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The Basaraba 52 Film Challenge: An Invitation

Posted by January 3rd, 2021 No Comments »

Over the last decade, my wife and I have embarked on a yearly challenge to expand our cinematic horizons and watch more films we might not have selected otherwise. Each year, we pick a theme and map out a weekly schedule. It’s like a date night, but for nerds. This year, we’re inviting you to nerd out with us.

Way back in 2012 we started by watching all of Alfred Hitchcock’s films in chronological order, which deepened our appreciation for silent film and spawned viewings of other greats of that era.

Each year we’ve tried to make the challenge, well more challenging, We did 52 weeks of Academy Award best pictures. A year’s worth of the top horror films. We even did live action musicals.

Since 2020 was challenging enough on its own, for 2021 we decided to make things, well, a little less challenging. No trips to Scarecrow Video (which we adore and will continue to patronize) needed to participate, nor digital rentals that can add up quickly. Just 52 original Netflix films available for immediate streaming.

Using current IMDB ratings, we will work our way forwards beginning with the seventh film directed by George Clooney, The Midnight Sky (5.6) tonight all the way through to December 26, 2021 when we will view the as-of-right-now-highest-rated-Neflix-film-ever, Klaus, which notched an 8.2.

This year’s challenge is a great opportunity for the average film fan to immerse themselves in cinema, especially since the list skews heavily towards those foreign films that us American viewers unfairly shun when as we’re doom scrolling Netflix looking for something to take our mind off the turmoil that is probably the beginning of the “last days.”

We invite you to tune in for one or all of the weekly assignments and share your thoughts in the comments below, or with us on social media. After all, everyone has Netflix, right? I’m at @timbasaraba and you can follow at @nadamucho. If you still use Facebook, there’s an event page for this year’s challenge as well.

(Author’s note: PS, did I mention I am a spreadsheet guy? If you would like any if the lists from previous years feel free to email me at or hit me up on Twitter).

The 52-Week Challenge 2021 Lineup

  1. The Midnight Sky (2020)
  2. Eli (2019)
  3. Cam (2018)
  4. Ravenous (2017, Canada)
  5. The Decline (2020, Canada)
  6. Lost Bullet (2020, France)
  7. The Discovery (2017)
  8. Cargo (2017, Australia)
  9. The Babysitter (2017)
  10. Tigertail (2020)
  11. Da 5 Bloods (2020)
  12. Gerald’s Game (2017)
  13. The Old Guard (2020)
  14. Enola Holmes (2020)
  15. Extraction (2020)
  16. Atlantics (2019, France)
  17. Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
  18. Sand Storm (2016, Israel)
  19. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
  20. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019, UK)
  21. The Meyerowitz Stories (2017)
  22. Sunday’s Illness (2018, Spain)
  23. I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore (2017)
  24. The Wolf’s Call (2019, France)
  25. The Half of It (2020)
  26. The Night Comes for Us (2018, Indonesia)
  27. The Platform (2019, Spain)
  28. Soni (2018, India)
  29. First They Killed My Father (2017, Cambodia)
  30. Private Life (2018)
  31. Paddleton (2019)
  32. Mank (2020)
  33. The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
  34. I’m No Longer Here (2019, Mexico)
  35. Okja (2017, South Korea)
  36. On My Skin (2018, Italy)
  37. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
  38. My Happy Family (2017, Georgia)
  39. Us and Them (2018, China)
  40. Mudbound (2017)
  41. Divines (2016, France)
  42. Happy as Lazarro (2018, Italy)
  43. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019, UK)
  44. A Twelve-Year Night (2018, Uruguay)
  45. The Two Popes (2019, UK)
  46. I Lost My Body (2019, France)
  47. Beasts of No Nation (2015, France)
  48. The Little Prince (2015, France)
  49. Roma (2018, Mexico)
  50. The Irishman (2019)
  51. Marriage Story (2019)
  52. Klaus (2019)

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