Streaming ideas for your next Netflix adventures
With the sheer volume of content on Netflix; featuring thousands of great movies and TV shows; fans cannot decide what to watch. To help you out; we have put together a list of the best movies on American Netflix and even reviewed them. Be sure to bookmark this list and come back, since it will be updated on a weekly basis. We have included movies with different types of genres; so hopefully you find the perfect movie to fit with your entertainment plans. Without further ado, here are our top movies for you to enjoy on Netflix right now. If your favorite isn’t on Netflix, make sure to check our list of best streaming services for alternatives.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
There will be Blood is an epic period drama film that revolves around the film’s protagonist; Daniel Plainview. The film follows his journey as a struggling prospector in the early 1900’s as we see his downfall after achieving so much in his extraordinary life. Despite seeming like a very conversation heavy film; the scenes are written so well that it keeps you gripped till the very end as you connect with the protagonist on a deep level. The film boasts a list of stellar characters; each having their own motivations that stem from their own values and ideologies. When it comes to acting and performances; you cannot look past the legendary Daniel Day Lewis who delivers another ridiculously perfect performance; earning his well-deserved best actor award at the Academy’s. Writer-Director Paul Thomas Anderson delivers a perfect script which is so poignantly delivered by Daniel Day Lewis. The line, ‘I’ve abandoned my child’ is still considered as a classic that people look back on nearly 14 years after the films’ release. The amazing film soundtrack also earned them another nod at the Oscars; making each and every part of this film perfect and enjoyable.
The Departed (2006)
Another Martin Scorcese classic; this thrilling look into the lives of moles within the police department and an illegal gang won the Academy awards for best picture. Not only does this film feature heavy violence and action for the casual viewer; the story dives deep into themes of loyalty and trust and how they can come back to haunt you when you least expect it. Nobody is safe in this cat and mouse chase which features a star-studded line up including Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg any many more A-list actors. The life of an undercover cop and a mole within the police unit is brilliantly showcased amidst all the chaos and the ramblings that see these 2 characters intertwine and cross paths across the movie. With some brilliantly delivered performances; especially the wise cracking Dignam who is brilliantly portrayed by Wahlberg. This movie further glorifies Scorcese’s unmatchable legacy, cementing its place as one of his best of all time.
Django Unchained (2012)
This pre-civil war bloody and gory masterpiece is Tarantino’s version of a spaghetti western which follows the journey of a bounty hunter and a recently freed slave who is looking for his wife. Largely focused on the treatment of slaves during the American civil war; Tarantino does not mess about as his opening scene features a line of chained slaves walking in the cold wintery night in Texas. But Tarantino being Tarantino; he provides us with his own spin on the civil war as we see the power in the hands of a recently freed slave named Django. This action packed and thrilling adventure features a star-studded cast including the incredible Jamie Fox playing the title character Django; Christoph Waltz’ Oscar winning performance of King Schultz and Dicaprio playing the viciously flamboyant Calvin Candie; the racist owner of a bunch of slaves. Not to forget the portrayal of Stephen played Samuel L. Jackson who is often seen kissing Mr. Candie’s ass; metaphorically speaking. A killer screenplay which comes to life through Quentin Tarantino’s trademark zappy dialogue and love for blowing up giant set pieces; this near three-hour blockbuster gets over before you even realize.
Out of all the Scorcese titles on this list; no movie hits closer to perfection than his 1990 masterpiece of a film; that is Goodfellas. This epic gangster flick which is based on a true story has it all, from crazy action scenes to conflicting character traits and emotions. Scorcese changed up the narrative; as he adapts this almost documentary style of storytelling where the information is given to us by the one of the main characters; Henry Hill. Like any other gangster movie, we see the characters attain an almost unstoppable level of power before their own demons come in the way to have them come crashing down. The brilliant film stars an award-winning cast starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci to name a few. Although we loved the violent and more grotesque moments; Joe Pesci’s performance and the delivery of the line,” what you mean I’m funny” is enough to justify his academy award for best supporting actor. With the added elements of hard rock and the use of jump cuts; Martin Scorcese’s masterpiece was nominated in the Academy’s for best film, screenplay, and music as well.
Taxi Driver (1976)
There is not much to say about this film. Taxi Driver is simply Martin Scorcese’s masterpiece. A film that takes us through a dark journey of Travis Brickle who’s a taxi driver in New York City. The cinematography brilliantly highlights the bleak looking NYC that exists in the darkness of the night. Played by the legendary Rober De niro; Brickle soon sees himself take matter on his own hands to punish the large mouth gangbangers who think they own this city. After delivering arguably one of the best performances of his career; De Niro’s depiction of Travis is depressing, realistic and very dark at times. The actor dedicated his life to the role; even working 3 works as a cab driver in New York to provide audiences with a realistic portrayal of his character. Scorcese’s directing was as good as ever as he managed to secure an Oscar nom for the best film category. This movie is recommended to anyone that wants to see a chilling display of acting talent combined with the effortless direction and work of Scorcese.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Read our full review here
Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven.
Director Stanley Kubrick delivers fans with this cult hit that had taken the world by storm once it came out on the big screens in 1971. Set in UK in a dystopian future marked by violence and authoritarianism; the movie may not be one for the PG audiences. It features some truly sensational directing and breathtaking cinematography that shows the journey of a young criminal named Alex go through psychiatric treatment in return for a reduced sentence only to be tortured and spat out by this cruel world. Malcom Mcdowell cemented his name in the history books after giving a once in a lifetime performance to bring the complex character of Alex to life. The cruelty of this world is displayed through the protagonist as the script has him inflict chaos, assault and violence in such a sinister way. The soundtrack heavily focusing on tunes of the Beethoven era gives the story a sense of realism while not failing to leave our jaws dropping.
Shutter Island (2010)
Scorcese’s psychological slow-burn thriller is a gem in modern day cinema. The dark and gloomy location that is Shutter Island brilliantly allows its characters to explore their own internal demons as they try to crack the case of a missing woman. The protagonist: Teddy Daniels who’s played by Leonardo Dicaprio embarks on his quest around the mental hospital for the deranged while he simultaneously tackles his personal mental well-being. The script brilliantly caters to this slow yet rewarding film; which always keeps us in the dark end until the very end. The way Scorcese foreshadows the events, and the tales makes us want to rewatch the movie as soon as the credits roll. The ominous and almost noir-esque setting further adds to the aura of this film that is nothing short of a masterpiece. The supporting cast also adds to the intrigue and the mystery of this movie as we see Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo play integral roles in the film. Although not heavily rewarded with various accolades as we expect from a Scorcese hit; this is still one for the ages.
The Intouchables (2011)
The Intouchables (2011)
Sometimes you have to reach into someone else's world to find out what's missing in your own.
The Intouchables (2011)
Sometimes you have to reach into someone else's world to find out what's missing in your own.
This hit drama comedy about a man burdened with a disability and another man facing social inequality left audiences in laughter as well as tears. We got the story of a millionaire named Philippe who was recently left quadriplegic after suffering an accident. After deciding to live out his life like an angry and bitter old man; we see the of Driss; who is a former prisoner who takes care of him. This movie is about their friendship and how they grow to develop a strong bond after riffs and turns along the way. The movie does not shy away from the serious moments and often adds dark humor as a catharsis for the audience to further relate to these well written characters. With a gorgeous soundtrack and a breathtaking environment created thanks to the detailed set design and the extravagant set pieces; this movie does not fail to impress us in the slightest. The success of this comedy drama was rewarded with various accolades for the director as well as many of the cast.
Gran Torino (2008)
Gran Torino sees the return of the director and leading actor of the movie; Clint Eastwood as Walt Kowaski. While this movie still has all sorts of bloodshed and action that the actor is known for; the portrayal of different races in America is another important factor that the movie does not shy away from. Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is a retired vet who likes to spend his time fixing his prized Gran Torino and when he is not doing that; he enjoys looking down on the Asians in his neighborhood. But this beautifully written story shows his growth as he befriends the Asian family and defends them against the local gang around the area; that’s where most of the action and kickass moments come in. With the use of some beautiful soundtracks including the movie them sung by Eastwood himself; we get a realistic and vivid look into this journey of transformation and growth.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
An emotionally vibrant film that is full of strong emotions; Silver lining playbook showcases the journey of a divorced teacher as he comes out of a mental hospital and meets a woman named Tiffany. This strange relationship which starts out as a tit for tat kind of bond; develops into something completely unexpected as they both mingle over their weird and estranged personalities. The beautiful film that David O Russel both wrote and directed allows the actors to shine through as they deliver very realistic portrayals of their complicated and nuanced characters. The comical moments further created a connection between the characters and the audience; often invoking laughter as a medicine to describe some of their horrid situations. This film saw huge success during award season; being nominated for almost every category from acting to directing during the academy awards; seeing Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal winning the coveted Oscar.
Into the Wild (2007)
Based on Jon Krakauer’s book of the same name; Sean Penn gave us his version of this story as an epic road film featuring an idealist young man “Christopher McCandless” who meets endless characters on his journey. The film revolves around the protagonist who Penn uses to build an intelligent and, above all, very well visualized look towards today’s society. The screenplay; written by Sean Penn himself, is simple and well written. Dialogues such as ‘some people feel like they don’t deserve love’ raises the bar of the script and is used as a tool to convey human emotion. Thus, it was no surprise that the screenplay was nominated for the Academy Awards as well. Emile Hirsch delivers a fantastic performance as the protagonist; who works alongside brilliant actors such as William Hurt and Kristen Stewart to name a few. The soundtrack and cinematography further add to the brilliance of this film; perfectly depicting the environment that Sean Penn seeks to create. With the movie hitting us with all the emotions; we cannot help but praise the director, the cast and the writers enough. It is a must watch film for everyone in love with cinema.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
This brilliant coming of age film deals with all sorts of problems from relationships to mental health. A film that was based on the novel by American writer Stephen Chbosky’s (who also directed and wrote the screenplay) will leave you crying your eyes out with a tear-jerking storyline that is very faithfully adapted. Powerful performances by brilliant actors such as Emma Watson and Logan Lerman justify the brilliant screenplay which sets us up for a very different kind of high school story; getting deep into matters such as anxiety and suicide. The dark moments and narratives are nicely mixed with a set of wholesome scenes that let the viewers catch a break. But at the end of the day; this movie dives deep into dark and disturbing issues that teenagers face and none of this is more evident than from the characterization of Charlie; the protagonist of the film. Boasting popular soundtracks such as the likes of The Beatles and David Bowie; this modern-day classic will completely change your perception on coming of age films. It is beautiful, bold, heartbreaking; thus making it a must watch for cinema lovers.
The Social Network (2010)
Director David Finch and writer Aron Sorkin collaborated to give us one of the modern classics; ‘The Social Network’. Based on a true story featuring Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg; this non-linear storyline featured the rise of Facebook as well as the legal issues and court cases that came with it. The flashbacks followed the story of Zuckerberg developing the social media platform with his friend; Eduardo Saverin whereas the present timeline showed them on opposing ends of a long-drawn court battle. Writer Aron Sorkin does not fail to impress once again with his fast-paced scenes and witty dialogue; which is brilliantly brought to life by the actors. Jesse Eisenberg in particular gave a brilliant performance as Zuckerberg; accompanied by actors such as Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield. David Fincher perfectly combined all the elements to give us this masterpiece of a movie which is considered one of the best in his career. Few moments such as the opening scene between Zuckerberg and his girlfriend were very memorable mainly due to the brilliant writing and acting showcased by Sorkin and Eisenberg respectively. This movie is a must watch for people who appreciate good storytelling and brilliant writing.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth tells the story of a young girl (Ofelia) who creates her own dark fable as she confronts different otherworldly creatures. The story follows her as she and her mother move in with her brutal and violent step-father; taking them to a place of cruelty and hardship. This gothic fairy tale features some truly mesmerizing locations and set pieces which all come together with the scintillating atmosphere that has been created by the legendary director, Guillermo Del Toro. The brilliant production and design team were heavily praised; even bagging the academy award for best production design, rightfully so.
There is a brilliant contrast of magical and fictional elements such as the creatures, the labyrinth and the underground kingdom as compared to the depiction of war through the internal struggles of the characters and the constant bloodshed that makes for an uncomfortable but very realistic story. Ivana Baquero, as Ofelia, puts on a great performance, who basically is a bridge to these 2 different worlds. The director lives up to his status by giving realistic looking creatures, beautiful elements of fantasy and tragedy and charismatic villains that steal the spotlight.
Casino Royale (2006)
One of the biggest franchises in cinema history experienced a sort of reboot with actor Daniel Craig taking over the role as the British spy; codename 007. Fans were wary about the film, given fan favorite Pierce Brosnan would not be reprising his role. But Craig surpassed all expectations as he gave a very realistic and complex version of Bond. The film featured everything including high stakes chase scenes, intelligently choreographed fighting, a lot of gambling and of course the occasional love making that has become sort of a trademark for the franchise. But this film actually gave us a different Bond; often arrogant at times and highly erratic given the loss the character faced in the film. Violent and quite graphic at times; the realism was further lifted by the brilliant performance of Mads Mikkelsen; AKA the bad guy. The director, Martin Campbell, treats us to an art form that is rarely appreciated in Hollywood cinema, which is parkour. The fight scenes were brilliantly choreographed and further enhanced by the well written screenplay which was not just big action pieces emerging out of nowhere. This may be Daniel Craig’s best Bond movie; and even one of the best Bond films, period.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
With this brilliant rendition of the hit franchise based on the novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; fans got a look at the master detective, Sherlock Holmes back in action with his partner; Jon Watson. Set in late 19th century; we saw the detective try to solve a case of a string of murders taking place in London. Robert Downey Jr. dawned the role of the intelligent, wisecracking detective alongside Judd Law’s portrayal of Dr. Watson. Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham, who have written most of the script that delivers excellent lines in just the perfect pacing which has us hooked from the get go with that brilliantly written, choreographed and acted wrestling scene. Director, Guy Ritchie was on top of his game and did an exceptional job with the use of slow-motion capture technology which made for a brilliant viewing experience. Fan favorite character Irene Adler also made an appearance and the villain Lord Blackwood was brilliantly portrayed by Mark Strong. The film also had the great Hans Zimmer composing the film; getting nominated for 2 Academy awards for his exceptional work. This new version of the novels was a massive hit; accompanied by a sequel in 2011 as well.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
The hateful eight is master director, Quentin Tarantino’s 8th movie while in the directors’ seat. His love for bloody sequences; stylish dialogue and a beautiful soundtrack comes to the forefront again with this brilliant film. Unlike his other films; this one is a slow-burner which features a bounty hunter and his captured fugitive along with some other interesting characters trapped in a cabin amidst a snow storm. As a huge fan of the director; I simply cannot look past his brilliant screenplay which features so much subtext and nuance; making it so brilliant to hear the actors just speak dialogue. With any Quentin Tarantino hit comes an ensemble of Hollywood’s finest. We get to see the likes of returning Tarantino favorites such as Kurt Russel, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth along with some new additions like Jennifer Leigh (who was nominated for best supporting actress) and Channing Tatum who all brilliantly portray their characters. He plans and shoots as if he were filming an epic and gives you the feeling that you are attending a visual spectacle. Ennio Morricone was the composer for this film; winning an Academy award and golden globe for best film score.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
And now! At Last! Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren't quite the same as this one is.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
And now! At Last! Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren't quite the same as this one is.
There’s not much to say about this British classic that hasn’t already been told. It’s been over 45 years since its release and Monty Python and the Holy Grail is still considered as one of the greatest comedies of all time. It is a parody of the clichés of medieval knighthood novels. The film tells about King Arthur and his knights’ adventures searching for the Holy Grail; featuring so many bizarre moments and funny characters that will make you laugh out loud multiple times. It has a simple storyline which sees King Arthur and his troops set out to find the holy grail. But, the movie itself is a bizarre and absurdist depiction of the medieval days with over the top acting and hilariously portrayed characters. The movie does not take itself seriously at all; which makes us love it anymore. The heroic soundtrack of the movie is mocked by the on-screen shenanigans that makes for wonderful viewing. Directors Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones created a comedy that has set the bar for its genre with the incredible boldness of the movie and a brilliant adaptation of the Monty Python cartoon series.
This crazy coming of age comedy is a fan favorite and one for the ages. The film follows a day in the life of 3 high school outcasts; planning a night of alcohol, partying and sex. Evan (Michael Cera) and Seth (Jonah Hill) are best friends who are not going to be going to the same college; so it’s basically the end of the road for them. What follows are some of the craziest and hilarious scenes that are so popular in comedy history. A particular grocery store scene in particular featuring fake IDs, crazy cops and a man named Mclovin makes for unreal laughter. Seth Rogen who plays the cop is also one of the writers of this film; giving us some of the most memorable and quotable lines such as “I’m old enough to party”. In terms of directing and music it’s pretty decent; but the main focus is on the characters and the hilarious scenarios they’re put in. Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Emma Stone all play great roles that support the world of their chaotic film. This is the perfect film for you to watch with your school buddies to relive the good old days.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Crazy, stupid, love ushers out the golden age of romantic comedy with a heart warming, feel good, highly enjoyable film. A film featuring wholesome and light-hearted moments along with some strong and emotional messages; it truly is the perfect film in this genre. It revolves around the story of Cal (played by Steve Carell) who has recently been divorced with his wife of 20+ years and is ne in the dating world. Featuring a star-studded cast such as Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and many more talented actors; this film is not short in terms of acting depth. In fact each character has a vital role to play in this rom-com which is well fleshed out and not heavily crammed up. Writer, Dan Fogelman, is no stranger when it comes to writing quirky stories with many twists and comedic elements. In fact this film and director do a great job of keeping the tone of the story alive with the cinematic choices, sets and music. Steve Carell who has mastered the art of comedic acting gives us another phenomenal portrayal of an outsider like character who you just can’t help but root for. This movie is a must watch if you’re looking for a warm and cozy film to binge.
Spotlight follows the story of the of the Boston globe newspaper team as they uncover the long-running global child molestation scandal of the Catholic Church in 2002. Similar to David Fincher’s Zodiac; this film unravels mysteries and new details that slowly build up intrigue. The film does not shy away from the darker and slightly horrific revelations of the catholic church; tackling the problems head on. Unsurprising in this film is the list of high profile actors that al justified this film win at the Academy Awards for the best picture. It stars the likes of Rachel Mcadams, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Liev Schrieber to name a few. Also, notable mention was Stanley Tucci’s performance as the passionate lawyer Mitchell Garabedian. The film which won the awards for best writing as well; showcases moments of brilliant dialogue and slow build up that culminates into a very well-polished final act. Director Tom McCarthy applied a very simplistic approach to his cinematography and score; since the film is supposed to feel like a true-documentary more than anything. All in all; a great film to watch; which justifies all the many accolades it has won.
Nightcrawler follows the story of Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhal) who discovers L.A crime journalism to be his calling. The film has Louis introduced in this new world; where he begins to play the role of a nightcrawler; following low-level criminals with his 1 camera to diving deep into the world; often blurring the lines between journalism and crime himself. Jake Gyllenhal gives the performance of a lifetime; playing this bleak and dark character so well; almost making us sort of afraid of him just by his one look. Director Dan Gilroy almost wants you to be uncomfortable throughout the 2 hours; setting the film in this bleak and darkish environment; that plays to the L.A night-time theme. Other notable performances include Riz Ahmed’s Rick; who interns with Louis in what is easily the most stressful job anyone can ask for. Louis will go to any extent to get the footage he requires; brilliantly building up his character in the runtime of the movie and making for a believable and shocking third act. The writing is exceptional; it drives the story forward through the eyes of bloom; and does not leave much room for unwanted dialogue or unnecessary cheese lines or clichés; sticking to the realism and simplistic tone of the film. No surprise this film was nominated for the Academy award for best original screenplay; truly a must watch for all cinema lovers.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
Following the story of one of the most brilliant and intelligent people we’ve seen; Th Theory of Everything is a film about Steve Hawking. The story gives us a glimpse of his life and how he and his wife deal with a disease that does not impede his brilliance; given his necessary contributions in the world of science. The film follows Stephen, as he gets married and eventually vets diagnosed with motor neurone syndrome during the time he is completing his PHD. The Theory of Everything includes deep dives into the world of emotion and science; along with topics such as atheism and cosmology. Playing the role of Stephen Hawking is Eddie Redmayne; who took on the challenge or playing a disable man and delivered a spine-tingling performance that rightfully had him bag home the Academy Award for best actor in a leading role. Felicity Jones too is wonderful as she plays his wife; showcasing moments of tear inducing sadness and sacrifice. The director James Marsh did a brilliant job in this film; getting nominated for the best film category. This is an extraordinary film and a very inspiring story; making this movie well-worth watching.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
The Pursuit of Happyness follows the story of a struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional career. This film will have you bawling by the end of it; so makes sure to keep a box of tissues by your side while watching this one. Father-son duo; Will (Christopher Garner) and Jaden Smith (Christopher) give a moving portrayal in this hear-breaking story. Will Smith’s character comes off as a good man who makes some desperate decisions that put him and his family in a really tough predicament. The film is mostly following the father and son’s life as they become homeless; while the father tries to find way out of the unemployment line. The screenplay is truly sensational; allowing Will Smith to deliver what is arguable his best performance to date. The speech that Gardner gives his son which ends with him saying, ‘If you want something, go get it’ sums up the beauty of the writing. Andrea Guerra composed this film’s score, so it’s no wonder the music has the perfect balance of emotional tone and whimsy. Director Gabriele Muccino gets the best out of his cast; even leading to a golden globe nomination for Will Smith as best actor. This film will give you a different perspective about life and will leave you with a lot of emotions by the end of it.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
This animated action-adventure movie is a modern-classic even 13 years after its initial release. The story follows a panda; Po who is an under-achieving, dim sum loving man who discovers his path in life with the help of his teacher Master Shifu and his other teammates who take on the dangerous Tai Lung. With extravagant set pieces such as the tournament to decide the dragon warrior and some of the fight scenes with the tigress and Po and their nemesis; the animation is as good as it gets. With any great animated film; comes a star-studded cast to match its calibre. Jack Black hilariously depicts Po; while actors including Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen all-star in this classic. The screenplay is well-written; adding moments of light-hearted scenes and jokes which the talented cast delivers effortlessly. Although the storyline may seem predictable; watching the rise of Po and his bond with his teammates is very refreshing and easy to catch on to. John Stevenson and Mark Osborne have hit it out of the park in terms of directing; while the legendary compose, Hans Zimmer returns with yet another classic; giving us a great soundtrack and musical score.
The Conjuring (2013)
For all you fans of the horror genre; the Conjuring will surely elevate your heart-rate and excite many; but for those of you who aren’t fan of the genre, preferably best to watch it in broad daylight with all the windows open. The film is based on the exorcisms and preceding paranormal investigations implemented by Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigated the mysterious haunting of the Perron family. The horrors experienced by the Perron family for years were brilliantly condensed into two hours, with many jump scares and big twists that did not feel cliched or over-used tropes like most movies in this genre do. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farminga played the 2 leading characters and did a very good job by delivering a believable and realistic performance. James Wan (Insidious) delivered another great directing performance; bringing in his experience from previously directing successful horror films. He adds a feeling of uncertainty and terror through his cinematography and always keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The music composed by Joseph Bishara further adds to the film and leaves fans with a very well filmed horror flick to enjoy.
Rain Man (1988)
Starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise as the 2 leading characters; Rain Man is the story about two long-lost brothers reuniting after the death of their father. While Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) plays an autistic man who stays in a mental institution; Tom Cruise’s Charlie Babbitt plays the role of the selfish brother trying to inherit his fathers’ entire fortune. This is just one of those films that connect with us on a strong emotional level; showcasing a really well-written script and overall good acting and directing to bring the script to life. The film also successfully manages to blend in drama and comedy in a refreshing way; making for a funny, tender and thought-provoking story. Director Barry Levinson’s brilliant work on this film also got him an Oscar nomination for best film while Dustin Hoffman’s brilliant performance got him the coveted Academy Award for best actor in a leading role. We cannot look past the film’s score done by the legendary Hans Zimmer; who once again nominated for coveted Best music award. With 8 Oscar wins; Rain man is undoubtedly a film of the highest quality; making it a must watch for everyone.
The Help (2011)
This award winning film follows the story of an aspiring author, who decides to write a book on the African-American maids and the struggles they have faced around the 60s. Though, the delivery and nuance of tackling with the racial climate may not be as well- panned out as some others; the films brilliant cast mixed with a good script and directing prowess makes this a must watch film. The author in the film, Skeeter (Emma Stone) observes the casual racism and poor treatment of the African-American head on, as we see her befriend 2 black maids; Aibileen and Milly. Writer, director Tate Taylor based the screenplay on the novel of the same name; written by Kathleen Stockett. The southern dialect was well-added given he is born and raised in Mississipi himself. Viola Davis shines again as the maid Aibileen; proving once again why she is one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood. Bryce Dallas Howard also gives a brilliant performance as Hilly Holbrook; while Emma Stone gives a realistic and on-point performance as Eugenia Skeeter. The diverse tone of the script was brilliantly brought to life with a right choice of music cemented by Thomas Neeman’s (Shawshank redemption, The Green mile) score.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
The 22nd franchise of the James Bond series features Daniel Craig’s second stint as the master-spy in an epic action packed movie; following the trails of Casino Royale. Featuring some truly jaw-dropping set-pieces and glorious fighting montages and scenes between Bond and his forgettable enemies; this movie is a delight to the eye. Producer Michael G. Wilson draws away from the source material that the franchise normally follows; giving us a darker and grittier version of the British spy. Following Bond’s journey as he tries to avenge the death of his former lover; he comes across new foes such as Dominic Greene, whose main goal is staging a military revolution in Bolivia and control the country’s water supply. The action in this film may not have surpassed its predecessor; but Daniel Craig was as brilliant as always; playing a cool and suave character alongside his new partner Olga Kurylenko. The music and cinematography are as good as ever; further inducing fans with this cathartic experience through a melancholic tone and a dark environment. Director Mark Foster travels the world in this one; featuring countless extraordinary set-pieces in different locations; making this film a must watch for die-hard action fans.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
There’s nothing more jarring than brutal murder in a place society assumes is safe. So when a curator at the prestigious Louvre is killed in a gruesome fashion, French cryptologist Sophie Neveu and American Symbologist Robert Langdon are flown in to decipher the bizzarity of it all. Based on the highly controversial novel by Dan Brown, The Davinci Code follows these two as they discover one of history’s most damning coverups all while being pursued by a cult zealot and law enforcers dead set on stopping their quest. Academy Award winner Ron Howard took on the director’s seat to bring this crime & mystery thriller to the big screen. Tom Hanks is always a pleasure and he really can play any character, even an on the run symbols expert. One sleeper cell in the film was Paul Bettany, who played the crazed cult member Silas. He’s deeply frightening and one of the best elements of the story. If you’re a devout Christian or a respecter of such beliefs then the pseudo -Christianity in the movie might churn your insides. If you’re able to chalk that up to fiction and are down for an action-packed cat and mouse chase through the streets and dark alleyways of Europe, and can excuse some historical stretches, then go for it.
Four-time Academy Award winner Platoon takes us across turbulent waters and times to the Vietnam War. Chris Taylor enters the war albeit naively, and comes out a completely different man. As time goes on, tensions mount within the U.S camp between his two sergeants, the erratic, verbally abusive steel wall, Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes and the more accommodating Sergeant Elias Grodin. Chris sees that there’s multiple wars to fight, and none of them seem to have any winners. The film’s nuanced criticisms on the nature of war and its effects are refreshing. Charlie Sheen who plays Chris Taylor, is poignant and reflective, although his character can be a bit of a plot device at times. Willem Dafoe, who plays the more endearing Sgt. Grodin really carries the film and Tom Berenger is absolutely hateable as the mean cuss Sgt. Barnes. Be warned, this film is brutal in every way. Violence, depression, drug use and compromised morality are all on display, and the content might be triggering for anyone suffering from PTSD, so tread lightly. With that said, if you’re looking for a deeply complex and strong narrative to bawl your eyes out to, this is it.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
This movie takes the violently awkward meeting of your partner’s ex to a whole new level. Scott Pilgrim is a crooked wallflower who falls for quirky, manic pixie dream girl Ramona Flowers. Sounds normal right? It is. Until he’s got to defeat every one of her seven exes in a one v. one Mortal Kombat style magical realism duel to win her heart. Adapted from a comic by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the punch style visuals and rock music sets this film apart from the typical teen rom com. Sure, there’s the usual female prize that must be won. There’s also the macho ex played by Chris Evans. There’s even an ex as a result of Ramona’s “experimental lesbian” phase. Yeah. Micheal Cera, who plays Scott, is perfect for this role. His skittish, mumbling shyness is a hilarious foundation for a rock and roll king wannabe. Some of the characters are painfully stereotypical but the directing is where the movie shines. Edgar Wright brought a literal comic book to the big screen and the visuals are enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the genre and can easily swallow all of the tropes, then check it out.
Training Day (2001)
When rookie cop Jake Hoyt begins his first day as a narcotics officer, he’s as green as a dollar bill. He gets a little help from the unorthodox L.A.P.D detective Alonzo Harris. The two differ in stature and opinion, with Jake often cowering under the immense gang violence and Alonzo abiding to his own moral code to get the job done. If you’re looking for a heartwarming buddy cop film, you won’t find it here. Training Day is a gritty, reality check that bashes you over the head with a realistic portrait of drugs and gang affiliation in the parts of Los Angeles you don’t see on 90210. Strong violence and stronger language carry the film. Denzel Washington is prolific as the wild card Alonzo. King Kong ain’t got nothing on him. Ethan Hawke plays Jake Hoyt perfectly. He allows all of the audience’s insecurities to come to light, connecting viewers to his fear. If you’re not faint of heart and would like to toss network television’s PG 13 investigative cop fodder out the window, then strap in for a crime drama that’ll push your boundaries and engage all five senses. Brutally.
Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
In a case of mistaken identity gone wildly far, Brian of Nazareth spends his entire life as the mistaken Messiah of the Jewish people when he’s born next door to the true Messiah, Jesus. Brian’s tragically hilarious life is followed as he digs himself deeper into the hole of martyrdom and oppressive resistance with little finesse. The iconic line, “He wasn’t the Messiah. He was a very naughty boy” is just one of the many quotable lines of any Monty Python comedy. Monty Python films are often considered pioneers and sustainers of spoof and satire in cinema. John Cleese co-wrote this classic and his dry wit and cheeky humor paces the entire film. Graham Chapman plays the painfully average Brian without fault. He’s a Monty Python staple and his skill is unmatched. If you’re a fan of cult comedy favorites then you’ve most likely watched this more than once. Deeply stupid scenes and ridiculous characters such as Brian’s mother and her skittish voice keep the audience rolling. It has a lot of mature content, so don’t go calling any kids to watch this with. If you’re looking for some light adult comedy, pop this on.
The Irishman (2019)
There’s movies and then there’s The Irishman. Artistry and excellence in action takes a new form in Scorcese’s biographical crime story. It follows Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran’s life from a house painter and a working-class individual to a high-ranking hitman for the mob. Steven Zaillian, who wrote the screenplay, adapts this book with excellence, strong consistent pacing and deep characters. Then we have the master of the crime story, Martin Scorsece. What else can be said about this ambitious project except bravo. Meticulous in its detail, down to the facial effects and deep fake mastery. Terrifying in accuracy and brilliant in execution. The three and a half hour run time seems tedious, but it’s nothing compared to the current climate of binge culture. Each character, from Joe Pesci’s Russel Bufalino to Al Pacino’s Jimmy Hoffa gets a full arc treatment. Pacino is really masterful as the mysterious, loud mouthed Jimmy Hoffa and Deniro practically built the mold when it comes to mobster portrayals in cinema. Do yourself a favor and watch it. Just watch it. This movie will be talked about for the next few decades.
Les Misérables (2012)
Set against the backdrop of France’s June Rebellion, Jean Valjean tosses his old persona and his parole papers and leaves behind his title, Prisoner 24601 for a life of respectability. Though his past haunts him in the form of Inspector Javer’s obsessive pursuits. When Jean takes in a factory worker’s daughter as his own, their relationship changes and affects their lives and those around them forever. Okay, there’s a lot going on here. Poverty, dark alleys, seedy hotels and wine drinking street urchins. Then there’s the live singing, which got mixed reactions. Some touted it as raw and emotive while others called it ear abuse. To each their own. One thing that sticks out is Fantine and her song of lost dreams. Anne Hathaway embodies the defeated mother with brilliant sorrow and pain. Hugh Jackman, who plays Jean Valjean, is a literal jack of all trades. There’s no role he can’t play. Les Misérables was directed by historic film genre buff Tom Hooper, who got some serious Oscar nods for “The King’s Speech”. If you love musicals and moving emotional sequences, then Les Misérables is the film for you. It’s long, but still significant in the world of historical retelling.
Friends with Benefits (2011)
Tale as old as time. Boy meets girl. Boy is an emotionally stunted man child. Girl meets boy. Girl has higher standards than boy can meet. Said boy and Said girl become friends who decide to have sex because why not. Hijinks ensue. Friends with Benefits closely mimics the storyline from a movie made in the same exact year, “No Strings Attached”. Creative isn’t it? Mila Kunis plays the classic Hollywood spun cool girl Jamie. She’s a pretty seasoned actress in this genre so her delivery is solid. Newcomer, to big time acting at least, Justin Timberlake is the adorable bestie Dylan. He’s not too bad either. The story that tries not to be a cliché rom com is exactly that, which works for some viewers. There’s nothing riveting in the dialogue or character arcs but Woody Harrelson is in it so that’s cool. Predictable in its storyline and formulaic in its characters and plot development. This film rests on star power to get audiences in their seats, which always seems to work well enough for the production companies to get a return on their investment. Mindless viewing for those lazy days. C’est la vie.
50 First Dates (2004)
Henry Roth is an animal lover with some serious commitment issues when it comes to human beings. He’s built lie after lie to avoid taking his relationships to the next level. That is until he meets the enchanting Lucy Whitmore. It’s all love and fun times, but a pesky little thing known as short term memory loss, which Lucy has, gets in the way, as she forgets him every morning. He ends up working overtime to make himself part of her long-term memory. When it comes to modern day 21st century romantic comedies, pickings can be slim. 50 First Dates shines in its unique delivery of the genre, giving it a serious reset. Adam Sandler films can be hit or miss and this one’s definitely a hit. It gives you all of the warm fuzzy feelings you look for in a rom com but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sandler does well as Henry. His rough, sometimes slapstick delivery fits perfectly into this narrative. Drew brings Lucy’s sweet and strong demeanor to the story. There’s some scenes that will have you busting a gut. The duo have great chemistry, which is why they work together often. Check out this refreshing love story as soon as you can.
In what seems like a claustrophobic’s hell, Curtis and his not so merry band of low-level survivors of the man-made apocalypse, are just trying to make ends meet. They’re all passengers aboard the Snow piercer, a train that never stops moving. Though the snow piercer holds what’s left of humanity, the apocalypse hasn’t brought people together. Class systems and inequality remain a plague that has no cure. For the people at the tail end of the train, life is a cyclical hell of poverty and death. And so, a rebellion is in order, and man is it an epic one. As far as apocalypse narratives go, Showpiece is part of the gold standard. Riveting in its critique of the human experience and consistent in pacing, thanks to director Bong Joon Ho and the excellent writing team behind this. Chris Evans ditches the usual pretty boy persona for a gritty, dark and often morbid portrayal of the lead protagonist Curtis. Tilda Swinton is believably awful as the pruned-up Mason, who often reminds people to know their place and stay in it. If you can suspend your disbelief and forgive a few plot holes, then you’ll enjoy this apocalyptic action thriller.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
The gripping second chapter of the epic movie, “How To Train Your Dragon,” brings us back to that fantastic world of Hiccup and Toothless. Five years after successfully bringing dragons and Vikings together on Berk Island, Astrid, Snotlout, and the rest of the group race against each other with their dragons, as dragon racing is the island’s new favourite sport. The inseparable pair travel the skies, flying over uncharted territories and exploring new worlds. They find a hidden ice island full of wild dragons in one of their adventures, which is the mysterious Dragon Rider’s home. That is when the duo find themselves in the middle of a battle to protect the peace. With its extraordinary animation and soundtrack, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a remarkable sequel that manages to match its predecessor’s magic in many moments. The magnificent dragon race that dramatically reminds us of Harry Potter’s Quidditch matches adds extra enjoyment to the adventure. From there, the story grows its intensity and spectacularity with new characters introduced. The variety and quantity of dragons, each with its different appearance and its own personality, is very well made. Although the story is predictable and doesn’t catch the first movie’s quality, it still deserves a special place in our animation collection with voice actors such as Jay Baruchel, Kit Harrington, Gerard Butler, and Cate Blanchett.
With its eight nominations for the Oscars, “Moonlight” narrates the maturing process of Charon, a black boy who lives in a depressed Miami neighbourhood. Charon is bullied at school, his mother is a drug addict, and his classmates call him “queer” insistently. So the path of life begins with great difficulties for him. The film accompanies the protagonist in three sections of his existence. When he is a kid, they call him Little; when he is a teenager, they call him Chiron, and when he becomes an adult, they know him as Black. His harsh existence is marked by his painful relationship with his mother and his doubts about his sexual identity. The film is the story of a man who seeks reliable links, which would allow him to have a bit of certainty in his life. With its remarkable photography and colour usage, Moonlight can be described as visual lyricism. It has a documentary’s characteristics with its way of approaching the biography of his characters; it observes them from the outside, almost like a sociological experiment. The three different actors portraying Chiron in his various life stages are all putting on convincing performances. Still, the most remarkable acting comes from Mahershala Ali, who won the Oscar for the best supporting actor playing a drug dealer who later becomes a father figure for Juan. As the winner of the best picture and the best screenplay Oscar categories with an all-black cast, Moonlight is an excellent-made gripping drama that we highly recommend!
Angels & Demons (2009)
As the sequel of Da Vinci Code, the mystery-thriller movie “Angels and Demons” starts with the Harvard religious expert, Robert Langdon, discovering evidence of an ancient secret organization’s revival, Illuminati. Once he learns that the clock for an unstoppable bomb started ticking, he flies to Rome, joining forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and intelligent Italian scientist. The two embark on a tireless search through sealed scripts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the heart of the most secret tomb on earth. They trace the ancient symbols from 400 years ago, which are the world’s only hope for survival. As the screen adaptation of the best seller novel with the same name, the movie will delight who loves historical references, symbologies, scientific concepts, puzzles, and continuous thriller. The settings are always outstanding that you can feel the mystery and history in every shot. The cast with Tom Hanks as Professor Langdon, Ayelet Zure as Victoria Vetra, and fantastic Ewan Mcgregor as the Camerlengo all put on good performances where the acting comes secondary in a movie with such a high tempo. If you like puzzles and history, do not ever think of missing “Angels and Demons!”
About Time (2013)
“About Time” is a beautiful romantic comedy with a sci-fi aspect, time travel. After another failed New Years’ Eve party, Tim’s father tells him that all the men in the family have always had the gift of traveling through time. Tim cannot change history, but he can change what happens and what has happened in his life. So, he thinks that his world will be better and also he will have a girlfriend. Sadly, none of this is as easy as it sounds. Tim meets Mary, and they fall in love, but an unfortunate journey in time erases the moment they met. Tim searches through time to find that memory again. But as his curious life progresses, he discovers that this unique gift can’t protect him from the sadness or the ups and downs that affect any person. The movie has a strong cast with Domhnall Gleeson as Tim, the protagonist, Rachel McAdams as Mary; the love that Tim searches through time, Tom Hollander as Harry; the tortured playwright and roommate of Tim, and Margot Robbie as Charlotte; young Tim’s first love. It is a highly recommended family movie with beautiful messages and lots of laughter.
“Hugo,” tells the story of a boy from the early 20th century who lives with his inventor father until he dies in an accident, and Hugo remains in hiding so that he is not taken to the hospice. Taking care of the clocks in the station, he tries to fix an automaton writer. He steals pieces from the toy store of a grumpy old man who is actually George Melies, the great pioneer of special effects cinema, with whom he establishes a friendly relationship, as well as with his goddaughter Isabelle. Together they will look for the key that will allow the automaton to be started, and they will discover the magic of cinema. To tell us this story and create a fairy tale atmosphere, Scorsese uses all his cinematographic expertise and talent. Fantastic sets, beautiful photography, good actors, catchy music, and a good script based on Brian Selznick’s book. The film’s design uses three fundamental ideas: everyday magic, the magic of human intent, and the magic of love. With superb Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Sacha Baron Cohen, Christopher Lee, Chloë Moretz, Jude Law, and its beautiful 3D animations, Hugo is a brilliant movie for children and adults at the same time!
Bird Box (2018)
“Birdbox,” tells the story of Malorie, who sees a paranormal conflict erupt that takes over the population in full swing of her pregnancy. A mysterious force of unknown origin has the power to make those who see it wish to kill themselves. The situation forces her, along with a group of survivors, to live blindfolded and to defend herself in the open without the sense of sight. With the enormous difficulty of raising two children who must blindfoldedly obey her instructions to stay alive. The Netflix movie, like the novel, uses flashbacks that lead us to travel from the present, in which they have to undertake a perilous journey in the hope of finding a supposed community willing to welcome them. At the same time, we discover the starting point of the crisis spreading across the planet. Even though the survival story is not very original, it’s still a bland dystopian thriller to enjoy with pinches of horror and mother-children drama. Sandra Bullock practically holds the entire show on her shoulders with her convincing acting. With the bands in their eyes, the family’s journey is shown through some interesting subjective shots of the protagonist’s point of view that increase the mystery and drives the movie forward. As a family thriller with more than 2 hours of a screenplay, Birdbox is definitely worth watching!
Real Steel (2011)
“Real Steel” places us in a near future where robots have replaced human boxers to offer the public greater intensity and violence. Upon this background, the plot centres on Charlie Kenton, a lonely and retired fighter who travels from town to town with his fighting robot looking for easy money in small-time fights. As a broke man, he has a son that he doesn’t really want to involve with, but he agrees to stay with him for a bit of money. Although at first, they get on badly, soon he discovers that the boy is an absolute fan of boxing and a genius with robots. What luck! Thus begins to forge the protagonist’s foreseeable redemption through the typical reconciliation with his son, with whom he becomes a successful team. The film’s progression and outcome are highly predictable. Still, Jackman and Goyo’s excellent chemistry elevates the movie to a great level. Unsurprisingly, both the production design and the visual effects are excellent. It is a wise move to have actually built the robots rather than relying solely on computer creations, which adds a plus to a film viewed with pleasure despite its excessive duration. The movie is excellent to watch with your family, especially children!
Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
“Olympus Has Fallen” is an entertaining action movie of classic “good against bad,” of loyalty and patriotism, of action in abundance. The story is about Mike Banning, who is responsible for coordinating the president of the United States’ security. In his work, he does not leave any details to chance. Being conscientious and relentless in carrying out his tasks during his career, he is also the president’s best friend and a good colleague of his son in the most relaxed moments. An unfortunate incident forces Mike Banning to act above the president’s ethics which distances him from his close friends and his job as the head of security in the White House. He is forced to live a life as an office agent away from the president until a surprise attack on the White House occurs, making him the only rescue option. The movie is visually spectacular and an excellent film within its genre. It is two hours of action seasoned with specific comments, ethical statements, and great sentences loaded with heroism, which will give you a huge smile. The film maintains an appropriate level of action without overdoing it in nonsensical shooting scenes. It is almost like a Die Hard sequel, with its patriotism and one man versus an army story. The main character, Gerard Butler, is surrounded by a good cast with high-level and recognized actors such as Morgan Freeman and Dylan McDermott. The movie is a must-watch for action addicts!
The Patriot (2000)
The action-drama movie “The Patriot” is set when the American Revolution and the war they waged against the English arose. The movie focuses explicitly on the life of a man named Benjamin, who is a widower with his seven children under his mantle. One day, his eldest son named Gabriel decides to voluntarily enlist in the war, leading to multiple consequences that will lead Benjamin to choose between keeping his family safe or fighting for the country’s freedom to which he belongs. The film is very well shot with brilliant battle scenes and dramatic sequences. It manages to balance the emotional realm and the action excellently. Of course, the John Williams soundtrack helps a lot, keeping the rhythm and stressing the emotions. Perhaps the story does not have the dialogues of Braveheart, but it handles an excellent dramatic pulse and does not put cheap romanticism into it. The main actor Mel Gibson gives one of his career’s best performances while Heath Ledger accompanies him perfectly. Overall it is a vast and entertaining project loaded with remarkable performances, a powerful sense of showmanship, excellent production work, and unforgettable scenes. It is highly recommended for everybody who loves a complete movie with lots of action!
“Stardust” is the tale of a star falling from the sky into a magical kingdom. The star is not just any meteorite, but a beautiful woman in danger chased by very diverse creatures who are after her secret powers. From wicked witches to power-hungry princes, from flying pirates to fighting goblins, everyone who crosses the star has a goal, and everyone without exception wants his heart. The result is an accurate love tale full of adventures in which the themes and elements of fairy tales are mixed and found. The entire film makes us forget the real world for two hours and manages to move us to the other side of the wall, a place where dreams come true, where you can talk to the stars. From the incredible open landscapes to an inn or a gloomy castle’s interior, the scenes and the staging are genuinely spectacular. The main actors are Claire Danes and Charlie Cox, who have good chemistry, but they are not the best of the cast since the cast is full of well-known actors on both good and evil sides. The best known are undoubtedly dedicated Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Sir Ian McKellen. In short, Stardust is a beautiful fairy tale which can be enjoyed in equal measure by both an adult and a child, a balance that other films of the same style cannot achieve.
Marriage Story (2019)
Marriage story is a film that takes a deep look into the troubling relationship of a man and a wife who are on the brink of getting a divorce. Charlie Barber runs a successful theatre company in NYC while his wife Nicole is a former teen actress who moves away from New York with her son to pursue new career opportunities. Throughout the film; we get to see the couples scouting various therapists and lawyers; contemplating what the right next move is. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johannsson were unbelievable as the two lead characters; earning a nomination at the Academy Awards as well; their co-star Laura Dern even winning the coveted supporting actress category. This film is so well-written; as we see some great scenes between the couple where the acting and the screenplay just steals the spotlight. Writer and Director Noah Baumbach surpassed everyone’s expectations; delivering us a very emotional and realistic depiction of a family that was slowly tearing apart. He was able to write such a script by seeing many of his friends go through the problem at the same time period; thus being well-versed with the subject. Marriage story is a must watch for everyone; since it is truly a beautiful story that you normally do not see in cinema. The acting, directing and writing is simply perfect with this one.
Lady Bird (2017)
“Lady Bird” is a drama set in Sacramento, California, in 2002. A young woman named Christine McPherson, nicknamed Lady Bird, is in her senior year in high school. Her wish is to get a place at the university, in a cosmopolitan environment, to start a new life far from the suburbs. But first, she will have to learn to bond with her mother, a stubborn woman who works intensely as a nurse to keep her family well after Lady Bird’s father loses his job. The young student will also have to survive her academic and sentimental misfortunes with her classmates, as her emotions are running high. It is a beautiful movie, simple in terms of story but carried out with great delicacy. The film plays around with various teen comedy clichés but dodges them all. The setting and atmosphere of the time are very successful. Excellent cast, but special mention to its two female leads, Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, mother and daughter precisely, who give extraordinary performances with brilliant chemistry. Saoirse, as the dreamy and sensitive Lady Bird; and Laurie, with an excellent portrait of burgeoning working-class moms. “Lady Bird” is one of the films that best portrays the female universe in entire adolescence. A precious gem by Greta Gerwig, who describes her own experiences in a delicate, beautiful way through the seventh art.
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
The 2006 thriller “Nocturnal Animals” tells the story of Susan Morrow, a Los Angeles-based gallerist who shares a luxurious but empty life with her second husband, Hutton Morrow. One day Susan receives a novel written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield, whom she has not heard from for years. In a note, she asks her to read the unpublished novel and get in touch with him, as he will be staying a few days in the city. At night Susan, alone in bed, begins to read: the novel tells the story of a married couple with a daughter chased by another vehicle while driving through Texas. At that moment, the movie starts to narrate two parallel stories, both full of tension. The film catches you with its aesthetics from the first minute. It is a complex story about how tough personal decisions are and how they ruin life for oneself and others. Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s performances are both remarkable as always. The director and fashion designer Tom Ford surprises with this adaptation of the novel ‘Three nights.’ A brilliant psychological drama-thriller, thanks to well-developed characters with whom you connect and share all their dramas and difficulties. It is highly recommended for psychological thriller fans!
Uncut Gems (2019)
The drama movie “Uncut Gems” tells the story of Howard Ratner, a jeweler and family man. He is a charismatic and a trickster guy who runs a questionable extravagant jewelry business in New York City. Both in his shenanigans and his personal life, he always takes the full risk, which is why he is always on the verge of bankruptcy. Eventually, he gets close to making a juicy deal that involves a high-risk gamble which could make him a millionaire. But to make that risky bet, he will have to balance his business, his family, and the adversaries who threaten him on all fronts. The movie is dynamic and distressing. The story stands out with how it is told since it is not the typical mafia movie where some character owes money. It’s a movie that increases anxiety constantly. It addresses its protagonist’s chaotic life, his addiction to gambling, his debts to the mob, his marital failure, and his constant bad decisions in his business life. As the minutes go by, everything gets bogged down, raising the tension. The excellent lead performance by Adam Sandler, probably the best of his career, undoubtedly is the best part of the movie. The director, Safdie Brothers, replace the jokes around Adam Sandler with lots of tension, creating an exciting film. We recommend it without hesitation!
The Artist (2011)
The winner of 5 academy awards, including best movie, director, actor (Dujardin), “The Artist” is a movie in a movie set in Hollywood, 1927. George Valentin is a silent film star especially famous for his charming smile. However, the actor’s promising future begins to be compromised with the arrival of the “talkies,” and his spectacular career on the big screen begins to fall into oblivion. It is then that Peppy Miller appears in his life, a beautiful and young dancer who begins to acquire great fame in Hollywood and for whom George Valentin feels fast and irrepressible attraction. It is a story of crossed destinies that tells how fame, pride, and money can be the biggest obstacles in a beautiful love story. The film shot entirely in black and white, is about the particular tribute to the silent film of the French director Michel Hazanavicius. With many references to cinema history, the director recreates an entire era in aesthetic and emotional ways. “The Artist” brings together humor, tension, wit, passion, romance, and entertainment. It has everything that we go to the movies for. “The Artist” is a silent film in the 21st century with a cast that embodies a considerable performance, especially Jean Dujardin, and a soundtrack that brightens up the darkest day. It is an excellent movie that deservedly swept the Oscars.
Created by Steven Spielberg, “Hook” is a beautiful adaptation of the classic Peter Pan story. At forty years old, Peter Banning, who was once Peter Pan, is a man who is so busy with his work that he has stopped paying attention to his family and has forgotten his origin. One day, his two sons get kidnapped by the legendary Captain Hook and taken to Neverland. Captain Hook still hates Peter Pan, and kidnapping his children is his way of revenge. Peter Banning returns to the enchanted kingdom to save his children. In Neverland, the unrecognizable Peter Pan remembers his past, and he regains his powers back while living exciting and fun adventures. Spielberg does not use animated films, but the authentic recreation of a fantasy environment, with artificial or natural settings, is full of imagination. The movie’s art direction with the creation of mythical characters is jaw dropping, especially if you consider that this is a pretty old movie. Thus, the performers are exceptional: from Robin Williams as the adult Peter Banning-Pan, to Dustin Hoffman as the malevolent Hook, passing through Julia Roberts as the lovely Tinkerbell. Once again, the “magician” Steven Spielberg creates a fantastic atmosphere, captivating us with beautiful cinematography, brilliant soundtrack, and excellent editing. The new adventures of Peter Pan and Captain Hook will make young and old “dream awake” throughout two hours of great entertainment.
“Unknown” is an action-thriller by the Catalan director Collet-Sera. The movie has a very fantastic cast with great actors from different nationalities. The story follows Martin Harris’s odyssey, a scientist who attends a conference in Berlin with his wife. An accident and many coincidences cause Harris to lose his memory and get into a coma. When he wakes up, he discovers that someone else has claimed his identity, and not even his wife recognizes him. Van Cauwelaert’s novel definitely has incentives to capture the interest of the viewer. The director and writers exploit Liam Nesson’s skill, craft a role that suits him perfectly, and surround him with a handful of excellent actors to build a plot that mixes mystery, action, and romantic touch. The result is a thriller similar to Bourne’s saga and some Hitchcock films. The performances of Liam Neeson and January Jones are excellent, but Diane Kruger and Frank Langella are the ones that really stand out. The director, Collet-Sera, balances rhythm and intensity pretty well for an action movie. Also, the photography is remarkable; especially Berlin scenes provide spectacular sequences. In general, it is a highly entertaining movie. If you like the genre, you will love this film!
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Dancing with Wolves takes place in 1860, a time of significant historical changes in the United States when settlers began to migrate west to the territories of the Indians. Driven by the desire to know the last frontier before it disappears, John J. Dunbar, a soldier in the ranks of the Union, comes into contact with the Sioux. Among them is “Stands With Her Fist,” a white woman adopted by the tribe as a child. Little by little, Dunbar and the Sioux begin to feel respect and admiration for each other. The film describes Dunbar’s acceptance by the tribe, his exciting love affair with the white woman, his incredible friendship with the Indians, and finally, the crucial decision he must make that will determine his destiny. The astonishing thing about the film is that it catches you from the beginning and absorbs you in the life of the lieutenant in such a way that at the end, you don’t even know that three hours have passed. The photography, the soundtrack, the landscapes, the setting, the dialogues, the story… everything is sublime. Kevin Costner gives us one of his best films both as an actor and as a director. Thy rhythm maybe sometimes slow for some, but it is a great movie for what it transmits, the life lessons that it gives, and the story of love and friendship that it tells. Shortly it is a great movie, and it is unforgivable not to see it!
The action-comedy animation movie from 2011, “Rango,” tells the story of Lars, a funny, lively, and a bit of a mess chameleon who spends his days on earth, performing plays with the help of a fish and a plastic doll. When unexpectedly the car he is traveling with his family suffers an accident, the animal gets lost in the old desert and meets the strange characters that inhabit it. Starting from this simple plot, we find a film that perfectly combines humor with the action of a western movie and also with the existentialist questions of Rango. The animation is outstanding, both at the level of setting and of characters. All the characters have a peculiar appearance, a peculiar way of speaking and behaving. Every detail adds to elevate the movie to a more entertaining level. The soundtrack, sung mainly by the four owls in the film, is fascinating. The cast is pretty strong, including Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy… There is even Morgan Freeman as an armadillo! If you are looking for an action movie with a good balance of humor, an astonishing animations “Rango” is the way to go!
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
As the sequel of the well-made 2013 horror movie, the saga continues to make us jump from our sofas with “The Conjuring 2 The Enfield Case.” The story starts in 1977 when investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to North London to help a single mother of four children whose home is apparently haunted by malicious spirits trying to harm the residents in it. As one of the best sequels within the genre, the movie remains true to his style, making us alert all the time from the first scene until the end. The film uses most of the elementary methods of horror movies and raises our heartbeats with its effective atmosphere. The performances are excellent both Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson fulfill their roles excellently and show good on-screen chemistry. The young Madison Wolfe is also worth mentioning with the strong reflection of her fear, making it very easy for the audience to empathize with her. The production is outstanding, the photography is excellent, and the art direction is impeccable. The use of sound is very successful, which is very important for the genre. The Conjuring 2 is a very good movie that will raise your adrenaline levels to the fullest!
Ghost Rider (2007)
Johnny Blaze is your average high intensity motorcycle stuntman. He can ride over helicopters and jump across vast channels of water without fear. Why? Because he knows he’s not going to die yet. See, a few years ago he sold his soul to the malicious Mephistopheles to save his dying father. As far as deals with the devil go, that didn’t work out well. He left his life and his teen love Roxanne. But this devil is willing to give him a pass and take him out of the contract, should he become the Ghostrider. Cue the early 2000’s heavy metal music and fire effects. Ghost Rider stars Nicholas Cage as the hell rider, in all of his Cagey glory. Exaggerated faces, mumbled line delivery and mildly uncomfortable romantic trysts. If you’re looking for some Avenger’s Endgame style nuance, this isn’t it. There’s some plot holes and Eva Mendez’s character Roxanne isn’t developed beyond the “pretty love interest”. If you’re going to watch this then take out any high expectation of riveting dialogue and full character arcs and just enjoy the movie for what it is. A 2000’s comic book adaptation with all of the cheese required to make it a laid back, good time.
Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Do you ever feel like someone is literally writing your life for you? Like maybe all of the things you’ve experienced were no choice of your own? That’s exactly what Harold Crick discovers when a woman’s voice pops up in his head, narrating his every move and dooming him to a short and boring life. In this super meta author’s nightmare, Karen Eiffel is a writer whose character is a real human being who ends up wanting more for himself than her usual depressive musings. Will Ferrel is absolutely hilarious yet reflective as Harold, the monotonous out I.R.S Agent. Emma Thompson plays the burnt out, writer’s block suffering author with precise neurosis and frustration. The film is full of existential moments that need further reflection. It doesn’t take itself too seriously though and has several comedic and lighthearted segments that pull you out of your own wanderings concerning the heavy subject matter of self-determination v.s free will. It’s peaceful yet tumultuous which is hard to pull off. Check it out, odds are you’ll enjoy it more than you think you will.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Gilbert Grape is from a town where nobody really stays but nobody actually leaves. He’s stuck in an unwelcome state of limbo, caring for his mentally disabled brother Arnie and his morbidly obese mother. Can you find happiness in a small town with a dying economy? That’s what Gilbert strives for. When newcomer Becky moves to town, she shows Gilbert a whole new perspective on what he sees as a fleeting life. This film is one of the great modern classics. There’s nothing flashy. No big explosions or elaborate crime schemes. It’s a simple yet deeply complex and moving story of an average family dealing with the struggles most members of society face. Which is what makes it so beautiful. Johnny Depp really shines in this one. In what is considered Leonardo DiCaprio’s first emotionally brilliant role, Arnie steals the film. Juliette Lewis is more than a manic pixie dream girl here. She moves the story forward as newcomer Becky. There’s a deep and flawed humanity portrayed onscreen and it’s amazing to watch it unfold. If you’re looking for a film to make you feel an entire range of emotions, this is it.
Ip Man (2008)
Yip Man spends his days mastering Wing Chun, a derivative of Kung Fu. Anybody who wants to be the Wing Chun boss in town duels the master Yip, to serious peril. When Japan invades China in 1935, everything changes as he leaves his life of wealth and respect after his city, Foshun, is taken over. Though there are some grave historical liberties taken here, the film follows the true life tale of Yip Man and his struggles during this era. Yip must regain his dignity and that of his people the best way he knows how. Fight for it. Donnie Yen plays the lead character Yip. He’s a strong Kung Fu film veteran but this is often touted as his best performance. He plays no games when it comes to the films fight scenes, which are arguably the most enjoyable. If you enjoyed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon then you’re definitely going to have a good time viewing this one. There may not be as much depth and character revelation but the martial arts and dedication to stunt work is something to marvel at.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
Alex and the gang are back and this time they’re headed to the motherland. After some time spent moving it around in King Julian’s penthouse style lemur paradise, the penguins are set to fly back to New York. But with this group, it’s never that easy. They crash land in the vast plains of Sub Saharan Africa. Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria gear up for another “fish out of water” adventure with new animals. Alex even discovers his roots and where his family came from. There’s some pretty stellar voice acting here, despite the fact that the main actors aren’t classically trained in such. Who knew Chris Rock could pull off a Zebra so well. He’s funny and just wild enough for children to gravitate to his character. The movie is an all-around good time. Just don’t take it too seriously. Sure, it may not be as emotionally moving as Pixar’s Up or as reflective as The Lion King but it’s such a fun time, especially for children. King Julian played by Sacha Baron Cohen is too hilarious. He’s closely followed by the Penguins, who carry most of the truly gut busting parts of the film that adults will appreciate.