Instant Gratification: “Digging For Fire” and four other good movies to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

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“Digging for Fire” (Amazon Prime)My full review is here. Writer-director Joe Swanberg assembled an all-star cast (Jake Johnson, Rosemary DeWitt, Sam Rockwell, and new Oscar winner Brie Larson) for this comedy about an L.A. couple who start digging into their marriage a little more deeply than they should, after the husband finds an antique gun buried on the property of the mansion they’re housesitting. The film has Swanberg’s loose, improv-heavy style, ending up becoming a generous and witty film about middle-aged ennui.

“Policeman” (Netflix)My full review is here. This drama might be called the Israeli answer to Michael Mann’s “Heat,” following both a hotshot counterterrorism unit and a group of rich-kid Israeli terrorists whose paths collide during a hostage situation.

“Heaven Knows What” (Netflix)My full review is here. Ben and Joshua Safdie have made a laceratingly honest film about the life of a homeless teenage junkie, with Arielle Holmes drawing from her own personal experiences to play a 19-year-old heroin addict caught in a cycle of need and release.

“Jafar Panahi’s Taxi” (Netflix)My full review is here. Iranian director Panahi has been banned from making films in Iran, but has found ways around the authorities, in this case making an entire movie in his car, pretending to be a cab driver, with his “passengers” all actors representing a cross-section of Tehran society.

“Unforgiven” (Netflix) — Clint Eastwood’s masterful 1992 Western is a meditation on the corrosive nature of violence, as a retired gunfighter gets pulled into service to defend the honor of a prostitute, and ends up enmeshed in a tit-for-tat war with the local sheriff (Gene Hackman) that leaves a wake of casualties.

 

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