1. Bad Santa

Bad Santa

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Screenplay: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac

Just in time for Christmas in August, Bad Santa returns to streaming. It’s a shame that the sequel was so terrible because the original is a pitch-black comedy masterpiece. Maybe they’ll right the ship with Bad Santa 3.

  1. Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

Director: The Wachowskis

Screenplay: The Wachowskis

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry

Wachowski movies are always big, bombastic set pieces with lots of half-baked theories and Cloud Atlas is no different. But, like many of their other movies, it’s also “visually sumptuous” and Tom Hanks gives “tour de force” performances as, not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six different characters!

  1. Funny Games (US)

Funny Games US

Director: Michael Haneke

Screenplay: Michael Haneke

Starring: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth

Michael Haneke is one of the world’s most celebrated directors even if he hasn’t seen much success stateside. Funny Games is a note-for-note redo of his Austrian original with a handful of big name actors. American critics didn’t exactly love this meditation on the perception of violence and the role of the media but y’know, we shouldn’t expect too much from them anyway.

  1. Innerspace

Innerspace

Director: Joe Dante

Screenplay: Jeffrey Boam

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan

A hapless store clerk who’s been injected with the crew of small submersible (stay with us here) must outwit criminals who are trying to gain access to the miniaturization technology.

  1. Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson

Quentin Tarantino’s ode to the Blaxploitation films of the 60’s and 70’s.

  1. Lord Of War

Lord of War

Director: Andrew Niccol

Screenplay: Andrew Niccol

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke

Nicolas Cage has decided that his legacy doesn’t mean much to him anymore. We get it. Legacies don’t buy houses but making ten questionable movies a year certainly can. Lord of War, which finds him playing an arms dealer dealing with an existential crisis, might have been one of his last really good films.

  1. The Addams Family

The Addams Family

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Screenplay: Caroline Thompson, Larry Wilson

Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia

The Addams Family is a reminder of simpler times when every movie needed a rap song at the end to tie it all together.

  1. The Astronaut’s Wife

Astronauts Wife

Director: Rand Ravich

Screenplay: Rand Ravich

Starring: Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp

They were definitely trying to do a sci-fi version of Rosemary’s Baby with this film (strange pregnancies and Charlize Theron’s haircut are dead giveaways) but didn’t quite accomplish that. Instead, conjuring more of a predictable M. Night Shyamalan copycat.

  1. The Number 23

The Number 23

Director: Joel Schumacher

Screenplay: Fernley Phillips

Starring: Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen

In the wake of his incredible performance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, studios were eager to see the breadth of Jim Carrey’s dramatic chops. The Number 23 summarily put an end to that.

  1. The Founder

The Founder

Director: John Lee Hancock

Screenplay: Robert D. Siegel

Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman

In perhaps one of the best movies from last year that nobody saw, The Founder tells the story of the guy who turned the McDonald’s brand, and their Golden Arches, into a ubiquitous symbol of American gluttony.

  1. Icarus (Netflix Original)

Icarus

Director: Bryan Fogel

Screenplay: Jon Bertain, Bryan Fogel, et al.

Starring: Bryan Fogel

As Americans, we seriously cannot get enough of Russia. Flip around the stations and we guarantee that Rocky IV is playing on some channel, right now. Anyway, this documentary centers on the Russian state-sponsored doping during the Olympics.

  1. Atypical: Season 1 (Netflix Original)

Atypical Season 1

Creator: Robia Rashid

Starring: Nik Dodani, Jennifer Jason Leigh

A teen on the autism spectrum decides he wants to date in this new Netflix original series. You can bet that his whole family is going to learn something about themselves, love and life in the process.

  1. Naked (Netflix Original)

Naked

Director: Michael Tiddes

Screenplay: Rick Alvarez, Marlon Wayans, et al.

Starring: Marlon Wayans

Like an all-nude reboot of Groundhog Day, Naked features a nude man caught in a time loop on the day of his wedding. Based on the Swedish film of the same name and inexplicably starring Marlon Wayans.

  1. Gold

Gold

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Screenplay: Patrick Massett, John Zinman

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramírez

There’s very little Matthew McConaughey can’t do as an actor but apparently critics drew the line at the bald cap and excess of gut. The movie is about gold and capitalism run amok. Enjoy.

  1. I Am Sam

I am Sam

Director: Jessie Nelson

Screenplay: Kristine Johnson, Jessie Nelson

Starring: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer

There’s a quote from the movie Tropic Thunder that accurately describes Sean Penn’s performance in I Am Sam but we won’t get into that here. This is the kind of movie your mom recommends to you.

  1. Marvel’s The Defenders: Season 1(Netflix Original)

Marvels the Defenders Season 1

Creators: Douglas Petrie, Marco Ramirez

Starring: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones, Élodie Yung

It’s incredible that we haven’t yet reached the superhero saturation point but it has to be coming, right? This is the big crossover event Marvel fans have been waiting for—the joining forces of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and the guy with the ramen noodles on his head.

  1. What Happened To Monday? (Netflix Original)

What Happened To Monday

Director: Tommy Wirkola

Screenplay: Max Botkin, Kerry Williamson

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Willen Dafoe, Glenn Close

In this dystopian thriller set in a world with a strict one-child policy (honestly, what’s the fuss?), a set of septuplets must search for their missing sister (presumably named “Monday”).

  1. Disjointed: Part 1(Netflix Original)

Disjointed

Creators: David Javerbaum, Chuck Lorre

Starring: Kathy Bates, Aaron Moten

Kathy Bates stars as the owner of a dispensary and she and her son are constantly high. Get it? Disjointed.

  1. Death Note (Netflix Original)

Death Note

Director: Adam Wingard

Screenplay: Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides

Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley

The mega-popular manga finally comes to the small screen. The plot is loosely based on the original—a young man finds a book, which has the power to kill with the simple scrawling of a name. He uses it to dispatch criminals but an enigmatic detective is on his trail.

  1. Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (Netflix Original)

Wet Hot American Summer1

Director: David Wain

Screenplay: Michael Showalter, David Wain

Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black

Wet Hot American Summer might be one of the greatest comedy films of all time. The prequel (starring the original cast albeit fifteen years older) was just as hilarious. Now they’re back for a proper reunion set in the early 90s. This will be binge worthy.

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