3 underrated Netflix movies you should watch this weekend (April 26-28)

Three astronauts look out of their space ship in Apollo 13.

Does sex still sell at the multiplex? We’ll find out this weekend when Challengers, a steamy new drama starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist, premieres in theaters nationwide. The movie’s proven to be a hit with critics so far, so maybe some moviegoers will be in the mood to watch a love triangle set on the tennis courts in New Rochelle, New York.

For those who prefer to stay at home for their entertainment, Netflix is usually the go-to option for almost every genre imaginable. This weekend, we’ve queued up three movies worthy of your time and attention. One is a new 2024 thriller about an interview gone wrong, and the others are two 1995 movies that still hold up after nearly three decades.

Need more recommendations? Read our guides to the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best movies on HBO

Scoop (2024)

A woman glances up from her phone in Scoop.

How can a movie about an hour-long BBC interview possibly be thrilling? That’s the question I asked as I started to watch Scoop, and within the first five minutes, it was answered in the affirmative. Scoop is a dynamic, compulsively watchable movie that probes issues of wealth, power, and privilege, and is told through the lens of a media industry in need of the next big story to stay alive in an increasingly cutthroat environment.

Scoop depicts the events leading up to and the aftermath of a disastrous interview Prince Andrew gave to BBC journalist Emily Maitlis, who asked the British royal about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who had just killed himself in jail before the interview took place. Why would the notoriously press-shy Andrew be willing to talk? The movie lays out the answer in deliberate, exacting detail, and the thumping score and energetic, sassy lead performance by Billie Piper keep you hooked until the very end.

Scoop is streaming on Netflix.

Apollo 13 (1995)

Three astronauts sit in a space ship in Apollo 13.

April 26 is officially known as “Alien Day,” which celebrates the sci-fi franchise that typically features Sigourney Weaver and a bunch of slimy aliens. The first movie’s famous tagline, “In space no one can hear you scream,” has been lampooned countless times, but it could’ve also been used to market Apollo 13, the excellent Ron Howard-directed drama that depicts the all-too-real terror of the 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission that nearly killed astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise.

Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton play Lovell, Swigert, and Haise, respectively, and half the movie naturally takes place in outer space, which is connivingly replicated with mid-1990s special effects that still hold up. But it’s the other half of the movie, which depicts the events leading up to the space flight and how Mission Control helped bring the shuttle home, that makes Apollo 13 truly remarkable. Kathleen Quinlan, as Lovell’s wife, Marilyn, and Ed Harris, as NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz, were Oscar-nominated for their great supporting performances, and they keep the movie grounded (pardon the pun) even when it’s focused on the drama unfolding in the stars above.

Apollo 13 is streaming on Netflix.

First Knight (1995)

A man and a woman look ahead in First Knight.
Columbia Pictures

Less heralded, but still worth a watch, is another 1995 movie, First Knight. When it was released, the Jerry Zucker-directed movie had to combat snickers over the casting of Richard Gere as Lancelot as well as the long shadow cast by John Boorman’s superb 1981 movie, Excalibur, which also tackled the King Arthur legend. Time has been kind to First Knight, and that’s due in part to the many subpar adaptations that have since been made of the infamous love triangle involving King Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere.

It helps that Sean Connery (famously known as James Bond, of course) plays Arthur with a characteristic blend of charisma and bluster that defines many of his late-career performances. He doesn’t have much chemistry with Julia Ormond’s winsome, fidgety Guinevere, but her attraction to Gere’s Lancelot is believable, and the movie is directed with a steady, invisible hand that lets you enjoy the simple yet effective plot. The late Ben Cross, as the villainous Malagant, sneers magnificently, and the score by Jerry Goldsmith sweeps you along like one of Lancelot’s embraces.

First Knight is streaming on Netflix.