We watch movies and shows for different reasons. For some consuming content is purely a matter of being entertained or escaping the reality of the daunting day-to-day life whereas others consider cinema to be a medium of expression – a way to convey meaningful, thoughtful, messages to a large audience. There is no reason why a film or series cannot be both – entertaining and thoughtful.

Over the years, we have seen several movies and shows tackle issues central to society without losing their entertainment value. We often come across thought-provoking movies that carry valuable lessons and messages across without being preachy. Such movies and shows tend to be perennially popular as they transcend genres and are versatile.

Keeping this in mind, in this article, we review a few mind-bending shows and movies on Netflix that will captivate you. So get your popcorn, grab a friend, and be ready to be mesmerized!

Haunting of Hill House

The horror genre tends to take creative licenses on our understanding of reality, which is why we do not think too hard about horror films. If your perception of the genre has been that it relies on transparent attempts to excite you and can only offer cheap thrills instead of adding anything meaningful to the conversation, The Haunting of Hill House will change your mind!

Created and Directed by Mike Flanagan, this series is based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name. The show revolves around the paranormal experiences the Crain family underwent during their time in the Hill House. The plot of the show jumps between two timelines – back in 1992 when the young Crains moved into the Hill house and the present day when the grown-up Crains are still battling the aftermath of what they went through as children.

The story very pertinently points out the importance of a strong familial bond and mental health. You will feel the roller coaster of emotions as the Crains go through heartbreak, and loss, and deal with the ghost of the past. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, Haunting of Hill House makes for a great watch.

Brooklyn 99

On the surface, Brooklyn 99 seems like your typical American sitcom with the sole purpose of making you laugh. With Andy Samberg, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braugher, and Terry Crews in the lead cast, Brooklyn 99 is anything but conventional. The show follows the lives of the detectives of Brooklyn’s 99th precinct, as they embark on fighting crime and getting their act together under a new commanding officer. The show is largely a comedy series but with each case the squad gets, the show manages to address serious social conflicts like racism, sexual assault, sexism, and more.

The show is incredibly well-written and the characters are endearing and relatable. It largely retains a light-hearted tone but has some hard-hitting scenes that stay with you.


Dan Gilroy’s Neo-noir crime thriller film Nightcrawler revolves around the life of Lou Bloom who finds the world of local TV news in his search for employment. Played by Jake Gyllenhaal, Lou becomes a stringer – someone who films tragic and violent breaking stories and sells them to the local TV news channel. Throughout the film, Lou is established to be a sociopath with a severe lack of empathy for others. As the film goes on, we see Lou engage in more actions that are unforgivable to fulfill his need to succeed.

The film doesn’t pass judgment on the character but highlights a larger issue of TV news sensationalization that has created such people in society. The beauty of Nightcrawler is that although Lou is an anti-hero with questionable morals, his story keeps us engaged and allows us to think deeper about the world we live in.

Midnight Mass

Another directional masterpiece by Mike Flanagan, the Midnight Mass asks a very pertinent question – At what point do the lines of religion and delusion become blurry? The story revolves around the impoverished town of Crockett Island, where miracles start happening as a new priest enters town revitalizing the town’s diminishing faith.

A young man named Riley Flynn also returns to his hometown of Crockett Island at the same time as the priest after serving four years in prison for a drunk driving accident. What others deem miraculous, Riley finds peculiar and starts to uncover the truth behind the new priest in town and his so-called miracles.

Black Mirror

Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror is a British anthology series about the tech-fueled world and the unexpected consequences of some of humanity’s biggest inventions. The show uses modern technology to comment on social issues and explores a wide range of genres. On top of that, the hard-hitting storylines and the intricacy with which the show explored the human psyche are beautiful.

Episodes like San Junipero explore the endurance and eventual collapse of romantic involvements whereas Nosedive highlights the risks of social media. Each episode stands alone and the series can be watched in any order. It does not get any more mind-bending than Black Mirror.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Written and directed by Charlie Kauffman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a psychological drama adapted from the 2016 Ian Reid novel of the same name. The film revolves around a young woman who is on her way to meet her boyfriend’s parents and at the same time thinking of ending her seven-week relationship with him. You will find the film to be peculiar yet engaging. The narratives shift, and the characters change, but the movie continues to hook the audience. If you want to exercise your brain, this movie is a must-watch.


Directed by Susanne Bier and based on a Josh Malerman book of the same name, Birdbox is a post-apocalyptic horror movie starring Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson. Bullock plays the character of Malorie Hayes who is trying to survive in a world inhabited by supernatural beings that cause the people who look at them to commit suicide. The movie is incredibly thrilling and moving and highlights the importance of community while giving a message of hope even in the most difficult circumstances.

All of these shows are incredibly insightful without compromising on the entertainment value of the content. To enjoy these movies and shows to the fullest, we recommend having a streaming-friendly internet service like Grande Communications. Although exclusive to Texas, Grande offers a fiber-backed internet connection second to none. Visit here to learn more about their internet plans.

In Conclusion

Some shows and movies have a lasting effect on us, they shape the way we think. Such thought-provoking shows and films deserve to be celebrated and discussed. This article is dedicated to such mind-bending, unconventional yet entertaining shows that convey a deeper meaning without being unentertaining. You can find all the shows and movies we mentioned on our list on Netflix.

To maximize your streaming experience, make sure you have a good internet connection. You would not want to miss these shows’ powerful messaging and entertaining storylines just because your internet isn’t good enough for streaming. For Texans, Astound Broadband powered by Grande communications is a great choice. With Grande, you can enjoy excellent download speeds at a great price. Reach out to Grande Communications customer service to learn more!