Jessica Ryan
Jessica Ryan

To me, summer nights are all about watching movies. From heading down to Morrison for Film on the Rocks to venturing up to the drive-in in Fort Collins, there's nothing like enjoying a great movie with summer breeze in the air. Even the rain adds a certain ambiance to the movie-watching experience.

Staying in? Here are my top nerdy Netflix picks for a perfect summer night.

Star Trek: Into Darkness

If you missed last summer's newest installment of the Star Trek revamp, or if you just missed seeing Benedict Cumberbatch be the bad guy for once, never fear. Netflix added "Into Darkness" to its library this week, so now you can play that one speech (you know which one I'm talking about) over and over. If you're a Trekkie of the purist strain, Netflix has an entire smorgasbord of Star Trek options.


Okay, yeah. "Sherlock" isn't actually a movie. And yeah ... this is another Benedict Cumberbatch-related suggestion. But each episode is 90 minutes long — like a lot of movies — and he's kind of at the center of the nerd-girl universe right now, so cut me some slack. At the moment, Netflix only has the first two seasons available for streaming, but "Sherlock" fans are pretty used to repeatedly watching the same episodes by now. My top rewatch pick is "A Scandal in Belgravia." Maybe it's because I love all the foreshadowing, or maybe it's because Irene Adler gives me a serious ladyboner. Regardless, it's a good one, with plot twists and eye candy galore.

Exit through the Gift Shop


I'm a little bored of the Banksy train lately, and I'm especially bored with how commercialized he's become. But it's also sort of brilliant, because the whole point of his film "Exit through the Gift Shop" is exactly that. By creating a "documentary" showing how bizarre the commercialization of street art has become, Banksy profits from the situation while simultaneously parodying it. Regardless of your stance on street-art politics, the ambiguity of whether it's a "real" documentary makes this an excellent film.


Created to placate the fans of the TV show "Firefly," which was unjustly cancelled after only one season, "Serenity" is still enjoyable for people who've never seen the show. When my friend introduced me to "Firefly" I rolled my eyes at the words "space Western." But the characters are what really drive the franchise, and the corniness of a space Western actually makes it even more compelling. In a way only Joss Whedon can, it'll totally break your heart but give you a lot to laugh about as well.

Whether watching in your living room or setting up a makeshift movie theater in your backyard (take a sheet and a projector, and voila!), these nerdy Netflix picks are sure to lighten up your summer nights.

Jess Ryan is a community manager and CU grad. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan.