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The Best-of Indie on Netflix

If you need a break from the blockbusters, we’ve done some digging and found some of the best indie flicks, new and old, available on Canadian Netflix. So grab the popcorn and settle down for some lesser-known awesome.

Wet Hot American Summer

This 2001 satirical comedy directed by David Wain is packed with funny stars: Jeanne Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Molly Shannon, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and Elizabeth Banks to name just some of the counselors at this ridiculous summer camp. The movie takes place on the last day of sleepover camp in 1981. It was a critical and commercial flop when it first came out, but has earned a cult following so strong that Netflix is releasing an eight-episode prequel this summer – starring the same cast.

Short Term 12

Earning a whopping 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Short Term 12 was 2013’s indie darling. It premiered at South by Southwest, where it won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for Narrative Feature and received three Independent Spirit Award nominations. It stars Brie Larson (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), who plays a supervisor in a group home for troubled teenagers.

Waking Life

Here’s another early 2000s indie gem. Waking Life premiered in 2001 at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s directed by Richard Linklater (yes, as in Boyhood) and stylistically, the film is incredible. It was shot using digital video of live actors. Then a team of artists drew over each frame with stylized lines and colors creating an incredible animated/live action mix. The film explores a wide range of philosophical issues by following a young man who wanders through dream-like settings.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

This 2011 drama-thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen (sister to the famous twins), focuses on a young woman suffering from delusions and paranoia when she returns from a cult. The psychologically dense storyline is haunting and Olsen’s performance is impressive.


Ooo, Ryan Gosling. But even for those crazy people that aren’t typically fans of the heartthrob, his character in this movie is a real departure from the typical charming boy he usually plays. In addition to Gosling, this neo-noir arthouse film stars Christina Hendricks, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan, and Bryan Cranston. It’s about an unnamed Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver until a heist goes bad. The violence is stylized, hyper real; everything is complimented by a haunting 1980s synth soundtrack, anchored by “Nightcall” by Kavinsky, the French electronic artist.

Frances Ha

This 2013 comedy-drama stars indie darling Greta Gerwig. If you don’t know her, we’re sure you’ll love her by the end of this film. Gerwig plays Frances who is, well, a little lost. She’s trying to figure out who she is when her best friend and roommate moves in with her boyfriend. It’s a charming film about how girls sometimes have an uncomfortable journey as they are on their way into finding their place in life.

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