Through the year we’ve curated multiple movie-recommendation lists, from comedies, trilogies and horror flicks to documentaries, sexy movies and beyond. But sometimes what you need is lighter fare. Comfort watches that are reliable, have repeat value and that you can always count on to lift your spirits. From unforgettable underdog stories to romantic comedies, here’s our list of some of the best feel-good movies available on Netflix.
Queen is one of the definitive feel-good experiences from Hindi cinema of the last decade. It brings a smile to your face with every viewing. No modern Bollywood film has encapsulated that feeling of a much-needed breath of fresh air, or resonated as widely and deeply with Indians everywhere quite like Queen. Starring Kangana Ranaut, the film follows the story of Rani, who decides to tour Europe alone after being jilted at the altar.
Knock Down the House (2019)
Knock Down The House follows the campaign of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the now famed AOC, and three other female candidates as they run for Congress in 2018 resulting in one of the greatest political underdog stories seen on screen. It’s a soaring tale of hope which renews your faith in the idea that the powers-that-be can be challenged and overthrown, and that one person really can make a difference. As The Guardian rightfully put it, the final reels of this rousing Netflix documentary “feel like a Rocky movie”.
Tu Hai Mera Sunday (2016)
A story of five thirty-something friends who struggle to find a place in Mumbai to play football becomes so much more in the hands of debut director Milind Dhaimade. He uses a feel-good light-hearted buddy movie to explore gender, generational and religious divides along the way in what is perhaps the most definitive, “Mumbai” film of our times.
Sudani From Nigeria (2018)
Among the many recent gems of Malayalam cinema, Sudani From Nigeria is a beautiful story of friendship between a Nigerian football player stranded in a small Kerala village and its residents who take care of him. A perfect antidote to the desperate times, it’s a heartfelt story of finding home and love in a far away land, which argues that the things that connect us far outweigh those that divide.
A ragtag team of angry colonized newbies upset an orthodox bunch of Englishmen through an unforgettable cricket match. Lagaan hits you in all the right places and remains just as memorable nearly 20 years after its release. One of Hindi cinema’s greatest underdog tales, a powerful script, impressive execution and an unforgettable soundtrack from A R Rahman made it one of the three Indian films to bag an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
℅ Kancharapalem (2018)
The heartfelt and deeply empathetic Telugu film from debut director Venkatesh Maha spans four intersecting love stories across religion, caste, and generation, and features a charming cast mostly made up of non-actors. Care Of Kancharapalem is quietly funny, bursting with heart and is the ideal film to lift the spirits.
About Time (2013)
Made by the master of movie love, Richard Curtis, About Time centres on a young man (Domhnall Gleeson) who learns he has the ability to go back in time. He uses this power to try and get the girl of his dreams (Rachel McAdams). But by the end of About Time it’s clear that the romantic resets are incidental to the main story. Like the best love stories, it’s about a lot more than just love. It’s a sweet, soulful meditation of family and connection and how to make the most of the life that we’re given.
Morning Glory (2010)
Rachel McAdams stars as a young spirited TV producer tasked with reinventing a below-par morning news show by bringing in a legendary anchorman (a hilariously grumpy Harrison Ford). It’s a colourful clash of personalities in a fluffy, sweet and thoroughly enjoyable story of unlikely characters coming together despite their differences.
One of Netflix’s first animation projects is a humorous, heart-warming new take on the Santa Claus story with a rich new style of animation that feels as comfortable as it is refreshing. But beyond it’s visual flair, Klaus is a touching tale of friendship and connection which captures the essence of the Santa story – putting others before yourself.
Crazy Stupid Love (2010)
Most successful rom-coms tend to win off the back of their laughs or their feels. Crazy Stupid Love wins on both. The feel-good comedy follows recently separated Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) navigating singlehood with the help of a playboy (Ryan Gosling). Throw in Emma Stone and Kevin Bacon and you get a cast loaded with charm. Crazy Stupid Love will make you laugh out loud, tear up and feel love.