As a lover of smaller, lesser known films, I thought it was time to recommend a couple of those films that you can currently catch in Netflix. Check out these films and open yourself up to a whole new world of cinema. Enjoy!

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BEGIN AGAIN

Director John Carney brings us a story of redemption and discovering yourself all through the love of music. The heartwarming film is able to bring the perfect emotional beats while also packing great laughs. It’s hard not to smile at the performances from Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo along with the infectious original soundtrack with all the music written by Carney himself. This eclectic supporting cast is made up of Maroon 5 lead singer, Adam Levine (in a surprisingly vulnerable performance), Late Show host/Carpool Karaoke phenomenon James Corden, Hailee Steinfeld of Pitch Perfect 2 fame and a scene stealing Cee Lo Green. The 2014 movie is charming as hell and relatable with a story of two people that are trying to get back up after being knocked down. And while you’re at it, I implore you to seek out Carney’s latest film, Sing Street, in theaters right now. It’s also damn good.

 

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SHORT TERM 12

It was only back in February when Brie Larson was given the Oscar for her emotionally powered performance in Room (another fantastic film to check out),  but Larson gave an equally, if not better, performance here in Short Term 12.  Telling the story of a supervising staff at a residential house for underprivileged kids, this is a film made up of quiet, small scenes that add up to something quite gripping and moving. We follow a main character there to save these children, but who also needs saving herself. The core of this film is human beings and the scars they carry around. The film never goes into melodramatic or sappy territory as they go with a more subtle approach to the story while also keeping moments of levity as well. If you’re looking for a movie that hits the heart, Short Term 12 is your film.

 

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CHEF

From the man that brought you the first Iron Man and this year’s Jungle Book reboot, Jon Favreau took a break from the blockbusters to turn in this passion project indie film. Chef is a winner because of the directing and the script, both done by Favreau. The entertaining premise of a man embracing artistic freedom by starting a food truck business makes for a great personal journey to be a part of. The film works on so many levels: as a movie about family, a character study and a hell of a good road trip movie for a good 45 minutes, making pitstops in Miami, New Orleans, and Ausitn. Chef is rounded out by A-List appearances by Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., and Sofia Vergara, plus it’s hard to deny all the delicious food depicted on the screen at any given moment.

 

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NIGHTCRAWLER

If you’re looking for something on the darker sider, look no further than Nightcrawler. Although not a horror in any sense, this thriller gives you the chills down your spine, mostly because of the slimy,  eerie, and transformative performance by Jake Gyllenhaal. Gyllenhaal’s “Lou Bloom” is a deliciously devilish character that you know is up to no good under that nice guy facade, but yet, it is so damn fun to watch this guy. His acts become increasingly more sinister to become the top “nightcrawler” (referring to cameraman there to record accidents, tragedies, etc. for news stations). It’s expertly directed by Dan Gilroy with his slick cinematography of LA at night and well built up tension. It all culminates in a heart stopping 20 minutes that is worth of the price of admission alone. Nightcrawler is a unique beast that is fully original and is a true definition of thriller in every sense.

Brendan Weissman
With a burning passion for film, Brendan is excited to add the element of movies reviews to Studio 462. He also commentates sports games as well for 462.