9 of the best films taken off Netflix

Streaming service Netflix has a whole heap of brilliant documentaries, shows and movies available, including their own original works. There tends to be some new stuff on there each month! Just as they continue to add new releases, many great movies and shows are removed. With the help of New On Netflix, we’ve looked at some of the biggest movies Netflix have cut loose in the last 12 months.


Wild

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%

Reese Witherspoon starred in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayad’s 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Witherspoon plays the title character Strayad, who goes on a 1,100 mile hike on the PCT, taking her from Southern California to the Bridge of the Gods on the Columbia River. Strayad struggles with the death of her mother, Bobbi, leading her into a deep depression and the breakdown of her marriage. Her lack of experience shows on her journey but she is encouraged by messages from her best friend along the trail.

Both Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern – who starred as Cheryl’s mother, Bobbi Grey – received Oscar nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. The film only lasted roughly six months on Netflix, being removed last summer.

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Slumdog Millionaire

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91%

Danny Boyle directed one of the smash-hit films of 2008, Slumdog Millionaire. It follows the story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year old from the Juhu slums of Mumbai who attempts to win big on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. When he is able to answer everything correctly, it’s assumed he is cheating but the answers are all linked back to a range of different incidents in his past.

Dev Patel’s fame shot through the roof – having previously found success playing Anwar in Skins, he was now the lead in the biggest movie of the year. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning eight including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was taken off Netflix back in May 2018.

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Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91%

The 2009 film Precious, based on Sapphie’s 1996 novel Push, gained much attention as the lead actress Gabourey Sidibe had no previous acting experience before the film. You couldn’t tell as she blew audiences away playing Claireece Precious Jones, a 16 year old girl growing up in Harlem who has been subjected to extensive physical, verbal and sexual abuse. The heart-breaking tale sees Precious moving to a new school when she falls pregnant for a second time at the hands of her father. Precious finally learns to read and write, being taken care of for the first time by her new teacher Blu Rain.

Precious was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture which went to Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. Mo’Nique took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, playing the role of Mary, Precious’s mother. The film was removed from Netflix in February this year, having been available for around a year.

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The Shawshank Redemption

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91%

Frank Darabont’s direction of Stephen King’s novel Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption may have suffered at the box office, but it has had a lasting impression culturally. Banker Andy Dufresne is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, sent to Shawshank State Penitentiary to serve two life sentences. In prison he befriends Ellis ‘Red’ Redding, who is serving a life sentence. Throughout the trials and tribulations of prison, the two remain close and reunite upon release – or escape, in Andy’s case.

Despite the box office issues The Shawshank Redemption faced in 1994 – put down to the competition against Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump as well as a general dislike for prison films – the film has firmly stood the test of time. The United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2015 as it is “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

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The King’s Speech

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 95%

The King’s Speech was one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2011, as well as a huge success at the box office. It portrayed King George VI’s struggle with a stammer that he has to overcome when his brother abdicates the throne in order to marry socialite Wallis Simpson. King George works with Austrian speech and language therapist Lionel Logue to help with the speech impediment ahead of first wartime radio broadcast on Britain’s declaration of war with Germany in 1939.

Despite the relatively small £8 million budget, The King’s Speech earned more than £250 million at the box office internationally. It was identified as the most successful independent British film ever following five weeks on UK release. It was nominated for a staggering 185 awards, winning 70 of them. The film is unavailable for streaming, having been removed in July 2017.

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The Full Monty

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 96%

British comedy film The Full Monty, released in 1997, blew audiences and critics away with its storyline and direction. It covers hard-hitting topics, focussed around six unemployed men who decide to put on a striptease in order to earn some money. Set in Sheffield in 1972, the once-successful steel mills shut down, leaving most of the staff redundant. This creates issues due to failure to pay child support, depression and suicide.

The Full Monty was the highest-grossing film in the UK, until it was outsold by the mammoth Titanic. It won the BAFTA for Best Film and was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It was taken off Netflix in June 2018.

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Spotlight

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%

Released in 2015, the Tom McCarthy-directed Spotlight was one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, topping a number of end of year lists. The title refers to the Spotlight team within The Boston Globe newspaper, a group of investigative journalists who uncovered a deep-routed issue of child sex abuse in the Boston area by a number of Roman Catholic priests and the failings of those who knew about it and kept it covered.

Spotlight won the Oscar for Best Picture as well as best Original Screenplay. The film was available to stream for around four months, but was removed in April 2018.

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 Schindler’s List

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%

With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97%, seven Academy Awards to its name and having been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress, Schindler’s List is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all-time. Liam Neeson stars as Oskar Schindler, a businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,000 refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during the Second World War.

Steven Spielberg’s film was based on the novel, Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally. It was a huge box office success, taking in £235.5 million which was more than ten times its budget. It was taken off Netflix just last month, having been available to stream for a year.

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On the Waterfront

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 98%

The 1954 film On the Waterfront, starring Marlon Brando and directed by Elia Kazan, was a great critical and commercial success. The crime drama took some inspiration from the true stories of Mob informers. Mob boss Johnny Friendly rules the waterfront and although the police are aware Friendly is behind a number of murders, any witnesses claim they don’t know a thing. Terry Malloy witnesses an altercation but keeps his mouth shut until he meets the victim’s sister – he ends up feeling partly responsible due to his silence and is persuaded to cooperate with the police investigation. If you’ve ever seen the famous “I could have been a contender” speech, it’s from On the Waterfront.

The film received 12 Academy Award nominations, going on to win eight of them; including Best Actor for Marlon Brando, Best Supporting Actress for Eva Marie Saint and Best Picture. On the Waterfront lasted roughly a year on Netflix, before it was removed in December 2017.

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