Each month I try “to take the pulse” of the movie industry, especially after Apple TV’s excellent film “CODA” won the Oscar for best picture last year (first streaming movie to do so), and this month it is weak. The one highlight in theaters was the sweet, funny, somewhat predictable “Ticket to Paradise” starring the always entertaining Julia Roberts and charming George Clooney. Part of the joy of this film is just being in the theater with a friend who always makes a movie outing a special event. Shared viewing in a dark theater is still one of my favorite things to do. But the best movie I saw this month was on Netflix. “The Good Nurse” stars Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne in the shocking true story of nurse Charlie Cullen who killed anywhere from 40 to 400 patients as he was just passed to one hospital to another. It is excellently acted and written. Don’t skip this one!
My other theater views were all horror movies that I was excited about, but only one hit the mark. And speaking of horror and thrillers, I was shocked by the number of readers that reached out to thank me for covering this genre. I felt like Sally Fields in her 1985 Oscar speech for the fabulous “Places in the Heart.” “You like me! You really like me!” You can skip “Barbarian” and “Smile” but if you’ve been a fan of the Halloween franchise, I think you’ll like “Halloween Ends.”
So on to your streaming reviews for this past month …
- “Luckiest Girl Alive” The long awaited adaptation of the best selling novel starring Mika Kunis did not deliver the punch the novel did. Kunis stars as the survivor of a school shooting but questions have followed her as to whether she was a survivor or a participant.
- “Last Seen Alive” Gerard Butler stars as a man on a frantic mission to find his wife who went missing in a matter of seconds at a gas station. It is a fun couples Friday night film.
- “The Watcher” Netflix created quite a stir over this true story thriller. Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale and Mia Farrow head a top notch cast in this entertaining thriller.
- “#Like” A teen discovers the man who bullied her sister and ultimately contributed to her suicide and goes on a mission to take him down. I’m a big sucker for defending-your-sister films, having four girls of my own.
- “Sex, Lies and the College Cult” The unbelievable documentary of one man who started a cult at the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College.
- “The Patient” As much as I love Steve Carell, this is just depressing and too dark. If you’ve started it, STOP.
- “Alaska Daily” Starring Hillary Swank as a reporter disgraced and forced to start over in Alaska, this one is excellent.
- “The Handmaids Tale” After sticking it out for the horrible season three, this final season is hitting on all cylinders: forgiveness; versus; revenge; and what makes a mother.
- SKIP the Emma Roberts led “Abandoned” and also “Matriarch.”
While you wait for Christmas, here’s my list of favorites again:
- “Friday Night Lights” Peacock
- “Lars and the Real Girl” Amazon Prime
- “Jerry and Marge Go Large” Paramount
- “Ordinary People” Paramount
- “Schitt’s Creek” Hulu
- “CODA” Apple TV
So, what to get excited about? CHRISTMAS MOVIES!
The ones I’m most looking forward to include “Perfect Ending,” “We Need a Little Christmas” and “Christmas Bedtime Stories.” I’m suspecting all will be Netflix releases, but I’ll keep you posted! Until next time, pass that popcorn please!