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The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime
The Top 10 movies added to the streaming services this week.
13th - 20th Aug 2021

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Woman in Black

The Top 10 movies added to or extended on the streaming services this week:
1) THE BIG HEAT 5 Star Review
Between car bombs and cruel burns, Fritz Lang’s 1953 thriller is noir played lean, tough and keen. ~ Total Film 5 Star Review
The film is as deceptive and two-faced as anything Lang ever made, with its sunny domestic tranquility precariously separated from a world of violence. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin star in a drum-tight and violent revenge flick, a classic from Lang’s American period which retains its shocking power. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
One of the later examples of American film noir, it is also one of the genre's most underrated films. The director utilized many of the elements typical to his other films: unseen yet gruesome violence, relentless pacing, and a hardboiled view of justice and revenge. ~ AllMovie 5 Star Review
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2) COLD WAR 4.5 Star Review
If you’ve ever been stuck hundreds of miles from the love of your life, wondering if it’s really worth all the heartache and phone-checking, Paweł Pawlikowski has made the movie for you. With a monochrome love story spanning two decades and four countries in post-war Europe, the Polish filmmaker has conjured a dazzling, painful, universal odyssey through the human heart and all its strange compulsions. It could be the most achingly romantic film you’ll see this year, or just a really painful reminder of the one that got away. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
An indecently moving story of doomed love, two compelling people attempt to rekindle a flame that can only burn both. ~ The Irish Times 5 Star Review
Pawlikowski’s love letter to his parents is a sweeping tale of passion and politics set in the shadow of the iron curtain. ~ The Observer 5 Star Review
The "Ida" director’s exquisitely chilling Soviet-era drama maps the dark heart of Poland itself with wounded love and state-sponsored fear in the 1940s. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
He is in complete control of the form, but this is no austere piece of work — he even finds time for a few good jokes. Accessible, humane and compassionate: what a treat this is. ~ Empire 5 Star Review
Boldly episodic, this Polish drama offers glimpses of an unfolding postwar Europe and a couple trying to get meaning out of exploitation. ~ The Times 5 Star Review
The crisp monochrome only adds to an utterly entrancing experience.. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
With a brilliantly stark visual aesthetic to match its lean narrative, it doesn't waste a moment of its brief running time - and doesn't skimp on its bittersweet emotional impact. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
But most of all, it hits a timeless cinematic nerve that pulsates with euphoric verve. The tragic yearning in the impossibly sexy film is so palpable that it makes you feel thankful to be alive with human feelings, heartbreaks of the past be damned. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
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3) THE SWERVE 4.5 Star Review
~ New Release ~
What we witness over the course of this powerful debut from writer/director Dean Kapsalis, is the total breakdown of a human being, an accelerated dissolution of defenses, of sanity, until there is no turning back. Not being able to describe the experience of mental illness has serious repercussions. If you can't describe it, then people don't understand what it is. Empathy can't develop. We can't de-stigmatize mental illness if we don't know what it looks like when things get really really bad. "The Swerve" is not afraid to say: "This. This is how bad it can get." ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Bound together by Azura Skye's riveting work in the central role, it paints a harrowing portrait of a life unmoored. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
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4) SHOPLIFTERS 4.5 Star Review
This audacious Palme d’Or-winning drama about a Japanese family of crooks who lift a lost little girl from the streets is a satisfying and devastating gem which steals the heart. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
Understated yet ultimately deeply affecting, it adds another powerful chapter to director Hirokazu Koreeda's richly humanistic filmography. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
The winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, this fascinating and twisty melodrama from the Japanese maestro is his best film yet. Where his previous work has often been evocative but elusive, this is laser focused. ~ The Times 5 Star Review
In many ways, it feels like a natural extension of themes that Kore-eda has been exploring his entire career regarding family, inequity, and the unseen residents of a crowded city like Tokyo. With this movie especially, his characters and their predicament are not merely mouthpieces for the issues that interest him but fully-realized people who feel like they existed before the film started and will go on after it ends. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
A thrilling, beautiful tale of Toyko's down-and-outs, it is compassionate, socially conscious filmmaking with a piercing intelligence that is pure Kore-eda. This is a film that steals in and snatches your heart. ~ The Telegraph 5 Star Review
A beautiful, ambiguous twist on "Oliver Twist", if it asks huge questions about what a family is and is not, the answers are hinted at in fleeting gestures - the hallmark of this beautiful, ambiguous film. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
The film creeps up on you. It yields its pleasures stealthily. It has, however, more to say about questions of public and private morality than whole libraries. ~ The Irish Times 5 Star Review
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5) AGAINST THE LAW 4.5 Star Review
This one-off brilliantly melds drama and documentary to tell the story of the only openly gay man to testify before the Wolfenden Committee in 1955, as well as capturing the fear and shame that once surrounded homosexuality, when being gay was a crime. ~ The Guardian
A moving story of men who refused to feel ashamed, the script is strong on the factions within the gay community, and the erasure of class divisions among homosexuals. But nothing is quite as moving as the interviews. ~ The Telegraph 4 Star Review
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6) SPOTLIGHT 4.5 Star Review
Utterly engrossing from start to finish, a superb ensemble cast re-creates the story of how a small team of investigative journalists dared to take on the Catholic Church to expose a history of abuse and cover-up. It's a gripping, smartly crafted film that deserves to be seen. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
It's that all-too-rare beast: a movie that's both important and engrossing. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
With remarkable control, it is sensational storytelling and an extraordinary paean to journalistic endeavour. ~ Little White Lies 5 Star Review
It is the kind of movie where a scene showing a group of reporters huddled over church directories, taking notes in silence, becomes a gripping sequence. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review
A taut, engrossing journalist procedural, the likes of which may not have been seen since "All The President's Men" in 1976. Briskly paced and never breaking its stare with the evil it confronts.  ~ AllMovie 4.5 Star Review
It gracefully handles the lurid details of its fact-based story while resisting the temptation to lionize its heroes, resulting in a drama that honours the audience as well as its real-life subjects. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review

7) THE SOCIAL NETWORK 4.5 Star Review
If "The Social Network" was, say, a link David Fincher posted on his Facebook page, you would like it, share it, and leave a comment along the lines of "OMG Greatest Thing EVER!!!!" (Because where would the Internet be without hyperbole?) But in this case, your enthusiasm would be entirely justified. ~ AllMovie 4.5 Star Review
His film has the rare quality of being not only as smart as its brilliant hero, but in the same way. It is cocksure, impatient, cold, exciting and instinctively perceptive. It hurtles through two hours of spellbinding dialogue. It makes an untellable story clear and fascinating. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Impeccably scripted, beautifully directed, and filled with fine performances, it is a riveting, ambitious example of modern filmmaking at its finest. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
The dazzling wordplay from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and Fincher's intensely focused direction work in concert to favour character conflict over computer geekery, digging deep to elucidate the story's essential tensions between greed and loyalty, and online and real-world friendship. It's riveting stuff. Most significant though, is how this brilliantly assembled cautionary tale gets straight to the heart of the human needs and failings underpinning dizzying technological advancement, creating one of the truly defining films of its era. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
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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

9) CINEMA PARADISO  4 Star Review
This is one of the finest films about innocence ever made, a perfect picture of a time when the cinema was the only source of laughter and joy. ~ Sunday Times 5 Star Review
It's a movie about movies for absolutely anyone who loves movies. ~ Total Film 5 Star Review
Winner of the 1990 Oscar for best foreign language film, this is both an unashamedly sentimental rite-of-passage picture and a charming reminder of the lost magic of cinema-going. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
Breaking through anti-arthouse prejudice with its simple love of cinema, this is worth a look even for those who can't stand foreign films. And then there's the exhilarating kiss-clip finale. ~ Empire 5 Star Review
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10) THE QUEEN  4 Star Review
Full of wit, humor, and pathos, Stephen Frears' moving portrait looks at life of the British royals during the period after Princess Diana's death. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
New Labour modernism is pitted against old-fashioned Royal Family protocol in this poignantly amusing mix of fact and fiction set in the aftermath of Princess Diana's fatal car crash in 1997. But it's Helen Mirren's brilliant, Oscar-winning turn as the beleaguered head of state facing the demands of a changing monarchy that resonates most. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
With the assistance of a superlative script, and pitch-perfect acting. Peter Morgan's screenplay pulls off a fantastic trick by playing up to the audience's preconceived notions about Queen Elizabeth II (Mirren) and Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen). ~ AllMovie 4.5 Star Review
It could have been told as a scandal sheet story of celebrity gossip. Instead, it becomes the hypnotic tale of two views of the same event - a classic demonstration, in high drama, of how the Establishment has been undermined by publicity. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Why is a British film as good as "The Queen" such a depressing rarity? ~ The Independent 5 Star Review

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The decision to hire Taiwan's Ang Lee to direct this adaptation of Jane Austen's first novel was truly inspired. Avoiding the chocolate-box visuals that cheapen so many British costume dramas, Lee brings a refreshing period realism to the tale of two sisters that allows Emma Thompson's respectful Oscar-winning script to flourish. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
It is an uncommonly deft, very funny Jane Austen adaptation, marked by Thompson's finely tuned performance. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review

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