drive back up and running again – and maybe even make you smile in the process.
For any emergency you may encounter, here are the best feel-good movies on Netflix UK:
Every now and then, a film comes along that is so uplifting, so inspiring, so sincerely, unabashedly positive that it makes you smile with every inch of your being. Sing Street, from Once director John Carney, follows a group of teenagers forming their own band. It is one of those films.
Eddie the Eagle
Dexter Fletcher’s film about the real life British skier who became an unlikely sporting legend is irresistibly feel-good stuff. Irresistibly, we say.
Kung Fu Panda
Because sometimes, life needs its ass kicked by a giant panda.
It Happened One Night
They don’t make romantic comedies like they used to.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Taika Waititi’s comedy is a charmingly offbeat affair, as Sam Neill plays a weary, grumpy bloke in the New Zealand bush, who finds himself lumbered with a young city kid Ricky. Stranded in the wilderness, they become the subjects of a nationwide manhunt. The result is daftly over-the-top and undoubtedly majestical.
A Knight’s Tale
Heath Ledger on a horse. Rufus Sewell as a bad guy. Paul Bettany as a naked Geoffrey Chaucer. A Knight’s Tale has everything. Also, jousting!
“Surely, you can’t be serious!” “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” If you need laughter in your life and stat, David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker’s spoof has one of the highest joke-to-minute ratios in movie history.
The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists
Pirates! Ham! Scientists! Aardman’s stop-motion sea-faring outing is as good as “Wallace and Gromit meets pirates” would suggest. (We highly recommend Gideon Defoe’s original books.)
Felicity Jones is amazing in this adorable snowboarding flick from 2011. It looks like a rom-com, but it’s more a sports movie, complete with character-driven underdog story and Bill Bailey wielding an aubergine.
The hilarious Woody Harrelson makes this zombie comedy a delightfully depraved bit of cinema. Movies are a machine for empathy, but also, they’re great for watching the undead being slaughtered with a banjo.
Jane Austen in a high school. But you already knew that, right? Either way, this never fails to make us smile.
*wolf whistle* “I object!”
The Shawshank Redemption
As if often the case in real life, there’s a lot of Shawshank before you get to the Redemption, but even on your 50th viewing, the redemption is worth it.
A reminder that an unemployed single mum can stand up to the system.
“Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!” Don’t question it: just hit play.
Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb
Too soon after Trump winning the 2016 US election? Shut out the alarming plausibility and revel in Peter Sellers’ manic triple-performance in Stanley Kubrick’s wickedly good war satire.