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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lost in an endlessly growing queue and buried underneath thousands of rows of titles, there are a few hidden gems of Netflix.

“Serenity” (2005)

119 minutes

From the mind of sci-fi specialist Joss Whedon comes the space western “Serenity.” The story revolves around the crew of the titular ship, headed by Malcolm Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion, “Castle”), as they avoid the authoritarian galactic regime called “The Alliance.” The crew is searching the answers to unravel an Alliance conspiracy regarding the dangerous and unpredictable psychic on board, River Tam (Summer Glau, “Firefly”), while being chased by a deadly Alliance assassin known only as “The Operative” (Chiwetel Ejiofor, “American Gangster”).

In this space epic, there are few lasers and futuristic-looking costumes. There are no aliens or bizarre worlds — only humans, guns with bullets, earth-looking planets and clothes that are reminiscent of the old west. This gives the atmosphere something unique in its genre. “Serenity” takes the general image of sci-fi space travel, and mixes it with a more rustic and nostalgic feel.

The film is best appreciated after watching the short-lived Fox cult series “Firefly,” which is on Netflix as well. It will give a better background story of the setting that the film more or less skirts over. It also gives viewers a better relationship with the characters.

If you are a fan of Whedon, you’ve already watched “Serenity” a dozen times. If you liked his most recent film, “The Avengers,” and would like to see more, this is a great example of his talent.

Hidden gem you’ve already seen:

“Rugrats” (1994-2003)

The adventures of Tommy Pickles and friends were amazing to watch when you were 4. They are even more awesome when you watch it in your 20s.

For more Netflix suggestions, follow Bakr Saliq on Twitter: @BakrSaliq

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