1. 2 Days in the Valley (1996)

2 Days in the Valley

Director: John Herzfeld

Screenplay: John Herzfeld

Starring: Danny Aiello, James Spader

Conspiracies abound in this comedic thriller when a hitman scheme goes awry. James Spader is playing his best as the serene weird-guy with Aiello taking hostages and Eric Stoltz’s rookie cop just trying to put all the pieces together.

  1. Bowling for Columbine

Bowling for Columbine

DirectorMichael Moore

Screenplay: Michael Moore

Starring: Michael Moore

Liberal everyman and prolific documentary filmmaker Michael Moore takes on the controversial Columbine High School school massacre, American gun culture and the ludicrously high homicide rate in these United States.

  1. I Love Dick (Amazon Original)

I Love Dick

Created by: Sarah Gubbins, Jill Soloway

Starring: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dune

Amazon is certainly trailing Netflix in original programming but their new show from Transparent creator Jill Soloway should get them some good press. The series is based on the famous feminist novel of the same name by Chris Kraus, centering on the writer’s sexual obsession with Dick (played here by Kevin Bacon). Expect smart, funny writing and probably no more than three seasons.

  1. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

ScreenplayFrancis Ford Coppola, John Milius, Michael Herr

Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando

The film remains one of the greatest Vietnam War epics ever depicting, at the same time, the horrors of American intervention and the true darkness that lurks in the heart of every man, warrior or not.

  1. Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)

Apocalypse Now Redux

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

ScreenplayFrancis Ford Coppola, John Milius, Michael Herr

Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando

As if the original Apocalypse Now wasn’t long enough, this version adds an additional forty-nine whole minutes of footage as well as a significant re-edit of the original!

  1. Blue Velvet (1986)

Blue Velvet

DirectorDavid Lynch

Screenplay: David Lynch

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini

It starts with a severed ear and then continues on one of the strangest journeys ever committed to celluloid. Dennis Hopper is at his absolute best as a drugged-out-pseudo-sex-demon opposite Kyle MacLachlan’s wide-eyed Irish innocence.

  1. Gone Baby Gone (2007)

Gone Baby Gone

Director: Ben Affleck

Screenplay: Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard

Starring: Michelle Monaghan, Casey Affleck

A missing girl is at the center of the Boston-based thriller adapted from Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name. Both of the Affleck bros are given time to shine here, Ben in the director’s chair and Casey showing his chops in front of the camera.

  1. The Mechanic (1972)

The Mechanic

DirectorMichael Winner

Screenplay: Lewis John Carlino

Starring: Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent

Charles Bronson is an aging hitman with a terrible secret. Jan-Michael Vincent is the young upstart looking to join the ranks of professional killers. Bronson take the young man under his wing, but will the nature of Vincent’s father’s death tear the two assassins apart? Sources point to “maybe.”

  1. One from the Heart (1982)

One from The Heart

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Screenplay: Francis Ford Coppola, Armyan Bernstein

Starring: Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Raul Julia

It wasn’t always hits for director Francis Ford Coppola. In fact, there were a couple of straight up duds. This film straddles the line between the two—marrying the music of Tom Waits with a Technicolor musical set against the backdrop of the Las Vegas strip. The film was not well regarded in its day but has settled into a kind of cult classic.

  1. Regarding Henry (1991)

Regarding Henry

Director: Mike Nichols

Screenplay: J.J. Abrams

Starring: Harrison Ford, Annette Bening

The guy who eventually created and wrote LOST and directed the last Star Was film wrote this movie. You won’t find any surprising twists or lens flares here, but instead, the tale of a ruthless lawyer who survives a shooting and must relearn how to speak and remember the details of his forgotten life with the help of his loving wife.

  1. Robin Hood of the Pecos (1941)

Robin Hood of the Pacos

Director: Joseph Kane

Screenplay: Olive Cooper

Starring: Roy Rogers

The King of Cowboys plays a newly elected sheriff out to save cattle ranchers from the clutches of a callous land and oil baron. There’ll be songs and shootouts.

  1. Shaolin Drunk Fighter (1983)

Shaolin Drunk FIghter

Director: Tou Win Pao

Screenplay: Jeong-yong Kim

Starring: Hung Yi Liu, Chiu-Sing Hau

The only way to avenge the death of his family is by learning the ancient art of Shaolin Kung Fu, specifically, the way of the “drunken pole.” Samples from this film found their way into a couple of classic Wu-Tang Clan tracks.

  1. The Salesman (Amazon Original) (2016)

The Salesman

Director: Asghar Farhadi

Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi

Starring: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti

A married couple is performing a production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman when the wife is attacked. In the wake of the violence, the husband desperately tries to find the identity of the attacker while his marriage rebounds from the trauma.

  1. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

The Thief of Bagdad

Directors: Michael Powell, Alexander Korda, Ludwig Berger, Tim Whelan, Zoltan Korda, William Cameron Menzies

Screenplay: Miles Malleson, Lajos Bíró

Starring: John Justin, Conrad Veidt

Similar to Arabian Nights, this classic film is told in flashback. After being tricked, trapped and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves. Definitely not at all similar to the classic Disney film Aladdin.

  1. 20th Century Women (2016)

20th Century Women

Director: Mike Mills

Screenplay: Mike Mills

Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Billy Crudup

Those who say sentimentalism is dead certainly haven’t seen the past two films writer/director Mike Mills has conceived. His 20th Century Women reads like an ode to motherhood and boyhood set against the backdrop of the punk scene in 1970s Los Angeles. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll recommend it to your mother if she doesn’t beat you to it.

  1. Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean's 11

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Screenplay: Ted Griffin

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts

The quintessential dapper dude movie that inspired a legion of young men to continue their fetishizing of Las Vegas and well-tailored suits. Oh well, we suppose there are worse things than that. George Clooney as Danny Ocean puts together a crack team of wise cracking safe crackers and other criminal types to rob a casino.

  1. Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

Oceans 12

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Screenplay: George Nolfi

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts

Same plot as above but this time in Europe.

  1. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

I am not your negro

Director: Raoul Peck

Screenplay: James Baldwin, Raoul Peck

Starring: James Baldwin

Using a lost letter Baldwin wrote to his literary agent about his next (yet unrealized) project, the film dissects race relations in America beginning with slavery and the Jim Crow era to today. Stay woke, fam.

  1. Art of the Steal (2009)

Art of the Steal

Director: Don Argott

Producer: Sheena M. Joyce

Dr. Albert C. Barnes managed to amass one of the most prized private art collections in history. Somehow, after his death the involvement of self-interested parties led to the scattering of his amazing collection. The documentary explores just how this happened.

  1. Paterson (Amazon Original) (2017)

Paterson

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Screenplay: Jim Jarmusch

Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani

Jim Jarmusch has always been known for his understated and idiosyncratic “talkies” and Paterson is no different. The film is a classic “day in the life” of bus driver Adam Driver as Paterson who lives in Paterson, New Jersey and writes poetry with his insufferable girlfriend.

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