Best “Netflix Instant” Streamed in 2011

I don’t understand the outcry from some quarters that, “There’s nothing to watch on Netflix Instant.” I couldn’t disagree more. There are currently 37 films in my “Instant” queue that — if there were but world enough and time — I would be watching immediately. To name only a few: Meek’s Cutoff, Biutiful, Rabbit Hole, and Antichrist.

For anyone unsure of what to watch next, Netflix provides tons of recommendations (click on the “Watch Instantly” tab), but most additions to my queue come from one of my favorite podcasts Filmspotting. I also have no need in particular to be a shill for Netflix, but I do think that — even with their recent tone-deaf price hike — it is still one of the best deals out there, especially if you cancel cable, as we did years ago. In my view, they waited far too long to raise their rates, then fumbled an attempt to make up the difference all at once.

But on to the fun part! The following are some of the shows or films that I’ve enjoyed streaming some or all of at some point in the last year. My “top ten” are bolded:

  1. Battlestar Gallactica
  2. Breaking Bad
  3. Brothers & Sisters
  4. Capitalism: A Love Sotry
  5. Carlos: Miniseries
  6. Commander in Chief
  7. Dogtooth
  8. Greek
  9. Commander in Chief
  10. Hoop Dreams
  11. Jack & Bobby
  12. Limitless
  13. Merlin: Season One
  14. Mesrine
  15. Millennium Trilogy (Stieg Larsson)
  16. Moon
  17. A Prophet
  18. Pushing Daisies
  19. The Red Shoes
  20. Red State
  21. Restrepo
  22. The Riches
  23. Sleeper Cell
  24. Sons of Anarchy
  25. The Walking Dead

Bonus: We recently subscribed to HuluPlus and bought a Roku box to keep up with some shows more currently, although I lament the commercials on Hulu. Many nights we watch parts of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. We also keep up with Glee, Modern Family, and Up All Night. My wife additionally is a big fan of The Office, 30 Rock, and Parenthood.

What are some of your favorite streaming videos from Netflix or a similar source from this past year?

What should I add to my queue for 2012?

I welcome your feedback in the comments section.

Previous Lists

The Rev. Carl Gregg is a trained spiritual director, a D.Min. candidate at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and the pastor of Broadview Church in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. Follow him on Facebook ( and Twitter (@carlgregg).

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