Why you should care
When you’ve got a little idle time on your hands, why not fill it with great cinema?
Whether it’s inclement weather or an overstuffed belly keeping you inside the house this holiday weekend, chances are you could use some entertainment. Here are some top movie picks from OZY writers over the past year, from little-seen gems to classics worth revisiting. And we’ve even dug around to make sure you can stream them at home or anywhere your day off takes you.
Set in the world’s only nation to measure prosperity in terms of its citizens’ happiness, Travellers and Magicians follows a pop-culture-obsessed official from a small mountain village on his quest to leave Bhutan and chase the American dream. Beautiful, insightful and very funny. Available on iTunes and Google Play. Read the full review here.
A road trip of a very different kind drives the action in Crystal Fairy, starring Michael Cera as a tourist on a spontaneous pilgrimage for psychoactive Chilean cactus. Co-star Gaby Hoffmann steals the show as his oft-nude, hilariously antagonistic hippie companion. Available on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes. Read the full review here.
Yes, it’s already time to refer to ’90s films as “classics.” Revisit the military courtroom drama A Few Good Men to see how well Tom Cruise and Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue have aged. But first go behind the scenes and learn how this blockbuster started out as a few scribbles on cocktail napkins. Movie available on Google Play, Amazon and iTunes. Read the full backstory here.
But if you want to laugh like it’s 1996, we recommend watching the comedic revenge fantasy The First Wives Club. The outfits are divine, the jokes are rude and the actors have a ball — especially in that final, inspirational song and dance through the streets of Manhattan. Available on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. Read the full review here.
For something far grittier, we point you in the direction of 1992’s Bad Lieutenant, starring Harvey Keitel (whatever you do, don’t watch the remake). Keitel plays an addicted, corrupt Bronx cop speeding into a downward spiral in front of an unflinching camera. Available on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes. Read the full review here.
If you prefer more history with your grit, try a true classic: All Quiet on the Western Front. This World War I saga about a band of young German school friends includes agonizingly realistic war scenes and has been stirring emotion and controversy since its release in 1930. Available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Read the full review here.
In his 2011 documentary, filmmaker and New Jersey native Vikram Gandhi poses as a guru just to see what would happen. In Kumaré, he ends up out guru-ing the gurus. Available for download, on iTunes and on Amazon. Read the full review here.
The major beats of the boxing legend’s story are well known, but in the 2014 documentary I Am Ali director Clare Lewins offers a personal, intimate look at the champ through archival family recordings and rarely told tales. Available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Read the full review here.
Love and Romance
In a sublimely messy, multilayered valentine, writer-director-editor-star Terence Nance explores the universal experience of falling hard for someone and trying to imagine what’s going on in that person’s head. His debut film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, is a true romance. Available on iTunes and Google Play. Read the full review here.
Finally, for something completely new, check out the interactive film The And. The producers filmed 30 couples asking and answering tough relationship questions with heart-wrenching honesty. Watch clips on our story page, or go to the website, answer a few questions about matters of the heart and see a custom-made clip just for you.