Netflix Instant: 8 Micro Movie Reviews - June 2017 Edition

There are a lot of movies on Netflix, which means there a lot of good movies, and a lot of bad ones. Since there is only so much time in a day, here are micro-reviews of 8 movies, currently streaming on Netflix (U.S.) as of June 2017 to help you decide, which ones are your best bets.

“For the Emperor” (2014)

Pictured above is the poster for “For the Emperor,” San Jun Pak’s sleekly directed gangland film. “For the Emperor” chronicles Hwan (Lee Min-ki), a one-time pro baseball player, who descends into a life of organized crime. When he begins a torrid romance with Cha Yeon-soo (Lee Tae-im), it puts him on a collision of reckoning with his boss.

“For the Emperor” is a sultry film with magnificent performances and an engaging storyline with alluring plot twists. The direction provides a unique synergy, which the rest of the film relies on to anchor it. Organized crime films are always tricky and “For the Emperor” hits all the right notes, including the ones seldom struck by its peers.

As of the writing of this review, Netflix users have given “For the Emperor” a nearly 3-star rating. Personally, it deserves to be rated a lot higher. “For the Emperor” is one of the best films on Netflix. It is provocative and highly memorable, a definitive winner. Rating: 8.7/10

“Man Vs.” (2015)

An original movie with a refreshing take on the recent found footage craze. “Man Vs.” is an engaging "cabin in the woods" style feature with a unique twist. Chris Diamantopoulos stars as a reality TV survivalist, who encounters more than he bargained for during his latest solo episode shoot. 

The result is “Man Vs.,” a smart, funny, and compelling movie. By avoiding the use of found footage’s infamous shaky cam, “Man Vs.” breathes new life into the genre, giving viewers a smart film that extraordinarily blends YouTube with the post-“Blair Witch Project” era. Rating: 7.8/10

“In the Shadow of Iris” (2016)

A noir with a French flourish, “In the Shadow of Iris” unravels as an unexpected caper. More of a drama than a thriller, “In the Shadow of Iris” becomes overshadowed by the expectations that it will be more thrilling than it actually is. 

Romain Duris, Jalil Lespert, and Charlotte Le Bon lead the cast. Duris, as always makes for an engaging leading man, though he is highly enigmatic in his role here. “In the Shadow of Iris” offers more of a commentary on monogamy and marriage, than it does mystery. On the former front it sizzles, on the latter front, it fizzles. Rating: 6.5/10

“A Hard Day” (2014)

“A Hard Day” is an electrifying action-thriller that packs dark humor with incredible twists and turns. Due to that, it is perhaps best to go in knowing as little about its plot as possible, as to experience the film’s full effect.

To be brief and general, “A Hard Day” revolves around a detective (Lee Sun Gyun), who gets into a car accident and tries to cover it up. His predicament grows all the more complicated when he is blackmailed by an anonymous figure.

What ensues is a cat-and-mouse game of highly entertaining proportions. “A Hard Day” is clever, funny, and riveting, a thrill ride you do not come across every day. That is because “A Hard Day” features a hard thing to find in a lot of movies, an easily enjoyable watch where the protagonist and antagonist are equally matched. Rating: 9/10

In the Shadow of Iris - For the Emperor Movie Poster - Netflix Instant: 8 Micro Movie Reviews - June 2017 Edition - Eclectic Pop

“The Disappointments Room” (2016)

“The Disappointments Room” is a disappointing movie that never really registers as a promising one. The premise has been told a million times. A young family moves to the country from the big city hoping to escape the specter of a recent tragedy. There is nothing original here, just a sad story that is rehashed with jump scares, and a frazzled directorial effort. Rating: 2/10 

“Beauty and the Beast” (2014)

“Terrific performances by Lea Seydoux as a dreamy, yet realistic Belle, and Vincent Cassel as a surly, yet charismatic, Beast, further enhance the film. “Beauty and the Beast” (or “La Belle et la Bete”) is a worthy addition to the slew of “Beauty and the Beast” adaptations. It is neither pure beauty nor utter beast, rather something pleasantly in-between.” Rating: 6.5/10 – Read Eclectic Pop’s full review of “Beauty and the Beast” here.

“Phantom” (2013)

“Expertly acted by an impressive ensemble, the grim material is elevated to the next level. Set in the claustrophobic scenery of a submarine circa The Cold War, “Phantom” tells the story of a Soviet naval team tasked with an apparent suicide mission. As the battle lines are drawn between two ideologies, the fate of the entire world could be altered forever.” Rating: 6.7/10 – Read Eclectic Pop’s full review of “Phantom” here.

“Sweet Home” (2013)

A home invasion thriller with a twist, “Sweet Home” is a gripping Spanish-language flick that brings the thrills and the chills. The story centers on a young couple hoping to share a romantic night in an aging apartment building. Despite good intentions, they are ultimately joined by uninvited visitors and unforeseen consequences. 

A powerful performance by Ingrid Garcรญa Jonsson leads the film past clichรฉ, and into edge-of-your-seat memorability. “Sweet Home” is one of the best thrillers streaming on Netflix, and it is well worth the watch. Rating: 8/10

[Featured Image by Next Entertainment World, United Pictures]