The 50 Best Overlooked Indie Movies of All-Time

agoodmovietowatch is a new and quickly developing platform suggesting little-known but acclaimed movies – films you haven’t yet seen that you are likely to enjoy.

We not only reference movies based on their appreciation by viewers (through IMDb) but we allow our own users to express what they’ve thought about the film.

So what was initially a database carefully selected by our staff becomes a list that can be ranked. Below is a list of the best little-known/indie movies that spans across all genres.

Note: to see if each film is available for you to stream on Netflix or elsewhere, click on the title to be redirected to the movie page.

    Stars: Hugh Dancy, Peter Gallagher, Rose Byrne
    Directed by: Max Mayer

    A simple and sweet movie about love, trust, and space.  Adam is a 30-something year old with Aspergers syndrome, this film is about how he navigates his way through loneliness and love and all things in between. It is both humorous and slightly heart-breaking, and will leave you feeling that way as well. Maybe the reason we all belong together is that we don’t, and this movie is a beautiful examination of that.

    Stars: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche
    Directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche

    Emma, a free minded girl with blue hair, influences Adele’s life dramatically, teaching her how to be honest with herself and discover her true desires about love. The film beautifully and realistically portrays the evolution of Adele, from a highschool girl to a grown-up woman, even though the spirit which Emma lighted up in her never dies. Blue Is the Warmest Color or La Vie d’Adèle is a very honest, intense, and charming picture, prepare not to blink much and have your face glued to screen from start to finish.

    Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend
    Directed by: Mark Herman

    You’ve probably watched and heard about enough Holocaust films to expect a formula, but you might want to put all that aside going into The Boy in Striped Pajamas. Bruno, the son of a WWII Nazi commandant forms an unlikely friendship with a Jewish kid his age in his father’s concentration camp. The film is World War II told through Bruno’s eyes, and while you might not get why this movie is so highly praised in its first scenes, the twisting and profound second half will have you recommending it to everyone in need of a moving story well executed, or quite simply a good cry.

    Stars: Billy Zane, Julia Garner, Liam Aiken
    Directed by: Rebecca Thomas

    Electrick Children is the debut film for director Rebecca Thomas and one of the most unique and visually stunning films I’ve seen in a while. This gem is about a teenager born and raised in a religious community who believes she has been impregnated with the son of God from a cassette tape she listened to. She decides to run away to neighboring Las Vegas in search of the real father, “the man who sings on the cassette tape.” Heavy stuff, man. Electrick Children is one of those films you see once and it stays with you. It deals with teenagers so delicately and accurately, depicting the butterflies, the excitement, the romance, the heartbreak, the trials and tribulations of this age and beyond. Its cinematography is hypnotizing and its soundtrack is divine (listen to Top of the Hill by Conduits on repeat and it’ll start to have an impact on your life.) Its plot is completely fresh and is able to grab and keep your attention from the first second until the very end. Watching this film made me want to go back in time and fall in love all over again. It made me feel lusty and gave me butterflies and made my heart flutter unlike any other film I’ve seen. You can’t pass this one up.

    Stars: Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor, Paul Giamatti
    Directed by: Tom McCarthy

    Paul Giamatti knocks in out of the park in Win Win. The movie has so much humanity in it as well as a fantastic story that’s rooted in normalcy. At last a movie about second chances that is anything but cheesy. The rhythm of the humor in this movie helps you move through the serious themes unscathed (for the most part). In sum, the jokes are spot-on and the acting is excellent.

    Stars: Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Olivia Thirlby
    Directed by: Jonathan Levine

    A period comedy set in New York in the summer of 1994, the Wackness is a coming of age story about Luke Shapiro (Joshua Peck), as he deals with family trauma, love and economic hardship while selling pot to his strange psychologist. Rescued from a somewhat typical bildungsroman plot by sharp character acting, a firm directorial hand and an absolutely fitting soundtrack  that evokes the golden age of rap music.

    Stars: Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe
    Directed by: Sean Baker

    Every once and a while there are movies that expand the definition of quality film-making, The Florida Project is one of them. This incredible yet delicate film follows three children from poor families that find themselves living in low-cost motels permanently. It portrays their adventures and friendship through very precise aesthetics and a story that seems at first plot-free but which ends on a very high note. The movie tries and succeeds in capturing an innocence only children are capable of: a precarious living condition is in their eyes a world full of adventures and fun. It’s hard to describe it further and it’s the kind that must be seen to be fully understood. Or to cut it short: it must be seen, period.

    Stars: Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson, Sandra Oh
    Directed by: David Slade

    The best way to watch this movie is to be completely unprepared; it’s a super indie (sub 1 million dollar budget) Canadian thriller that completely wowed critics and audiences, even as it (and we’re being honest here) totally freaked them out. So, no spoilers, we can let you know it’s an internet thriller with shades of Little Red Riding Hood, hyperrealistic violence, and extremely surprising plot twists. Also, there’s less than 9 minutes of music in the entire film, which instead uses creepy ambient noises and breathing, so, yeah, it gets a bit tense.

    Stars: Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Zachary Quinto
    Directed by: J. C. Chandor

    A thoughtful drama about the financial crisis, Margin Call is gripping. Seriously, even something as convoluted as the 2008 global economic meltdown is not only accessible and understandable, but it’s gripping. Margin Call transports you to the heart of Wall Street, both the financial institutions and the street, literally. It is exciting, well-acted and informative. Uh, also: Kevin Spacey.

  • Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Mark Duplass
    Directed by: Colin Trevorrow

    A quirky little movie about a reporter trying to get a story about a man who posted an ad looking for someone to travel in time with. The movie’s main strength is the fantastic casting of talents that usually live in the series world (Jake M. Johnson from New Girl, Aubery Plaza from Parcs and Recreation, Mark Duplass), and although it might seem a little bit slow at the beginning, it is worth every second spent watching it.

    Stars: Ángel Tavira, Dagoberto Gama, Gerardo Taracena
    Directed by: Francisco Vargas

    TRIGGER WARNING: THIS FILM IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. CONTAINS VERY GRAPHIC SCENES. In fact, the movie opens with rape. While definitely not an easy watch, it is an incredible story and it should definitely be seen by more people.

    Set in the 1970s during the peasant revolts, a group of locals in the rural areas organize a rebellion against the government. The movie starts with the government fighting this insurgency by sending soldiers to the village, where they rape, torture, beat, and kill the villagers. The soldiers unknowingly cut off the locals from their ammunition supply by occupying the fields in which the ammunition is secretly hidden. Don Plutarco, an old man and violinist (who is missing a hand), attempts to pass this checkpoint though, in order to “check on his corn crops.” The soldiers agree, but only if he stays for a daily music lesson.

    As Plutarco comes every day, he secretly smuggles the ammunition into his violin case, right under the guards’ noses. The story is incredibly moving, showing the heart wrenching tragedies the peasants go through, as well as the way music moves the guards, despite what they think of the peasants. I’d highly recommend it, but only for those with strong stomachs.

    Stars: Iben Hjejle, John Cusack, Todd Louiso
    Directed by: Stephen Frears

    This might just be the most insightful movie about men. Watch if you are a guy and you will cringe endlessly from seeing yourself in the characters, and if you are a girl  you should also watch it to laugh and understand the men around you better (yes, it is that insightful). Rob Gordon, a music fanatic who owns a record store, tells the stories of how his relationships ended, included the one ongoing. So if you are asking if this is a romantic comedy about a man trying to move on from a breakup, yes, it is. And it Works.

    High Fidelity is in fact funny, interesting and comes with a unique look at relationships. But it is mostly simple and entertaining, and with perfect performances from John Cusack and Jack Black as well as an immaculate soundtrack, it is a must-watch.

    Stars: Alia Shawkat, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots
    Directed by: Jeremy Saulnier

    This is the follow-up film by the director of the (also) excellent and intense Blue Ruin. Like that film, Green Room often subverts genre expectations. The basic premise: a lefty punk band winds up taking a show at a skinhead club because they are desperate for cash. The show goes well, but afterward the band accidentally witnesses something they shouldn’t have and are trapped in the club’s green room. This film is brutal and intense, especially because you actually care about what happens to the characters. Bonus: Sir Patrick Stewart plays the leader of the skinhead organization, and gives a subtle yet effectively sinister performance. While some truly horrific acts of violence occur (especially in the back-half of the film) they really do serve the story. Still, there are a handful of scenes that may require more sensitive viewers to cover their eyes. You have been warned.

    Stars: Kristen Stewart, Lane Garrison, Peyman Moaadi
    Directed by: Peter Sattler

    This is Kristen Stewart’s proof that she is more than a lip-biting, vampire-loving teenager. Reactive and emotive, she will not disappoint you here. Rather expect an electrifying and exceptional performance. Paired with Payman Moaadi, they both make of this work an emotionally poignant movie that questions the notion of freedom in the unlikeliest of places: Guantanamo Bay.

    Stars: Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne
    Directed by: Danny Boyle

    Sunshine is a sci-fi thriller that details pretty much exactly what you don’t want to happen on your journey into space. It follows the struggles of a crew who know that they are humanity’s last hope to rekindle a dying sun and save their loved ones back home. Out of radio contact with Earth, relationships become strained and when things start to go horribly wrong the diverse cast give a fantastic performance as they encapsulate both the terror and humanity that arises from such an alien situation. Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later).

    Stars: Heather Graham, Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn
    Directed by: Doug Liman
    Swingers is the bro-fest regular dudes need. Not enough movies tell the stories of the down-on-luck, kind of uncool wolf-pack that still goes out into town with their wallets on chains hanging from their pockets and try their luck with the ladies. Mike, heart-broken actor-comedian pines over his ex long after she’s been gone, while his guys – Trent, Rob and Sue – try to help him get back in the game in a series of nights club-hopping and wingman-ing. You find yourself empathizing with Mike almost immediately if you’ve ever had a broken heart and root for him throughout his highs and fairly embarrassing lows. Sprinkled with clever references and subtle, refreshing humor, Mike’s journey to find closure is more than likely to warm your heart.
    As a bonus, the flawed yet endearing gang of twenty-something struggling actors will take you to that charming 90’s nightlife in Los Angeles (with music to die for, by the way) and remind you that boys will be boys and that they’re just doing their best helping each other and themselves to keep it together with lots of “You’re so money, and you don’t even know it!”.
    Stars: Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack, Paul Dano
    Directed by: Bill Pohlad

    The main reason to watch Love & Mercy could be that it’s about the life of Beach Boys leader Bryan Wilson, but it shouldn’t. That wouldn’t do the film any justice. Yes it is a great rock biopic, but its reach goes way beyond that: it’s a compelling and beautiful character study performed in unparalleled perfection by Paul Dano and John Cusack. It gives an inside look into the mind of a genius in all its glory and obscurity. And so much of it rings true because, yes, it is about the life Beach Boys leader Bryan Wilson. Such a unique and beautiful film.

    Stars: Joan Allen, Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver
    Directed by: Ang Lee

    Set during the swingin’ seventies, two small town Connecticut families are the subject of this visually stunning and somewhat disturbing drama. With an all-star cast that includes Sigourney Weaver as Janey Carver, an unsatisfied housewife and mother of two and Elijah Wood as her eldest son, there’s plenty of star power and drama. In addition, director Ang Lee brings his signature sense of trial and unease while unleashing a quirky and pointed 70’s aesthetic.

    Stars: Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan
    Directed by: Jeff Nichols

    Authentic and filled with great performances, Mud is a beautiful tale of love, loss, and growth. While you had probably thought you couldn’t be more impressed with him than in Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, or True Detective, Mathew McConaughey’s performance here is probably his best, and is nothing short of a masterpiece. It takes the entire movie to an unprecedented level of authenticity and power as well as give his character’s interaction with two young boys in the South the perfect balance between uneasiness and sorrow. The story is also very thrilling, and will keep you at the edge of your seat more times than not.

    Stars: Gaspard Ulliel, Léa Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel
    Directed by: Xavier Dolan

    Based on a play and taking place in the span of one afternoon, It’s Only the End of the World is about a successful writer returning to his hometown in rural Canada baring life-altering news. But before he can share anything, he is faced with the remnants of his life prior to moving out and his family members’ (eccentric but relatable) personalities. This is a movie by one of the most interesting directors working today, Canadian Xavier Dolan. Contrary to his plot-heavy Mommy (which earned him the Cannes Jury Prize at 25 years old), in It’s Only the End of the World how the story unfolds is far more important than what it unfolds. It’s an exploration of dynamics: between brother and sister, between son and mother, between brothers, etc. Don’t go into it expecting things to happen, or waiting for what will happen in the end. Instead, the purpose of this of this film can be found in how Xavier Dolan handles his usual themes of family through big talent: Mario Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, and Léa Seydoux among many others.

    Stars: Annette Bening, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan
    Directed by: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

    Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano), a young and promising novelist imagines and writes about his idea of a prefect female companion. Somehow, his words manifest into reality – the beautiful and corky Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan). Soon, however, his magical love turns shallow as his creation begins to think for herself and wrestle against her creation. This romantic comedy has the right amount of wit and emotion with an deep message of loving people just the way they are.

  • Stars: Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, Nicolas Cage
    Directed by: John Dahl

    Talk about a little seen, must love cult classic. This film noir movie is an energetic, sadly forgotten, and one hell of a Drama/Mystery/Whatever-that-is movie. The acting as solid as this pilot’s balls, and the story as fluctuating as Obama’s views on privacy. Watch it with a friend. You’ll be sure to compare notes afterwards.


    Stars: Craig Roberts, Paul Rudd, Selena Gomez
    Directed by: Rob Burnett, Robert Meyer Burnett

    The Fundamentals of Caring is an offbeat comedy/drama starring Paul Rudd as Ben, a man attempting to overcome tragedy and looming divorce by becoming the caretaker for a teenager with muscular dystrophy named Trevor (Craig Roberts, Submarine). The two develop an unconventional relationship based largely on sarcasm and profanity, delivering many laugh-out-loud moments, while also slowly exposing the pain each is carrying inside. They eventually embark on a road trip across the western United States, at Ben’s urging, in order for Craig to see something of the world beyond his wheelchair and television. It’s a formulaic yet fun and touching road movie that covers much familiar ground, but also offers a fine illustration of caregiving, personal growth and emotional healing. Paul Rudd is as good ever, and Roberts is utterly superb. One of the best movies on the Netflix Originals catalog, and an undeniable winner, all-in-all.

    Stars: Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Robinson
    Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

    A quirky and lovely coming of age film, the Kings of Summer celebrates the beauty and madness of adolescence and the sheer joy of long summer days. The plot follows three teenage friends, who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. The house soon becomes a microcosm of their relationships with each other and the world at large, prompting conflict and mirroring their own transformations as they grow. Simple yet powerful, the Kings of Summer has a lot to say.

    Stars: Jeff Daniels, Jesse Eisenberg, Laura Linney, Owen Kline
    Directed by: Noah Baumbach

    Director Noah Baumbach’s autobiographical film is a strikingly realistic take on divorce and the turmoil it sets on an already-dysfunctional family. Bernard (Jeff Daniels) is a selfish decadent writer who’s splitting with his unfaithful wife Joan (Laura Linney). Their two sons, Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) and Frank (Owen Kline), are taking different sides that reflect their personality. This separation only reinforces their insecurities as they quickly fall into depression and grow away from their friends. The parents, however, find unconventional lovers just as quickly, Bernard with a student of his, and Jane with her son’s tennis coach.

    The Squid and the Whale is a funny, emotional, and gripping story that finds a perfect balance in tone despite dealing with bitter divorce and troubled adolescence.

    Directed by: Don Hertzfeldt

    Two-time Oscar nominee Don Hertzfeldt crafts this provocative film in the most skillful way. With only stick figure drawings and some stock footage, he compellingly walks you through the crumbling mind of a man. It is funny. It is sad. It is unsettling. Unlike most movies – or perhaps any movie – there is no point in the film where you feel safe. Unpredictable. Engrossing. Disturbing. By the end of it, you will not be sure what you’ve just seen, but you will feel as if it has changed you. **Personal suggestion: do not watch alone late at night**

    Stars: Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Mathieu Amalric
    Directed by: Julian Schnabel

    Directed by celebrated artist-turned-fillmmaker Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is the true story of French journalist and fashion editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), who suffered a devastating stroke at the age of 43. Almost completely paralyzed by what is termed “Locked-in Syndrome”, Bauby was left with only the operation of his left eye intact, leaving him forced to communicate via partner-assisted scanning (selection of each letter of the alphabet via blinking). Ultimately, Bauby employed this painstaking procedure to dictate his own memoir “Le Scaphandre et le Papillon”, which became a number one bestseller in Europe. The film alternates between Bauby’s interaction with his visitors and caretakers (including the dictation of his book) and his own dream-like fantasies and memories of his life prior to paralysis. With the title, Bauby uses the diving bell to represent his self-perceived state of isolation, akin to a deep-sea diver encased in an oxygenated chamber, and the corresponding butterfly to represent the freedom he enjoys as he often journeys quite magically through his own mind’s eye. It’s a somber yet engaging film full of heart and vision, featuring wonderful performances by the entire cast across the board.

    Stars: Eugenio Derbez, Jessica Lindsey, Karla Souza
    Directed by: Eugenio Derbez

    When a playboy is handed a child from a past fling he moves from Mexico to America to try and find the mother. Once in America he finds himself deep into the role of a father with his transition being one of those sweet moments you never see coming. The whole movie has that tone, of growth, dad-daughter love, charm, and drama to varying extents. The chemistry between the two actors who play father and daughter is beautiful, and adds the last touch to make Instructions Not Included a heartwarming, sweet, and very enjoyable movie.

    Stars: Matt Dillon, Noah Emmerich, Timothy Hutton
    Directed by: Ted Demme

    With an ensemble cast featuring a young Natalie Portman and a less murderous Uma Thurman, Ted Demme’s “Beautiful Girls” recreates the worries and woes that thrive in the minds of a tight knit group of working class friends stuck in their own small town Massachusetts world. Warm, quirky and filled with champagne diamonds, both metaphorical and tangible, for anybody who’s ever walked the thirty something walk, it’s a film that’ll make you want to remember all the friends you wish you still had and actually still do.

    Stars: Peter Meadows, Ryan Gosling, Summer Phoenix
    Directed by: Henry Bean

    Ryan Gosling plays a Jewish Neo-Nazi in this extremely riveting window into the definition of inner conflict. It is a prime example of how character development should be done and it put Gosling on the map for me. He starts out as an exemplary student in Hebrew school until he starts questioning his teachings and exploring alternative ideologies, leading him to the neo-Nazi movement. Won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance

    Stars: James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy
    Directed by: Michael Roskam

    One of The Drop’s many strengths is its dark, clever, yet compassionate script. It will take you into the heart of the Brooklyn crime scene through the characters and their respective more or less fragile lifestyles. The extremely good performances, however, soon become the focus and attire of the film. James Gandolfini couldn’t be more at home in this context and excels with his usual menace, yet somehow relatable presence. Tom Hardy, however, surprises in unfamiliar grounds, sharply portraying a vulnerable character, whose vulnerability you will keep doubting.

    The Drop is consistent from start to finish, and with jaw-dropping moments here and there, it is both an interesting and enjoyable film.

    Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson
    Directed by: Todd Field

    A triple Oscar-nominated drama which explores how ambiguous our roles in society can be. While categorized as “adults”, a number of us are yet to outgrow certain adolescent stages. Let’s face it – we all live in pretense of adulthood, obeying the general rules and hoping society will not detect our little bugs of immaturity. This film questions and analyzes that, by going through human nature, sexuality, morals and beyond, while remaining authentic and genuine. The characters are complex (with great performances from all actors, especially Kate Winslet) and the directing is superb. All in all, a good watch for anyone looking for non intelligence-insulting entertainment.

    Stars: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Guilied Lopez, Orlando Tobón
    Directed by: Joshua Marston

    Is courage still courage when you have no choices left? What do you do when you’re pressed to the wall and have no way to go? Maria, a pretty, modest and hardworking girl living in a small Colombian town, where the only career choice (thus not being a choice, really) is working in a floral plant, packing and distributing flowers – a dead-end job with killer hours and zero-tolerance boss. Yet, it’s money. Until the day Maria gets pregnant and her choices become even more limited. By accident, she makes acquaintance with a guy who turns out to be her way out – and the way is out to become a drug mule, transporting drugs in your stomach across the border to the American soil. A job dangerous in many aspects, illegal and potentially deadly, but also paid well. Maria decides to take the only way out, a way that may be a one-way street. Maria Full of Grace is a gut-wrenching story about survival in a seemingly hopeless situation. It’s about taking that one chance that has all the potential to go south, and investing in it all the hope you have left, and all the survival instinct you have in your heart and soul. And when everything that could go bad does, and everything turns from bad to worse beyond imagination, it’s about standing strong and not giving up, no matter what. Though technically not a documentary, it’s real beyond belief, and you can be sure Colombia is full of Marias – just hoping for a decent life, ready to sacrifice the very life itself to obtain it. It’s a masterpiece of its genre and it also boasts one of the best posters in the history of the cinema. Highly recommended.

    Stars: Jong-ho Kim, Ki-duk Kim, Yeong-su Oh
    Directed by: Ki-duk Kim

    A doorway opens at the beginning of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring, and through this doorway you are brought into the movie’s world. Explanations or plot transitions rarely exist, and dialogue is kept at a minimum level. And yet this movie remains an incredibly simple film. Following a Buddhist master and his apprentice, it is a fable very much in the ‘cycle of life’ form, offering gentle complexity in the timeless and sole framework of a floating Buddhist monastery. That’s all I can say without saying too much. If you are into aesthetically pleasing films, go watch this.

    Stars: Bill Murray, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek
    Directed by: Aaron Schneider

    Robert Duvall…Bill Murray…need I say more? This popped up in my Netflix feed as a suggestion. Almost skipped over it, but my husband and I were up late and took a chance. WHOA! The acting is superb and what we thought would be a movie about revenge is unexpectedly about redemption. Robert Duvall is a hermit, looking forward to death. Bill Murray is a funeral home director looking for someone to bury. It’s subtle, very subtle, comical and heartbreaking. Y’all will love it.

    Stars: Gael García Bernal, Mía Maestro, Rodrigo De la Serna
    Directed by: Walter Salles

    Let’s fight! I’m not a fan of “Into the wild” okay okay, calm down… Maybe we can fix this. Maybe we could watch “The Motorcycle Diaries” together. Watching this heartwarming movie, you will get the travel bug. I got it and I never got rid of it. I even want to go on a motorcycle tour through South America although I would have never dreamed of getting on a motorbike. Have fun with it. Oh and… this film is about the young Che Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado by the way.

    Stars: Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Will Forte
    Directed by: Alexander Payne

    Nebraska is a poem distilled into a film. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone says “is it a comedy or a drama? Both at the same time, as life itself.” Everything about it is perfect: the acting, the photography, the story. In case that’s not enough and you need to know the plot to get convinced, I’ll tell you that it’s a road movie about a senile old man and his son. If you still want more information, you can Google it, but come on! You’ll just be wasting time that would be better spent on watching this masterpiece.

    Stars: Christopher Plummer, Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent
    Directed by: Mike Mills

    An American romantic comedy, Beginners is told through a series of flashbacks telling the story of Oliver and his complicated and difficult relationship with his father. The film is gorgeously heartbreaking, demonstrating how hurtful we are to those we love, while showing the ties of mutual need that bind people. In the way it also takes on the process of finding one’s happiness, through the character’s eyes and his father’s, what that process has in common for both, and how one is inspired from the other. Beginners is lovely, funny, interesting, and above all very enjoyable.

    Stars: Jay Klaitz, Julie Ann Emery, Nils d'Aulaire
    Directed by: Jeremy Kipp Walker, John Mitchell

    An alien ordered to colonize Earth abandons his mission when he hears music for the first time and is determined to save his adopted planet. With a combination of a great, low-budget sci-fi plot and a wonderful, whimsical soundtrack, you can’t go wrong with this film. It is goofy, and both lighthearted and heartwarming. It’ll knock your socks off!

    Stars: Ben Gazzara, Campbell Scott, Steve Martin
    Directed by: David Mamet

    Can you imagine Steve Martin in a serious role? If not, you seriously need to watch this movie! More plot twists than an Agatha Christie novel, so many that my son had to watch it again the minute it was over. Not a lot of special effects, but this is a seriously complex mystery drama that is incredibly (believe-it-or-not) family friendly, with absolutely minimal language or violence. No one is as they seem… I won’t even begin to try to explain why… just watch and wait to be stumped and stunned!

    Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell
    Directed by: Marc Forster

    Will Ferrell plays a well organized IRS agent named Harold Crick who seems to have figured out everything in his life to the dot. Little does he know his life is being run by someone else, a nervous and morbid novelist, famous for ending her works with the death of the main character. As the nature of his life and eventual doom, he decides to lay back and enjoy the ride, breaking all his ingrained and boring habits. While this film is recommended for everyone , Will Ferrel fans, especially, need to watch this to see Will’s acting variety.

    Stars: Haley Ramm, Jason Bateman, Jonah Bobo
    Directed by: Henry Alex Rubin

    I watch many movies and the great majority of them leave little impression on me. They are fun and entertaining, but quickly forgettable. Not Disconnect, though. This is a powerful and provocative film that not only keeps you pinned to your seat but also makes you think about the consequences of your actions. It should certainly be a required viewing not only for young people but also for any one who uses social media or communicates via the Internet. Disconnect is a timely, well-written, well-acted, and well-paced movie that stays with you long after you finish watching it. I was also pleased by the fact that the director and writer did not take the easy way out. No glib, predictable solutions here, which is one reason why the film’s events linger in your mind.

    Stars: Beatriz Batarda, Kate Magowan, Paul Kaye
    Directed by: Michael Dowse

    A Canadian film with a title based off Cockney rhyming slang meaning “it’s all gone a bit wrong,” it’s All Gone Pete Tong is an offbeat and bleak comedy. Starring Paul Kaye as Frankie Wilde, a successful club DJ who begins to go deaf at the height of his fame. As news of his disability surfaces, he tries to record a new album, but is hampered by his drug habits and infighting. Quickly, the trappings of fame abandon him: the gigs in Ibiza, the money, the cocaine and his trophy wife. The film makes use of cameo interviews with famous DJs, and chugs along like a fantastic Behind the Music.

    Stars: Monica Bellucci, Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave
    Directed by: Larysa Kondracki

    Based on a true story, The Whistleblower is the biography of a once Nebraskan police officer who volunteers for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in post-war Bosnia. Once there, she uncovers a human trafficking scandal involving peacekeeping officials, and finds herself alone against a hostile system in a devastated country. Rachel Weisz plays the whistleblower in a powerful lead role, but the true star of the movie is its director, Larysa Kondracki, who thanks to near documentary-style film-making delivers a perfectly executed political thriller with utmost authenticity.

  • Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones
    Directed by: Tommy Lee Jones

    A one-act play remade by HBO starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones (who also directs). Two men with different beliefs debate the existence of God after a failed suicide attempt. Starting with subtle conversations, the audience quickly gets plunged into deep philosophical musings resulting in relatable yet interesting ideas. Fans of The Man From Earth and similar thought-provoking dialogue-driven films will definitely appreciate this. The following will serve both as a warning and as an argument to go watch it: the whole 90 minutes it spans revolves solely around a smart discussion between two characters in the same room.

    Stars: Nina Hoss, Nina Kunzendorf, Ronald Zehrfeld
    Directed by: Christian Petzold

    Nelly is a concentration camp survivor who undergoes reconstructive facial surgery, and comes back to question whether her husband (unable to recognize her) was the one who betrayed her to the Nazis. Heavy, heavy stuff. But in Phoenix you will also see something else, as the story takes you beyond the subject matter to become almost a celebration of film: elements of Hitchcockian cinema intertwine with the realism of the likes of David Ayer are added to perfect performances to create a stunning, compelling, and exceptional film.

    Stars: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson
    Directed by: Martin McDonagh

    If you like any of the following: Irish accents, Woody Harrelson, Pulp Fiction, or dark comedy;  then this is the movie for you. This mix of violence, mafia, existential talk, and painfully comical situations might not be for everyone, but it has every component to make its target audience very pleased. And given how chaotic and crazy it can get, it should be enjoyed one take at a time, focusing on each delightful scene rather than the overall plot. Directed by Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths makes a perfect comeback after In Bruges, without veering very much from it (consequently if you like this movie make sure you check out In Bruges too).

    Stars: Kiersey Clemons, Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori
    Directed by: Rick Famuyiwa

    At the same time a fun, crazy, and meaningful movie about Malcom and his friends, high school teenagers and proud geeks who suddenly find themselves immersed in the underground LA drug scene. It’s a 2015 Superbad meets Boyz in the Hood. But in its essence it mostly resembles another beautiful film, Juno, in the way it evolves around a character played perfectly who you get to know, agree and disagree with, and ultimately learn from and relate to. Above all it’s an outright enjoyable film, a smart one too, with a great soundtrack to boot.

    Stars: Amy Hargreaves, Devin Ratray, Macon Blair
    Directed by: Jeremy Saulnier

    Blue Ruin is a superbly acted, visually striking drama about a man’s poignant and brutally violent journey for revenge when the culprit responsible for the murder of his father is released from prison. While it might seem like any other revenge tale, it is so well-told and smart that any other similarities with its crowded genre gently fade away.

    The first 15-20 minutes are pretty slow, but the pay-off is hot fire.

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