It is still getting dark at 4:30.
It’s definitely the time of year a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of Netflix.
Here are some odd little movies that my husband and I enjoyed (if by enjoyed, you mean “watched all the way through without either of us without complaining too much”).
If you like things a bit off the beaten path, check em out.
Anger Management is, like many Adam Sandler movies, more watchable than you might expect. I probably shouldn’t admit that publicly. Also has Jack Nicholson doing his Jack Nicholson thing, and Marisa Tomei.
The Bad Batch – On paper, this movie should be awful – a violent post-apocalyptic world, with cannibals running amok – but maybe because it’s written and directed by a woman, it’s more interesting than you might think. Stars Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves, but the focus is on a female protagonist.
Hardcore Henry‘s main appeal is the gimmick (you’ll quickly see what I mean) and nothing else, but the gimmick is interesting enough to hold your interest for 90 minutes. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you may want to skip this one.
Year One – If your taste runs towards silly humor, this caveman comedy starring Jack Black and Michael Cera will be right up your alley.
Kill Me Three Times is a noir-ish crime thriller that thinks it is way better than it really is, but it’s ok for an off night. Stars Simon Pegg, who I must admit is starting to really get on my nerves so I may have liked this movie less than I should have.
The Dead Lands – If you’re in the mood for lots of warriors gruesomely killing each other, this New Zealand-made film fits the bill.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno – Probably not surprisingly, it’s pretty raunchy. I’ll just say “directed by Kevin Smith” and leave it at that. But it has heart and there was even a little unexpected chemistry between Elizabeth Banks and Seth Rogan.
Private Life is a sweet and sad movie about infertility. Paul Giamatti and Katherine Hahn star as a couple struggling with the various challenges of creating a family when it doesn’t go according to plan.
Gold – Matthew McConaghey is either a geologist or a con artist in this movie about looking for gold in all the wrong places.
Lucky Number Slevin – Bruce Willis, Josh Harnett, Lucy Liu, and one of my favorite actors, Stanley Tucci star in a mistaken identity crime story. This movie was largely ignored when it came out, but has gotten a cult following lately.
King Jack is a really wonderful coming of age story. It is the kind of movie they don’t seem to make much any more, a movie more about human interaction than about convoluted plot.
Turbo Kid – If you like camp and 80’s movies, check out this very strange little film about a post-apocalyptic world and a guy who just wants to ride his bike in it. It has perennial villain Michael Ironside, who you will immediately recognize as “oh that guy” when you see him.
Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil – Have you ever had a burning need to watch a movie in Basque? Here’s an adaptation of a fairy tale that’s filmed in Basque. Put on the subtitles and enjoy listening to a language unrelated to any other. And it’s an enjoyable movie, too.
Running Scared – This is not the version with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines, although I also recall enjoying that movie too. This is a 2006 movie with the late Paul Walker navigating a criminal underworld trying to keep his son and his son’s friend safe from gangsters and a lot of other creeps. Unlike many similar movies, his wife (Vera Farmiga) gets to join in the fun.
Wind River stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen in what at first glance seems to be a run of the mill FBI murdered-girl mystery. It’s a cut above other movies in the genre though. Renner and Olsen are both much better actors than people give them credit for and this movie proves it.
Under The Skin features Scarlett Johansson as an alien wandering around Scotland. I don’t want to give away any more than that because figuring out what’s really going on is part of the payoff of this movie. It’s quite artsy, so if you don’t enjoy artsy and slow moving films you may want to give this one a pass.
In Bruges is a very good hitman comedy (yes, that’s a thing!). It’s also very unPC, but unlike many movies that are unPC for shock value, there’s a surprising payoff here. Stars Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Colin Farrell. If you watch any movie on this list, make it this one.