Was having a discussion with friends recently about who hadn’t seen what movies. The truth is that recommending movies to people is one of my few true joys in life. And while it’s much easier once I know someone, I can try here to throw out a few broad suggestions for you, the anonymous internet as a whole. Now recommending movies is a tricky business, as I recently found out after encouraging some friends to go see Joss Whedon’s excellent Cabin in the Woods. One enjoyed it, but I discovered that the other Really Does Not Like Horror Movies. You need to take people’s tastes into account. And when suggesting en masse like this, I also have to try and select movies that most people probably haven’t seen. It’s a difficult challenge, but I think I’m up for it. And if you’d like more personalized recommendations, let me know what you like. I watch a lot of movies; I can probably toss out something.
So anyway, here’s a list of movies to check out. I’ve posted trailers, but please note how often good movies have bad trailers. Also note that most of these are streamable online, either on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or Youtube. So check em’ out if they seem interesting!
1. Simone (Comedy/Drama)
This is the second film from Andrew Niccol, best known for the fantastic Gattaca. I actually wrote a paper about him awhile back for a film class; he’s done some really good stuff. Simone is probably his most obscure film, but well worth checking out. It’s the most light of his films, and a backhanded commentary on Hollywood, stars and fame.
2. Conversations with Other Women (Romance)
The split-screen thing is interesting and used as more than a gimmick, but the real draw here is the fantastic set of performances by the lead actors. Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter have to carry over an hour of near-constant camera time, and they make it work.
3. Brick (Thriller)
Ever wanted to see a noir-style detective story done with teenagers? That’s basically what Brick is. It’s the first film from Rian Johnson, who went on to do the fantastic Brothers Bloom and is working on a new film called Looper that looks very intriguing. He is definitely one to watch.
4. Ink (Fantasy)
The sense of atmosphere in this film is really mesmerizing. In terms of visual aesthetic the closest comparison I can think of would be MirrorMask, but this movie is definitely much darker in tone.
5. Reign Over Me (Drama)
I’m really surprised that this one isn’t more well-known. Amazing performance by Adam Sandler, and Don Cheadle…well, what can you say about him? Just one of the most underrated actors working today. This also has one of the best uses of a video game that I’ve seen in a film.