Popular game-related films on Netflix
Whether it’s a sport or a video game, games have inspired movies for decades. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of the winning streak, or the on-edge drama of the game’s key moments. While many of us are confined to our homes at the moment, unable to take part in our favourite hobbies, game-related films offer an escapist vision of freedom and chance. These game films (and one miniseries) are all available to stream on Netflix, so you can enter their immersive worlds without leaving your sitting room.
There’s nothing like the Ocean’s series. With its tale of a motley gang of crack thieves attempting to steal $150 million from villainous casino owner Andy Garcia, Ocean’s Eleven set the gold standard for the modern heist film. Boasting a cast so stellar it practically forms its own galaxy – George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Elliot Gould, Julia Roberts – Steven Soderbergh’s foray into low culture hits every beat with a precision only matched by the buoyancy of the performances. Ocean’s Eleven and its two sequels, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, have recently been added to Netflix’s catalogue for some serious hustle inspo.
21 is like the Ocean’s trilogy’s more sombre younger brother. Kevin Spacey leads a band of college students to try their luck making big dollars at in Vegas – a bit like those on bestonlinecasinos.org.uk; here, though, the game itself rather than the heist will help them make it big. Blackjack, one of the most cinematic games (see: Rain Man), provides a method for these gifted mathematicians to cheat the dealer. A more serious drama than the Ocean’s movies, 21 is a gripping watch.
Scott Pilgrim vs the World
While not technically based on a game but on a graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World borrows much of its aesthetic from arcade and early video games. The endearing plot follows Scott (Michael Cera), a lovelorn teen who must fight off the seven evil exes of new girlfriend Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Come for the early-2010s rock vibes, stay for Edgar Wright’s inventive direction and a host of stellar performances from a talented ensemble cast (including Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzmann and Brie Larson). “Prepare to die, obviously!”
Another Brad Pitt vehicle, the Aaron Sorkin-penned Moneyball is a typically talky joint about the science of sport – or, rather, the maths. Using statistical analysis, Billy Beane (Pitt), general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, assembles a crack team against the odds and their negligible budget. Despite its stats-dominated approach to America’s national religion, Moneyball is consistently thrilling, supported by its whip-smart script and Pitt’s central performance. Nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Moneyball is not to be missed.
Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light
This unusual Japanese miniseries follows Akio Inaba (Yudai Chiba), a young man who decides to use the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Final Fantasy XIV to reconnect with his estranged father. Sad father’s abrupt retirement provides an element of mystery to a plot that otherwise constitutes a deep dive into family relationships – all with some heavy product placement, of course. A character-driven drama, Dad of Light is compelling watching whether or not you’re interested in video games.
Resident Evil: Afterlife
The Resident Evil series famously takes its name – and some plot elements – from the survival horror video game of the same name, first released in 1996. Afterlife, the fourth instalment in the franchise, sees original series director Paul W. S. Anderson return to the helm, as Milla Jovovich’s Alice searches the ruins of a Los Angeles decimated by a killer virus. Perhaps a little on the nose at the moment, Resident Evil: Afterlife still offers a hefty dose of the franchise’s signature sleek production and action-packed plot.
Documentarian Bryan Fogel’s 2017 piece about sports doping was a well-deserved smash hit and won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. It’s a wild ride, starting when Fogel set out to explore doping in cycling, and taking him down an unexpected pathway into a major international scandal when he comes into contact with Russian anti-doping scientist Grigory Rodchenkov. Shocking, bizarre and utterly mesmerising, Icarus pulls out all the stops to display just how deeply ingrained doping culture is in sporting life worldwide. For sports fans and documentary nuts alike, it’s thrilling.
The editorial unit