(For more stylish, auteur-driven action, check out “Django Unchained,” “Mad Max,” and “Drive.”)Watch it on Netflix, The director of “Tangerine,” Sean Baker, returns with another warm and funny portrait of life on the fringes, melding a cast of nonactors and newcomers with an Oscar-nominated Willem Dafoe as the manager of a cheap Orlando motel populated by confused tourists and barely-managing families. Scorsese does something far trickier, and more poignant: He takes all the elements we expect in a Scorsese gangster movie with this cast, and then he strips it all down, turning this story of turf wars, union battles and power struggles into a chamber piece of quiet conversations and moral contemplation. )Watch it on Netflix, Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) directs this wide-ranging deep dive into mass incarceration, tracing the advent of America’s modern prison system — overcrowded and disproportionately populated by Black inmates — back to the 13th Amendment. Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti in “Private Life.”, Merab Ninidze and Ia Shugliashvili in “My Happy Family.”, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook.”, Gary Oldman in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”. Our critic called it “exuberant” and “a delight.” (If you’re looking for a more conventional romance, try “The Notebook,” “Sleepless in Seattle” or “Pride and Prejudice.”)Watch it on Netflix, Gary Oldman is a marvel as George Smiley, the British intelligence agent at the center of this adaptation of the novel by John le Carré. What does the private equity administrator do? A.O. Riffing on the Saturday afternoon serials that thrilled them as children, director Spielberg and producer George Lucas packed a full series of heroes, villains, cliffhangers and fisticuffs into a single crowd-pleasing feature. )Watch it on Netflix, Dick Johnson in his daughter Kirsten Johnson’s film “Dick Johnson Is Dead.”. Our critic called it “a single serving of inspired lunacy.”, Martin Scorsese took on his first remake in 1991 with this iteration of the 1962 potboiler from the director J. Lee Thompson, with Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte in the roles that had been played by Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck. The sheer volume of films on Netflix — and the site’s less than ideal interface — can make finding a genuinely great movie there a difficult task. The wise script by the director Tamara Jenkins is not only funny and truthful but also sharply tuned to their specific world: Few films have better captured the very public nature of marital trouble in New York, when every meltdown is interrupted by passers-by and looky-loos. Laura Linney is passive-aggressive perfection as his mother, while Jeff Daniels, as the father, masterfully captures a specific type of sneeringly dissatisfied Brooklyn intellectual. Netflix is a registered trademark of Netflix, Inc. Scott called “a modest and effectively executed urban thriller.” Slithering through the Los Angeles nightscape, armed with an HD video camera and a questionable sense of ethics, Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom will go anywhere for the story — and if he can’t find one, he’ll engineer one. Our critic called it a work of “disquieting, illuminating force.”Watch it on Netflix, Channing Tatum stars in this “funny, enjoyable romp” (per our Manohla Dargis), based on his own early-career exploits as a stripper — or, as the film puts it, a “male entertainer.” The director Steven Soderbergh offers a fairly traditional story about a young performer who must learn the ropes of show business, but he adds a few twists: a preoccupation with economic systems, for one, and a convincing portrayal of feminine lust — rare for a mainstream movie, particularly one directed by a man. Throw in a scenery-chewing performance by De Niro and an astonishingly assured portrayal by a young Juliette Lewis as Nolte’s daughter and you’ve got a fascinating (and violent) fusion of Thompson’s suspense and Scorsese’s sensibility. Our critic called it “a fanciful film for savvy children and a witty, well-made movie for their parents.” (For more dark family fun, check out “The Dark Crystal”; and for something more traditional, try “The Muppets.”)Watch it on Netflix, Winner of the Oscar for best picture of 2015, this ensemble drama focuses on the Boston Globe’s investigation of child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic church, which culminated in a bombshell series that won the Pulitzer Prize. She wants to rob. Their shifting of priorities and geographic preferences prompts the hiring of lawyers, the spending of savings and the stating of old resentments and regrets better left unsaid. Sorry, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Every character is brought to life with humor and sensitivity, and Bening’s work is among her very best. Scott deemed it “Kaufman’s most assured and daring work so far as a director.” (The equally bonkers, Kaufman-penned “Being John Malkovich” is also on Netflix. On a summertime road trip after high school graduation, Shaggy, Scooby and the gang face a fresh slew of ghouls, ghosts and other sinister villains. This has an incredible cast of comics and action heroes that it only made it more fun to watch. A.O. Parent-child conflicts are nothing new in teen stories, but Gerwig’s perceptive screenplay slashes through the familiar types and tropes, daring to create characters that are complicated and flawed, yet deeply sympathetic. A scene from “Da 5 Bloods,” with, from left, Johnny Tri Nguyen, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis and Delroy Lindo. )Watch it on Netflix, Noah Baumbach’s searing, Bergman-esque drama is the story not of a marriage, but of its end — of a loving couple who just, as they say, grew apart, but whose uncoupling is nowhere near that organic. Our critic called it “fast, funny, unafraid of sexuality and finally devastating.” (For more adventurous foreign cinema, check out “Happy as Lazzaro.”)Watch it on Netflix, This unsettling, unforgettable snapshot of urban decay and toxic masculinity from Martin Scorsese hauntingly captured the rotting core of post-Watergate American society when it was released in 1976, and it has remained nestled in our collective unconscious ever since. It’s a balancing act of seemingly contradictory tones and styles, slipping nimbly from serious mental-health drama to screwball comedy to romance thanks to the deceptive casualness of Russell’s approach and the skill of his cast — particularly Bradley Cooper as its unsteady protagonist and Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver (all also Oscar nominees) as his parents. is not yet available on Netflix. A scene from Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” with, from left, Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette and David Thewlis. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, fixing a book that isn’t broken, but “The Little Prince” is a small miracle, maintaining the magic and sweetness of the original while contextualizing it for a new generation. It’s the kind of performance that draws its power from a character’s refusal to raise his voice: One gets the feeling he’s done what he’s done for so long, with such awareness of his own creeping obsolescence, that he can hardly be bothered. And as a bonus, we link to more great movies on Netflix within many of our write-ups below. )Watch it on Netflix, Few fictional characters have embedded themselves in the pop culture consciousness as firmly as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the brilliant monster brought to bone-chilling life by an Oscar-winning Anthony Hopkins in Jonathan Demme’s 1991 adaptation of the Thomas Harris best seller. Our critic called it “powerful, infuriating and at times overwhelming.”Watch it on Netflix, Salma Hayek spent the better part of a decade fighting for the opportunity to play the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and it’s easy to see why: It’s a rich, earthy role, filled with tragedy, heartbreak and passion, and Hayek plays it to the hilt. Sign up for our Watching newsletter to get recommendations on the best films and TV shows to stream and watch, delivered to your inbox. Kahlo’s was no ordinary life, and, luckily, “Frida” is no ordinary biopic — the director is the groundbreaking stage artist Julie Taymor, who adds enough flashes of surrealism and bursts of theatricality to shake up the conventions of the biographical drama. ", The computer-generated Okja, left, and An Seo Hyun in “Okja.”, Christopher Lloyd, left, and Michael J. Scott praised the film’s “freshness and surprise.” (“An Education” is another insightful look at teenage girlhood. Manohla Dargis called it a performance of “delicacy and understated power,” and around it, the director Tomas Alfredson (“Let the Right One In”) mounts the best big-screen interpretation of le Carré’s work to date. A.O. The pairing of director and subject is unexpected, but Demme is up to the job; as in his Talking Heads film “Stop Making Sense,” he deftly captures the energy, electricity and playfulness of a live concert performance, a directorial feat that is harder than it looks.
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