“Boyhood” (Netflix) — My full review is here. Richard Linklater’s wonderful cinematic experiment was shot over a 12-year period, charting a boy’s growth into adulthood and his parents’ growth from crazy kids in love to sadder, wiser middle-aged adults. Linklater uses time as his canvas, focusing on the little moments between the so-called big ones, to show how we change over the years without even realizing it’s happening to us.
“The Lobster” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Greek writer-director Yorges Lathimos’ first English-language film has a premise that might seem like an SNL skit, in which single people are forced by a dystopian society to gather at a hotel for bizarre speed-dating rituals, and if they don’t find a soulmate, they get turned into an animal. But the film is both ridiculous and deadly serious in using its surreal premise to examine modern love, and what people will give up of themselves to get it.
“Waking Life” (Netflix) — After “Boyhood,” settle in with Linklater’s trippy 2001 animated film, rotoscoping actors (including Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) as they discuss life, the universe and everything, the animation expressing the transcendent wanderings of their ideas.
“Love is Strange” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Ira Sachs’ 2014 film has a bitter, sad heart of irony, as an elderly gay couple (John Lithgow and Alfred Molina) take advantage of the right to marry after decades together — only to find their union ends up sending their finances into a frightening downward spiral.
“The Rock” (Netflix) — Michael Bay’s 1996 action movie is a gloriously silly affair in which Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery try to save San Francisco from an ex-military madman (Ed Harris) who has holed up on Alcatraz with some nasty weaponry.