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The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime
The Top 10 movies added to the streaming services this week.
11th - 17th Sep 2021

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The Top 10 movies added to or extended on the streaming services this week:
1) THE GRADUATE 5 Star Review
“Hello darkness, my old friend,” are the first words of the Simon & Garfunkel song that opens this evocative movie, and its pleasures and wit stand the test of time. Plus the cinematography is flat-out fantastic, like David Hockney’s pool paintings made live. ~ The Times 5 Star Review
Attitudes have changed since Anne Bancroft’s predatory seduction of hapless Dustin Hoffman, but this rereleased classic remains as irresistibly watchable as ever and a hugely pleasurable experience. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
The music, the performances, the precision in capturing the post-college malaise - this coming-of-age story is indeed one for the ages. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
Mike Nichols’ film (re-released in a restored 4K digital print) makes such beguiling viewing largely because of Hoffman’s performance, which combines humour, boredom and panic in equal measure. ~ The Independent 5 Star Review
Nichols’s near-flawless class satire still feels as sly, modern and bracing as it must have in 1967. Its blend of sardonic wit and simmering frustration hasn’t aged a day. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
Nichols provides a masterclass in using the widescreen frame to elucidate complex emotional situations with ease and understatement. Seamless editing keeps the pace clean and fast while hormonal hell breaks loose and movie history is made. ~ BBC 5 Star Review
The dialogue’s a joy and Nichols furnishes impeccable comic timing. Utterly of its period, yet timeless. ~ Total Film 5 Star Review
Cruel comedy with a delicious light touch. ~ Empire 4.5 Star Review
It is actually a very nasty film, and a very, very funny one. ~ Telegraph 5 Star Review
The humour in Calder Willingham and Buck Henry's screenplay has the bite of a dry martini, Robert Surtees's stunning, innovative camerawork contributes telling visual ironies and the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack perfectly captures the mood of disaffected youth seething beneath the laid-back exterior of 1960s California. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
The highest-grossing film of 1968 and a landmark in the cinema of hip, New Wave, antiestablishment disillusionment. While an enduring classic for its perpetual topicality, and a harbinger of similar dissections of youthful disenchantment that permeated the late '60s and 1970s, it was also remarkable for providing an unrevolutionary revolution.  ~ AllMovie 5 Star Review
  text BBC iPLAYER (until 17 Oct 2021)
   text AMAZON (from £2.49)

2) SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE 4.5 Star Review
Taking the writing process behind Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as its inspiration, John Madden's film combines contemporary humour with a convincing 16th-century setting. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
As intelligent as it is sweet, replete with Tom Stoppard's trademark wordplay and wit, it is one of the best romantic comedies of recent years. ~ BBC 5 Star Review
The tone is light and racy. Marc Norman and playwright Stoppard's script flirts gaily with anachronism (a Stratford-upon-Avon souvenir mug sits on Shakespeare's desk), always aware of how much we are aware of its hero. Cleverly, the screenplay also keeps faith with Shakespeare's own wit and humour. The movie's surprisingly frank sexual high jinks are in keeping with Shakespeare's own bawdiness. And its punning dialogue reflects a writer and a time that prized wordplay as a form of refinement quite apart from humour. ~ Telegraph 5 Star Review
The contemporary feel of the humour makes the movie play like a contest between "Masterpiece Theatre" and Mel Brooks. Then the movie stirs in a sweet love story, juicy court intrigue, backstage politics and some lovely moments from "Romeo and Juliet" (Shakespeare's working title: "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter"). ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Endlessly witty, visually rapturous, and sweetly romantic, it is a delightful romantic comedy that succeeds on nearly every level. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
   text BBC iPLAYER (until 10 Oct 2021)
  text AMAZON (from £0.41)

3) MINARI  4.5 Star Review
~ New Release ~
This modest coming-of-age film is set to become a classic of cinema; a profoundly moving family tale that will endure. ~ The i 5 Star Review
Lee Isaac Chung’s beautiful and tender drama, that wrestles with America’s folkloric image of itself, has the gentle, hazy energy of a memory – set in the Eighties, it draws partially from his own childhood experiences. ~ Independent 5 Star Review
He mines his own Midwestern childhood in a bittersweet, beguiling family drama overflowing with heartache and hope. It’s at once intimate and expansive – a film with a big heart and not a bad word to say about anyone. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
Sensitively written and acted and beautifully shot, Minari is so engaging that it's easy to forget how radical it is. ~ BBC 5 Star Review
A profound, detail-perfect and soulful slice of American family life, with some of the year’s most sincere performances to date. ~ Empire 5 Star Review
   textAMAZON (from £7.99)

4) THE REVENANT  4.5 Star Review
Leonardo DiCaprio feels the wrath of man in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s bold, beautiful and unrelentingly bleak opu; an awesomely violent revenge western which sears itself into your subconscious with unflinching intent.  ~ Littel White Lies 4.5 Star Review
An epic true story of revenge and redemption, the director's follow-up to his Oscar winner Birdman is another astonishing piece of film-making, moving from the bear pit of Broadway to the untamed wilderness of 1820s America. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
Bloody, violent - and bloody marvellous - it is the brilliant Mexican director's version of a western – a mad, visionary and quite often preposterous survival tale. It is very bloody, very violent and full of murky religious symbolism but is also often astounding in its flights of macabre lyricism.. ~ The Independent 5 Star Review
Gut-churningly brutal, beautiful storytelling, it pitches DiCaprio against nature, bears and Tom Hardy in a tale of revenge, retribution and primal violence. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
Iñárritu turns a creaky bit of frontier mythology into a gruelling, exquisite, mystical odyssey of survival that will make you cancel that camping trip. ~ Empire 5 Star Review
The finished work does still feel a little like a formal experiment. Short on dialogue, thin on characterisation, it looks to be testing just how much chilly, viscera-soaked misery the audience can handle. ~ The Irish Times 5 Star Review
He asks a lot from audiences who are willing to endure the film's strife, but the payoff is a picture of both astonishing beauty and grueling agony.  ~ AllMovie 5 Star Review
What’s remarkable about it, is how effectively it transports us to another time and place, while always maintaining its worth as a piece of visual art. You don’t just watch it, you experience it. You walk out of it exhausted, impressed with the overall quality of the filmmaking and a little more grateful for the creature comforts of your life. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review
Astounding. With a director, Director of Photography and cast at the top of their game, it is a filmmaking triumph. You cannot afford to miss experiencing this. ~ Total Film 5 Star Review
   text NETFLIX
   text SKY CINEMA

5) THE LOVE WITCH 4 Star Review
A budding witch uses her powers for evil in this hilariously kitsch and visually sumptuous horror-comedy. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
A glorious retro fantasy-horror drenched in the Technicolor 60s, Anna Biller’s outrageous, showstopping B-movie oozes with A-grade potency. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
Biller's film is styled to look like a movie from the past. It is, in its most immediately accessible form, a pastiche of low-budget horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. There’s a deliberate cheesiness, or “cheesiness,” in the way the characters look, and the aforementioned stiffness extends not only to the way the actors speak but how they hold themselves. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review
It offers an absorbing visual homage to a bygone era, arranged subtly in service of a thought-provoking meditation on the battle of the sexes. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
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War of The Worlds


This poignant, witty and engaging cinephile documentary focuses on four older male Sudanese directors whose careers were stalled by a military coup thirty years ago. ~ The Guardian 4 Star Review
A sad, charming homage to those who champion film in the face of a repressive regime. ~ Sunday Times 4 Star Review
Throughout this lovely, warm film we see clips from their work as filmmakers. Their makeshift projections of Chaplin are indescribably moving and sound a happy note across a grim landscape. ~ The Irish Times 4 Star Review
An honest, inspiring achievement, the four local filmmakers attempt to revive cinema-going in Sudan in this playful, inspiring documentary. Intoxicating passion, playfulness and intimacy drive this film from start to finish. ~ Littel White Lies 4 Star Review
   text BFI PLAYER (Free Trial)
   text AMAZON (from £2.49)

7) BIRDS OF PASSAGE 4 Star Review
Once in the bluest of moons, we encounter a freshly minted classic that feels as if it has been around forever. This epic work of folk, gangster and other-worldly cinema about a tribal family is a new classic following the Colombian drug trade. ~ The Irish Times 5 Star Review
Co-directors Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s crime drama unfolds as the indigenous Wayuu clans of northern Colombia become entangled in the lucrative and dangerous world of drug trafficking. ~ AllMovie 4.5 Star Review
It traces the familiar arc of the drug crime thriller from a different direction that's as visually absorbing as it is hard-hitting. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
   text ALL 4
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8) THINGS TO COME 4 Star Review
A fiftysomething leftist philosophy professor (Isabelle Huppert) is propelled into a midlife crisis after being squeezed between caring for her deteriorating mother and learning that her husband wants to end their marriage. ~ AllMovie 4.5 Star Review
This beautiful film is filled with connecting scenes that another director might cut out, thinking they are not necessary or are “filler.” But Mia Hansen-Løve is all about the in-between, and she always has one eye on the clock. Nobody can avoid time. The overall sense is that you are watching an actual life unfold, in its minutia and in its enormity. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review
A union to cherish between a writer-director and star working at peak power, it offers quietly profound observations on life, love, and the irrevocable passage of time. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
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9) DONNIE BRASCO 4 Star Review
A stark, nuanced portrait of life in organized crime, bolstered by strong performances from Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
A touching, clever, emotionally complex gangster picture set in the late '70s/early '80s and based on a true story. It has similar locations, characters and some situations to GoodFellas, but it is an original in every way that matters and Pacino and Depp are superb. ~ Total Film 4 Star Review
Directed by Mike Newell - a change of pace from Four Weddings and a Funeral - it's pitched midway between the epic Godfather and the flash GoodFellas, and develops nicely as Depp finds himself becoming rather fond of his monstrous mentor. The period setting - a world of tacky shirts, fur collars and plastic lawns - is also beautifully evoked. ~ Radio Times 4 Star Review
Focusing on the nuts-and-bolts world of an everyday mobster and the undercover cop with whom he forms a doomed camaraderie, it achieves an accessible mix of entertainment and reality.  ~ AllMovie 4 Star Review
Depp and Pacino elevate this with two great performances, but they're helped by a solid script and a great supporting cast. ~ Empire 4 Star Review
The violence in this movie is gruesome (a scene involving the disposal of bodies is particularly graphic). But the movie has many human qualities and contains what will be remembered as one of Pacino's finest scenes. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review

10) 1917 4 Star Review
Ambitious and unshakeable storytelling, Sam Mendes’s phantasmagoric first world war nightmare is an amazingly audacious film; as exciting as a heist movie, disturbing as a sci-fi nightmare. And it’s filmed in one extraordinary single take by cinematographer Roger Deakins, a continuous fluid travelling shot (with digital edits sneaked in, evidently at those moments where we lose sight of them, or in moments of darkness or explosion – but where exactly, I mostly couldn’t tell). ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
Based loosely on the recollections of his grandfather (and dedicated to his memory), Mendes delivers the film of his career by mashing up the survivalist thrills of The Revenant with the helter-skelter mayhem of a shoot-’em-up video game, and setting it during the Great War. ~ The Times 5 Star Review
His stunning, sorta-single-take pure adrenaline hit of a movie marries technical virtuosity with jittery thrills and an emotional core to reinvent the Great War movie – and deliver possibly his best film. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
The Skyfall director crafts poignant, human story out of inhuman conflict in this bleakly beautiful war thriller which uses clever camerawork to make it look like one continuous shot. ~ NME 5 Star Review
He finds a radical new perspective on the horror of the First World War, as his direction focuses on the intimate experiences of a couple of men, thus conveying the pathos of the larger battle. ~ The i 5 Star Review
Mendes resists philosophising and lets the action express the fraught, complicated, terrifying condition of war. With astonishing cinematography and direction, it’s one of the most stirring films of the year. ~ BBC 5 Star Review
Hard-hitting, immersive, and an impressive technical achievement, it captures the trench warfare of World War I with raw, startling immediacy. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
   text NETFLIX
   text AMAZON (from £2.49)

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