Netflix and thrill: 21 best films on Netflix to inspire wanderlust

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You want to go away, but you don’t know where. After all, it’s a big old world out there. To help, we’ve selected the 21 best films on Netflix to fire up your wanderlust and inspire holidays 

1. Chalet Girl

Felicity Jones is a former skateboard prodigy who becomes an out-of-place chalet girl for a billionaire. Lots of laughs, an enjoyably predictable ending and stunning shots of the Austrian alps.

The wanderlust it will inspire: your next ski/snowboard trip, maybe even ‘doing a season’.

2. Lion

Tears will flow and much as the awards did when you watch this true story of a man separated from his family in India as a boy, adopted and raised in Australia, and hunting for clues to his childhood.

The wanderlust it will inspire: a soul-searching journey to India and Australia.

3. Roma

Darling of the critics, an original Netflix film, and a max-strength award magnet, this semi-autobiographical masterpiece from Alfonso Cuaron is set in one tumultuous year in 1970s Mexico City.

The wanderlust it will inspire: it drips with the beauty and passion of Mexican life.

4. Lord of the Rings Trilogy

The ultimate buddy road trip? Follow Frodo and his magical chums as they journey across Middle Earth (New Zealand) on a mission to destroy Sauron’s ring.

The wanderlust it will inspire: long country walks, ideally in New Zealand.

5.  The Grand Budapest Hotel

A beautiful, typically elaborate Wes Anderson multi-Oscar-winning masterpiece in which Ralph Fiennes’ hotel concierge dodges the law and nefarious forces in an effort to clear his name of murder.

The wanderlust it will inspire: it will have you pining for grand European hotels.

6. The Dawn Wall

This documentary about climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson attempting to scale the eponymous never-conquered face of El Capitan in Yosemite national park is not one for sufferers of vertigo.

The wanderlust it will inspire: it will have you heading to your local bouldering centre tout suite.

7. Okja

A heart-squeezing tale of environmental morals in which a young Korean tries to protect a gigantic pig that’s been bred ostensibly to solve the world’s food crisis.

The wanderlust it will inspire: visits to Seoul, New York and the countryside of South Korea.

8. Triple Frontier

Mercenaries, including Ben Affleck and Charlie Hunnam, take on South American drug cartels in this big budget, chopper-riding Netflix Original.

The wanderlust it will inspire: shots of the Colombian rainforest with make you dream of South America.

9. Some Like It Hot

One of the great comedies. Hapless musicians Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis drag-up when they go on the run from the mob, before competing for Marilyn Monroe’s affections.

The wanderlust it will inspire: a beach holiday and the romance of an overnight train journey.

10. Madagascar

Yes, you’re right, it’s not the real Madagascan jungle and King Julian isn’t a real lemur, but this tale of animals busting out of New York Zoo is funny enough not to care.

The wanderlust it will inspire: a wildlife-packed adventure.

11. Cargo

In another original Netflix movie, Martin Freeman, caught with his baby in an Australian zombie apocalypse, is in a race against time to find her a home before he goes all flesh-eaty.

The wanderlust it will inspire: look beyond the sub-human creatures at the glorious Australian outback.

12. Kill Bill Vol 1

Kick-ass action as Uma Thurman delivers sweet revenge on her former assassin colleagues with some fine and funky martial arts. Warning: will make you want to kick things.

The wanderlust it will inspire: a trip to Tokyo – given the Tarantino touch it is very seducing.

13. Faces Places

89-year-old French New Wave director Agnés Varda and 33-year-old French photographer JR journey across France, capturing images and building an inter-generational friendship.

The wanderlust it will inspire: a road trip with inspirational people and a hunger for baked goods.

14. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The Coen brothers took what was a supposed to be a TV series and made it into a six-short-story film, each with a different tale about the Wild West

The wanderlust it will inspire: to ride horses in the American West.

15. Eat Pray Love

Julia Roberts’ tale of self-discovery might have some people praying for the end, but if the substance isn’t for you, the scenery certainly will be.

The wanderlust it will inspire: to travel solo and embrace the glory of Italy, India and Bali.

16. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Funny and painfully relatable, the awkwardness of watching the tragic Jason Segal deal with his ex-girlfriend’s new relationship is offset by the sun, sea, sand and sexiness of Hawaii.

The wanderlust it will inspire: to head to Hawaii or have a no-socks holiday anywhere.

17. FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

Idiots, egos and gargantuan cock-ups: this gob-smacking Netflix documentary about the infamous, ill-fated Fyre Festival makes you happy in the knowledge that arseholes don’t always win.

The wanderlust it will inspire: Fyre festival’s promo footage will have you aching for the Bahamas.

18. Thelma and Louise

A weekend away for friends Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon results in steamy sex with a young Brad Pitt, finding themselves on the run from the law, and one of the great movie endings. A feminist classic.

The wanderlust it will inspire: a road trip anywhere in the United States, except perhaps the Grand Canyon.

19. Karl Meltzer: Made to be Broken

Karl Meltzer is an ultra-marathon runner. Well done him. However, 100 miles or so wasn’t enough for him. This documentary follows his attempt to break the record for completing the 2,000+ miles of the Appalachian Trail.

The wanderlust it will inspire: to complete (part of) one of the world’s great paths.

20. The Hundred-Foot Journey

A culture clash as a family arriving in France from India set up a restaurant opposite Helen Mirren’s Michelin-starred establishment. Hilarity, warmth, respect and some really sexy looking food ensue.

The wanderlust it will inspire: a foodie trip to France, India or, indeed, anywhere. Even your supermarket.

21. The Bucket List

The film that coined the phrase that has inspired so many people to travel. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are terminally ill men who decide to tick off everything they want to do before they kick the bucket.

The wanderlust it will inspire: those trips you really have to do before you die.

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