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Netflix: The Bottomless Bucket List July 19, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Travel & Leisure.

We receive pre-selected movies from Netflix twice a week.

Netflix encourages us to rate each on a scale of 1 (horrible) to 5 (brilliant) so it can recommend more movies for us to add to our queue (so we can never reach the bottom of the bucket or cancel our subscription without deep pangs of regret for all the movies we didn’t get around to watching).

Most movies garner a “3” from us ~ time reasonably well spent.

A few get a “2” ~ disappointing.  A few more get a “4” ~ worth mentioning to others.  Very few receive a “5” ~ worth watching again.  And again.

Here are the movies (and series) we ranked at “4” or “5” in the past 12 months, with links back to previous posts (where applicable):

Sherlock (Seasons 1 & 2) ~ Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are a JOY to watch.  We want more!  We also enjoy Elementary (Sherlock Holmes set in modern day NYC) but the music from Sherlock is mood inducing.


Flight ~ Denzel Washington is superb as an alcoholic pilot, but I don’t want to fly the friendly skies with him.

The Impossible

Life of Pi ~ Ang Lee shares what happens when you put a Bengal Tiger in a lifeboat with an injured zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a boy.

Silver Linings Playbook

Robot & Frank ~ Frank Langella is a retired cat burglar who’s tired of retirement.

Looper ~ an interesting twist on time travel.

The Words ~ a wannabe writer finds a brilliant unpublished manuscript and claims it as his own.

Murder on the Orient Express ~ a grand classic, with Sean Connery.

Now is Good ~ knowing her days are numbered, Tessa (Dakota Fanning) makes the most of each moment.

Lincoln ~ Daniel-Day Lewis, Sally Field, and Steven Spielberg bring the towering legacy of Abraham Lincoln to life.

Downton Abbey ~ Addictive.

Dark Shadows ~ campy vampires in a house full of secrets and shadows.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ~ “All will be well in the end.  If all is not well, it is not yet the end.”

HappyThankYouMorePlease ~ an aspiring novelist meets a neglected foster child on the subway.

The Magic of Belle Isle

An Ideal Husband ~ Rupert Everett shines in this adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play.


Brave ~ Och, mon . . . ’tis a tale about a wee fierce Scottish lassie whose aim is straight and true.

Hysteria ~ an interesting flashback to 1880’s London.


The Descendants ~ George Clooney nailed this thought-provoking role.

Another Earth ~ a terrific vehicle for wondering and pondering about possible parallel lives.

IMAX: Hubble ~ a journey to distant galaxies viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

While not all stellar, these films, when viewed, suited our mood.  Perhaps they’ll do the same for you.  In the meantime, any movies you want to recommend?


1. SuziCate - July 19, 2013

You recommended The Magic of Belle Isle a while ago and I watched and absolutely LOVED it! Will check out some more of these! I’ve heard lots about Dowtown Abbey.

nrhatch - July 19, 2013

Some of these movies are “better” than others, but most are happy, hopeful films.

And NONE is a slasher dasher. 😯

colonialist - July 21, 2013

Downton is exceptional.

nrhatch - July 21, 2013

If only the cast would stay put. 😦

2. shreejacob - July 19, 2013

I totally agree with the Life of Pi…it’s so wonderful to have someone like Ang Lee bring the minds imagination onto the big screen! The Odd Life of Timothy Green made me cry…but it was a “good cry” and a good movie too…the Universe gives us what we ask for…just not the way we expect them 🙂

nrhatch - July 19, 2013

Timothy Green is my hero. He lives the way I want to live ~ in the moment, doing what he can with what he has where he is, without getting caught up in fantasy land. He’s brilliant.

3. aawwa - July 19, 2013

Thanks for the tips. I will keep an eye out at the video store for some of them 🙂

nrhatch - July 19, 2013


4. katecrimmins - July 19, 2013

We get Netflix but the husband manages it. As you can image there are a lot of high action movies that come here. I don’t watch them. I am intrigued with the Hubble movie and the Sherlock series. I have heard good things and will try it.

nrhatch - July 19, 2013

We watch some action films ~ Ghost Protocol (Mission Impossible), Skyfall (James Bond), A Good Day to Die Hard (Bruce Willis), The Bourne Legacy, etc..

I’m often wowed by the special effects, but few garner higher than a “3” for overall enjoyment ~ in part because it’s implausible to me that these action heroes remain unscathed after slips, trips, falls, car chases, shoot outs, and nuclear blasts. 🙄

Netflix has a terrific selection of documentaries, Kate. You can search by genre.

5. Judson - July 19, 2013

I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes having read all the Arthur Conan Doyle originals years ago and currently re-reading them all for the fun of it! I’ve also read “The Exploits of SH” by Adrian Conan Doyle, plus every other SH-related books I could get my hands on such including “The Seven Percent Solution” and “The West End Horror” by Nicholas Meyer. The recent movies with Robert Downey, Jr. are a hoot and the TV series “Elementary” is fascinating. I’ve yet to see the TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, but that’s next on my list! The game is afoot!!!

nrhatch - July 19, 2013

Season 1, episode 1, Benedict Cumberbatch gleefully says, “Who cares about decency, Mrs. Hudson ~ the game is afoot!!!”

I replayed that line several times. 😀

He’s brilliant as a much younger Sherlock Holmes than I’m accustomed to envisioning.

6. gita4elamats - July 19, 2013

I loved Sherlock! 🙂

nrhatch - July 19, 2013

One of the best series we’ve seen in years. Just FAB.

7. Three Well Beings - July 19, 2013

I really love your movie reviews and selections. I’ve determined that our tastes are very similar, so I will take each of the ones I haven’t yet seen, which is more than half of these, and put them in my queue immediately! I also loved Sherlock, Lincoln, Downton, and Hitchcock, and The Words, in its little red envelope, is on my table in the mail pile. 🙂 Because Sophia and Karina watch more Netflix than we do (streaming) we only get recommendations for children’s programming. I’ll rely on you! 🙂

nrhatch - July 19, 2013

Thanks, Debra. Some of these films surprised me. I didn’t expect to enjoy them as much as I did.

Of course, there are many more in the opposite category ~ I expected to enjoy them and they fell flat with a splat. 😛

8. Pix Under the Oaks - July 20, 2013

I always look for your movies you mention. I fell asleep during Hitchcock, not because it was boring. I was just exhausted. We loved, loved, loved Robot and Frank, The Magic of Belle Isle, Silver Linings Playbook and The Odd Life of Timothy Green.

nrhatch - July 20, 2013

You’ve named 4 of my favorites. Movies that I could watch again and see something new each time.

You’ve also identified one more reason that I enjoy watching movies at home . . . so if I fall asleep bed is close at hand. 😀

9. CMSmith - July 20, 2013

Thanks for this, Nancy. We get Netflix online that we can watch on our TV. We used to get mailings from Netflix years ago, and I like the idea of them choosing what we could watch. It’s always such a difficult decision with so many choices that often I don’t even bother and just watch the History channel, HG TV or the news.

I jotted a few of your titles down for the next time I’m wondering what to watch.

nrhatch - July 20, 2013

We considered switching to streaming Netflix onto the TV, but didn’t because two movies a week is “enough.” And getting something besides bills and solicitations in the mail is “fun.”

Having a queue of movies lined up makes it easier. If we see a trailer that appeals to us, we save it to our queue and it eventually wends its way to the top. But the choices are immense.

10. Booksphotographsandartwork - July 20, 2013

Flight had me on the edge of my chair screaming during the flight! I loved, loved, loved the end of Silver Linnings Playbook. It was so worth the wait through all the craziness. Now I really want to see The Magic of Belle Isle!

nrhatch - July 20, 2013

Flight was intense ~ I loved the integrity he showed at the end of the film. Silver Linings Playbook has exactly the kind of happy ending I enjoy. I expect you’ll enjoy the Magic of Belle Isle.

11. colonialist - July 21, 2013

Oh, to find the time!

nrhatch - July 21, 2013

We usually manage 2 movies a week . . . but when the island is hopping, it may drop to one, or none.

colonialist - July 21, 2013

One is luxury!

nrhatch - July 21, 2013

That probably means that you have better things to do with your time than “veg out” with a movie.

Whereas, I do not. :mrgreen:

12. sufilight - July 21, 2013

Ooh, have to see “Another Earth.” Going off to check my library’s catalog. Thanks for this list!

nrhatch - July 21, 2013

It’s a slow paced movie, Marie, which I quite liked because it gave me time to think about the circumstances and ask myself, “what if that had happened to me?” Interesting film.

13. sufilight - July 21, 2013

Whoo hoo, they have the movie. Just placed a hold! 😀

nrhatch - July 21, 2013

Yay! A movie which prompts thought and reflection. Enjoy!

14. Perfecting Motherhood - July 23, 2013

Wow, that’s a lot of movies! I can barely watch one movie a month, haha. I loved The Descendants too and really felt for Clooney’s struggling character. As much as I like Denzel Washington, I hated Flight. The crash part was the only interesting part for me. I guess living with a lying addict long enough makes me not put up with all this BS. Probably good for people who have no idea what this is like.

nrhatch - July 23, 2013

I bet we wouldn’t have time to watch 2 movies a week if we had young kids in the house. I know when I practiced law, I rarely had time for evening entertainment. Too busy preparing the next case.

Denzel made me appreciate NOT having someone like that in my life. That would get OLD fast.

15. sufilight - July 25, 2013

I watched Another Earth last night, and enjoyed it very much. If I met myself the question I would ask is “how has your life been?” The ending gave me goosebumps!

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

Yay! Glad you liked it. It raised so many interesting questions in my mind and I loved the ending. That would be so cool! 😎

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