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The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime
The Top 20 movies added to the streaming services this week.
12th - 18th June 2021

Self Isolation Cinema Club
The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime

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The Top 20 movies added to or extended on the streaming services this week:
1) PHANTOM THREAD  4.5 Star Review
A swooning, masochistic love story set in mid-century London, what might just be Paul Thomas Anderson’s best film is a challenging watch, but also jaw-dropping on more levels than it’s possible to count. ~ Little White Lies 5 Star Review
A story made to measure for an incomparable thespian, the writer/director's divine, poetically scripted melodrama examines the impact of emotional upheaval on the fragile mind of a finely tuned creative. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
He crafts another classic of obsession and strange love, played by dynamite leads. ~ Total Film 5 Star Review
Its finely woven narrative is filled out nicely by humour, intoxicating romantic tension, and yet another impressively committed performance from Daniel Day-Lewis. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
In his final film, Day-Lewis bows out in style to deliver a masterful performance as a society dressmaker beguiled by a young waitress in a drama of delicious pleasure. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
He retires in style with a thrillingly kinky fashion romance. ~ Telegraph 5 Star Review
 Set in postwar London, amid the insular world of 50s haute couture, it is an oedipal gothic romance, a tale of lost mothers and broken spells, with secret messages (“never cursed”) sewn into its gorgeously cinematic cloth. A swooning score, crisp visuals and paper-cut-sharp performances combine to conjure a poisoned rose of a movie, inviting you to prick your finger on its thorns and succumb to its weird, dark magic. ~ The Observer 5 Star Review
Visually sumptuous though it is, this is a brilliantly nuanced, psychologically complex story about obsession, love, control and surrender, all cloaked in a sophisticated Gothic romance.~ BBC 5 Star Review
It wears its period-piece genre convincingly. But it's a disguise: Underneath the surface, a psychological drama eventually unravels, though its thrilling pulse may be closer to Hitchcock.  ~ AllMovie 4.5 Star Review
Deceptively hidden under layers of gorgeous surfaces, Paul Thomas Anderson’s borderline-sick romance waltzes towards a riveting tale of obsession. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
The comparison to Hitchcock's "Rebecca" (a film that "Phantom Thread" frequently echoes), holds true throughout the film in general, both in terms of the twisted romance (there are also shades of "Vertigo" and "Suspicion") and the impeccable production design. ~ The i 5 Star Review
The movie is, of course, beautifully made. Anderson’s visual style is remarkable. Shooting the picture himself, reportedly, with the collaboration of lighting cameraman Michael Bauman, he frames in a Kubrick-inflected style but cuts with a Hitchcock-influenced one. This gives the movie a sense of momentum that’s supported by Jonny Greenwood’s score and the other music (mostly classical) alternating with it. This is very much a “composed” movie; very little of it is without music, and there are very deliberate shifts in instrumentation and orchestration throughout. The acting is, of course, impeccable. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Take your seat; settle comfortably; prepare to be taken to hell and back, by a master tour guide using the scenic route. ~ The Financial Times 5 Star Review
   text BBC iPLAYER (until 11th July 2021)
   text AMAZON (from £0.97)

2) BOYZ N THE HOOD  4.5 Star Review
John Singleton was a mere 23 years old when he wrote and directed this astonishing and hard-hitting powerhouse picture about growing up black in inner-city America. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
A film any seasoned director would be proud of, but as a debut is nothing short of amazing. ~ Empire 5 Star Review
His fluent, stylish and powerful film about life in South Central LA impresses with its lack of cynicism and is a passionate drama shot with fluency and style, a study of what amounts to life during wartime, with people grimly used to gunfire and helicopters thudding overhead. It is a blistering humanitarian classic that has not dated. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
Filled with trash-talking and wise words, Singleton’s provocative, funny, Oscar-nominated debut still dazzles and is vital viewing after [30] years . ~ The Irish Times 5 Star Review
Coming two years after Spike Lee's groundbreaking 'Do The Right Thing', it was seen as part of the black film movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s and was the first mainstream movie to deal with gang violence in America's urban ghettos. Its thoughtful approach helped open the door for a number of similarly themed movies in the next few years but it stands out because of its honesty and because it successfully humanizes all of the parties involved, including the drug dealers and murderers.  ~ AllMovie 5 Star Review
Well-acted and thematically rich, it observes Black America with far more depth and compassion than many of the like-minded films its success inspired. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
A lesser movie might have handled this material in a perfunctory way, painting the characters with broad strokes of good and evil, setting up a confrontation at the end, using a lot of violence and gunfire to reward the good and punish the rest. Singleton cares too much about his story to kiss it off like that. It has maturity and emotional depth: There are no cheap shots, nothing is thrown in for effect, realism is placed ahead of easy dramatic payoffs, and the audience grows deeply involved. By the end, I realized I had seen not simply a brilliant directorial debut, but an American film of enormous importance. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
   text NETFLIX
   text AMAZON (from £2.49)

3) BABE 4.5 Star Review
The biggest surprise about Chris Noonan's 1995 family classic wasn't that "Mad Max" auteur George Miller co-wrote and co-produced it, but that this exquisitely crafted work was the rare children's story as appealing to grown-ups as to children.  ~ AllMovie 5 Star Review
The rare family-friendly feature with a heart as big as its special effects budget,  it offers timeless entertainment for viewers of all ages. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
This reviewer for one, hasn't been able to face a pork chop in the months since, and is still laughing at the vibrant joyousness of this delicious comic fable. ~ Empire 5 Star Review
   text SKY CINEMA
   text AMAZON (from £2.49)

A gentle fairy tale filled with optimism that's suitable for the whole family. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
This is not a children's movie, not a fantasy, not cute, not fanciful. It is the exhilarating account of the way a 12 or 13 years old rediscovers her family's history and reclaims their island. If by any chance you do not believe in Selkies - a beautiful creature which is both woman and seal - please at least keep an open mind, because in this film Selkies exist in the real world, just like you and me. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review

5) ZAMA 4 Star Review
In Lucrecia Martel’s magnificent drama, a Spanish officer stuck at a remote South American outpost numbs his burgeoning panic with erotic reveries. Horror and despair hover just out of the frame, or below the surface, or behind the curtain, of her mysterious and dreamlike movie. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
It offers a series of scathingly insightful observations about colonialism and class dynamics - and satisfyingly ends a long wait between projects from Martel. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
As in the fabulous 1956 Antonio de Benedetto novel from which the film is adapted, the title character, Don Diego de Zama, is here an absurdist figure. The film draws out the dryly comedic aspect of his ridiculousness. It is a mordantly funny and relentlessly modernist critique of colonialism that makes no conclusions, ultimately resting on a scene of verdant nature not entirely stained by humanity. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Martel’s tale of colonial misadventure in South America is one of the great cinematic achievements of the decade. It's hard to suppress the hyperbole with this one. It's truly an awesome achievement. Bewitching. With every edit comes a surprise. You'll need to see it again, and fast. ~ Little White Lies 5 Star Review
   text BFI PLAYER (Free Trial)
   text AMAZON (from £1.99)

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6) THE BIG SICK 4 Star Review
This dynamite, intimate romantic comedy sees producer Judd Apatow’s winning formula of timid man geeks, far-more-mature girlfriends and their huggably awkward parents get a welcome infusion of cross-cultural tension – along with some scary medical realities. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
It sounds impossible - too melodramatic, too crazy - but it’s true. Pakistan-born comic, actor and writer Kumail Nanjiani fell in love with his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Emily V. Gordon, when she was in a coma. It also sounds impossible that such a story would make for a crowd-pleasing comedy, but that’s exactly what “The Big Sick” is, and so much more. Director Michael Showalter’s film defies categorization. You could call it a romantic comedy and that would be accurate, because there are indeed elements of romance and comedy. It mines clashes across cultures and generations for laughs that are specific to Nanjiani’s experience but also resonate universally. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review
It finds plots by losing them. That's its genius. One moment we are in an ethnic satire; the next a romcom; the next a hospital comedy-drama. But that's existence. ~ The Financial Times 5 Star Review
It is a reminder of what a great romcom should be: the story of two people who are excellent on their own but even better together. ~ NME 5 Star Review
Funny, heartfelt, and intelligent, it uses its appealing leads and cross-cultural themes to prove the standard romcom formula still has some fresh angles left to explore. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
   text BBC iPLAYER (until 13th July 2021)

7) TRUE GRIT 4 Star Review
The Coens as auteurs take a back seat to the Coens as respectful master craftsmen for this superb adaptation of Charles Portis’s 1968 Wild West novel, which in 1969 inspired a decent but only mildly entertaining film that was in thrall to the vanity of John Wayne. They have made a western that assumes a pleasing position  between stately and earthy. There’s plenty of black humour and the brothers don’t ignore the grim realities of danger and death, but this is no ‘The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada’. They scrimp on neither warmth nor wit. There’s love, too, for the values, language and landscape of the time, and as such it’s a fairly traditional film, as stressed by Carter Burwell’s quietly monumental and wistful score. It could be the Coens’ most straightforward film, but it’s also one of their best. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
So with all that riding on it, how do the brothers do? Pretty damn well. For a start, this is way better than Henry Hathaway’s 1969 movie. Not that they’ve messed around with the story; for all their supposed irreverence, the Coens treat their literary sources with respect. ~ Total Film 5 Star Review
Girded by strong performances from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and lifted by some of the Coens' most finely tuned, unaffected work, it is a worthy companion to the Charles Portis book. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
Paying close attention to every detail, the critically lauded duo instead offers up what may be the most satisfying traditional Western since the genre was muddled by spaghetti and revisionism in the late '50s.  ~ AllMovie 4.5 Star Review
Terrific: tough, exciting, funny, gorgeous and bewitchingly acted, this is darn close to perfection. ~ Empire 5 Star Review
   text SKY CINEMA
   text AMAZON (from £1.29)
Original 1969 film: 4 Star Review
   text SKY CINEMA

8) OKLAHOMA! 4 Star Review
A brilliant musical that still looks fresh today. ~ Empire 4 Star Review
This rousing film version of the massively influential and, in its day, revolutionary Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical preserves both the magnificent songs and the key Agnes DeMille choreography. The location photography is stunning. ~ Radio Times 4 Star Review
There may have been better musicals, but few left as lasting a cultural impact as "Oklahoma!", whose optimistic, broadly American songs became instant and permanent classics.  ~ AllMovie 4 Star Review
With some of the most famous tunes in all showbusiness, plenty of dancing cowboys, and an irrepressible feel good factor, expect a dose of good old-fashioned entertainment. ~ BBC 4 Star Review
Aye-yip-aye-yo-ee-ay! The critics are sayin' you're doin' fine, "Oklahoma! "Oklahoma, O.K.!. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
   text BBC iPLAYER (until Sat 19th Jun; 15:30)
   text AMAZON (from £3.49)

A heart-warming tribute to the wealthy American socialite who desperately wanted an operatic soprano career but couldn't sing a note. Stephen Frears strikes just the right balance between humour and pathos with this fascinating biopi, a compelling rumination on the powers of self-delusion and devotion. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
It makes poignant, crowd-pleasing dramedy out of its stranger-than-fiction tale - and does its subject justice with a reliably terrific turn from star Meryl Streep. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
At some point while watching it, I can guarantee you will find yourself growing quite fond of this early 20th-century New York City dowager, despite her eardrum-puncturing delusions of being a Valkyrie-level opera singer. That’s because, in this charming and delightful biopic that bears her name, the matronly Jenkins is an endearing and courageous stand-in for countless other mortals whose aspirations in the arts often far exceed their talents. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review
   text BBC iPLAYER (until 17th July)
   text AMAZON (from £0.32)

10) 3:10 TO YUMA 4 Star Review
This remake of a classic Western improves on the original, thanks to fiery performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as well as sharp direction from James Mangold. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
Mangold's film restores the wounded heart of the Western and rescues it from the morass of pointless violence. The Western in its glory days was often a morality play, a story about humanist values penetrating the lawless anarchy of the frontier. Here the quality of the acting, and the thought behind the film, make it seem like a vanguard of something new, even though it's a remake of a good movie 50 years old. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
   text NETFLIX
   text AMAZON (from £2.49)
Original 1957 film: 4.5 Star Review
   text YOUTUBE (£2.49)

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