3 underrated Netflix movies you should watch this weekend (July 5-7)

Two people float in space in Life.
Sony

Independence Day is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop celebrating. There are plenty of movies playing to catch in the theaters like Despicable Me 4, MaXXXine, and Horizon: An American Saga. And if you feel like staying in, there are plenty of streaming options to choose from as well.

On Netflix, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is already one of the streamer’s most popular movies. For non-Eddie Murphy fans, here are three older movies that are even better than that action sequel. One is an underrated sci-fi film, one is a hilarious comedy about murder in suburbia, and the other is a movie that closely resembles the hit TV show The Bear.

Life (2017)

A creature attacks a man in Life.
Sony

The movie Life has one of the worst titles in film history. It’s so bland and general, it could be about anything. The movie itself is better. While it rips off superior films like Alien, The Thing, and Sunshine, it does so with skill, style, and wit. It also boasts one of the most devastating endings to a sci-fi film in the last 10 years.

On the International Space Station in the near future, a group of scientists discover a new life form in a soil sample collected from Mars. Nicknamed Calvin, this entity can rapidly multiple by absorbing organic matter, and it soon develops a taste for the human astronauts. It’s up to a trio of space cadets — David (Jake Gyllenhaal), Miranda (Rebecca Ferguson), and Rory (Ryan Reynolds) — to stop the creature from reaching Earth. Elevated by its lead performances and a great sense of tension, Life is a great B picture that’s ideal for lazy summertime viewing.

Life is streaming on Netflix.

Serial Mom (1994)

A woman holds a knife in Serial Mom.
Savoy

Are you in the mood for something subversive? Or how about a comedy that will make you really laugh, like those deep-from-the-belly laughs that may cause you to cry or your stomach to hurt? If the answer is yes, then queue up Serial Mom, the sunniest of pitch-black comedies with a cast that includes Oscar-nominated actress Kathleen Turner, Law & Order staple Sam Waterston, former talk show host Ricki Lake, ex-adult film star Traci Lords, and Thighmaster spokeswoman Suzanne Somers. Would it surprise you if I told you this movie was directed by John Waters, the same guy who filmed drag queen Divine eating dog feces in Pink Flamingos?

A satire on America’s obsession with true crime, Serial Mom largely chronicles a few days in the life of suburban housewife Beverly Sutphin, a seemingly perfect mother and wife who harbors several dark secrets: she loves making obscene prank phone calls to her neighbor; she has an obsession with serial killers like Ted Bundy; and, oh yeah, she murders people. Serial Mom is played for laughs, even when it depicts gruesome murder scenes that wouldn’t be out of place in a Scream horror movie. But trust us, it’s hugely entertaining, in an oddly dirty kind of way. You’ll never look at pussy willows or the musical Annie the same way again.

Serial Mom is streaming on Netflix.

Burnt (2015)

A man talks to a woman in Burnt.
The Weinstein Company

You may be a bit full from your 4th of July feasts, but Burnt presents such delectable culinary dishes that it will make you want to eat at a fancy restaurant, no matter how full you are. Maestro actor Bradley Cooper stars as Adam Jones, a handsome superstar chef whose drug use has ruined his once-promising career. Now drug-free, he moves to London to claw back the respect of his peers while also attempting to run a restaurant with a staff that doesn’t trust him.

Burnt is no The Bear; heck, it’s not even No Reservations, that paper-thin rom-com with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Arron Eckhart from two decades ago. But it is an entertaining watch if you’d like to see Cooper and co-stars Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson, Omar Sy, and Alicia Vikander dish out the food and drama. Who can resist that?

Burnt is streaming on Netflix.