Finding a good movie on Netflix can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are countless criteria that separate the good movies from the bad ones, not to mention all of the hidden gems among Netflix’s ever-growing catalog. Since about 2002 when the streaming giant first launched- we movie fanatics have been on a quest to find what we’re looking for in this increasingly more crowded field. There are surefire ways to get exactly what you want out of Netflix, so read on and become a power user without even trying.
1. Check your resolution – Quality counts
The most important thing with any stream is having enough bandwidth to handle what you’re watching. If video quality isn’t great, then it can really do a number on the movie experience. Sure, you may not be able to notice it with some movies, but if you’re watching something like a 4K video, then it makes sense to check the resolution of what you’ve clicked on before hitting play.
2. Make your account private
Okay – making your Netflix account private is one trick that takes a little more effort but can pay HUGE dividends when done correctly. It’s simple once you know what all the settings do and how to use them. If privacy interests you, go into your account menu in the top right-hand corner and click “Change Profile.” Now choose “Private” to turn it ON. You’ll no longer see any recommended titles targeted towards anyone except yourself—even for everyone else in your house.
3. Filter out all the garbage
If there are certain genres, actors, directors you aren’t interested in, then start by blocking them from appearing on your ‘Recommended for You‘ list. Just click “Not Interested” next to any titles that fall into those categories, and they’ll never appear again.
4. The more friends, the better
Don’t be afraid to share. It’s fun to discover new movies with family or friends, especially those who have similar tastes as you. Did someone recommend a good movie? Share it with the – odds are they may return the favor and share something with you.
5. Make it a date night
Netflix is always there for you, but sometimes we get lazy and watch whatever we can find. Turn this habit around by having a little more intent behind what you’re watching – like digging deep to find the best film possible (whether new or old). Take your time and actually enjoy yourself.
6. Take the 10% Challenge
Okay – this may seem like a total gimme, but it can be one of the most effective ways to find something you’ll enjoy. Simply go into your “Recently Watched” list, pick out two titles that you think look interesting, and click Play. If neither of them piques your interest after about 10 minutes, stop watching and move on. Next, try another two films and do the same thing until you’ve watched ten films without stopping (or until you finally find what you want). It’s a fun way to see new flicks and discover hidden gems.
7. Try before you buy
If you’ve found a movie that looks good but isn’t sure it’s worth the $13.99/month (Netflix’s most common streaming plan), consider checking it out from your local library. Chances are you can stream it for free, and if not, there’s always the DVD version to fall back on. Streaming is all about convenience – libraries can be a pain in the you-know-what sometimes but isn’t your time worth something? Do what works best for you
8. Your watchlist is your friend
Netflix will automatically add new movies to your list as you finish up previous ones. This means that your ‘Watched Queue’ or ‘My List’ is always constantly growing, which can be overwhelming sometimes. It’s important not to get too caught up here – just because you have something in this section of your account doesn’t mean it needs to be watched ASAP. If you’re looking for a good movie at the moment, go ahead and filter out everything on your list, so only titles you haven’t started yet are showing.
9. Get around geographical blocks with VPNs
If you find yourself needing access to Netflix while traveling/abroad, then consider using a VPN. A VPN establishes an encrypted “tunnel” between your device and the location of choice (i.e., a server in New York), which tricks Netflix into thinking you’re actually located there. The downside is that the speed will be much slower due to all this extra data being sent back and forth through the tunnel, but once you’ve found what you want, click ‘Play,’ sit back and relax!
10. Don’t give up on new movies
Sometimes you’ll come across something that looks really good only to discover it was complete rubbish. You can quickly filter out all the worst titles by checking the genres, ratings, and Rotten Tomatoes. As a general rule, if it has less than a 90% fresh rating, chances are you’re not going to enjoy it. Do yourself a favor and move on.
Netflix can be a great tool to find a movie you really enjoy. During a time when everyone is clamoring for your attention, why not try Netflix out and see what kind of movies they have? You might just discover something really cool. Also, don’t be afraid to subscribe to other streaming services or buy single movies online. It’s a big world out there.