Pick of the week: “Life Itself” (Netflix) — My full review is here. Steve James’ documentary about Roger Ebert is a richly-told tale of the film critic’s full life, but also a primer for anyone who wants to see how a life can be lived with grace, passion and compassion.
“God Help The Girl” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch made this effervescent musical about three Scottish pals who form a band. While the pacing and plotting are a bit slack, when the characters burst into song, it’s heavenly.
“Syriana” (Netflix) — This geopolitical thriller following the various strands of money and power connecting America and the Middle East boasts a surprising moral complexity, and genuine suspense as the strands start to tighten like razor wire.
“Amadeus” (Netflix) — Milos Forman’s lauded tale of an arrogant young Mozart and the conniving rival Salieri is both deeply entertaining and an exploration of the dividing line between good and great.
“Deep Blue Sea” (Netflix) — While I will in no way defend this silly 1999 thriller about super-intelligent sharks threatening a research facility as a good movie, it is a highly entertaining experience when followed by listening to Paul Scheer’s most recent “How Did This Get Made?” podcast.