Celebrate Oscar’s week by watching movies that are not at all Oscars-related! This week sees a couple new mainstream flicks, with a bunch of trailing thriller movies that were little seen, a little weird, but may find a home in your heart. All are highly rated (whatever that means), but they are definitely a little off the deep ned!
Next week I’ll be breaking down the results from the Oscars and turning them into recommendations, so until then, enjoy!
New and noteworthy…
What if John Wick, but with less plot? That’s what the world of Nobody posits to comedic and thrilling effect. Comedic legend and dramatic star Bob Odenkirk is a mild-mannered family man, plagued by the ails of suburban domesticity (missed trash day, kid doesn’t spect him, ice cold marriage, etc.). But when he lets out his rage and his past secrets come out, you’re in for a ride. Watch Bob kick ass alongside some great cameos from Christopher Lloyd and the RZA. Trailer. 92 mins. Rent on Amazon ($19.99)
Set in a world much like today, except everyone is super depressed all the time. Paramedics Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan follow the trail of gruesome murders and crimes, while unraveling the effects of a new drug called Synchronic. There’s time travel, Southern history, and some light action that give this Netflix sci-fi crawler enough redeeming qualities to spend a night on. Trailer. 100 mins. Stream on Netflix now.
Most movies envision alien invasions as huge armadas of spaceships or a grotesque creature. The Japanese import suggests, what is the aliens inhabited a few normal citizens, wiping them of their previous personalities and personas, sort of a scout force before the invasion. Leaning more into personal devastation wrought by these body snatchers, Before We Vanish mixes a deeply human what if premise with interspersed violent scenes to great effect. Trailer. 130 mins. Check it out on Hulu.
From director Karyn Kusama, The Invitation is a wonderfully dark thriller starring Logan Marshall-Green (think Tom Hardy’s thinner twin). Green is invited to his ex-wife’s house (his ex-house, too) under the guise of a dinner party. What transpires is anything but a standard game night. Old scores are brought up and sinister plans are unveiled. A masterclass in tension, don’t watch this one alone. Trailer. 99 mins. Watch on Netflix.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos’s (The Lobster, The Favourite) least accessible work, The Sacred Killing of a Deer plays like a dark suburban thriller. Colin Farrell plays a perfect suburban cardiovascular surgeon with wife Nicole Kidman. When teen Barry Keoghan is impressed upon his life, he will find his whole reputation and way of life hanging in the balance when his secrets are revealed. Not the easiest or more fulfilling, but fans of darker genre stuff should check this out. Trailer. 121 mins. Check it out on Netflix.
No words, only feelings. Literally. The groundbreaking series set in prehistoric times literally has no dialogue, but conveys feeling and humor in a way that few shows can aspire to. Creator Genndry Tartakovsky has built a visual storytelling medium so bold and effective, that it’s hard to believe this guy’s other credits are the Hotel Transylvania series (and to be fair, Star Wars: Clone Wars). Trailer. 10 Episodes. Watch on HBO Max.
Shoutout Letterboxd for helping the film community keep track!
For last week’s recommendations, check it out here.