With everyone spending a lot of time inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are 10 quality movies that will help pass the time.
"The Platform” (free with a Netflix subscription)
“The Platform” is a Spanish horror and thriller where, in the future, prisoners are housed in vertical cells and are forced to watch as inmates in the upper cells are fed while those below starve. This concept-driven movie will capture your attention for the entire hour and a half it runs and although it is horrifying at times, it doesn’t rely on jump scares. It has multiple takeaways including critiques of both capitalism and socialism. In the end, it will leave you wanting more.
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (free with a Hulu subscription)
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is an award winning portrayal of forbidden romance. It takes place in the French countryside in 1770. Marriane is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a reluctant bride to be. Marriane must paint her without her knowing and observes Héloïse on their daily walks while painting her secretly at night. The film is beautifully shot and features breathtaking performances from the two leads.
“Shutter Island” (free with an HBO account)
Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels', played by Leonardo DiCaprio, investigation into the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. Set in 1954, the insane asylum, Ashecliffe Hospital, is like a fortress on gloomy Shutter Island. This ominous mystery has it’s fair share of twists and turns. Ultimately, it will make the audience question their own sanity.
“Night on Earth” ($3.99 on Amazon Prime)
A 1991 cult classic from indie-director Jim Jarmusch, this movie provides five scenes in five cities, jumping from Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome, and Helsinki. Each city has a different story, always taking place in a taxi cab where you meet a quirky and memorable set of characters. At times it can be funny and heartwarming but also poignant and even tragic. “Night on Earth” gives you a little bit of everything.
“Good Time” (free with a Netflix subscription)
If you liked “Uncut Gems,” this movie is for you. Also directed by the Safdie Brothers, “Good Time” follows a man’s crime spree in an attempt to bail out his mentally disabled brother, played by co-director Benny Safdie, from prison. Robert Pattinson gives an intense performance of Constantine Nikas, the protagonist who embarks on a gritty journey to free his brother. This classic man-versus-society tale keeps you anxious throughout the movie.
“The Florida Project” (free with a Netflix subscription)
Shot as if it’s a documentary, we follow Brooklynn Prince’s Moonee, a mischievous 6-year-old and her ragtag friends in this summer filled adventure set in a motel right outside the utopia of Disney World. Meanwhile, we see the massive struggles and brutal real-life problems that the adults are facing. This movie is a raw, funny and a heartbreaking portrayal of childhood.
“Across The Universe” (free with a Hulu subscription)
An audacious first feature film by Judy Taymor, she dares to touch the sacred songs of the Beatles and, not only that, she has the actors sing alternative versions of these beloved rock hits. Despite this challenge, it all works. Using the actual Beatles lyrics, Taymor weaves the tale of young adults rebelling against a society at war, rioting cities and the awakening of adulthood. Incredibly, the variations on the Beatles songs are in some ways better than the originals.
“The Darjeeling Limited” (free with an HBO account)
This hidden gem follows three estranged brothers as they reunite for a train trip across India. This movie has moments of comedy, drama, peculiarity and spontaneity. Being a Wes Anderson film, the cinematography of course is exquisite and painterly in every scene.
“Suspiria” (free with an Amazon prime account)
“Suspiria” is a thriller that follows a young American dancer Susie Bannion in her audition and eventual career with the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Co. in 1970s Berlin. The dancer that Bannion replaces breaks down and accuses the company of witchcraft. The sinister secrets of the company are slowly uncovered as Susie delves deeper and deeper into this ominous company. The director, Luca Guadagnino, was heavily inspired by a classic Italian horror film from 1977 that shares its name.
Brazil ($3.99 on Amazon Prime)
Monty Python member Terry Gilliam creates the ultimate dystopian future vision in “Brazil.” Our hero, Sam Lowry, faces a heartless bureaucratic and ultimately brutal government and society. Lowry escapes the monotony of reality through a recurring daydream of saving a damsel in distress. This 1985 Orwellian science fiction film is wacky and vicious.