The 2015 Sundance Film Festival may be long gone, but its fires continue to burn bright as festival sensation “Dope” enters theaters this weekend alongside the award-winning and expanding “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” We’ve rounded up 10 more Sundance hits that are now available to stream on Netflix, including prestige documentaries such as “Hoop Dreams” and the Academy Award-winning “Man on Wire.” These films are listed below in alphabetical order.
The debut feature of Alexander Payne (“Election,” “The Descendants”), “Citizen Ruth” stars Laura Dern as an unruly pregnant woman whose actions draw attention from both sides of the abortion debate. With a wicked clever script and a tone that balances the moral shades of each side of the argument, “Ruth” proves just how acerbic and intelligent Payne handles satire and confirms Sundance as the festival that launches major independent voices.
Craig Zobel’s “Z For Zachariah” was one of the big hits at this year’s Sundance Film Festival thanks to its starry ensemble — Margot Robbie, Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor — but the director’s first trip to Park City with “Compliance” yielded a much tighter and psychologically-complex feature. Based on true events, the film focuses on a prank caller who pretends to be a police officer and convinces the manager of a fast-food restaurant (a superb Ann Dowd) to carry out unlawful procedures on a young female employee.
For those who missed the understated mumblecore charms of Andrew Bujalski in the director’s latest film, “Results” (now playing in theaters), this black-and-white deadpan comedy will be quite the remedy. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival debut is set at a 1980’s chess tournament where humans go up against machines for the very first time. Patrick Riester, Wiley Wiggins and Myles Paige star.
Michael Fassbender hides his face under a papier-mâché head for Lenny Abrahamson’s idiosyncratic debut, “Frank,” and the result is one of the most daring performances of his career thus far. Playing the lead singer of an alternative band going through a creative crises, the film follows a young songwriter (Domhnall Gleeson) as he enters the group and encounters its wacky members. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy co-star.
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, Steve James’ miraculous “Hoop Dreams” is often cited as the best non-fiction feature ever made. Following two African American high school students in Chicago over eight years, the movie documents their efforts to become professional basketball players while also chronicling the racial, social and economic issues that plague inner-city America.
Before Robert Zemeckis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt put their narrative spin on Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in this fall’s “The Walk,” you should absolutely check out James Marsh’s documentary on the unbelievable true story. The film followed up its Sundance Grand Jury Prizes for World Cinema Documentary and World Cinema Audience Award (Documentary) with an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
The out-of-nowhere twist that takes place when a struggling married couple heads to a remote house to fix their problems rocked the Sundance Film Festival last year, and for good reason too. Taking a semi-stale premise and reinvigorating it with intrigue and high emotional stakes, the twist is one of the best shockers in quite some time, mainly because it forces stars Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass to grow as actors in ways we never thought possible.
Transgender representation in the media is rising thanks to shows such as “Orange is the New Black” and “Transparent,” but nothing on the air today captures the complexities and liberation of gay and transgender communities quite like Jennie Livingston’s exhilarating documentary. An exploration of 1980’s Harlem ball culture, the doc has received vast critical acclaim and won the Grand Jury Prize (Documentary) at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival.
Two years before Quentin Tarantino premiered “Pulp Fiction” at the Cannes Film Festival and became a household name, his violent and signature style stunned the 1992 Sundance Film Festival thanks to his classic debut, “Reservoir Dogs,” which became one of the most buzzed about films to ever premiere in Park City and kickstarted Tarantino’s relationship with Harvey Weinstein. Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Michael Madsen star.
Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Lynn Shelton’s “Touchy Feely” stars Rosemarie DeWitt as a therapist who develops a bizarre aversion to bodily contact. The oddball plot takes a peculiar premise and uses it to uncover the emotions of all the characters involved. Scoot McNairy, Ellen Page, Allison Janney and Ron Livingston co-star.