2 Movies Like No Pressure (2024)

Staff & contributors

, 2023

Jules’ wacky premise — an extra-terrestrial crash-lands in eccentric widower Milton’s (Ben Kingsley) flowerbeds — is a bit of a misdirection. While the movie is technically a sci-fi (featuring, as it does, some very out-there alien engineering), it’s really a charming, mostly-human drama about the isolation and surreality of aging. 

Though the mute presence of the alien (nicknamed Jules and played brilliantly by a totally silent Jade Quon) is a constant reminder of the expansiveness of the universe and strange wonders yet to be discovered, the movie keeps its feet firmly on the ground with a sensitive exploration of just how small the worlds of lonely, dementia-struck Milton and two other isolated elderly townspeople (Jane Curtin and Harriet Sansom Harris) are. Rather than expand outwards into a story about the extra-terrestrial itself, Jules focuses on the painful disorientation felt by its lonely trio of protagonists, who all find therapeutic relief and connection by way of the alien and its “understanding eyes.” Though the movie's zany forays into sci-fi territory do sometimes boggle the mind, they never undermine the genuine emotion in Jules’ raw grappling with the experience of aging, as well as give the movie a quirky charm that ensures you won't see anything like this again soon — an increasingly rare experience in itself.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction

Actor: Andy Daly, Anna George, Ben Kingsley, Blair Baker, Brian Wiles, Christopher Kelly, Cody Kostro, Dann Fink, Daphne Gaines, Donald Paul, Edward James Hyland, Eric T. Miller, Eric Tiede, Harriet Sansom Harris, Jade Quon, Jane Curtin, Jeff Kim, Jeffrey Omura, Jessica Keenan Wynn, John Skelley, Laura Jordan, Lee Sellars, Marina Shay, Michael Frederic, Narea Kang, Patrick Noonan, Teddy Cañez, Zoe Winters

Director: Marc Turtletaub

Rating: PG-13

The Beautiful Game starts off with a hilarious, brilliantly written opening sequence that should have set the tone for the film. Then almost immediately, we're met with some shoddy writing, and in a strange way, that is what sets the tone for the film, instead. This film presents the story of the Homeless World Cup and how it empowers those who feel they have no direction, and so naturally we want to feel their triumph. But the film seems to want to cross over the jovial and wholesome line and deeper into the characters' struggles, and while some characters only need a glimpse of it, it generally comes across like a jarring lack of commitment. The film isn't carrying home any writing gold, but it's not really about winning, is it?

Genre: Drama

Actor: Anna Maria Everett, Aoi Okuyama, Bill Nighy, Callum Scott Howells, Colin Azzopardi, Cristina Rodlo, Daniel Attwell, Gabriel Akuwudike, James McNicholas, Jessye Romeo, Kazuhiro Muroyama, Kit Young, Layo-Christina Akinlude, Massimo Scola, Micheal Ward, Robin Nazari, Shane Casey, Sheyi Cole, Sian Reese-Williams, Susan Wokoma, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Valeria Golino

Director: Thea Sharrock

Rating: PG-13