Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

White Girl: The Underrated Indie Thriller You Must Watch On Netflix

Head to Netflix's homepage and it's a flurry of trending movies and binge-worthy shows, most of which are, unsurprisingly, Netflix originals. Dig a little deeper, however, and you will find a deep well of hidden gems and indie treasures, one of which is 2016's "White Girl."

Written and directed by Elizabeth Wood, "White Girl" follows a hedonistic college student who just moved to Ridgewood, Queens. Leah — played by Morgan Saylor, best known as Dana Brody in "Homeland" — spends her summer interning at a magazine and partying, striking up relationships with her terrible boss (Justin Bartha) and Blue (Brian Marc), a Puerto Rican neighbor who deals drugs on her corner. When Blue gets in trouble with the law, Leah goes to desperate extremes to get him out of jail.

What unfolds is a thorny labyrinth of white privilege. Leah holds more power than she thinks, and she wields it recklessly, though she's still on a lower rung than her boss, or the slimy lawyer (played by Chris Noth of "Law & Order" fame) helping with Blue's legal troubles. "Let's start with a name like 'White Girl,'" Wood told BuzzFeed in 2016. "Aside from being a reference to cocaine, this is a girl dealing with whiteness, with being a woman, and how both of these things change her privilege, her power, in every situation."

White Girl is critically acclaimed and provocative

When "White Girl" debuted at Sundance Film Festival in 2015, it earned newcomer Elizabeth Wood a spot on Variety's 10 Directors to Watch list, as well as critical acclaim. The film still boasts a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's not exactly a jaunty tale of summer in the big city. "I've got intense sensibilities," Wood told Variety in 2015. "I just like to feel things. My goal isn't to shock, it's to be real and authentic. Which can sometimes be shocking."

Wood cited Larry Clark and Todd Solondz as influences, and their projects' dark, explicit DNA pulses through "White Girl." Vice even compared the feature to Clark's controversial film "Kids," writing, "'White Girl' is the most explosive portrait of NYC youth since 'Kids.'" Indeed, watching "White Girl" is at times akin to a regrettable, coke-fueled bender, and drug use and graphic sex scenes abound.

"It should give you a stomachache," star Justin Bartha said in the same BuzzFeed piece. "It should give you anxiety. And if it doesn't, you're either numb to it or not paying attention."