City of God
Director: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Screenplay: Bráulio Mantovani
Starring: Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leandro Firmino
This film is a brutal, voyeuristic exploration of gang violence in Rio de Janeiro through the eyes of two boys who end up on two very different paths—one a drug dealer and the other a photographer. Kind if like Kids but in Brazil.
Dead Poets Society
Director: Peter Weir
Screenplay: Tom Schulman
Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
For a generation of a certain age, seeing all those young, elite white men stand on a desk and shout the first few lines of a Whitman poem is enough to elicit some amount of emotion. For the rest of us, it’s just middle of the road Robin-Williams-as-the-warm-hearted-mentor movie.
Gangs of New York
Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenplay: Jay Cocks
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Is this the one where Daniel Day-Lewis threatens to drink our milk shake or cleave us with a big knife? It’s either Scorsese or Paul Thomas Anderson directing so it’s sure to be a good time.
Gone Baby Gone
Director: Ben Affleck
Screenplay: Ben Affleck
Starring: Casey Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris
Casey Affleck plays a small-time Bean Town fixer-cum-private dick in this adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel, which are, apparently, the only books that Ben Affleck has ever read.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Peter Benchley
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider
Man, the tie-in ride at Universal Studios Florida was so sick. Now, you’ve got to fly all the way to Universal Studios Japan if you want to propose to your partner at the part where Jaws pops out of the water.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman
Recently, Quentin Tarantino is being shoved back in his box for being a derivative hack who basically just copies and pastes scenes from his favorite old movies to make new ones. It’s probably a fair estimation that even the director himself would cop to but, hey, who are we to complain? Come for the blood, stay for the guts.
Requiem for a Dream
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Screenplay: Hubert Selby Jr.
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly
If you want to keep kids off drugs, forget all those years of D.A.R.E. or whatever, just show them Requiem for a Dream one time. After the credits role, those little bastards won’t so much as pop an Advil.
The Squid and the Whale
Director: Noah Baumbach
Screenplay: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Owen Kline, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney
I don’t think anyone outside of an Intro to Contemporary Cinema class has seen this movie and probably not even then. Noah Baumbach loves making little talkies about insecure smart and smarmy people but folks say his new movie is going to put Adam Sandler back on the map so who knows.
Director: Todd Haynes
Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
We’re sure this movie is about something good.
Portlandia: Season 7
Created by: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel
Starring: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Kyle MacLachlan
The first minute and a half of every Portlandia sketch is hilarious and then they commence to beat their dead horse. Maybe Danzig will be in this season again. That’d be cool.
Little Evil (Netflix Original)
Director: Eli Craig
Screenplay: Eli Craig
Starring: Evangeline Lilly, Adam Scott, Bridget Everett
Everybody loves Adam Scott and his little shrew face. He’s so quirky! This movie is being billed as a modern-day The Omen but funny.
Marc Maron: Too Real (Netflix Original)
Director: Lynn Shelton
Starring: Marc Maron
Somehow, Marc Maron has made a career out of complaining as much as possible. He’s like Larry David but less avuncular and more cantankerous. Take those two words to the bank and cash ‘em.
The Confession Tapes: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
This show is about people who’ve confessed on tape but now recant those confessions and continues Netflix’s commitment to true crime schadenfreud.
American Vandal: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
Director: Tony Yacenda
Screenplay: Seth Cohen, Amy Pocha
Starring: Tyler Alvarez, Eduardo Franco
Netflix is becoming so well known for their true crime serials that they’ve begun to parody them through their own production arm. Watch the trailer for this one though because it does look seriously funny.
First They Killed My Father (Netflix Original)
Director: Angelina Jolie
Screenplay: Loung Ung, Angelina Jolie
Starring: Sareum Srey Moch, Phoeung Kompheak, Sveng Socheata
Cambodian human rights activist and author Loung Ung recounts the terror she experienced while the lethal Khmer Rouge ruled her country.
Strong Island (Netflix Original)
Director: Yance Ford
Producer: Joslyn Barnes
The documentary is another addition to the Netflix true crime catalog. The movie examines the murder of the filmmaker’s brother and the judicial system that allowed freedom for his killer.
Jerry Before Seinfeld (Netflix Original)
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld returns to standup just a month before Curb Your Enthusiasm returns to air. Coincidence? Or is another reunion in the works? Probably coincidence.
Our Souls at Night (Netflix Original)
Director: Ritesh Batra
Screenplay: Kent Haruf, Scott Neustadter
Starring: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda
There’s actually an entire genre known as “Adult Contemporary Cinema.” If you’re under the age of 50, you might avoid this one. But, if that kind of stuff really revs your engines, this movie is about a widow and her widower neighbor who, y’know, get into a little “companionship.”
The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
Starring: Kate McKinnon
The beloved children’s show returns to Netflix with SNL’s Kate McKinnon voicing the iconic Ms. Frizzle.
BoJack Horseman: Season 4 (Netflix Original)
Created by: Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Starring: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie
Returning for its fourth season, BoJack Horseman will no doubt continue to push the boundaries of animated sitcoms and remain one of the smartest, funniest and surprisingly heartwarming shows on television.