There are so many great titles expiring on Netflix soon, it was hard to pick five for this article. All the Rocky, Rambo, Bourne, and Mission: Impossible flicks will disappear. Ditto for classics like The Graduate and Serpico. It's a ravaging. Thankfully, there's still a little bit of time left until the new year. Maybe after your family eviscerates the Christmas ham and turkey, or both, you can all settle in and watch some of this stuff before it's too late. Here's where I'd start:
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
A glorious Christmas comedy, Planes, Trains is also great for any other time of the year. Starring Martin as a family man just trying to get home to his wife and kids for the holiday, the movie sets him up for a fateful trip with Del Griffith (perhaps John Candy's greatest character), a shower ring salesman whose friendliness borders on psychotic. If you've never seen it, or seen it a thousand times, it's a classic '80s comedy with a real heart.
There Will Be Blood
For those of you looking for a more intense cinematic experience before the end of the year, look no further than Paul Thomas Anderson's potent character study of Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis, in an Oscar-winning performance). He's an oil man whose blind ambition costs him everything in California around the turn of the 20th century. Day-Lewis is polarizing in the role, lending Plainview a single-minded insanity that is downright frightening.
Back to the '80s and another imminently rewatchable comedy. Although in Risky Business, the stakes get dramatically high. Cruise plays Joel, a high school kid on the straight and narrow path who makes a decision to hire a prostitute with his parents out of town and graduation coming. When Lana (De Mornay) arrives, Joel immediately wants her gone. But not really. Soon, they're coupled up and running a brothel out of Joel's parents' house, a decision that doesn't rest well with Lana's violent pimp (Pantoliano) and may cost Joel everything.
For those who prefer their comedy of the video game and juvenile variety, Grandma's Boy is a favorite of gamers and goofballs everywhere. Adam Sandler buddy and co-writer Allen Covert got the starring role in this one as a suddenly homeless video game tester who has to move in with his grandma (Roberts). I can't vouch for the ridiculous plot, but there are some very funny performances in here. Covert is crazy and likable, and he gets big assists from Joel Moore as the "genius" J.P., and Jonah Hill, in an early role, as a virgin who's very excited to meet girls, any girls.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Starring: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Claude Rains
At nearly four hours, this epic in the true sense is one of the greatest films ever made and a must-watch for any film buff. The story of T.E. Lawrence, who united the Arabs against the Turks during World War I, is beautifully-photographed in every way (the restored version is on Netflix). The shots will astound you, but the story is just as enthralling and O'Toole gives the performance of his great career.