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The best movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime
The Top 20 movies added to the streaming services this week.
22nd - 28th May 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) STOP MAKING SENSE  4.5 Star Review
Truly captivating entertainment, Shot shortly after the release of their Speaking In Tongues LP, this 1984 concert movie catches Talking Heads at the peak of their powers with all the restraint and guile of a master filmmaker. From lead singer David Byrne’s solo and gloriously edgy rendition of Psycho Killer to the fully expanded nine-piece’s barnstorming rendition of Al Green’s Take Me To The River, this is a textbook example of how to put on a great gig on celluloid. ~ Empire 5 Star Review
An excellent film that stands many repeated viewings, it is a prime example of the best way to make a perfect concert movie.  ~ AllMovie 5 Star Review
The overwhelming impression throughout is of enormous energy, of life being lived at a joyous high. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review
Boomboxes, baggy suits, pogoing, pendulum-swinging kneecaps – there will never be another film like Stop Making Sense. Part of this is owed to Talking Heads, a band at the top of their game turn 1983. But it wouldn’t exist in its dynamic, unique form if it wasn’t for The Silence of the Lambs and The Manchurian Candidate director Jonathan Demme. ~ NME
Using material from three shows in Hollywood, December '83, apart from what artifice the Heads themselves allow on stage, Demme restricts himself to a cool, almost classic style, with the camera subservient to the action. ~ Time Out
He captures the energetic, unpredictable live act of peak Talking Heads with colour and visual wit. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
But, damn, it’s good fun. An essential glance at the 80s mainstream’s underbelly, and showcase for some of the era’s most thoughtful and inspired tunes. ~ BBC
   text BFI PLAYER (Free Trial)

2) CHARULATA  4.5 Star Review
Truly timeless. ~ Little White Lies 5 Star Review
An exquisitely traced drama of repressed desire, set in 1880 and shot in glowing, graphic black and white. ~ The Times 5 Star Review
A vitamin boost for the mind and heart, this brilliantly unshowy film about the frustrated wife of a newspaper editor begs the question of why we're not talking about Satyajit Ray more. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
Often rated the India auteur’s finest film, and his own personal favourite, this 1964 adap of a novella by Rabindranath Tagore which is set in a stuffily respectable 1880s Calcutta household, sees Madhabi Mukherjee give a performance of subtlety and humour, perfectly matched by Soumitra Chatterjee. ~ Total Film 5 Star Review
Beneath the straightened 19th-century values and Mukherjee’s deft, delicate performance lies a drama that’s fit to burst with political and colonial discourse, class, proto-feminist values, music, poetry and, most of all, love. All life is here. ~ The Irish Times 5 Star Review
   text All 4 (until 24 June 2021)

3) ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13  4.5 Star Review
This gripping thriller from director John Carpenter is a model of low-budget film-making. A hybrid of Rio Bravo  and  Night of the Living Dead, it ranks as one of the best B-movies ever made in the urban horror action genre. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
Lean, taut and compellingly gritty, his loose update of Rio Bravo  ranks as a cult action classic and one of the filmmaker's best. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
One of the ultimate siege movies, the minimal script is complemented in turn by Carpenter's music score, which is as unsettling as the gang that want revenge and will kill every one of the occupants in the police station building to get it. There is, however, a considerable amount of humour that allows the audience brief (if nervous) moments of respite only to be reawakened by another shock. But in essence the core reason this film works so well is that it is so unpredictable, ruthless and without reason. ~ BBC 5 Star Review
   text BFI PLAYER (Free Trial)

4) GROUNDHOG DAY  4.5 Star Review
A film that finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Director Harold Ramis uses every cinematic trick in the book to keep what is essentially a one-gag movie brimming with life and fresh ideas, in which Stephen Tobolowsky gives a superb turn, Andie MacDowell has never been better, and Bill Murray gives one of the best performances of his career as Phil Connors, the weatherman with attitude, trapped in a day he will remember for the rest of his life because, unless he can find some answers, it will be the rest of his life. ~ Radio Times 5 Star Review
Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
Don't listen to the cynics, this is a masterpiece; a suspense classic that leaves teeth-marks. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
   text SKY CINEMA
   text AMAZON (£2.49)

5) GHOSTBUSTERS  4.5 Star Review
[Thirty seven] years on, bustin’ still makes us feel good. In fact, few movies have the power to make us feel good-er. From pounding drum machine intro to marshmallow apocalypse finale, ‘Ghostbusters’ is a cavalcade of pure joy. ~ Time Out 5 Star Review
An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray's hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
It's a head-on collision between two comic approaches that have rarely worked together very successfully. This time, they do. It's (1) a special-effects blockbuster, and (2) a sly dialogue movie, in which everybody talks to each other like smart graduate students who are in on the joke. ~ Roger Ebert 4.5 Star Review
The elastic structure provides ample room for inspired surrealism, yet the looseness never compromises the film's tongue-in-cheek love letter to pre-gentrification Manhattan or its piercing satire of Reaganite go-getting. ~ Total Film 4.5 Star Review
It hits the target every single time - the jokes, the chemistry onscreen, and the effects all fall into place. As entertaining today as it ever was, a classic to be treasured by all. ~ Empire 5 Star Review

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6) ROLL RED ROLL  4.5 Star Review
A  tough yet vital film. ~ The Guardian
This documentary unpacks the high-profile 2012 sexual assault case that took place in Steubenville, Ohio, in which the community rallied to protect members of the local high school football team accused of raping a teenage girl.  ~ AllMovie 4 Star Review
The aftermath exposes an entire culture of complicity and the roles that peer pressure, denial, sports machismo, and social media played in the tragedy. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
Ultimately it is an insightful portrait of an entire city shaken and altered by one heinous act, amplified by modern technology. ~ Roger Ebert 4 Star Review
   textBBC iPLAYER (Until 15th June 2021)

7) THE BIG EASY  4 Star Review
After watching this sizzling crime thriller, you will be at a loss to explain why director Jim McBride failed to go on and take Hollywood by storm. ~ Radio Times 4 Star Review
With enough local flavour to have been sponsored by the New Orleans' tourist board, a sharp script by Beverly Hills Cop scribe Daniel Petrie Jr., and terrific leads in Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin, The Big Easy represented the best the '80s had to offer in terms of action thrillers.  ~ AllMovie 4 Star Review
 It also happens to be a great thriller. I say "happens," because I believe the plot of this movie is only an excuse for its real strength: the creation of a group of characters so interesting, so complicated and so original they make a lot of other movie people look like paint-by-number characters. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
 Loaded with atmosphere and drenched in the sizzling chemistry between Quaid and Barkin, it remains one of the strongest - and steamiest - thrillers of the 1980s. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
It's a funny, exciting, touching, sexy movie that climaxes several times with bravura sequences – a convincingly awkward love scene, a nice bit of courtoom squirming, and expertly-edited outbursts of straight action - in which big, genial John Goodman plays the sweaty sidekick who could be convicted of repeatedly trying to steal any scenes that aren’t nailed downn. ~ Empire 4 Star Review
   text MY 5

8) MAHANGAR  4 Star Review
Satyajit Ray's 1963 film about a Calcutta woman blossoming in the world of work is utterly absorbing and a moving drama about the changing worlds of work and home in 1950s India, and a hymn to uxorious love acted with lightness, intelligence and wit. ~ The Guardian 5 Star Review
One of the most rewarding screen experiences of our time. I warmly encourage you to see it. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Incredibly rich and satisfying, it would easily stand up to multiple viewings. ~ Little White Lies 5 Star Review
   text ALL 4 (until 24th June 2021)

9) ALMOST FAMOUS  4 Star Review
Oh, what a lovely film. I was almost hugging myself while I watched it. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
Writer/director Cameron Crowe followed up his acclaimed Jerry Maguire  with this funny and touching coming-of-age movie, based on his own experiences as a teenage rock journalist in the early 1970s; an entertaining and affectionate evocation of growing up in an era before rock 'n' roll was hijacked by marketing men. ~ Radio Times 4 Star Review
Depending on when you walk in, it is either a coming-of-age drama, a love story, an often funny but sometimes painful look at the bonds of family, or a celebration of the glorious, liberating intoxication of rock & roll. And what's most remarkable about Crowe's fourth (and best) film is that it covers all these bases with equal skill, and an amiable, sure-footed grace.  ~ AllMovie 4.5 Star Review
 With its great ensemble performances and story, is a well-crafted, warm-hearted movie that successfully draws you into its era. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 4.5 Star Review
A love story for both characters and director, it hits just about every right note.It's not merely for those after a dose of nostalgia and has the right balance of laughs, tension and drama to make it a superior coming-of-ager. ~ Total Film 4 Star Review
It's the most convincing account yet of what rock and roll felt like to the people backstage as it turned from a movement into a career. Those who were there will love the detail. Those who weren't, well, they'll wish they had been. ~ Empire 4 Star Review

10) MINDING THE GAP  4 Star Review
A remarkable coming-of-age documentary, Bing Liu’s joyous, poignant Oscar-nominated film explores how skateboarding provides escape and identity for a teen film-maker and his friends. ~ The Observer 5 Star Review
It draws on more than a decade of documentary footage to assemble a poignant picture of young American lives that resonates far beyond its onscreen subjects. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
A profound study of youth, adulthood and the space in between, it is extraordinary. Far, far more than the sum of its scrappy parts. ~ Little White Lies 4.5 Star Review
 It would be impressive even without the palpable sense of connection and understanding that Liu brings to the material, but its easygoing intimacy is what puts it over the top. ~ Roger Ebert 5 Star Review
   textBBC iPLAYER
   textAMAZON (from £2.29)

11) AWAY  4 Star Review
Here’s a wondrous thing. Working from his home studio, Gints Zilbalodis single-handedly crafted this gorgeous feature-length animation over 3½ years. The 26-year-old even wrote the haunting post-Philip Glass synth score. That alone might distinguish Away as an enchanted object. But the film’s world casts a more potent lasting spell. ~ The Irish Times 5 Star Review
A haunting and refreshing odyssey, Away's vision will whisk audiences away to its stunning oasis. ~ Rotten Tomatoes 5 Star Review
   text SKY CINEMA

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