The start of a new month means a whole bunch of new movies just hitting Netflix. As always, click on the title to take you directly to the movie on Netflix.
Pick of the week: “All is Lost” — My full review is here. Writer-director J.C. Chandor followed up his conversation-heavy debut “Margin Call” with a movie with one character who barely talks. But he’s Robert Redford, in one of his best roles, playing a man lost at sea and calling on every ounce of his resources to stay alive.
“School of Rock“ — Richard Linklater proved he could do mainstream comedy, and really well, with this highly entertaining tale of a loser rocker (Jack Black) who finds new inspiration turning an elementary school music class into a face-shredding rock band.
“Good Morning, Vietnam” — Of course, and especially now, everybody remembers Robin Williams’ masterful comic riffs as rebellious Armed Forces Radio disc jockey Adrian Cronauer. But I had a Vietnam lit professor in college told me it was the best movie he had seen about the Vietnam War to date, capturing a moment when America’s good intentions overseas were just about to go irrevocably wrong.
“Girl Rising” — My full review is here. This powerful film (which was brought to Madison several times by crowd-funding campaigns) looks at the plight of girls all across the globe, fighting poverty, patriarchy and worse. Each story is like a short film, with a different Hollywood actress telling the story, but together it becomes a powerful chorus for enlightenment and action.
“A Simple Plan” — Three small-town men find a crashed plane full of drug money in the woods. If they can keep quiet, they’ll be reach. Of course, they can’t keep quiet, and Sam Raimi turns the screws with slow-motion precision in this stark thriller.