by Justin Sawyer
We get it. There are many forms of entertainment vying for your attention on a daily basis. Some things are going to slip past your notice. Luckily, your friends here at DIME never let anything slide by us. No matter what kind of movies you like, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something to enjoy on this list.
1. The Nice Guys
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling star in this very entertaining 70s-style neo-noir as two mismatched private detectives who have to work together to find a missing girl. We’ve become used to seeing both actors as the leading men of more serious fare (Crowe as a blue collar everyman, Gosling as a heartthrob respectively), so it’s nice to see them given a chance to tickle our funny bones. Great performances throughout (especially from young Angourie Rice as Gosling’s daughter) and a sense of fun permeate this little flick.
2. Jane Got a Gun
Director Gavin O’Connor (whose other films include 2011’s criminally underrated Warrior and 2016’s Ben Affleck vehicle The Accountant) gives us an interesting spin on the western genre with Jane got a Gun. The titular Jane (Natalie Portman) enlists the help of an old flame (Joel Edgerton from the unnecessary The Thing remake) to .defend her husband from a group of outlaws trying to kill him. A simple premise that could have been a by the numbers thriller in the hands of lesser actors. Do yourself a favor and check it out on Netflix.
3. The Wailing
For years, South Korea has been producing some of the best horror films in the world; ranging from Hitchcockian thrillers such as Old Boy to creature features like The Host. In The Wailing, A bumbling cop investigates a series of strange murders and sickness plaguing his village. Then things become personal when his daughter shows similar symptoms. What starts as a slapstick comedy quickly spirals into a terrifying exploration of how far people are willing to go to protect what they love. Director Hong-Jin Na cut his teeth making crime thrillers, but, if his first foray into the genre is any indication, it looks like we’ve got a major new voice in horror. Available on Netflix.
4. Captain Fantastic
This maybe a biased opinion,but, here goes: Viggo Mortensen is the greatest actor of all time. Disagree? Then meet us in the freaking pit, my friend. This is freaking Aragorn son of Arathorn we’re talking about here. Anyway, his latest offering is the emotional Captain Fantastic. Mortensen stars as a father who has raised his children in the wilderness in an attempt to teach them self reliant. When his wife dies suddenly he must trek to the outside world with his offspring in tow. There, questions and conflicts about identity threaten to tear his family apart. It should go without saying that Viggo (friends call him Viggo) crushes it.
5. The Neon Demon
The latest offering from director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson) takes viewers through the cutthroat world of professional modeling. Otherworldly visuals and meditations on the importance placed upon physical beauty abound in this bizarre film. A decidedly twisted tale unfolds before our eyes, leaving the viewer unsure as to what the hell they just watched. It is certainly not for the average moviegoer, but for cinephiles looking for unique cinematic experiences they won’t be disappointed.
6. Hail, Caesar!
If there are more revered living filmmakers than the Coen Brothers (The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men) we can’t think of them. Their latest comedy Hail, Caesar! flew under a lot of cinema lovers’ radar. Which is a real shame, because it’s genuinely funny, hugely entertaining mystery flick that doubles as a send up of old Hollywood. With a star studded cast it’s hard to pick which performances are most deserving of praise. But, if someone held a gun to our heads, we’d have to single out Josh Brolin as a studio executive/gum shoe, Scarlett Johansson as a volatile starlet, and relatively unknown actor Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures) as a singing cowboy as being some of the very best performances of the year. Period.