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Movies we're watching to get us through lockdown

We've been watching a lot of movies in the last few weeks...

Mark Serrels Editorial Director
Mark Serrels is an award-winning Senior Editorial Director focused on all things culture. He covers TV, movies, anime, video games and whatever weird things are happening on the internet. He especially likes to write about the hardships of being a parent in the age of memes, Minecraft and Fortnite. Definitely don't follow him on Twitter.
Mark Serrels
4 min read

Whether it's a Lord of the Rings rewatch, or going through every single Marvel movie in order of release, if ever there was a time for a movie marathon it is now. With coronavirus lockdowns in progress in pretty much every country you can name, now is as good a time as ever to consume content. 

First I asked everyone at CNET what TV they were watching, now I've asked them about movies. 

So here's what we're watching right now.

Read more: Quibi vs. Peacock vs. HBO Max vs. Disney Plus vs. Apple TV Plus vs. Netflix: How streaming stacks up

Studio Ghibli movies on Netflix


US Netflix options are generally superior to Australia's in every possible way, except one: We currently have access to practically every movie in Studio Ghibli's back catalogue. 

I've been working my way through them all. Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Princess Kaguya, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso. I've slowly been re-watching my old favourites and enjoying some for the first time. It's been amazing. (US-based fans can wait for the Ghibli movies to hit HBO Max when it launches May 27, or pay for them on Amazon

-- Mark Serrels

Period dramas on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple Movies (anything just give them to me) 


I unashamedly love a good period romance. They're beautifully rich distractions at the best of times, but recently I've realized the period drama could be the perfect love story for our times. The yearning from a distance; the communication exclusively through writing; the (once) daily walks around the yard with your sole companion. Honestly it's hard to tell the difference between Pride and Prejudice and living in quarantine. 

I most recently watched Emma. (2020) on Apple Movies and it was everything I love: gorgeous Regency sets and costumes, a wonderful cast, and brief hand touches that are bursting with romantic tension. Touching people is out. Staring at one another five feet apart is IN.

-- Nicole Archer

The Big Sick


I revisited The Big Sick, a rom-com starring Kumail Nanjiani that came out in 2017 before he was jacked. It was just as good the second time -- there's something magical about the down-to-earth humor and the central relationship developing in a messy, non-Hollywood way. If you haven't seen it yet, it's definitely a feel-good film to watch right now.

-- Jennifer Bisset

Akira Kurosawa films


I'm watching Akira Kurosawa movies, based on Eric Franklin's advice. I'd been putting off watching, waiting for enough time to commit, and now seems like it. To make it simple, I signed up for the Criterion Channel, which has a solid collection of about two dozen Kurosawa films -- including Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress.

-- Clifford Colby


Warner Bros.

Yes, I was one of the many viewers responsible for putting the Steven Soderbergh 2011 film back in the most-watched charts in March

Contagion is a work of fiction but incredibly well-researched (Epidemiologist Larry Brilliant was their senior technical advisor) and it offers an accurate perspective of how crucial social distancing can be. 

The movie starts by depicting some situations very familiar to us right now and  fast-forwards to very bleak moments (instead of toilet paper shortages there are full-blown supermarkets lootings). Also, the virus in Contagion is far more lethal than the one we're battling right now. If there's a takeaway from Contagion is to aim to be either Matt Damon or his daughter. 

-- Patricia Puentes

The Platform 


This Spanish-language feature streaming on Netflix is a gruesome tale of class struggle, and a thoroughly entertaining thriller. It's about a place called "The Hole" where each day a gourmet meal is served to residents of the first floor on a platform. As the platform moves down, the people on the floors underneath eat the leftovers of the people above them. I found it thoroughly entertaining and politically charged but not obnoxious about it. It's about people's basic needs and what happens to us and our relationships with each other when the system we live in fails to meet those needs.

-- Jesse Orrall

Hercules, Willow, Nim's Island, My Cousin Vinny, What's Up Doc


My kids are grown up, but the drawers are filled with family-friendly VHS tapes and DVDs from our Friday night movie nights from when they were kids and a little older (True story: I know the entire soundtrack to Disney's Beauty and The Beast. Seriously. "Little town, it's a quiet village. Every day, like the one before…" Make it stop, please.)  

So going through the archives, I've re-re-watched:

Hercules: Because Danny DeVito as Phil singing "One Last Hope."

Willow: Because Val Kilmer as Madmartigan. Silly, fun -- and the good guys win. 

Nim's Island: Because Jodie Foster as an adventure writer afraid to leave her house and Gerard Butler as the hero of her novels -- and her conscience. 

My Cousin Vinny: Because Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei and their New York accents. "Oh yeah, you blend."

What's Up Doc: Because Buck Henry helped write the script for this screwball comedy, with its genius dialogue. First big movie starring Madeline Khan (alongside super funny Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal.)

What even are movies

Movies? When is everybody watching movies? Now our nursery's closed, my wife and I are working full time and looking after a baby full time -- I can't even get through a whole episode of Doctor Who in one go, let alone an entire feature film. Well, the other day we put Frozen on in the background, that'll do I guess. Frozen, wow, what a groundbreaking recommendation. Man I miss movies.

-- Rich Trenholm

New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

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