Best Netflix Originals 2017-18

The Crown (2017-)

Director: Peter Morgan

Country: United Kingdom

Starring: Claire Foy

5/5 

The Crown is one of the best dramatic series of the last decade. Director Peter Morgan, with his excellent record of exploring complex historical and political themes, has captured the Royal Family’s turbulent twentieth century, from the abdication of Edward VIII to the brutal years during and after the war. Claire Foy is exceptional as the young Queen Elizabeth II, who was unexpectedly thrust into her role as monarch at a tender age after the untimely death of her father George VI, who himself never expected nor indeed wanted to take the crown.


Icarus (2017)

Director: Ben Fogel

Country: United States

Starring: Grigory Rodchenkov

4/5 

This 2017 documentary about the doping scandal in international cycling has just been nominated for an Oscar.

The film’s director Ben Fogel stumbled upon the serious subject matter after he undertook a small scale investigation into steroid use in athletes. It was only after he met Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, that he realised just how deep the rabbit hole went.


Gerald’s Game (2017)

Director: Mike Flanagan

Country: United States

Starring: Carla Gugino

3/5 

Gerald’s Game is an adaptation of one of Stephen King’s less well-received novels of the same name. The film stars Carla Gugino as Jessie Burlingame, a young wife whose husband dies of a heart attack whilst they are playing a kinky sex game, in which she is handcuffed to the bed with no way clear way of escape. This nightmare scenario is played extremely well by Gugino and the film keeps a constant suspenseful pace, with good use of foreshadowing. But it does struggle with maintaining a consistent tone, veering wildly from chilling to downright schmaltzy.


Get Me Roger Stone (2017)

Directors: Morgan Pehme, Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro

Country: United States

Starring: Roger Stone 

4/5 

Get Me Roger Stone is an excellent political documentary about the Janus-faced political consultant Roger Stone, a veteran Washington strategist, who has had an enormous impact on the last four decades of American electoral politics. It doesn’t matter which side of the ideological divide you are on, this is an enlightening and highly topical film.

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