If you're a Netflix member, you've no doubt come across the tab labeled "Netflix Top 100" before. This interesting feature lists the hundred most popular films on America's leading online rental service. If you want to know what your friends and neighbors are renting, this list should give you a good idea.
While I do not have sufficient time to look at all 100, I did want to touch on the top ten current rentals. This should provide you with a number of options the next time you decide to rent a film online or at the local video store.
Crash (2004) – Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, this Paul Haggis ensemble piece takes a look at racism and other social issues in the city of Los Angeles. The film presents a number of individual stories, but much of the fun comes from watching the characters get drawn together thought events both uplifting and tragic. The fine cast includes Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Thandie Newton, and Terrence Howard.
The Blind Side (2009) – Another film starring Sandra Bullock, this time as real-life Leigh Anne Tuohy, a strong-willed interior designer who takes in a teenage runaway (Quinton Aaron) and helps him turn his life around. The young man, Michael Oher, would go on to play football for the Baltimore Ravens. A feel-good movie that's appropriate for the whole family.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) – Mixing elements of fantasy and drama, this David Fincher film was nominated for thirteen Oscars. Brad Pitt stars as Benjamin Button, a man who ages back while learning about life and love in the 20th century. Co-starring Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson.
The Bucket List (2008) – An inspirational comedy about living every day to the fullest, it stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as a pair of terminally ill men who embark on an eye-opening journey around the world in order to fulfill their deepest desires .
The Departed (2006) – Martin Scorsese finally captured a Best Director Oscar for his tale of an undercover cop (Leonardo DiCaprio) who infiltrates the Irish mob and a mobster (Matt Damon) who infiltrates the police department. When both sides learn they have a rat, it sparks a desperate race to forget the traitors. Co-starring Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Vera Farmiga, and Ray Winstone.
The Hurt Locker (2008) – Winner of Best Picture and Best Director at the 2010 Academy Awards, this war movie follows the dangerous lives of demolition experts serving during the Iraq War.
Iron Man (2008) – Robert Downey Jr. shot to superstardom in this film adaptation of the title from Marvel Comics. After being captured by terrorists, billionaire playboy Tony Stark builds a suit of power armor and uses it to fight evil and tyranny around the globe. Co-starring Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Sherlock Holmes (2009) – Robert Downey Jr. stars as the legendary detective, and he's joined by Jude Law as the steadfast Dr. Watson. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film pits Holmes against a British nobleman (Mark Strong) with seemingly supernatural powers.
No Country for Old Men (2007) – This Joel and Ethan Coen film won Best Picture at the Oscars and tells the story of a Vietnam veteran (Josh Brolin) who finds a satchel filled with drug money and winds up being pursued by a psychotic hitman (Javier Bardem). Tommy Lee Jones co-stars as a Texas lawman who gets drawn into their cat-and-mouse game.
Gran Torino (2008) – In perhaps his last acting role, Clint Eastwood gives a memorable performance as a retired, bigoted auto worker who suddenly becomes an unrecognized neighborhood hero after standing up to a local gang.
Head over to their website to view the entire Netflix Top 100, and enjoy a number of pricing plans and streaming options such as Starz Play. With Blockbuster having declared bankruptcy, this service is now the undisputed king of online rentals in the United States.