Tracking one man’s life in three stages, and the love (and lack of it) that made him who he is, Moonlight evokes a sense of intimacy so palpable, the camera’s gaze into the characters’ eyes so intense, you can’t bear to look away. Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris are impeccable in supporting roles, with Trevante Rhodes and Andre Holland delivering an unforgettable final act. Marvel has cannily employed directors who have more usually made smaller, indie movies, handed them the keys to the giant machine that is their cinematic universe and (within reason) let them do their thing.
Director Jérémy Clapin charts the life of Naoufel, a Moroccan immigrant in modern-day France who falls for the distant Gabrielle, and Naoufel’s severed hand, which makes its way across the city to try to reconnect. With intersecting timelines and complex discussions about fate, I Lost My Body is often mind-bending yet always captivating, and Clapin employs brilliantly detailed animation and phenomenal color choices throughout. Worth watching in both the original French and the solid English dub featuring Dev Patel and Alia Shawkat, this one dares you to make sense of it all. Hopped up on nationalism and dreams of battlefield glory, Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) is an eager young recruit for the German army during the last year of the First World War. His romantic view of the conflict is shattered on his first night in the cold trenches, surrounded by death and disaster, and dealt a tragic blow with the meaningless loss of a dear friend. It’s all downhill from there in this magnificently crafted adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s groundbreaking novel, one of the most important pieces of anti-war literature of the 20th century.
As star Don Lockwood, Gene Kelly brings a sense of exasperation at the film industry’s diva-indulging daftness, making it a gentle piss-take, too. Having Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s names on a movie is regularly the guarantee of something great, but the full team behind this animated marvel (in both upper- and lower-case senses of the word) is what makes it work. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman all added something as directors (with Rothman co-writing alongside Lord) and their animators whipped up a visually dynamic, exciting, and heartwarming adventure that literally spans multiverses before the MCU introduced it.
In this continuance of the DC Extended Universe, Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) attempts to use his powers as The Flash to travel back in time to prevent his parents from dying. The countdown to Halloween is on, but the best new movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Max (HBO), and other services are mixing in more than just horror flicks! We’re keeping tabs on all the arrivals so you’re not spooked by missing a quality addition.
It’s dark, sure, but it’s also an ode to youth and economic insecurity that you won’t be able to stop thinking about. Joaquin Phoenix delivers as the sensitive Theodore, a man who writes personal letters for others. After a bitter divorce, he soon develops a friendly (and later romantic) relationship with an intuitive operating system. It may be an unusual relationship, but the film shows that love comes in many forms.
She ends up pouring her lifetime of unfulfilled passion into her cooking, where her family literally feels her emotions while eating, thanks to a helping of magical realism. But we tried to stay true to our love of movies, these movies, and others that didn’t make the cut. (Remember, it’s only 50!) The final list is a reflection of that love, but also of a system that favors certain stories and storytellers at the expense of others. If the list is not a model of representational balance, call us out — we can take it — but also continue to call out an industry that hasn’t given us a more diverse landscape of voices to love, hate and argue over. Florence Pugh dazzles in this not-quite-horror film from Oscar-winning director Sebastián Lelio.
In Spielberg’s case, there were several films that had love (including Minority Report and West Side Story), but none that united all six of us in full-throated enthusiasm. In other cases, as in Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, Malick’s The New World and The Tree of Life, and Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, there were ardent supporters but also just-as-ardent detractors. A woman wakes up in a cryonics cell after a few weeks in suspended animation. She doesn’t remember her name, age, or past except for a few disturbing flashbacks. But one thing she knows—courtesy of an annoying talking AI—is that she has just over an hour before she runs out of oxygen. Oxygen is as claustrophobic a thriller as it gets, and manages to find that rare sweet spot of being static and unnerving at once.
She works in a small fortune cookie-making factory, sees a quirky psychiatrist to help with her insomnia, and withstands the harsh judgment of her fellow refugee neighbors. As quiet and contemplative as the movie is, though, it is equally funny and warm, full of terrific characters and absurd situations. Celine Sciamma’s magnetic, masterful lesbian romance may be a recent addition to this list, but became an instant landmark of queer cinema upon its release. Starring Noumie Merlant as an 18th century painter and Aduele Haenel as her elusive subject, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is a tale of an epic love developed in the quietest, most delicate way, formed in stolen moments and glances. Sciamma’s carefully constructed script is matched by Claire Mathon’s cinematography, each shot like a Renaissance painting brought to life.
After spending all four years of high school focusing on their grades, best friends Molly and Amy set out to have one wild night before graduation. These are the Black women who made it possible for America to send a man into outer space. Watch as some of NASA’s most famous mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson fight against sexism and racism to make their mark on history. A family suddenly finds themselves trying to prove their innocence after their father is murdered and a detective comes in to solve the case. Throw it back with the original wildcats in the greatest Disney Channel Original Movie of all time, which spawned two sequels (and a spin-off series) that are just as iconic as the original.
If that doesn’t sell you, perhaps the fact that it won Best Animated Feature at the 2023 Academy Awards will. Directed by Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam Nimoy, this looks at the life and career of the famed Star Trek actor and the pop cultural impact of his role as the highly logical science officer of the USS Enterprise. Despite having begun as a Star Trek anniversary project, For the Love of Spock evolves into a celebration of Nimoy’s life beyond the bridge of a famous spaceship. Shapeshifter Nimona can become anything she wants, a gift that causes people to fear and shun her. If society is going to treat her like a villain, she’s going to be one, so she decides to become the sidekick of the hated black knight, Ballister Blackheart. D. Stevenson’s groundbreaking graphic novel, Nimona is more than just another fanciful fantasy—it’s a tale of outsiders and exiles, people trying to do right even when their community rejects them, and the joy of finding their own little band along the way.
Viewed through today’s lens, it’s also a haunting look at the effects of domestic violence. Frustrated by the world’s collective inaction on existential threats like climate change? Maybe don’t watch Don’t Look Up, director Adam McKay’s satirical free movie sites black comedy. A bleakly funny indictment of our times, bolstered by a star-studded cast fronted by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up is, somewhat depressingly, one of the best portraits of humanity since Idiocracy.
—that cinema dreams are made of, Glass Onion might be the best thing Netflix has dropped all year. An idyllic slice-of-life movie with a twist, Call Me Chihiro follows a former sex worker—the eponymous Chihiro, played by Kasumi Arimura—after she moves to a seaside town to work in a bento restaurant. This isn’t a tale of a woman on the run or trying to escape her past—Chihiro is refreshingly forthright and unapologetic, and her warmth and openness soon begin to change the lives of her neighbors. Directed by Rikiya Imaizumi, this is an intimate, heartfelt character drama that alternates between moments of aching loneliness and sheer joy, packed with emotional beats that remind viewers of the importance of even the smallest connections. The classic family fable returns to the screen, via the Broadway and West End stages, in this musical update.
A brash showbiz movie with a heart of gold, it has shades of The Disaster Artist and music legend biopics. Yet with the cast flexing in Ruth Carter’s glorious costumes—the suits! —and a couple of triumphant sex and shoot-out scenes, it’s a wild ride, whether you know the original story or not. An award winner at Cannes in 2019, this tale of burgeoning young love, obsession, and autonomous body parts is every bit as weird as you might expect for a French adult animated film.
Julia Roberts is just a girl—a beret-wearing, world-famous movie star, to be exact—standing in front of a boy—Hugh Grant, as a decidedly non-famous travel bookstore owner—asking him to love her. His response, of course, comes with a supersized dose of that classic, bumblingly awkward Hugh Grant charm. The elaborate costumes, the stunning visuals, and the beautiful art direction are all key features of art house movie In the Mood for Love, by Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai. And though there’s sparse dialogue, sit back and prepare to be enchanted by the slow but captivating scenes of two married neighbors falling in love. Easy A will forever stand as one of the best teen movies to come out of the 2010s (and it’s based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, The Scarlet Letter). Emma Stone plays a regular girl who skyrocketed into high school infamy when lies about her nonexistent sex life become the hottest gossip on campus.
But we’ve arguably already lived through 100 years’ worth of upheaval, progress, pain, destruction, hope and heartache in the world — not to mention the film industry — since 2000. We thought it as good a time as any to look back at the films that have, to us, stood the ever-unfolding test of time. Variety, which recently celebrated its 117th anniversary, is a publication as old as cinema. (We invented box office reporting, in addition to the words “showbiz” and “horse opera.”) And in making this list, we wanted to reflect the beautiful, head-spinning variety of the moviegoing experience.
The director, John G. Avildsen, was an old hand at stories like this; he directed the original “Rocky,” and as is true of that classic, the power of “The Karate Kid” lies less in the conflict at its conclusion than in the complex relationships that lead its characters there. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny Forrest Gump pulls at your heartstrings. Tom Hanks stars as the titular Gump, a slow-witted man waiting on a bench for the bus that will reunite him with his childhood sweetheart. During his wait, he tells his life story to willing strangers, which includes meeting the president (twice), serving in the Vietnam War, and becoming a millionaire. This celebrated Studio Ghibli film about a young girl traveling through a spirit world is one of the best-animated movies of all time. While it may not exactly fall under the category of drama, it does feel like a fairy tale full of eerie spirits.
This lethally sharp satire from writer and debut director Juel Taylor masterfully blends genres, from the use of visual motifs and dated clichés from 1970s Blaxploitation cinema to its frequent steps into sci-fi territory and laugh-out-loud comedy. But it’s the powerhouse performances from its central cast that mark this as one to watch. Spread over three time periods—1994, 1978, and 1666—the Fear Street trilogy is one of the most clever horror releases in Netflix’s catalog. The first installment introduces viewers to the cursed town of Shadyside, where a string of bloody killings has labeled it the murder capital of America. Soon, a group of genre-typical teens are drawn into a horrific legacy dating back to the 17th century, dodging serial killers, summer camp slayings, and vengeful witches along the way. The trilogy, originally released over the course of three weeks, emphasizing its connected nature, transcends its origins as a series of teen-lit novels by Goosebumps creator R.