5 Best Satire Movies To Watch On Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video
Films are a great medium to put across a message, and when combined with satire, it makes that message even more powerful. Filmmakers have been using satire since the days of Charlie Chaplin, and for years it has been used to communicate with the audience about social issues. Here’s our pick of the best satire movies available on Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video.
Sorry to Bother You
Available on: Netflix
Sorry to Bother You (2018) is a dark comedy satire film that follows a young black telemarketer, Cassius ‘Cash’ Green who uses his ‘white voice’ to gain success at his job. His new job propels him into a world of greed and brings a lot of rewards, but all of that is short-lived after his friends and co-workers begin to protest against corporate oppression. Cassius has to decide whether to earn a salary beyond his wildest dreams or to join his protesting friends which might result in destroying his ambitious plans. Sorry to Bother You is funny, original and hilariously bizarre, set in a future world fantasy. The idea of using a ‘white voice’ as a telemarketer is interesting as it showcases the illusion of white identity that can give a black worker a whole new opportunity. The movie does take serious pot-shots at coercive capitalism, celebrating the surreal and satirical absurdity of the world we live in. It is not a message-heavy or a standard social commentary but is a rather hysterical comedy and one of the funniest movies we have come across.
The Death of Stalin
Available on: Amazon Prime Video
The Death of Stalin (2017) is a political satire that depicts the frantic power struggle to become the next Soviet leader following the death of Stalin in 1953. The movie is not only absurd and unexpected but sharp and witty, resulting in a hilarious journey. It will make you laugh at the absurd pettiness and small-mindedness of the men fighting to gain power. The plotting and backstabbing among these men reach insurmountable levels while they deal with Stalin’s funeral arrangements and his children. The Death of Stalin is an audacious comedy that depicts the funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction, performed brilliantly by A-list actors including Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Rupert Friend, Jeffrey Tambor among others. If you like satire, do not miss out on this one.
Thank You for Smoking
Available on: Hotstar
In Thank You for Smoking (2005), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight) plays Nick Naylor, is a smooth-talking tobacco lobbyist who sits once a week with the MOD (Merchants of Death) Squad arguing with alcohol lobbyist Polly and firearms lobbyist Bobby as to which of their products kills the most people. The movie is a satirical comedy in which Naylor’s enemy is Senator Ortolan (played by William Macy), who introduces a law that requires skull and crossbones to be displayed on cigarette packs. Naylor not only has to defend his job but is also under pressure to be a good role model for his son. The movie also features Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall, JK Simmons, Rob Lowe among others. Thank You for Smoking is indeed a funny movie that will definitely make you laugh. The satire is both savage and smart, with quality one-liners. When it comes to acting, Aaron Eckhart delivers a very strong performance as Nick; he is so convincing that it’s impossible not to like him. He is well supported by Rob Lowe and Macy, each making a big impact. All in all, a highly underrated movie that is definitely worth a watch!
The Art of Self-Defense
Available on: Netflix
The Art of Self-Defense follows Casey (played by Jesse Eisenberg from The Social Network), a meek and timid accountant who is beaten and robbed in the middle of the street, leaving him bloodied and scared. Looking to gain some self-confidence and means to protect himself, Casey joins a karate class that transforms him in many ways. Immediately, we see a different Casey, and the reason for that is the teachings of his sensei. However, things take a drastic turn when Casey discovers the sinister means by which the sensei goes about his business, picking on the weak to win their loyalty. The Art of Self-Defense is a brilliant satire on toxic masculinity. The movie might not make you laugh out loud, but using deadpan and dry humour, it keeps you invested. Jesse Eisenberg gives a solid performance and makes a departure from his quick-witted, fast-talking dialogue delivery. He quickly transforms his character from a sad, timid guy who will never get into a fight to a person who cannot wait to show off his karate skills to the outside world. The film is a great mixture of suspense and satire. In the beginning, the movie might feel as mundane as Casey’s life, but the tone suddenly changes in a subtle and unsettling manner. Thanks to brilliant writing and equally great performances, The Art of Self-Defense is definitely worth watching.
I Care a Lot
Available on: Netflix
Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage play adversaries in I Care a Lot (2020). The plot follows Marla, who acts as a court-appointed guardian for numerous elderly people. The job sounds noble, but Marla runs a con where she seizes the assets of her wards through dubious legal means. Her next target is Jennifer, an active, decently healthy elderly woman who lives a normal life. Marla’s attempt to swindle Jennifer does not go well with Roman, a Russian mobster. Two good things about the movie – drawing attention to the issue of guardianship abuse and the brilliant acting performances of Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage. The scam sounds like something that is doable, and the movie is a perfect example of the lengths people go to gain power and wealth in our capitalist world. The ending is a bit off, but overall, the movie is quite enjoyable. Credit to the director J Blakeson for coming up with such an original idea and presenting it as a dark comedy.