Instant Gratification: “Upstream Color” and four other good movies to watch on Netflix right now


It’s not often that your favorite film of the year suddenly shows up in your Netflix Instant recommendations. So that made the top pick this week kind of a no-brainer.

Pick of the week: “Upstream Color”My full review is here.  Shane Carruth’s strange and ellipticial sci-fi romance mixes mind control, psychic pigs, and Thoreau’s “Walden” into a heady film about free will and self-determination. It’s gorgeous, cryptic and I wouldn’t want to impose my interpretation on another viewer. but I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

Thriller of the week: “The Score” — Hard to believe Frank “Missy Pig” Oz directed this taut 2001 heist film, in which a cocky young thief (Edward Norton) and a wary veteran (Robert De Niro) try to steal a priceless scepter out of a Montreal customs house. Meticulously plotted and well acted, it builds slowly but is a ton of fun in the last hour.

Comedy of the week: “Mystery Men” — I have a big soft spot for this 2000 action comedy, starring Ben Stiller, William H. Macy and Janeane Garofalo as low-rent superheroes who must band together to fight a supervillain when the city’s A-list hero is incapacitated.

Noir of the week: “A Shock to the System” — Michael Caine gives a deliciously fine performance as a middle -management type who, instead of meekly allowing himself to be downsized, starts using murder to get ahead at his company.

Drama of the week: “The Rainmaker” — Still the best of the John Grisham adaptations (edging out “The Firm”), this well-structured Davey-and-Goliath legal thriller stars an impossibly young Matt Damon as a wet-behind-the-ears attorney trying to take down a big corporation.


One thought on “Instant Gratification: “Upstream Color” and four other good movies to watch on Netflix right now

  1. Very few movies actually invite us in, meet us halfway, or offer us something. Upstream Color does that in such a unique, singular way that it’s unlike almost any other movie I’ve ever seen. It’s not designed to stump or baffle but to beckon you into its wondrously chilly gray world. If it takes a few viewings to unlock (most of) its secrets then lucky you; you spent high-quality time you might have wasted on Pain & Gain.

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