Instant Gratification: “Shadow Dancer” and four other good movies to watch on Netflix


Pick of the week: “Shadow Dancer”: My full review is here. In this downbeat, unsentimental film that’s like a British miserablist version of a John Le Carre novel, an IRA terrorist (Andrea Riseborough) turns informant for an MI5 agent (Clive Owen). The film, made by “Wisconsin Death Trip” and “Man on Wire” director James Marsh, is short on thrills but long on mood, building an atmosphere of increasing paranoia around Riseborough’s beautifully controlled lead performance.

Documentary of the week: “21 Up”: Actually, every one of Michael Apted’s landmark series, following a group of British folks every seven years of their lives, is up on Netflix from “21” to this year’s “56 Up.”

Comedy of the week: “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”: Comedy may be stretching it, but Terry Gilliam’s aptly gonzo adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel goes for broke in every which way it can.

Horror film of the week: “Open Water”: Based on a true story, this low-budget thriller puts a shipwrecked couple adrift in shark-infested waters, trying to stay alive long enough to be rescued. Yikes.

Drama of the week: “Requiem for a Dream”: A top contender on my list of “Great Movies I Can Never Watch Again” is Darren Aronofsky’s nervy and pitch-black drama about addicts sinking into oblivion.

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