Do you remember your childhood gang of friends? Playing outside, making memories and going on adventures? Well, that's a lot like Stand By Me. Albeit I hope for your sake however that none of your adventures were quite as traumatic as the 1987 movie.
Based on a novella by Stephen King (your first sign that not everything is going to be hunky-dory), this is a coming-of-age tale that really has survived the test of time and a Simpsons parody. With a 92% critics score and a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, it's safe to say Stand By Me is universally loved, which makes it even sadder that your last chance to watch it on Netflix will be November 30th.
Something else that has aged well is its cast. There are some big names here who managed to make the tricky leap from child star to genuine household names. As well as the late great River Phoenix, there are also top performances from Will Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Kiefer Sutherland and John Cusack. So if you're one of the few who've not seen it, what's it all about?
Framed as the nostalgic memory of a middle-aged man (Gordie) recounting his most dramatic boyhood adventure, we follow Gordie and his childhood friends Chris, Teddy and Vern as they hike across the Oregon wilderness. Their goal? To find a dead body and inform the police, rendering them heroes (supposedly). Even with this slightly offputting end goal, it's impossible not to superimpose your own childhood friends onto the characters. They may act like brave explorers but it's clear they're all still children too. I haven't seen a better representation of life as a 12-year-old boy.
Some of the scrapes our heroes get wrapped up in can be pretty tense, but unusually for a Stephen King story, it's not particularly scary. If you have kids of a similar age to those on screen, I 100% recommend this movie for a family film night. If you want some more options, check out 5 family movies on Netflix you probably haven't seen.