How to Make the Most Out of Netflix's Newly Added Movies This Weekend

It's Friday, the air is still heavy with seasonal post-hangover malaise, and dozens of movies have just popped up on Netflix, newly available in 2014

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Buckets of snow have pummeled the Northeast into frosty oblivion, leaving you stranded and working from your probably snowed in home instead of braving freezing temperatures to limp into the office.

Ha ha, a joke! You're definitely not getting any work done. It's Friday, the air is still heavy with seasonal post-hangover malaise, and dozens of movies have just popped up on Netflix, newly available for 2014. (Also, it's seriously freezing.)

Here are the ones to watch while faking the whole "working-from-home" thing this afternoon, or later this weekend as you try to survive on the last drops of canned soup and bottled water you bought by trunk-full just before the blizzard hit.

If you're crankily stranded at your relatives' house because Hercules the Blizzard (or whatever you want to call it) has basically shuttered post-holiday transportation throughout much of the Northeast... Great news: you're basically living out the plot of Planes, Trains and Automobiles in reverse! Conveniently, John Hughes' 1987 comedy of errors has just made its Netflix debut, and a quick dose of Steve Martin's hapless bumblings across a barren Midwestern tundra will reassure you that your misadventures aren't so bad. And there's snow, of course—the crew actually had to relocate to Buffalo for some scenes because the Illinois city of Kankakee was too warm that winter. — Zach Schonfeld

If you're looking for some context for the great Does Wolf of Wall Street Glorify Douchebaggery or Doesn't It? debate... Try Raging Bull, Scorsese's much-acclaimed, if somewhat grueling 1980 portrait of boxer Jake LaMotta (played by Robert De Niro, of course.) Wolf borrows more than a few stylistic flourishes (including its fast-paced narrative voice-over) from crime dramas Goodfellas and Casino, but Raging Bull set the template in depicting a cruel, ruthlessly masculine anti-hero (like Wolf, one based on a real person) without endorsing the despicable behavior necessarily featured. (Oh, and speaking of Wolf of Wall StreetAmerican Psycho is also on the list, if you're hungry for more greedy, Corporate Bad Boy types.) — ZS

If you're looking for a movie to help you visualize the dystopian, crime-ridden, pre-Giuliani New York that's sure to take over the city any day now that de Blasio's in office... Surely you've seen the right-wing fear-mongering that a de Blasio mayorship will lurch New York City back to the "bad old days" of the 1970s and '80s, and maybe you've chuckled at the #deblasiosnewyork hashtag spoofing that very notion. (If you haven't—or, actually, even if you have—Vanity Fair's Juli Weiner has an excellent essay about just why that hashtag works.)

Anyway: If you're looking for a cinematic depiction of the crime-filled New York your parents knew, why not try Ghost, with its depiction of murder, supernatural romance, and Whoopie Goldberg as a psychic in a lost pre-Giuliani New York? And for more on-screen trips to New York's "bad old days," let us suggest After Hours (1985) for a glimpse of pre-gentrification SoHo, Vigilante (1983) for a glimpse of a pre-gentrification McCarren Pool in Williamsburg, and—of course—The Warriors (1979) for a glimpse of pre-gentrification everything. — ZS

If you're wondering what the hell could motivate a bunch of people to wait outside in the cold during a snowstorm for a stupid trendy food item and you're also curious about what ever happened to Kel from Kenan & Kel , but you know the answer is vaguely depressing and would really rather just relive his best work anyway... Good Burger, obviously. Good Burger is available to stream on Netflix for the first time ever. Go forth and be merry, you blessed '90s child. — ZS

If you are currently and maybe unknowingly harboring an extraterrestrial visitor in your place of residence... Watch The Day The Earth Stood Still, Robert Wise's excellent (and sorely unappreciated) Cold War-era story of a gentle humanoid alien who arrives on earth to warn humans of their own self-assured destruction. We suppose you could extend this cinematic moral to today's global warming debate if you really wanted to, but let's save that for a later thinkpiece. Or just ditch it altogether. — ZS

If you're still regretting how your New Year's Eve turned out... Billy Wilder’s 1960 The Apartment ends on one of the best New Year’s Eve scenes of all time. Maybe a card game between two lonely people just on the verge of figuring their lives out, isn't your idea of the most romantic celebration, but for some of us it's utterly perfect. 

The movie tells the story of C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) who lets the higher ups at the insurance company where he works use his apartment for their extramarital affairs. He, however, is in love with the elevator girl Fran Kubelik, one of the women being taken to that apartment by his lecherous boss. Their final exchange in the film is sweet, sad ... and iconic. If you're in the mood for more Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon after that Netflix also just added their landmark comedy Some Like it Hot (1959), which will almost certainly warm your heart. — Esther Zuckerman

If you’re dreaming of summer days... With so much snow on the ground summer—and in turn baseball season—seems far off, but Bull Durham, about a minor league team and the woman who, let’s just say, "encourages" its members. In this movie, baseball is poetry, and today is a great day to get poetic about warmer weather fare. Plus, you'll have a lot of time to practice your clichés before you make it to the show. — EZ

If you’re planning you’re next vacation already... Dreaming of getting out of whatever city you’re in, well, how about a road trip with the two titular best friends at the center of Ridley Scott's Thelma & Louise. Okay, okay, so Thelma and Louise are on the lam, but it’s never a bad idea to replicate their camaraderie. You just might want to avoid copying all of their camaraderie, particularly the last shot of the movie. — EZ

If you wish the phrase “get cool” didn’t mean “get freezing”... Okay, so it might be hard to go outside and practice your Jerome Robbins high kicks, but you can snap and turn all you want inside when watching the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story. As parodied as it has been—see: Gap ads—it's still one of the best musicals ever put on film. Sure Natalie Wood doesn't actually sing, and is in no way Puerto Rican, but Leonard Bernstein's score is perfect and Robbins' balletic choreography is, well, mesmerizing cool. — EZ

If you just need to feel glamorous...Sometimes when you're sitting inside all day, probably still wearing your pajamas, you want imagine you're wearing Givenchy even though you're reluctant to take a shower. So, put on Blake Edwards' classic Breakfast at Tiffany's. Even though Truman Capote reportedly wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly Golightly, Audrey Hepburn is still effortlessly lovely in the film. In fact, she's almost a little too glamorous since you have to squint to see the rough edges of the character, which are revealed in the story. The movie holds up wonderfully if you fast forward through any parts featuring Mickey Rooney in yellowface. — EZ

You can find the full list of newly available movies here, via Gothamist.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.