Let’s get this out of the way now: I watch a lot of movies. I mean a lot. If I find myself with a spare two or three hours in the day, I’m most likely planted on my couch or in a dark theater somewhere lost in a different world. If you have someone in your life who is like me, you’re probably trying to wrack your brain to find films they haven’t seen yet (or should see again) this holiday season. So even though Netflix now owns our souls, here is a list of new (not to be streamed for years) releases to get the film geek in your life this Hanukkah.
He Named Me Malala – 12/15
This critically acclaimed documentary tells the story about noble peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Exceptionally moving, empowering, and jaw-droppingly shocking, this film opens your eyes to not only one person’s immense strength, but how much can change if we all work together. The most remarkable part of this film though is how human Malala is depicted. At just 17, she has stood up to an entire tyrannical regime, and yet, she still seems like your average teenager.
Mistress America – 12/1
This is a fun, witty, and thought-provoking indie is about two young woman who don’t know what they’re doing with their lives. Full of heart, passion, and exceptionally repeatable moments, this film encompasses all that we love about independent filmmaking. Not to mention a spectacular performance of comedic timing by Greta Gerwig, who happens to have co-written it. Plus, it’s got a great soundtrack.
Amy – 12/1
This eye opening documentary brings us into the world of the late Amy Winehouse and is arguably one of the most important movies I’ve seen this year. While the journey to A-list status is an incredible ride to be a part of, it’s also a shocking look into the life of an addict and the various types of enabling that went on in from various family members and friends. It’s almost frustrating to watch because there are so many times where you want to yell at the screen and say, “This is the moment! Help her!” but you already know the outcome. This is one of those films that stick with you long after the credits roll.
The debut feature from America’s sweetheart Amy Schumer is finally ours for the owning. While one would expect this film to be chock-full of the clever and raunchy comedy that we’ve come to expect from Schumer (which it is), it’s also built on heart and emotion that transforms it from just another rom-com into something special.
Inside Out 11/3
Yes, it’s a “technically” a children’s movie, but when does Pixar actually make movies for children? With the help of their all-star cast, this film tackles mental health and feelings in a way that is so beautiful and innocent, you can’t help but cry your way through it – in a good way.
Before We Go 11/3
Think Before Sunrise meets The Wedding Date and you’ll sort of get an idea of what this little indie staring Chris Evans and Alice Eve is about. Romantic and provocative in the best kind of way, this dialogue-driven film is show on steady-cams to give it that less composed shot-style that makes it feel like more like a documentary than a narrative.
Maze Runner: Scorch Trials – 12/15
If you love other dystopian thrillers like the Divergent series or The Hunger Games, you’ll love this one. This is the second installment to the epic Maze Runner series and it is just as exciting as the first. Obviously, if you haven’t seen the first yet, check that out before you pick up this one – or, if you’re smart about it, have a mini marathon of the two!
Paper Towns 10/20
This is a fun coming of age story with a killer soundtrack. It is the latest conversion of a book-to-movie from author John Green (of The Fault In Our Stars). Yes, it’s got the classic teen angst and drama that we all secretly love, but it’s also an interesting twist on the “pixie dream girl” arc that leaves you with questions about perception. Who doesn’t love a good extensional crisis?
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Featured photograph courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures