There is a variety of activities you can do to wind down and relax after a long day. School can be challenging and stressful. There are assignments you need to complete, final examinations you need to prepare for, and universities for you to consider as you get to the end of your secondary education. While others may find solace in reading books, playing sports, or even spending quality time with their peers, watching movie shows on Netflix is also a great way to unwind from the stress you get from school. Netflix has grown to be so ingrained into our modern-day culture that it is almost present in every household. While binge-watching can have negative side effects on you, it is not always a counterproductive activity.
Several, if not all, films are made to entertain you and provide you with a deeper knowledge of life. There is also a chance you may find movies and shows that are educational and inspiring. In this article, we will be listing down the top 10 movies/shows on Netflix that will not only be worth your time but valuable to your life as a student!
Created by Vox, a piece of popular American news and opinion website, Explained features a variation of topics, ideas, and questions. The show currently has 3 seasons with about 10 – 20 episodes in each season.
The run time of each episode varies between 18 – 25 minutes long. The topics discussed in the show are often those that aren’t aired or discussed in the daily news cycle. Among the subjects that are covered are K-pop, meat alternatives, coding, gender pay gap, eSports, and cryptocurrency.
Explained can be a great show for you to view in your past time as the show is highly informative and educational. The topics are provided with a scientific background, engaging interviews with experts, and not to mention that it provides the positive and negative aspects, giving you a more well-rounded and unbiased opinion.
The show refrains from digging too deep into the subject, but rather gives you a simplified idea of a vast topic. Explained consists of such a vast canon of titles you can explore, or maybe you could even only focus on the ones that you are interested in viewing! All in all, this show is a great way for you to relax while also still having an educational and productive experience.
2. The Surgeon’s Cut
If you love medical science shows, this one’s for you!
First aired on Netflix in 2020, The Surgeon’s Cut is a docuseries produced by BBC Studios Science. It features the true stories of four surgeons from around the world. The Surgeon’s Cut tells the story of their pioneering work in their field. It is a truly inspiring show that gives its audience an insight into the struggles, inspiration, and success of the groundbreaking procedures conducted by these surgeons.
The show is currently rated 16+ on Netflix and may contain some monologues that use technical wordings, but it is an overall easy show to follow. They go into details of how they planned to carry out the surgeries, and not to mention that the surgeons themselves, despite their incredible success in improving human lives, display an immense amount of humility in their world. The amazing work provided by these surgeons is a story that aspiring medical students could undoubtedly find immense encouragement.
The Surgeon’s Cut only has 4 episodes with a run time of 54 – 58 minutes per episode. Aside from the value of the show, its hour-long run is sufficient for you to take a break from your school assignments and lay back to an inspiring show.
3. Inside Bill’s Brain - Decoding Bill Gates
Bill Gates’ name is not new to anyone. Thanks to his software development achievements, we now have the various platforms of Microsoft available for our everyday use. Gates is also well known for his philantropic activities and works to fight against climate change.
The Netflix show featuring Bill Gates’ story, Inside Bill’s Brain, is a docuseries that explores Gates’ visions, business plans, and the motivations of his success and current work.
Inside Bill’s Brain comprises 3 episodes with a run time of 50 – 55 minutes each episode, you’ll be able to learn a little bit more on this billionaire business leader’s life, his inspirations, and what led to the level of success he has achieved!
If you’re looking for a way to find encouragement and motivation in your life, this show could be a good way for you to find that!
4. The Pursuit of Happiness
First released in 2006, starring Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith, The Pursuit of Happiness tells the true story of Chris Gardner’s life. Chris Gardner was an American businessman and motivational speaker. This film tells the story about his life and how he struggled with securing a job while dealing with homelessness. All the while, Gardner had to also care for his young son.
The film itself has been nominated for several awards for Best Performance in Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Kids’ Choice Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and more. The run time of the movie is 1 hour and 57 minutes. The Pursuit of Happiness has been revered for its raw and captivating portrayal of struggle, hopelessness, and the reward of what hard work and persistence can get you.
While the film in itself is not an educational piece, you may be able to find something valuable in the life lessons that it teaches you and bring it to you in school and other areas of your personal life.
The main takeaway from The Pursuit of Happiness is the power of perseverance, and what you can do with hard work as long as you persevere through the current hurdles you are facing at this very moment. Truly an inspiring film filled with outstanding performance carried by this father and son duo.
5. The Karate Kid (2010)
Often overlooked as a children’s movie, there are actually several valuable lessons you can get from the film.
A remake of the original film first produced in 1984, this one features Jaden Smith as the lead actor playing the character of Dre, who moves to China with his mother. In the face of a new environment, Dre struggles to find his place, especially as he faces a group of bullies from school. In the face of adversity, he is taken under the wing of a seemingly ordinary maintenance man, Mr Han, who turns out to be a Kung Fu master. From him, Dre learns not only to master the art of Kung Fu, but also the important lessons of standing up for himself, hard work, and humility.
The duration of The Karate Kid runs for 2 hours and 6 minutes. While it is a relatively long film to sit through, the comedic aspects delivered by Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, and Taraji P. Henson, along with the engaging action choreography, the show makes an entertaining film to sit through.
The Karate Kid (1984) is considered to be a classic American film, and there are good reasons as to why. It teaches the value of hardwork, respect, and how to stand up against the obstacles we are facing. You get not only an entertaining insight of the essence of Kung Fu, but also a good reflection of where good character can bring you.
6. Abstract: The Art of Design
Design students, this one’s a series for you!
Abstract is a docuseries of 2 seasons, each season comprising 6-8 episodes with a run time of 42 – 48 minutes each. Each episode takes a look into a different form of design and the ways art impacts our lives.
First produced by Netflix in 2017, Abstract takes a closer look into the concept of computer and modern contemporary design. The show is made of various prestigious designers, such as Christopher Niemann, Es Devlin, Ilse Crawford, Cas Holman, and Ruth Carter.
This show is essentially a showcase of these highly regarded artists and how their own art designs impact the world and our daily lives. It encompasses the masterpieces of the designers, their passion, and inspiration to create art that enriches the human experience.
For students who are interested and passionate about the art of design, this is definitely a worthwhile watch. It not only gives you further knowledge and insight into the world of design, but also an opportunity to gain inspiration from these world renown artists.
7. Our Planet
Looking for a more relaxed way to learn about the ways of our world?
Our Planet just might be the series for you. A limited nature docuseries aired on Netflix in 2019, Our Planet is a docuseries that examines the effects of climate change to not only human lives, but the entire ecosystem that surrounds us.
The show looks into the wildlife in the arctic, jungles, coastal seas, deserts, and more. This 8 part series runs for about 48 – 53 minutes per episode with beautiful cinematography and an easily comprehensible narration by David Attenborough for native English speakers, Salma Hayek for Latin American speakers, and Penelope Cruz for Spanish speakers.
The show has received much acclaim for its spectacular scope into the discussion of global warming and the way nature is directly affected by our daily actions. Our Planet can give you an interesting and educational point of view of the way we could change our habits to better benefit our planet. This documentary is a great way for you to relax and still gain knowledge in your free time!
8. Flavorful Origins
This documentary series delves deep into the cultural background behind Chinese food. Flavorful Origins is a show narrated in Mandarin and was aired by Tencent Video. Its first episode was released on 2019, with 3 seasons.
Each season has 10 – 20 episodes with a run time ranging between 11 – 13 minutes. Every episode features a specific ingredient and the cultural background behind each of them. It brings a different perspective into the story of the ingredients, giving you, the viewer, a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese cuisine.
Flavorful Origins features a pleasant journey of the culinary traditions in China. A few of the ingredients they look into are marinated crab, mussels, mutton, olives, gua gua, pickled vegetables, lacquer seed oil, and many more.
Its relatively short episode makes the show easy to digest and a great way to spend time with as you take a short break from completing your school assignments. Moreover, Flavorful Origins can enrich your personal knowledge on cultural backgrounds!
9. Green Book
A comedy-drama film based on the true story of Don Shirley and his unlikely friendship with Frank “Tony Lip” Vallenlonga in 1962. Green Book was released on 2018, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.
The story follows the tour of the Deep South by Shirley, and how he hired Lip as his driver and bouncer. Having an Italian-American work for an African-American man in this age was unheard of due to the rampant racism occuring in the country. The film itself has been numerously acclaimed for its storyline, script, and performance. Moreover, it has also won awards in the Academy Awards for its Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor.
Green Book is a great film worth watching for students as it reveals valuable lessons on racial reconciliation. Granted, the century that we are living in has a vastly different experience of racism than they did in the 60s, however, that is not to say that we no longer have racial discourse today.
All over the world, we experience different degrees of racism, depending on which country we are in. That is why a film such as Green Book may benefit the young minds of students. It teaches you how to live in social harmony with others regardless of one’s race, and what the importance of working together can bring to society.
Moreover, the film looks into the power of friendship and what companionship can bring into our lives. Green Book is a heartwarming film that can inspire you while also entertaining you.
10. Little Women (1994)
Little Women (1994) was produced by Columbia Pictures, starring Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Claire Danes, and Christian Bale. The movie is a coming-of-age historical drama adapted from Louisa May Alcott’s novel, Little Women.
The story follows Jo March and her three sisters struggle through the Civil War in America. It is a heartwarming movie about sisterly bonds, feminism, and courage in the face of 19th century America. Not to mention that Jo’s passion for writing can be encouraging for aspiring writers. The character’s stubborn and strong will to write and publish her own book is definitely one to be admired.
Through this film, students may be able to pick up on the valuable key message that passion needs persistence in order for your goals and dreams to come true. Another key note that you may be able to obtain from this film is that your perseverance and drive to reach your dream should be done without the need to be great.
While it comes as an innate desire for us to create a name for ourselves, Little Women emphasise that the want for praise from others is not the glory we should seek. It is a good lesson to learn that to find the meaning of our work is less about the compliments from others, but rather, more about the value we find within ourselves.
That’s all for the top 10 list of Netflix Movies/Shows that are worth watching! We hope you find these films and series beneficial to your gain, as well as enjoyable for your down time!
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About The Author
Journalism and Advertising major. Passionate about reading and writing, and an advocate for the truth.