Best Movies to Stream at Home 2023

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Guided by Wright’s expressively interior performance and Jesse Chatham and Erin Dignam’s spartan script, the film captures the universal desire for escape in the face of grief, and the way resurrection often comes from accepting death as an inescapable facet of life. In Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson doesn’t just restore never-before-seen footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival; he expertly cuts it together to create a lively and passionate tapestry of Black America at a turning point. The canny, rhythmic structure of the film, which also includes commentary from those who played and attended the event, is key to its pointed power. Ultimately, though, it’s the music that lifts up these proceedings, which peak whenever Sly & the Family Stone take the stage.

But in 1991, the concept was given new life and new purpose in the form of Geena Davis’s Thelma and Susan Sarandon’s Louise. Best friends who decide to spice things up with an impromptu road trip, their mini-vacation is brutally interrupted when a man Thelma flirts with in a bar attacks her. In a fit of rage, the man is shot by Louise, and the two go on the run. In addition to moments of humor and thrilling suspense, Thelma and Louise changed the dynamics of the crime movie by having the lead pair’s actions motivated by an (understandable) distrust of men and a belief that they’ll never get a fair shake because of their gender.

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Then again, audiences should know by now that Tom Cruise won’t put his stamp of approval on an action movie that isn’t properly action-packed. In fact, it’s as much an homage to the original film—or an inside joke for ’80s kids—as anything else. But if your only reason for watching is in the hope that they re-created the original film’s iconic volleyball scene, you’ll be (semi) disappointed. Edward Berger’s updated adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front may have seemed unnecessary, but that doesn’t make it any less engrossing. While it’s set during  World War I, its lessons about the horrors and futility of war couldn’t be more timely—or needed.

Role-playing is rampant in The Power of the Dog, a Western in which burdens of expectation are almost as deadly as the true selves lurking within. Phil’s fury and cruelty are born from an easily identifiable secret, yet Campion’s film is less about that single mystery than the various ways these figures are governed, hemmed in, and crushed by the demand that they conform to the Old West’s macho and domestic codes of conduct. Don’t eat anything of unknown origins–a warning that goes unheeded by oft-bickering Riley (Malin Barr) and Sam (Sawyer Spielberg, son of Steven) in Honeydew. On a New England camping trip, the couple have a run-in with an unfriendly landowner who evicts them from their sleeping spot, forcing them to embark on a nocturnal trek through the woods that leads to the home of Karen (Barbara Kingsley). Though Riley and Sam are vegans, they’re compelled to chow down on some of Karen’s home-cooked beef and bread, the latter of which is especially dicey given that this region is notorious for having lost crops and cattle to a poisonous spore.

On a summer vacation on a Greek island, Leda (Olivia Coleman) sits alone on the beach, flirts with a handyman (Ed Harris), and unexpectedly involves herself with a gangster-ish clan after she helps recover the missing daughter of Nina (Dakota Johnson). As divulged by flashbacks to Leda’s younger motherhood (with Jessie Buckley as the twenty-something Coleman), Leda and Nina share similar maternal hang-ups, and the dynamic that develops between the two eventually turns dangerous and traumatic for everyone. At once aloof and imposing, tremulous and blunt, Coleman embodies Leta as a complex mom whose affection for others is dwarfed by her irrepressible love for herself, and Johnson matches her toe-for-toe as the confused and conflicted Nina. Gyllenhaal’s immediate, spiky direction breathes volatile life into this unpredictable drama of clashing instincts. Better still, it features one of 2021’s finest performances courtesy of Rebecca Hall as a woman whose anguish over her husband’s recent suicide is complicated by unnerving discoveries about the secret life he’d led.

If you think of jazz music as a soundtrack to a leisurely afternoon sipping pumpkin lattes in a Starbucks, then you need to see Whiplash. Almost unbearably intense, this story of an aspiring jazz drummer (Miles Teller) who is challenged to raise his game by an overbearing and abusive teacher (J.K. Simmons), this movie feels almost like a horror film at times. Simmons is dynamic and menacing and instantly iconic, and Teller more than keeps up with him.

The Warriors, at first, seems right in line with those, but by creating a deliberately over-the-top vision of New York crime committed by gangs in uniforms and costumes ranging from militaristic to silly, it reveals itself as something totally different. You typically can’t get an idea of what an entire film movement is about through one movie, but watching Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless is a pretty good way to wrap your head around what the French New Wave was all about. The way the movie plays carelessly with the traditional means of storytelling—it has a “plot” in only the loosest sense of the word—has that youthful, “breaking all the rules” energy. Legendary director Akira Kurosawa takes Shakespeare’s King Lear and sets it in medieval Japan. That’s the basic gist of the movie, but it also does nothing to prepare you for the visual experience Ran really is.

Even if you know the mystery of who or what “Rosebud” is (what’s the statute of limitations on 80 year old spoilers?) everything about Citizen Kane still works. You hear a lot of movies described as “haunting,” but few actually live up to the billing. Not so with The Red Shoes, which remains as moving and mysterious as it was when it was first released in 1948. Making incredible use of the then-new innovation “technicolor,” the movie is a story about love, art, and obsession that hasn’t softened with age one bit. The kind of movie that even your favorite movie makers love, with its mix of fairy tale fantasy and emotional realism. The story of two identical women—Polish Weronika and French Veronique—who don’t know one another but are leading parallel lives forms the framework for this dreamy, entrancing movie from Polish director Krysztof Kieslowski.

  • In Spielberg’s case, there were several films that had love (including Minority Report and West Side Story), but none that united all six of us in full-throated enthusiasm.
  • Heathers is a pitch-black satire about a rebellious couple (Winona Ryder and Christian Slater) who decide to push back against the tyrannical popular kids—unfortunately, it leads to murder.
  • The ending race home, for example, is a masterful use of editing, music, and physical comedy.
  • Phil’s fury and cruelty are born from an easily identifiable secret, yet Campion’s film is less about that single mystery than the various ways these figures are governed, hemmed in, and crushed by the demand that they conform to the Old West’s macho and domestic codes of conduct.
  • It actually has the messy, sporadic vibe of teen life, jumping between subplots with energy and unfocused angst.

The film, which was released in 2010, stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake, and, as time goes on and Facebook evolves, acts as an artistic time capsule of the aughts. Writer-director John Singleton’s feature debut is a modern classic that follows the lives of three young men in Crenshaw. The cast includes Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut, Angela Bassett, Ice Cube, and Regina King. Spike Jonze’s musings on the future of AI and the personal connection formed between user and virtual assistant becomes more relevant every year as smart technology infiltrates every aspect of modern life. The film explores the relationship between a lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) who starts having a deep, romantic connection with his new operating system, Samantha (Scarlett Johansson).

It’s a pretty traditional boxing film, but there is a one-take fight scene that will leave you wondering how they shot it for years. The sequel to the 1963 film The Pink Panther, which introduced audiences to bumbling French cop Inspector Clouseau, A Shot in the Dark is Sellers really settling in and taking his physical and verbal comedy to the next level. And it’s not just about Sellers, either—the opening scene is an incredibly choreographed sequence as the camera tracks residents of a Parisian apartment complex sneaking into each other’s rooms for midnight trysts.

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