Instant Gratification: “The Croods” and four other good movies to watch on Netflix Instant


The start of a new month meant the release of a bunch of new titles on Netflix Instant, many of them classics. But our pick of the week is a recent animated hit that was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2013.

Pick of the week: “The Croods — This animated film about a cavemen family hunting for a new home looked terrible from the trailers, but it’s actually a very funny film that’s surprisingly insightful about the relationship between fathers and daughters. Beautiful animation, strong voice work from Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone and, best of all, an animated teenage girl who actually has the body type of an actual teenage girl.

Western of the week: “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” — Sergio Leone’s sprawling tale of three outlaws, ranging from an antihero to a cold-blooded villain, on the trail of a fortune in gold mixes iconic Leone action with an epic sweep and a surprisingly potent antiwar theme.

Comedy of the week: “Airplane! — The UW-Madison’s own Zucker, Zucker and Abraham crib shamelessly from “Zero Hour” to make the quintessential parody film, often imitated, never equaled, always quoted.

Thriller of the week: “Patriot Games” — With the wan Jack Ryan reboot “Patriot Games” in theaters, it’s a good time to revisit Harrison Ford’s first outing as the CIA analyst, fighting IRA terrorists threatening his family.

Drama of the week: “Broken” — A precocious girl watches the neighbors on her quiet cul-de-sac hurtle towards violent confrontation in this British drama starring Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy.

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