There are a lot of movies out there. Here are five movies that flew under the radar a it in the past decade or so, that are worth a watch.
Evergreen note: The world is a crazy place right now. The global pandemic has forced everyone inside, in hopes of flattening the curve in our communities. Of course, that leaves folks with a lot of time to eat up, and what better way than to watch some movies. So, stay healthy, stay safe, and watch movies.
#5: Monsters (VoD)
A space probe with evidence of extraterrestrial life crashes on Earth, unleashing monsters, and resulting in the creation of the quarantine zone—Northern Mexico, essentially—where US troops must fight to keep them at bay. A photojournalist played by Scoot McNairy is tasked with bringing back his boss’s daughter through the quarantine zone. Relying on the idea and fear of monsters more than actual monsters, the film is a gritty two-hander that develops real chemistry and real suspense. It got pulled off Netflix before many could watch it, but if you need a different kind of experience, rent it. Rent on Amazon now.
Director: Gareth Edwards. Starring: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able.
#4: Super 8 (Hulu)
Back in 2011, five years before Stranger Things, JJ Abrams’ Super 8 was a salve for those looking for a summer blockbuster in the mold of ET or The Goonies. That particular brand of sweeping movie magic had been lost amongst the Marvel takeover, yet was a bit before sci-fi made a resurgence. A band of precocious kids unravel a mystery in their small Ohio town that leads to an alien in government captivity. One part sci-fi creature feature, one part popcorn adventure, and one part a love letter to filmmaking, Super 8 is the perfect cinematic getaway. Watch now on Hulu.
Director: JJ Abrams. Starring: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Noah Emmerich.
#3: Annihilation (Prime, Hulu)
Fresh off his breakout AI suspense hit Ex Machina, Alex Garland set his sights on adapting what was an unadaptable novel of the same name by Jeff Vandermeer. Markedly different from the novel, it still centers on a team of scientists heading into the mysterious Area X to observe what has swallowed up prior teams of scientists and soldiers. What Garland brings to screen is a weird, disorienting, and sometimes violent, self-reflection of mankind. A journey into the heart of darkness of creation and destruction, led by an all-star cast. Dumped in theaters in February, few people saw Annihilation, but more should. Watch on Hulu or with Prime.
Director: Alex Garland. Starring: Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Benedict Wong.
#2: Good Time (Netflix)
Good Time is an adrenaline rush of a film. Gritty and personal, it’s a non-stop ride as it tells the story of two small-time criminal brothers. After a heist gone awry, it becomes a race to bail out one of the brothers from Riker’s Island. As the events unfold and the plot unravels, it become more than a crime thriller but rather a poignant voice against the criminal justice and prison system, while maintaining a raw and electric presence onscreen. From directing duo Josh and Benny Safdie, Good Time is another critically acclaimed—and gritty—performance by Robert Pattinson. Watch on Netflix.
Directors: Josh & Benny Safdie. Starring: Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barkhad Abdi.
#1: Atomic Blonde (VoD)
Set in Cold War-era Berlin, Atomic Blonde is an extremely stylized, wickedly fun spy action film from stunt coordinator-turned-director David Leitch. Watch Charlize Theron and James McAvoy play a game of cat and mouse spycraft in a divided Berlin that’s bathed in cold blue hues and lit up with neon lights. With a ton of needle drops, and fight choreography that would make John Wick jealous (including an insane oner at the end), Atomic Blonde will scratch the itch for those looking for a little spy versus spy action. Rent it for $1.99 on Amazon Prime or Itunes.
Director: David Leitch. Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, John Goodman, Toby Jones.