8 Movies You’ll Find Unnerving

In honor of Halloween, here are eight lesser-known films from the 21st century that you may not want to watch alone.

Creep 

When a videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote mountain town, he finds his client is not at all what he initially seems.

Funny Games 

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

Goodnight Mommy 

Twin boys move to a new home with their mother after she has face changing cosmetic surgery, but under her bandages is someone the children don’t recognize.

Green Room 

A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

The House of the Devil 

During a night of 1983 with full lunar eclipse, Samantha Hughes takes a babysitting job surrounded by mysterious circumstances before she finds out her client’s terrifying secret.

Pontypool 

A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town.

Timecrimes 

A man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences.

The Witch 

A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.

 

 

 

 

 

110 Best Movies of the 21st Century

The hippest flicks of the third millennium.

50/50
A History of Violence
A Separation
Adaptation
Adventureland
All Is Lost
Almost Famous
Amelie
American Hustle
American Psycho
Avatar
Before Midnight
Best in Show
Birdman
Black Swan
Blow
Borat
Boyhood
Burn After Reading
Capote
Catch Me If You Can
Children of Men
City of God
Coherence
Deathproof
District 9
Drive
Eastern Promises
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Ex Machina
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Frances Ha
Funny Games
Ghost World
Gone Baby Gone
Gravity
Her
High Fidelity
In Bruges
Inception
Inglourious Basterds
Inherent Vice
Inside Llewyn Davis
Interstellar
It Follows
Kill Bill
King Kong
Knocked Up
Little Children
Little Miss Sunshine
Locke
Looper
Lost in Translation
Love & Mercy
Mad Max: Fury Road
Melancholia
Memento
Midnight in Paris
Minority Report
Moneyball
Moon
Mulholland Drive
No Country for Old Men
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Ocean’s Eleven
Old School
Oldboy
Pineapple Express
Requiem for a Dream
Rush
Sideways
Skyfall
Step Brothers
Superbad
Synecdoche, New York
Take Shelter
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
The Babadook
The Cabin in the Woods
The Dark Knight
The Fall
The Fighter
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Hangover
The Hurt Locker
The Incredibles
The Kids Are All Right
The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy)
The Master
The Pianist
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Social Network
The Tree of Life
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wrestler
There Will Be Blood
This Is the End
Tropic Thunder
United 93
Up in the Air
Waking Life
Walk Hard
Wet Hot American Summer
Whiplash
Winter’s Bone
Wonder Boys
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Zodiac
Zombieland

Three Movies the Oscars Overlooked

Though this trio of films received a combined zero nominations from the Academy, all three are award-worthy and worth a watch.

The End of the Tour

IMDb: 7.4
Metacritic: 82

Synopsis: The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, ‘Infinite Jest.’

This movie is not for everybody. It’s a simple character study about two literary intellectuals discussing the merits of art and fame. Jason Segel does an excellent job disappearing into his role and provides the film with a low-key depth.

Love & Mercy

IMDb: 7.4
Metacritic: 80

Synopsis: In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.

A fascinating look at the life of a musical genius. This is a film for not only fans of the Beach Boys, but for anyone who’s intrigued by the intersection of creativity and mental illness. The use of sound throughout is especially remarkable.

Tangerine

IMDb: 7.1
Metacritic: 85

Synopsis: A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.

Another flick that’s probably not for everyone. Shot entirely on iPhones, this tragicomedy follows a group of underrepresented characters through the seediest parts of L.A. on a kinetic and colorful journey. It’s a small story but one that deserved to be told.

The 21 Best Films of the 2010s (so far)

5050
50/50 (2011)
IMDb: 7.7
Metascore: 72

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

aseparation
A Separation (2011)
IMDb: 8.4
Metascore: 95

A married couple are faced with a difficult decision – to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer’s disease.

birdman
Birdman (2014)
IMDb: 7.9
Metascore: 88

A washed-up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself in the days leading up to the opening of his Broadway play.

IMG_7391.CR2
Black Swan (2010)
IMDb: 8.0
Metascore: 79

A ballet dancer wins the lead in “Swan Lake” and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan – Princess Odette – but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

drive
Drive (2011)
IMDb: 7.8
Metascore: 78

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver lands himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

Continue reading “The 21 Best Films of the 2010s (so far)”

Love & Mercy

Love-Mercy

“When you listen to Pet Sounds, use earphones in the dark, and you can hear everything.”

Though I’ve long known that Pet Sounds is considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded, it was not until I watched a film called Love & Mercy that I ever gave the record a proper listen.

The movie depicts two eras in the life of the Beach Boys’ musical genie Brian Wilson. The mid-60s version, played by Paul Dano, is a young man overflowing with sonic inspiration, and hints at the shadow that will eventually swallow Wilson for a while. John Cusack plays the man in the 1980s, when he has become zombified by a mad doctor who badly mistreats Wilson’s mental disease.

While both eras of the picture are compelling, it was the sections that focused on the Pet Sounds sessions that intrigued me the most and made me seek out these songs. I now listen to the album on repeat on my long walk to work, letting it’s whimsical melancholy wash over me like a harmonic ocean.

The movie is worth seeing if only to give you a chance to hear life with new ears.

Hipflix, Winter 2014

Four recent Netflix picks you might not have seen…

crystal-fairy

Crystal Fairy
A self-absorbed young American traveling in Chile plans a journey with his pals to find a legendary hallucinogenic cactus. But when he invites the free-spirited Crystal Fairy along, they find themselves locked in a battle of wills.

drinkingbuddies

Drinking Buddies
Workmates at a small Chicago brewery, Luke and Kate are romantically involved with others but also the best of friends — on and off the clock. Things get complicated, however, when the couples spend a weekend together at a lakeside retreat.

francesha

Frances Ha
Determined to make it as a modern dancer in New York, Frances pursues her unlikely goal with more enthusiasm than natural talent. The rest of the time, she and her sardonic best friend, Sophie, put off growing up for as long as they can.

PrinceAvalanche

Prince Avalanche
While repainting traffic lines along a burnt-out stretch of rural highway, a mismatched pair — straightlaced Alvin and his girlfriend’s harebrained brother, Lance — form an unlikely bond that builds upon their differences.

Netflix Picks: The Comedy

The-Comedy

The Comedy

Aging hipster Swanson is inured to his life of privilege in New York, where he will inherit his father’s wealth. Instead of doing anything meaningful with his time, Swanson engages in meaningless games of casual cruelty with his equally numb friends.

Despite the title, this is not really a funny movie. While there are some humorous scenes, the tone is actually pretty melancholy. Deep down, it’s about the inherent emptiness that accompanies a life lived bathed in irony. Most people will probably not enjoy this film, but for those who can relate to its too-cool-for-school ethos, it provides a valuable depiction of what it means not to take the world seriously.

Edit: Just a heads up – the opening scene involves sweaty men with beer guts wrestling in their underwear. It’s pretty disturbing.