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agoodmovietowatch recommends highly-rated and often little-known film and TV on streaming services. Read More

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104 Best Movies & Shows Released in 2019

Sex Education is an original mix of what its title would indicate, but also of heartfelt and funny stories. Otis, a British teenager whose mom is a sex and relationship therapist, starts harnessing her knowledge to help the sex woes of the kids in his high-school. Hilarity regularly ensues as you’d expect from anything involving sex and uninitiated teenagers. But for all its worth, Sex Education is never cringe-worthy. Its realistic writing of teenage misadventures can teach any adult a thing or two. If you liked Lovesick, another Netflix British comedy about sex trouble, you will like Sex Education.

8.9

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A beautiful 90s-Disney-like animation about the origin story of Santa Klaus. It starts with a mailman who gets sent away to a bleak northern town inhabited by two large families who have been fighting each other for centuries. There are no colors and no joy left in this town. But when this mailman stumbles upon a faraway estate (I feel so festive just writing this review), he makes an acquittance that will change the town forever, and with it, how Christmas is celebrated around the world. There are also many genuinely funny moments AND you’ll recognize many voiceovers: J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, and Jason Schwartzman to name a few.

8.9

Unbelievable is one of the best Netflix productions in a while and definitely the best detective-centric show since the first season of True Detective. After a rape victim is not believed by the detectives who are assigned to her case, details of a similar incident surface elsewhere. Two detectives played masterfully by Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, embark on a relentless journey to catch the perpetrator in this thrilling and insanely bingeable true-crime show.

8.8

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This is the latest Oscar-nominated movie by Spain's highest-regarded director, Pedro Almodóvar. It's his most personal work to date, being a slightly fictionalized account of his youth and then the last couple of years. He is mostly portrayed by Antonio Banderas, who was also nominated for an Oscar for this role; while another star performance comes from Penélope Cruz who plays his mother in the flashback scenes. Pain and Glory is about life in the arts: how a tormented artistic personality is formed, the days of focusing on work over relationships, and dealing with the consequences later in life. It begs the question: in Almodóvar's life, was the glory that got him to making as great of a movie as this one worth the pain?

8.7

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A beautifully shot movie about a high-schooler who's pushed by his father to always work and exercise the hardest. He aces his exams and always wins at wrestling, but nothing is ever good enough for the father and there is no margin for error. When things with both his body and his relationship start going wrong, his existence comes crashing down. This movie has two parts, and it takes a lot of narrative risks, but the beautiful camera work and believable characters land every single risk. It's an incredible achievement and a movie that should have gotten much more attention than it did.

8.7

An extremely bingeable and thrilling Norwegian TV show about a world in which Norway decided to stop its oil production to fight climate change. Russia, with support from the EU, occupies Norway.This scenario might seem far-fetched at first, but watching Occupied I wondered how there is a future in which it doesn't happen (I'm sure there is, I just don't want you to think this show is not realistic).At the center of the story is the police department, who, just like in most occupations, have the difficult position of protecting both their population and the invaders. There are personal stories and geopolitical dynamics, all intersecting to make for a deeply engaging series.

8.7

This historical fantasy show is based on the best-selling novel The Saxon Stories, a story set during the Viking / Dane invasion of Britain.Uhtred was a small boy when he was kidnapped and then raised by the Danes. When he unexpectedly gets caught up in the conflict, his half-Saxon half-Dane mix makes at the same time valuable and untrustworthy for both sides.There has never been a better alternative to Game of Thrones. The great writing and great performances from a cast of newcomers inevitably induce the same sense of addiction.

8.6

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This story of a filmmaker who stayed in Aleppo, Syria during the war, got married then had a child called Sama, is a mix of difficult and inspiring.There are stories of unsurmountable loss, as the filmmaker’s husband is one of the 30 remaining doctors in Aleppo (a city of almost 5 million), and she films many of the victims that come to his hospital. But while this is happening, there are also uplifting stories of resilience and rare but profound moments of laughter and joy.We’re growing too sensitized to violence in Syria, and this movie, possibly the most intimate account of the war, can stir back a much-needed awareness of the injustices that take place.When things get really bad in the documentary, it’s hard not to wonder where the humanity is in all of this. You quickly realize that it’s right there, behind the camera, in Sama and her mother’s will to live.

8.6

J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) plays two characters in Counterpart, which could seem like a recipe for disaster (cf. Gemini Man). But watching this excellent thriller it’s easy to understand why so many actors take the risk to play two characters: when it pays off, it pays off big time.And what better setting to risk it than playing two completely different personalities: Counterpart is about a world that is parallel to ours. There are two versions of each one of us, living in separate and different timelines. The link between the timelines is in Berlin, both Simmons characters (Simmonses?) work in the institution that manages this bridge.It might seem like a complicated plot but there aren’t many characters and the show is not focused on the science-fiction aspect of the story. Instead, it’s a political thriller where everyone is constantly trying to kill everyone, similar to Bourne. And beyond that, it’s a smart attempt at answering the age-old question of what influences us more: nature or nurture.

8.6