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Underappreciated Thrillers You Need To Watch On Netflix

Want to watch something suspenseful, but not in the mood for straight-up horror? Don't worry, Netflix has got you covered. The streaming service has quite a few of the best thrillers that'll get your adrenaline going or send a shiver up your spine. But like any genre fan, you've probably already seen most of the big hits and acknowledged classics, so instead of watching some of the more mainstream movies online, why not check out something a little more obscure? Do a little digging and you might discover a revenge tale from Israel, an animal attack flick from Canada, or a mind-bending documentary set in the Lone Star State. Whether you're looking for something with snipers, doppelgängers, or uber-creepy kids, plenty of streaming goodness awaits. Make room in your queue and clear your schedule for a few hours—or days—then be sure to check out these underappreciated thrillers you need to watch on Netflix.

Backcountry (2015)

Like Deliverance or The Blair Witch Project, Adam MacDonald's Backcountry will make you think twice before taking a walk in the woods because once you venture into the wilderness, you never know when you might run across a rapist redneck, an angry spirit...or a very hungry bear.

Similar to those aforementioned classics, the critically acclaimed Backcountry features two heroes who decide to spend a weekend in the forest, even though they're certified city slickers. There's Alex (Jeff Roop), a guy who thinks he's Daniel Boone reincarnated, and then there's Jenn (Missy Peregrym), his phone-obsessed girlfriend who soon begins to doubt Alex's outdoor prowess. After all, the guy ignores advice from a park ranger, refuses to carry a map, and makes a pretty stupid decision regarding Jenn's cell.

Soon, the two find themselves lost in the woods, and it doesn't help matters any knowing there's another hiker (Eric Balfour) nearby who seems kind of dangerous. But really, he's the least of their problems, especially when the couple realizes they're being stalked by a man-eating black bear. True, it takes awhile for the big guy to show up, but as Scott Foundas of Variety explains, the first half of the film "ratchets up the tension...the way one turns up the heat on a lobster pot—only here, it's the audience that's the lobster."

And rest assured, when the bear finally arrives, things get nasty fast. Or as Foundas puts it in his review, "Suffice it to say that if you're planning on dinner and a movie, dinner should definitely wait until after."

Blue Caprice (2013)

On October 2, 2002, a man named James Martin was shot to death in the parking lot of a Maryland grocery store. It was the first killing in a three-week long murder spree that would claim ten lives in the Washington D.C. area. The terror came to an end when police arrested John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, snipers who'd been shooting their way across the U.S. for months, leaving a total of 17 bodies in their wake.

It was a terrifying moment in American history, one that caused people to ask, "What kind of person would commit such a crime?" Blue Caprice offers one answer. Directed by Alexandre Moors, the film takes place in the months leading up to the shootings, focusing on the twisted relationship between Muhammad (Isaiah Washington) and Malvo (Tequan Richmond). Abandoned by his mom, the teenage Malvo gravitates toward the manipulative Muhammad, who takes the boy under his wing. But in exchange for a father figure, Malvo agrees to help Muhammad enact a murderous plan of "total chaos."

Shockingly, Blue Caprice (a reference to the snipers' car) barely focuses on the actual crimes. Instead, as Wesley Morris writes, the movie "creates one of the most chillingly becalmed portraits of insanity" ever put to film. It's a disturbing look at the mind of a psychopath, and as Well Leitch of Deadspin argues, "It is a monster movie in the truest sense. It shows you how this evil is cultivated, how it flourishes, how it is unleashed...and how it could be right next door to you, and you'd never know."

Cold in July (2014)

Directed by Jim Mickle, Cold in July starts off like a typical revenge flick, a Lone Star potboiler about a man caught in the crosshairs of an angry ex-con. That in itself sounds pretty great, but about midway through the film, Cold in July takes such a hard left turn that it becomes a completely different beast. If that sounds like your cup of coffee (nobody's drinking tea in this movie), maybe you should give this slick little thriller a shot.

Based on a novel by Joe R. Lansdale, Cold in July finds Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) in a tricky situation. A small-time businessman in over his head, he's accidentally killed a burglar who's broken into his home, only to discover the crook's daddy (Sam Shepard) is one bad dude. At first, Cold in July plays like a cat-and-mouse game between Shepard and Hall, but our hero soon realizes there's a conspiracy afoot, and he's a pawn in a much larger scheme.

While Shepard and Hall are great, Don Johnson steals the show as a good ol' boy detective who's drawn into the case and finds there's more going on than meets the eye. There's also a fantastic John Carpenter-style score and one amazing shootout. If you're not convinced yet, then take the word of film critic David Edelstein, who called Cold in July a movie jam-packed with "twists and turns—sudden, hairpin, outlandish....You might not buy them all, but what a great ride."

The Invitation (2016)

We've all been invited to some pretty weird parties, but none compare to the ultra-creepy affair in Karyn Kusama's The Invitation. It all starts when quiet, brooding Will (Logan Marshall-Green) shows up for dinner at his ex-wife's (Tammy Blanchard) house. The two split up after their son passed away, and his wife, Eden, wound up in Mexico where she remarried. Now, she's back in the States with her new hubby and wants to get back together with the old gang—including Will, who's still struggling with their loss.

So maybe that's why Will starts acting so strangely once he arrives at the party. Or maybe there's something rotten going on in the Hollywood Hills. After all, why are there bars on all the windows? Why is the front door locked? And why does Eden want everyone to watch a disturbing recruitment video for her freaky cult? Making things even weirder, there's a guy who looks a lot like John Carroll Lynch lurking in the background, watching over everyone at the party. As the evening unwinds, Will finds himself battling a sneaking suspicion that something terrible is about to happen, all while battling his own emotional breakdown.

The Invitation works on multiple unsettling levels. As Drew Tinnin of Dread Central writes, the film explores "how our survival instinct has been muted and ignored in order to maintain the appearance of being polite." And Priscilla Page of Birth.Movies.Death. points out that The Invitation is "an agonizing, poignant film about the way grief can strengthen us or disfigure us." On top of all that, this movie is guaranteed to make you scream "Get out of there!" even though you might not follow your own advice in a similar situation.

Plus, as Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune writes, The Invitation is "capped by one of the nicest final shots since Hitchcock's The Birds," and he ain't exaggerating.

Mother (2010)

After breaking boundaries with his landmark monster movie The Host and his controversial sci-fi epic Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho scaled things back a bit with Mother, a twisty little thriller that explores the depths of a mom's love. But in true Bong Joon-ho fashion, this isn't exactly what you'd call a feel-good movie. Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly called it a "must-see marvel of horror, comedy, and impeccable filmmaking," and film critic Ty Burr wrote that Joon-ho's "playful, deadpan surrealism transforms each scene into a nail-biter in miniature."

Equal parts social satire, slapstick comedy, and macabre mystery, Mother follows an unnamed herbalist (Kim Hye-ja) who's determined to prove her mentally handicapped son (Weon Bin) is innocent after he's arrested for the murder of a young girl. That's easier said than done as nobody believes her story, including her neighbors, the cops, and even her own lawyer. But as she digs deeper into the case, she's eventually forced to make a decision that proves there's nothing more powerful—or more dangerous—than a mother's love.

It's nearly impossible to say more without spoiling the story. Just know that Bong Joon-ho is such a skilled filmmaker that you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat as a puddle of water slowly spreads across the floor. And no matter how many suspense flicks you've seen before, you won't be able to guess where this film is headed or why that old lady is dancing in the middle of a field, completely oblivious to the rest of the world.

The Iceman (2013)

Richard Kuklinski was a Mafia hitman, a guy convicted of five murders who confessed to killing over 100 people. He claimed to have murdered his victims with weapons ranging from a crossbow to grenades, and he earned his chilling nickname—"The Iceman"—because he would freeze the corpses to make it harder to determine time of death. So if you were going to make a movie about this guy, then you'd need an actor who could channel that ice cold cruelty...an actor like Michael Shannon.

Directed by Ariel Vromen, The Iceman finds Shannon simmering with rage as Richard Kuklinski, a man who can only choke down the crazy when he's with his unsuspecting wife (Winona Ryder) and his kids, the only people in the world Kuklinski cares about. But when the hitman steps into the streets, he becomes a blood-splattered butcher. And while he refuses to kill women or kids, Kuklinski takes no prisoners when it comes to rival gangsters, potential witnesses, or James Franco.

Seriously, the scene where Kuklinski torments Franco's sniveling victim by having him pray for salvation is one of the all-time scariest Shannon moments. But thanks to Vromen's direction and Shannon's incredible talent, the film walks that incredibly thin wire of making us sympathize with Kuklinski while fearing him at the same time. As Dana Stevens of Slate put it, "Shannon inhabits this character so completely that by the end of this hard-to-watch, hard-to-look-away-from-movie you feel you can, if not understand Richie, at least wish he had some redemption in life."

Plus, in addition to Shannon's performance, keep an eye out for a long-haired Chris Evans as the world's grungiest assassin. When you see him chopping up body parts and hunting young girls, you'll totally forget this hippie hit man is Captain America.

Cheap Thrills (2014)

Film critic Brian Tallerico described Cheap Thrills as "a movie that Rod Serling would have loved." And while it definitely has that trapped-in-a-nightmare vibe, this twisted thriller is far bloodier and pervier than anything you've ever seen in The Twilight Zone. Directed by E.L. Katz, Cheap Thrills follows a down-on-his-luck writer/auto mechanic named Craig (Pat Healy) who's fired from his job on the same day he gets an eviction notice. The guy needs $4,500 to keep his family off the streets, but it doesn't look like a payday is coming anytime soon.

Depressed, Craig winds up in a bar where he reconnects with a violent buddy from high school (Ethan Embry) before catching the attention of a sociopathic couple (David Koechner and Sara Paxton) with too much time and money on their hands. Bored out of their minds, the couple offers cash to Craig and his friend if they carry out a series of escalating dares, each one a little worse than the first. Drink a shot. Slap a stripper. Punch a bouncer. And things only get gorier from there, with each man desperately trying to beat the other and walk away with as much money as possible.

Healy anchors the film as the weary hero, willing to do anything to help his family. Both Embry and Paxton bring their own brand of menace to the screen, but it's Koechner who truly steals the show as the ultra-aggressive millionaire who acts like he wants to be your buddy, but really just wants to watch you bleed. The tension ratchets up with each challenge—involving everything from breaking and entering to butcher knives—until its horrific final shot, an image that'll leave you wondering what you would do for the right amount of money.

The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)

Inspired by the most infamous study in the history of psychology, The Stanford Prison Experiment will leave you battered, bruised, and gasping for breath. And by the time the credits roll, you'll feel like you've just been paroled from the worst jail on the planet.

Starring Billy Crudup as Dr. Philip Zimbardo, The Stanford Prison Experiment follows a group of college students selected to take part in the scariest RPG of all time. Half are assigned the part of prisoners, and the others are given guard duty, and if you're familiar with the actual experiment, then you know things don't end well. The "inmates" are beaten, humiliated, and locked in solitary confinement. These poor guys even stage a revolt before suffering some serious nervous breakdowns.

It's a grueling experience, made all the more intense by the talented young stars. Ezra Miller is incredible as a brash young prisoner who slowly begins to break, and Michael Angarano is totally terrifying as "John Wayne," a cruel guard who takes his job way too seriously. Crudup is equally scary as Zimbardo, a character that film critic Michael Phillips described as "a better-dressed variation on Charles Manson, all wild, unblinking eyes and ferocious devotion to the experiment going out of control."

If it weren't based on a true story, this would feel more like a horror movie. Instead, as pointed out by Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post, it "serves as an uncannily timely reminder about structures, systems, the abuse of power and the fragility of identity." Plus, it reminds us that prison guards should never, ever watch Cool Hand Luke.

I Don't Feel At Home in This World Anymore (2017)

Critically speaking, I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore was a smash hit, winning the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival. And no wonder, as the movie has been described as "part Green Room and part Raising Arizona." Still, this mashup of Jeremy Saulnier and the Coen brothers hasn't gotten enough mainstream love, and it definitely deserves a bigger fanbase, if for no other reason than it features a ponytailed Elijah Wood taking on bad guys with throwing stars.

Directed by Macon Blair (Saulnier's muse and the star of Blue Ruin), I Don't Feel At Home in This World Anymore follows an increasingly frustrated nurse named Ruth (Melanie Lynskey). Every day, Ruth notices that people are just awful. Her patients are racist, people cut in front of her at the grocery store, and some random dude carelessly spoils the book she's reading. Worse still, a group of thieves breaks into her home and takes off with her silverware. Unwilling to take it anymore, Ruth joins up with her anti-social neighbor (Wood) to bring the crooks to justice.

Continuing with the Coen brother analogies, David Sims of The Atlantic described this thriller as "Blood Simple crossed with the Three Stooges—a clever, gritty tale of revenge at its most inept, anchored by performances that brim with goofy fury." Wood is hilarious as a wannabe tough guy with a thing for nunchucks, and Lynskey might be the most relatable protagonist in cinematic history. All this frustrated nurse wants is for people to stop being jerks, and if you don't shape up, she's going to track you down and teach you some manners.

Small Crimes (2017)

Directed by Evan Katz—the same twisted mind behind Cheap ThrillsSmall Crimes takes Jaime Lannister out of Westeros and sticks him in the middle of small town America. Played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Denton is a corrupt cop recently released from prison after carving up the local DA like a Christmas turkey. Now that he's a free man, this alcoholic narcissist is trapped in limbo, with everyone giving him the evil eye. His mom is (rightfully) pressuring him to clean up his life, his wife and kids won't talk to him, and random strangers are trying to bash his head in.

Worse still, a sleazy police lieutenant (Gary Cole) wants Joe to murder a dying gangster to make sure the mobster doesn't squeal on all the dirty cops in town. But really, this is a movie that defies plot description, as Small Crimes—written by Katz and Macon Blair—delves into some twisty labyrinthian scandals involving prostitution, drunken soldiers, and a deranged gangster (Pat Healy) with his own personal torture dungeon.

Along with Cole and Blair (pulling double duty here as a writer and actor), the movie stars some incredibly talented names like Robert Forster, Jacki Weaver, and Molly Parker. Coster-Waldau is at his Bryan Cranston best here, and this complicated plot unfolds with a gut-punch of a final showdown, one that will leave you looking at our deadbeat protagonist in a completely different light. But as David Ehrlich of IndieWire put it, despite all the twists and turns, "At heart, this is a simple story of second chances," a movie about forgiveness and whether or not we deserve it.

Wheelman (2017)

Shot almost exclusively inside a nondescript BMW (well, there is that bright red trunk...), Wheelman is a cramped and claustrophobic thriller, a movie that makes you feel just as trapped and helpless as its anonymous hero, played by Frank Grillo. Film critic Jacob Knight described the Netflix original as "Locke meets Drive," and that's exactly how it plays out, complete with constant phone calls, violent standoffs, and enemies around every corner.

Written and directed by Jeremy Rush, Wheelman follows a nameless getaway driver who's sucked into a game of cat-and-mouse. While working one evening, the driver gets a phone call from his enigmatic handler (Slaine), who orders him to ditch his bank robbing associates once they put the money in the trunk. Unsure if he should trust the mysterious voice on the end of the line, the driver begins juggling phone calls as he works his way up and down city streets, trying to discover who's pulling the strings and outsmart the motorcycle on his tail, all while keeping his teenage daughter (Caitlin Carmichael) out of harm's way.

As the driver encounters drug dealers, mobsters, and psychos wielding machine guns, the tension slowly ratchets up for Grillo, who attempts to puzzle his way out of a job gone wrong. While it's always fun watching veteran character actors Garret Dillahunt and Shea Whigham, Grillo is at the top of his game here, and if this were a just and fair universe, his performance in Wheelman would turn this guy into an A-list star. As Joe Leydon of Variety sums it up, "It's a grade-A B-movie that gets maximum mileage from a carefully calibrated mix of hardboiled neo-noir melodrama and high-velocity minimalism."

The Crying Game (1992)

Directed by Neil Jordan, The Crying Game was hailed as one of the best films of 1992, but in subsequent years, it's been overshadowed by some of its cinematic cousins. That's a shame, because this moody thriller has it all, from heart-wrenching romance to hair-pulling tension. It also features one of the most talked-about scenes of the '90s, a moment that sparked quite a bit of shocked conversation back in the day — but the less you know about that, the more effective the film will be.

The film follows an IRA terrorist named Fergus (Stephen Rea) who befriends a British soldier (Forest Whitaker). Unfortunately for their friendship, Fergus is supposed to kill the poor trooper. As his death draws nearer, Whitaker's character asks Fergus to check on his girlfriend after he's gone. Eventually Fergus leaves the IRA, travels to London, and meets Dil (Jaye Davidson), the soldier's girlfriend. He quickly falls for her, but that whole "I killed your boyfriend" secret is always looming in the background. It doesn't help matters that the IRA is busy looking for Fergus, wanting to bring him back to the fold.

Honestly, there's a lot more going on in this film than we can possibly say. So if you want to experience the entire emotional experience — suspense, sadness, romance, you name it — then you'll definitely want to visit Netflix and try playing The Crying Game.

Cartel Land (2015)

Produced by Kathryn Bigelow and directed by Matthew Heineman, Cartel Land is a visceral thriller that feels a lot like The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty. The only difference here is that Cartel Land is a documentary. There are no actors, no script, just real-life people armed to the teeth. This white-knuckle thriller follows two vigilante groups on opposite sides of the border as they battle incredibly violent Mexican cartels. We witness actual gunfights, real-life torture, and one of the most harrowing car rides in cinematic history.

The movie also takes a nuanced look at the issue, showing how many vigilantes are fighting for their lives against gangs that kidnap, rape, and decapitate victims. On the other hand, these vigilante groups have a tendency to go overboard, and over on the American side, there's more than bit of racism fueling their efforts to hunt down people who come across the border. Cartel Land plunges viewers right into the blood and guts reality of the drug war, and while it's a documentary, it's just as thrilling as any fictional film you'll ever see.

The Gift (2015)

Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, The Gift is a creepy little suspense flick that will make you think twice when an old friend calls and wants to catch up. The plot follows Simon and Robyn Callem, a seemingly happy couple played by Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall. They've gone through some trauma, but now they're looking to start over in a new city, in a new house, and with new lives.

Unfortunately for the couple, Simon runs into an old friend from school, a real weirdo named Gordo (Edgerton), the kind of guy you don't even want to make eye contact with. At first, Gordo just seems a little too eager to please, but as strange gifts show up on the Callems' porch, a dog disappears, and tensions escalate, it looks like Gordo might have more on his mind than reminiscing about the good old days. However, we're just scratching the surface of the story here, and without saying much more about the plot, The Gift is a tense and nasty little movie with unsettling performances from its three brilliant leads, not to mention an ending that will leave you genuinely upset.

A Patch of Fog (2015)

If you've seen Boardwalk Empire or This Is England, the you know Stephen Graham can be one intimidating dude. Sure, his smile looks friendly enough at first, but he also has an unsettling energy. If provoked, he just might explode, and you're the one who's going to pay.

That's a lesson that Conleth Hill (Varys from Game of Thrones, and nowhere near as confident here) learns the hard way in A Patch of Fog, a thriller written by John Cairns and Michael McCartney. In this atmospheric film directed by Michael Lennox, Hill plays a famous author named Sandy Duffy who's living off the proceeds of a 20-year-old book. When he's not giving lectures or appearing on TV, he spends his spare time shoplifting, which majorly backfires when he's caught by a psycho security guard named Robert (Graham).

However, Robert doesn't want to turn Sandy over to the police. Instead, Robert just wants to be friends. Obviously, when a super stalker wants to be your buddy, that's never a good sign, and their freaky friendship soon escalates to a game of cat-and-mouse with some very serious stakes. While we've seen similar stories before, the highlight here is the tension between Graham and Hill, both playing characters we empathize with, even though we wouldn't necessarily want to hang out with either one of them.

The American Side (2016)

If you like your film noir laced with historical fiction and a touch of sci-fi, then have we got a treat for you. Co-written and directed by Jenna Ricker, The American Side is a hardboiled detective story that features a mysterious machine and quite a few nods to classic thrillers of old. The story involves a scummy detective named Charlie Paczynski (Greg Stuhr) who does his dirty work in Buffalo, New York. In addition to solving crimes, he's also big into the blackmail game. And in true film noir form, he loves dropping quips and one-liners more devastating than any gun.

But after someone close to him is murdered, Charlie is drawn into a conspiracy involving two mysterious women, a device created by Nikola Tesla, and impressive actors like Matthew Broderick and Robert Forster. The movie makes excellent use of its New York setting — especially when it comes to Niagara Falls — and it even has a 1970s thriller vibe thanks to the score from David Shire (The Conversation, All the President's Men). Because of its unique dialogue and ambiguous script, it feels like a movie outside of time, and film fans will love spotting all the homages, like the plane attack from North by Northwest. True, the plot gets a bit complex, but hey, what self-respecting film noir doesn't have a lot of twists?

Buster's Mal Heart (2016)

Thrillers don't come much stranger than Buster's Mal Heart. Written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, the movie finds Rami Malek playing a bearded mountain man on the run from the cops. This outlaw hobo is named Buster, and when he's not breaking into cabins, he's ranting about an upcoming apocalypse he calls "The Inversion."

But how did Buster get to this place, with gun-wielding cops on his trail? Well, you'll start to find out as the film jumps back to when Buster was a family man named Jonah. Clean-shaven and suffocating, Jonah is a hotel concierge who feels trapped by the system...until a coke-snorting conspiracy theorist shows up with wild ideas about Y2K and robbing banks.

Making all this even stranger, we occasionally get glimpses of a third version of Malek, lost at sea, adding to the uneasy dream vibe of the whole film. Buster's Mal Heart has some things to say about religion and mental health, and it's got some twists that will keep you guessing, but ultimately, it's a mind-bending movie that will cause you to praise Rami Malek's acting abilities while questioning the nature of reality itself.

The Fury of a Patient Man (2016)

From first-time filmmaker Raúl Arévalo, The Fury of a Patient Man is a gritty revenge movie brimming with hatred and malice. Set in Madrid, the story follows a seemingly gentle man named Jose (Antonio de la Torre) who falls in love with a lonely woman named Ana (Ruth Diaz). Her husband, Luis (Luis Callejo), has been behind bars for his part in a deadly jewel heist, and of course, we all know things are going to get messy when he's finally released.

Only The Fury of a Patient Man subverts that tired old formula. As it turns out, Jose doesn't have to worry about Luis, but Luis might have a big problem once he comes home. Jose has chosen a path of mayhem and destruction, and with Ana as his bargaining chip, he sets off on a quest for vengeance with Luis along for the ride. This Spanish-language film features some brilliantly suspenseful scenes, like a tense moment in a boxing gym and a one-shot car chase that ends in a terrific wreck. The Fury of a Patient Man feels like a shotgun blast to the face — brutal and bloody and 100 percent effective.

Bad Day for the Cut (2017)

Set in Northern Ireland, Bad Day for the Cut is gory proof that you don't mess with farmers, and you especially don't mess with farmers' moms. Directed by Chris Baugh, this cadaver-filled film focuses on a middle-aged man named Donal (Nigel O'Neill), a farmer who's spent most of his life taking care of his elderly mother. But his quiet existence is turned upside down when she's killed after what seems to be a home invasion gone wrong. Soon, after joining forces with another victim, Donal sets out to collect an eye for an eye, but he quickly realizes there are quite a few secrets in his family tree. Still, that doesn't stop him from going all Jason Bourne on an army of bad guys, using everyday items like a cooking pot to bash his way to the top of a criminal gang and take revenge against the crime lord (Susan Lynch) responsible for his mom's death. If you're a fan of crime flicks from the UK, Bad Day for the Cut will definitely be a good time on Netflix.

Icarus (2017)

Directed by Bryan Fogel, Icarus picked up the Oscar for Best Documentary at the 90th Academy Awards, and while it's a story of athletes, Olympics, and PEDs, it works as taut thriller about a whistleblower on the run from one of the most powerful governments in the world. The film opens with Fogel wanting to explore the world of performance enhancing drugs by injecting himself with all kinds of chemicals before competing in a bike race. His little stunt soon leads him to Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a colorful character and the man in charge of Russia's anti-doping program. At first, Rodchenkov is just there to help Fogel beat the system, but soon, both men find themselves embroiled in a scandal fresh from the headlines.

As it turns out, Fogel isn't the first person Rodchenkov has assisted with PEDs — he's been helping Russian athletes cheat in the Olympic games for quite some time. And as international organizations begin investigating Russia's sports figures, Rodchenkov starts talking about his involvement in the scandal, claiming he was following orders that came from the very top of the Russian government...the very top. Soon, Rodchenkov is fearing for his life, and we watch as he maneuvers around KGB agents, escapes the country, and faces the possibility of assassination. A documentary that will have you on the edge of your seat, Icarus is timely as 21st century news stories and universal as sports themselves.

Shimmer Lake (2017)

Written and directed by Oren Uziel, Shimmer Lake is Fargo meets Memento — a backwards story of bumbling criminals who can't stop screwing up. Taking a page from the Christopher Nolan playbook, this Netflix film starts at the end and works its way toward the beginning, as a group of small-town crooks plan and carry out a bank robbery. Without a doubt, the highlight of the film is Benjamin Walker as Zeke Sikes, a local sheriff who walks softly, carries a big stick, and is forced to deal with everything from idiot FBI agents to a devious femme fatale. Rainn Wilson is also great as Zeke's brother Andy, a disgraced attorney who plays a key role in the twisty plot. If you've seen James Gunn's Super, then you know Wilson has impressive dramatic chops, and he's pretty great here as a despicable, desperate loser. And if the backwards timeline sounds a bit gimmicky, don't worry. It pays off beautifully, making Shimmer Lake a dark little tale that's totally worth unraveling.