A bunch of movie recommendations available right now on the Now TV service.
Looking for films to watch, and not sure where to start? Here’s the latest in our collection of recommendations, this time for those of you using Now TV. Without further ado…
The directorial debut from comedian Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade is one of this decade’s crowning screen achievements. Part comedy, part drama, the film takes the traditional coming-of-age teen conventions and brings them into the 21st century, exploring the impact of mental health, sexuality, and social media on teenagers in modern times, focusing on Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she navigates the peaks and troughs of eighth-grade high-school. A modern marvel that features a barnstorming central turn from Fisher. Gucci!
Something of a box-office disappointment when it first arrived (it reportedly lost $120million for Disney), Tomorrowland's virtues outweigh its history and it’s actually a rather splendid sci-fi adventure for all the family. Directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles), the film tells of young science nut Casey (Britt Robertson) who, when not being a thorn in NASA’s side, discovers a pin that, when you touch it, transports you to the titular land and leads her to meet a reclusive inventor (George Clooney). An inventor who may have the answers…
Another modern classic from the last couple of years, Debra Granik’s superb drama exploring the effects of PTSD is at turns heartbreaking and heartfelt. Ben Foster stars as a father who now lives off the grid in a forest with his teenage daughter (Thomasin McKenzie) and only ventures into the world for supplies. One day, they are spotted by local police and slowly re-introduced to society with both having different experiences. A timely film on some levels, this thoughtful, moving and powerful portrait of the human spirit is very much worth seeking out.
The third collaboration between director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody, after Juno and Young Adult, Tully tells the story of Marlo (Charlize Theron). She’s a mother of three who is struggling to keep herself sane in the midst of juggling a new baby, her son’s developmental issues and being a loving wife. Her brother offers to pay for a night nanny to help ease the load and despite initially refusing, she decides to take him up on the offer and Tully (Mackenzie Davis) enters her life. A sweet, touching and funny look at parenting and friendships in the modern age.
Selected, but sadly not nominated, to be Spain’s entry into contention for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, Summer 1993 is a true underrated (and underseen) gem that in times of the importance of family and friendship, is ripe for rediscovery.
After her parents tragically pass away, young girl Frida (Laia Artigas) is forced to head to the Catalan countryside to live with her aunt and uncle, and while she is resistant to the change at first, she begins to find a new life for herself in this warm, tender debut from writer/director Carla Simon. The film is based on her life, too.
The second movie from comedian Simon Amstell, Benjamin is a British romantic comedy set around the life of the titular character (Colin Morgan), an up-and-coming filmmaker who is on the rise after the praise for this first film.
Struggling with second album syndrome ahead of his sophomore film’s debut, his life has begun to unravel when he meets a French musician (Phenix Brossard) and a light at the end of the tunnel may be in sight. A smart, funny, irreverent and romantic look at finding your true self, modern love and life in 21st century London.
A Very Brady Sequel
Another of the 1990s sequels that’s as good – if not better – than its predecessor (see Wayne’s World 2 and Addams Family Values), A Very Brady Sequel is one of the funniest and criminally underseen comedies of the last few decades. And the original film was hardly shabby, either. In the follow-up, a strange man appears at the Brady’s house claiming to be Carol’s long-lost husband only to discover his motives may not be as genuine as they have thought.
Chock full of hilarious moments, the film brilliantly blends the television show with a modern approach. And the cast is pitch perfect.
Granted, recommending a film that’s based around a zombie apocalypse might not be the best thing right now but if there was ever a time to embrace this superbly realised musical about a zombie apocalypse, what better time?! Based on the short Zombie Musical, the film takes place in the small Scottish town of Little Haven and hits all the notes (!) you’d expect from a zombie flick.
But it’s the toe-tapping, uplifting show-stopping numbers that give it its soaring heart. Coupled with some great performances, it’s one of the gems of the last couple of years.
With his remake of The Invisible Man becoming a critical and box-office hit – and now available to watch on all VOD platforms – it couldn’t be a better time to discover writer/director Leigh Whannell’s 2018 sci-fi thriller Upgrade. After being attacked by thugs and paralysed, local mechanic Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is implanted with a computer chip that allows him to control his body again and sets out to seek retribution on those who caused him unimaginable pain.
Part Robocop, part Venom, Upgrade is something of a revolutionary film. Rumours persist of a sequel, too…
The irrepressible Liv Hill gives a magnificent, star-making turn as Sarah Taylor, a 15-year-old schoolgirl who finds that she has something of a talent for stand-up comedy. With the world on her shoulders, taking care of her struggling mother and twin siblings, as well as attending school every day, she is run off her feet caring for those closest to her. But she finds some semblance of solace on stage talking about her life with complete strangers.
Somewhat downbeat, Jellyfish is still an uplifting, courageous and superb film that is well worth seeking out.
The legendary Harry Dean Stanton lights up the screen in his final role in this touching and profound drama from director John Carroll Lynch. Stanton plays Lucky, a 90-year-old army veteran who is becoming more and more concerned about his advancing years and, as an atheist, the impending prospect of his mortality.
Living in a small town without too many neighbours for company, he decides to find the true purpose of his twilight years and what it means to be human. Written and directed with care, subtlety and wonderful emotion, Lucky is a film about life, love, loss and enjoying each day to its maximum.
Set within the Hollywood hustle and bustle, Gemini sees new Catwoman Zoe Kravitz star as Heather Anderson, a film star who is shot in cold blood in her house. Her assistant Jill (Lola Kirke) finds her body and despite being a possible suspect in the eyes of the lead detective (John Cho), she takes it upon herself to solve the mystery herself.
A slick, kaleidoscopic and thrilling murder-mystery that takes its influence from the great noirs and 70s thrillers, Aaron Katz’s film is a treat and features three impeccable performances from its strong ensemble.
From the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby – writer of About A Boy and High Fidelity – Juliet, Naked follows a similar path with a story about romance and music in a small seaside town. Annie (Rose Byrne) and Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) have been drifting about for a while in their long relationship, not least due to Duncan’s obsessions with faded music star Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke) and finding a long-lost version of one of his albums. Soon enough, Crowe comes across the pond to meet him and shakes up their lives and relationship.
Smart, witty and full of wonderful performances, Jesse Peretz’s excellent romantic comedy is worth a watch.
Leave your own recommendations in the comments. And thank you for reading.
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