3 underrated Netflix movies you should watch this weekend (May 24-26)

A boy and a girl laugh in It's Kind of a Funny Story.

Last weekend, an imaginary purple monster usurped the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. John Krasinski’s IF, about what happens to imaginary friends when their human companions grow up, was the most popular movie in America, no doubt fueled by families looking to entertain their children.

If you’ve already seen IF, or don’t have kids, you’ll probably need something to watch this weekend. Fear not, as we’ve lined up a selection of quality movies that are currently streaming on Netflix. Each one is from a different genre, and all are sure to make you glad you stayed in and made use of that ever-expensive Netflix subscription.

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

A Simple Favor (2018)

Two women drink in A Simple Favor.

Has there ever been a modern movie more aware of its appeal — and that knows exactly what it’s doing — than A Simple Favor? The 2018 comedy was a sleeper hit when it was released six years ago, and its reputation has only grown since then. Amazon just greenlit a sequel, and that shouldn’t at all surprising as A Simple Favor is a movie that gets better with each subsequent viewing.

Bored, square single mom Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) befriends a new neighbor, the impossibly stylish Emily (a never-better Blake Lively), who seems to have it all: beauty, wealth, and a great husband. One day, Emily disappears, which sends Stephanie down a rabbit hole where everyone, especially her new BFF, has secrets to hide and bodies to bury. A Simple Favor is the kind of movie where a character can show up at a cemetery dressed in an almost nude tuxedo outfit and it completely makes sense. It’s bonkers in the best way, and an utter joy to watch.

A Simple Favor is streaming on Netflix.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

Four people walk in a mental hospital in It's Kind of a Funny Story.

Usually, movies that blend preachy melodrama with serious subject matter like mental illness fail spectacularly. But It’s Kind of a Funny Story manages to rise above the clichés and deliver a (mostly) earnest, heartfelt, and, yes, entertaining drama that has a great lead performance and an unexpected turn from a performer mostly known for his wacky comedies.

When suicidal teen Craig (Keir Gilchrist) checks himself into a mental hospital to seek help for his depression, he meets an array of interesting fellow patients, including Noelle (Emma Roberts, a veteran of the Scream movie franchise), a teenage girl prone to self-harm, and Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), a middle-aged man who quickly takes Craig under his wing. It’s Kind of a Funny Story‘s plot isn’t original at all; if you’ve seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’ll know where this is going. But the performers make it work, especially that of Galifianakis, who turns in his best work here. After watching this movie, you’ll wish he did more dramatic movies and less Hangovers.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is streaming on Netflix.

Amadeus (1984)

Mozart conducts an orchestra in Amadeus.
Warner Bros.

If it seems wrong to deem an Oscar-winning film as “underrated,” let me ask you this question: How many times have you heard Amadeus come up in casual conversation? The critically acclaimed biopic about the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the intense rivalry he shared with the not-so-famous Antonio Salieri, has been almost been forgotten about, and that’s a pity. It’s an entertaining costume drama, one filled with unexpected laughs and zesty sex appeal.

The genius of Amadeus is that it reconceives Mozart (Tom Hulce) as a kind of rock star for the powdered wig set, a rebel who loved his celebrity, and the groupies it brought him, almost as much as the music he created. Salieri (a terrific F. Murray Abraham, who won an Oscar for Best Actor), is jealous, of course, and plots the young man’s downfall. Amadeus plays fast and loose with the facts, but it’s so entertaining that you won’t really care. It’s the rare biopic that really rips. Rock me, Amadeus!

Amadeus is streaming on Netflix.