“God’s Pocket” — My full review is here. One of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last and most overlooked performances is in this black comedy, based on an early Pete Dexter novel, in which Hoffman plays an outsider in a godforsaken neighborhood of Philadelphia who must set things right when his good-for-nothing stepson is killed. Great character actors, including John Turturro, Eddie Marsan and Richard Jenkins, abound in the film.
“Breathe” — My full review is here. A shy French girl finds her life turned upside down when a more popular girl befriends her and then embarks on a campaign of humiliation against her. Actress Melanie Laurent, making her directorial debut, has a keen eye for the complex and sometimes competitive nature of young female friendships.
“Bowfinger” — Long after you thought Eddie Murphy could be funny on-screen, he’s fantastic as the nerdy brother of an Eddie Murphy-like superstar who gets roped into director Steve Martin’s low-budget sci-fi movie in this hilarious Hollywood satire.
“The Shawshank Redemption” — Yes, you don’t have to be tuned to TNT to watch this modern classic about redemption and friendship, a story that’s ostensibly about Tim Robbins’ character’s quest for freedom but is really about Morgan Freeman’s character’s decision to use the freedom he’s already got.
“A Clockwork Orange” — Get a bit of the old ultraviolence in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ brutal dystopian novel, which only gets more disturbing as it ages.