We. Are. Back.
November is that odd time between October and December when it’s no longer the season for scary movies, but also way too early for Christmas movies. So finding something to watch might feel a tad bit more labor intensive.
In order to ease the anxiety inducing fears of finding movies to watch, we decided to scour through Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney Plus to dig up some worthwhile flicks you may want to check out.
Netflix: The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)
Hidden deep within the endless pile of Netflix originals constructed by algorithm lie a few great gems. Among them is 2020’s The Forty-Year-Old Version. Written and directed by Radha Blank (she also stars in it), The Forty-Year-Old Version is a fresh, clever, heartfelt tale of self discovery and artistic freedom. Slickly shot on 35mm and in black and white, The Forty-Year-Old Version shows one of the most honest versions of New York City put to film in a quite some time.
Blank (as a first time director nonetheless) proves to have a keen eye behind the camera as well as an endearing charm in front of the camera. It’s a shame to know that Netflix is funding and hosting cool indie projects like this and hasn’t done more to make their existence known. However, The Forty-Year-Old Version is definitely worth a watch and should certainly be added to your watch queue.
FOR FANS OF: She’s Gotta Have It; The King of Staten Island; Blindspotting
Prime Video: Days of Heaven (1978)
Terrence Malick’s second film is maybe his most under-appreciated. It features much of what defines his other works. The meditative, transcendental connection to nature is certainly there. The calming voice over narration that serves more as a literary tool to gain insight into a character’s psyche is also there. The golden hour shots are plentiful and stunning. The score by Ennio Morricone is brilliant.
Malick’s style and approach to filmmaking might not be for everyone, but Days of Heaven is much closer to standard movie sensibilities than films like The Tree of Life or The Thin Red Line. So whether you’re a Malick superfan, a Malick skeptic, or a curious newcomer wondering if Malick is the director for you, you’ll be able to find plenty to enjoy in Days of Heaven.
FOR FANS OF: The Tree of Life; Legends of the Fall ; Little Women (2019)
HBO Max: All The President’s Men (1976)
Journalism used to be cool. Accountability used to be cool. Movies about journalists holding people in power accountable used to be cool.
All the President’s Men is the gold standard for cinema about journalism. Understandably so. It’s tough to make a movie about two guys chasing down leads engaging, tense, or entertaining. However, All the President’s Men is able to somehow do all three. I guess it doesn’t hurt when the two guys chasing the leads are Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
There’s still a lot to love about All the President’s Men and a lot we can learn from it. It’s worth checking now as much as ever.
FOR FANS OF: Spotlight; The Insider; Michael Clayton
Hulu: Children of Men (2006)
Children of Men is one the most impressively constructed movies of the 21st century. Cuaron’s bleak sci-fi futuristic drama is probably his best work to date. This is a hard movie to recommend for a viewing, as the subject matter is insanely heavy. However, if you’re in the mood for some of the juiciest filmmaking you’ve ever experienced, Children of Men is sure to impress.
You will be stunned, you’ll probably cry, you will be forced to think, and in the end you might be given some hope. In these ways, Children of Men does everything that good film is supposed to do. If that’s not enough to get you to want to watch, I’m not too sure what will.
FOR FANS OF: Blade Runner; Terminator; Snowpiercer
Disney Plus: Night at the Museum (2006)
I must admit, Night at the Museum is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies. What it lacks in substance, meaning, and technique is made up for in its immense charm. The story is quite silly, but the cast is filled was some solid star power that can make most anything watchable.
I can’t help but throw it on every few months. Often times I put it on as background noise while I work or do random things around the house. However, about 15 to 20 minutes in I find myself watching and engaged. I’m not quite sure what kind of mystic powers this movie has over me. But I’ve grown to accept it. Give this fun little romp a chance. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it and end up checking out the entire Night at the Museum trilogy.
FOR FANS OF: National Treasure; Click; Free Guy
Alas! Five awesome flicks to add to your watchlist for the month. Make sure to add these to your queues and check back in next month. Until then, happy streaming!
What’s the best hidden gem you’ve streamed recently? Share in the comments and help us expand the list!