Including the best films of Joaquin Phoenix, Studio Ghibli, and the best nature documentaries that won Oscars
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When Alfred Hitchcock observed that “the length of a film should be directly proportionate to the endurance of the human bladder,” he was absolutely correct.
After seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey or Doctor Zhivago, you’d have been able to nip into the restroom and have some popcorn at intermission in more civilized times. Prior to seeing Avengers: Endgame, it was necessary to dehydration yourself for a few days.
That’s incorrect; a film’s ideal runtime is 90 minutes. As long as you want it to be, but short enough to need careful waffle-cutting, and just long enough to give you time to do something else with your evening. Netflix has some of the best 90-minute films right now.
1. Eighth Grade (2018)
For as long as we can remember, we’ve screamed for Eighth Grade, and we won’t stop until the number of people who’ve seen it matches its quality. Kayla, a regular 13-year-old girl, feels awkward, alienated, and insecure, and she doesn’t know how to get noticed by the boy she likes. She decides to re-invent herself in the final week of a dismal eighth grade. Eighth Grade’s sympathetic, hilarious, and hopeful viewpoint is surprising and inspiring in light of how ‘The Kids These Days’ are instinctively disregarded as shallow and self-absorbed and etc. etc.
2. Sherpa (2015)
The hidden heroes of every climbing expedition are featured in this quiet and jaw-droppingly beautiful documentary that explores Sherpa culture and what the mountains on which they work mean to them. There’s still another one. After the avalanche on Everest killed 16 Sherpas, Sherpa Phurba Tashi and his fellow Sherpas went on strike; Russell Brice fears threats are being made against him.
3. My Octopus Teacher (2020)
With an Oscar win for best documentary feature, now is the time to catch up on this heartwarming film. After spending a year with an octopus in South Africa’s kelp forest (not continuously, of course), filmmaker and free diver Craig Foster developed a close rapport with her and was accepted into her world. As it turns out, Ringo was a little too idealistic in his depiction of life under the sea: sharks were circling, and time was running out for the octopus.
4. Hunger (2008)
Steve McQueen’s debut picture was a foreshadowing of what was to come: a socially conscious narrative that prioritizes the humanity of the characters at its center over anything else. Bobby Sands, the leader of the second IRA hunger strike, is trying to regain political prisoner status when he is played by Michael Fassbender, who is remarkable in the role. Cunningham’s Father Dominic Moran tries to convince Sands out of his stand in the 17-minute single take that takes place in the apartment where he lives with Fassbender, which the two practiced 15 times each day and got right in five takes.
5. You Were Never Really Here (2017)
We’ve already stated that this is the film Joker wishes it were, and we’re sticking to our guns on that front. “Joe” is Joaquin Phoenix’s character in Lynne Ramsay’s brutally poetic and oftentimes hallucinatory thriller. In order to save the daughter of a New York senator, he must enter a covert brothel that caters to high-ranking VIPs. “Taxi Driver’s” nocturnal outsider character is updated and humanized in this lean and taut film that adds surprising levels of sensitivity and imagination to its misanthropic anti-hero.”
6. Sour Grapes (2016)
Rudy Kurniawan was a household name in the wine industry back in 2008. As soon as this flamboyant newcomer stepped onto the scene, everyone wanted to know him since he was so knowledgeable about the best wines in the world. Despite the fact that his stock continued to rise and his friends continued to support him, he wasn’t quite the 100% proof he claimed to be
7. 20 Feet From Stardom (2013)
Oscar-winning documentary “Singing Alongside The Stars” highlights the under-appreciated yet important talents that sing with the world’s greatest musicians, but are typically overlooked by the majority of those who see and hear them. Musically gifted singers who have come so close to achieving fame and money but never quite make it are given long deserved acclaim in this heartwarming, compassionate, and occasionally mournful film.
Rolling Stones backing singer Lisa Fischer says in the film, “Some individuals will do everything to get famous.” All I wanted to do was sing.
8. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017)
For the first time in more than two decades, the tapes of the creation of Andy Kaufman’s biopic Man on the Moon have been revealed. For concern that everyone would notice that Jim Carrey had become a gigantic arse, they waited until the end of the film. Seeing just how sun-blockingly gigantic an arse Carrey managed to be in the name of emulating Kaufman is intriguing. He was a complete and utter disaster. A terrific documentary is made out of it, and Carrey’s thoughts on the whole thing 20 years later are no less mind-boggling than the stunts he pulled at the time.
9. Don Jon (2013)
The disappearance of Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a mystery. When he was at the top of Hollywood, preparing to make his debut as a writer, actor, and director in a film about an Italian American caricature with an addiction to extreme porn, weightlifting, and ribbed vests, the next minute he was… As a result, the backlash was swift and brutal. In spite of this, Don Jon has a heart and message that are in the right place. It’s an incisive, daring and brave take on how extreme porn effects young men’s sexual and romantic life in Gordon-Goodfellas-inflected Levitt’s picture. Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and Daniel Gordon-Levitt all shine in this raunchy comedy. At this point, it’s unclear when he’ll be back in charge.
10. My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, set in post-war Japan, is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. As their mother recuperates from an illness at a nearby hospital, two young girls move into a lush rural village to be closer to her and establish strong acquaintances with a group of magical wood spirits. Totoro, a gigantic cat-like creature that has become a perennial icon of Japanese pop culture’s fascination with youthful innocence, is one of them. Mickey Mouse and the King of the Forest have a lot in common when it comes to popularity. The best place to begin your Studio Ghibli experience is with My Neighbor Totoro.
11. Three Identical Strangers (2018)
Brothers who were separated at birth but reunited later in life are identical triplets. From the description, it appears to be a rather straightforward documentary. Not at all. It’s not, oh boy, oh boy. The brothers’ divergent viewpoints soon become clear, and the bizarre events that led to their original separation begin to come to light.
12. Easy A (2010)
Teen films that feature classic literature in a middle-class suburban high school setting are consistently great. When it comes to reimagining The Scarlet Letter, Easy A ranks with Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You. In the beginning, she lies about sleeping with a guy from college, but soon she’s lying about sleeping with half of the students at the school. She’s well-educated, well-versed, and really amusing.
13. Mountain (2017)
A new style of wildlife documentary. Dramatic views of the sternly unfeeling peaks and faces of mountains while Willem Dafoe reads from Robert Macfarlane’s book Mountains of the Mind, an investigation of why individuals are drawn to scale large mountains even though it is clearly mad. “What is this mysterious force pulling us upwards? Is this the summit’s siren song? “The Australian Chamber Orchestra provides a meditative backdrop for Dafoe’s ruminative growls.
14. Porco Rosso (1992)
My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Ponyo have been on Netflix for a long now, so you’ve probably already seen them all. Despite its relative obscurity, Porco Rosso is a hidden gem. The’red pig,’ as the title suggests, is an ex-air ace from Italy who is now on the prowl for’sky pirates,’ flying above the Adriatic in pursuit of his prey. It’s witty, sarcastic, and political all at once.
15. Last Breath (2019)
Experiencing the ocean is nerve-wracking. It’s freezing, you’re all alone, and it’s probably probable that you’d be better off on the surface of the moon if someone offered any assistance. That’s the terrible situation depicted in this underappreciated catastrophe documentary, which uses disturbingly blurry, real film to great effect. It was only after Chris Lemons’ life support was removed when he was working on the seafloor that he discovered that he had only a few minutes of oxygen remaining in his tank.
16. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
This one goes over the 90-minute mark, but it’s just too fantastic to leave out. An in-depth dissection of the overused tropes that litter teen horror films such as those featuring clueless jocks, snarky cheerleaders, and filthy drug users, this video takes a savage swipe at the genre’s most cliched elements. Teenagers are going to sort out the dark powers-that-be after discovering they were being manipulated all along by forces beyond their control. Incredibly entertaining film with a young Chris Hemsworth.