Film and TV

Stream These Great 2015 Movies or Die Lonely and Out of the Loop

As cinematic year 2015 reaches its end, the FOMO specter threatens to haunt us all. If you pored over the results of our film poll and felt aghast at how many apparently great movies you’ve yet to see, here at last is a chance to catch up without braving traffic. —Michael Nordine
About Elly (Netflix)
"It's tempting to suggest that if you have any interest in Iranian film in general, or in particular Asghar Farhadi — the director and writer of that shred-your-heart masterpiece A Separation — you should simply get yourself to Farhadi's About Elly without knowing a thing about it besides its title. This superb, suspenseful film, completed in 2009, opens as a playful comedy of vacationing couples and awkward romance, but by the end has become a moral drama likely to corrode your certainties." —Alan Scherstuhl

Best of Enemies
 (Netflix)
"Vidal and Buckley hated each other long before ABC brought them into this figurative boxing ring, but the clips collected by Neville and Gordon reveal something feral about these two extravagantly articulate, upper-crusty men; they eye one another like suspicious forest animals, each smelling something foul in the other. What they say in these debates isn't nearly as interesting as how they say it." —Stephanie Zacharek

Buzzard (Amazon Prime)
"Often very funny, the film is not a comedy; as his anxiety mounts, Marty becomes increasingly violent, fleeing to Detroit, where he sleeps in seedy motels before descending into near psychosis, destitution and homelessness. Director Joel Potrykus holds the camera on Marty throughout long, single-take shots, rendering other characters as unseen faces, isolating Marty in the frame like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver." —Chris Packham

Danny Collins
(Amazon Prime)
"Danny Collins is a redemption movie in the skeptical key of Jerry Maguire. Our decadent hero decides to fix himself in the first act. The rest of the film is him realizing how hard it'll be to keep living right — and that maybe he doesn't have the moral clout to manage it. Danny jets off to Jersey in his private plane, checks into a modest hotel, and stuffs a grand piano into a room so cramped he has no choice but to sit down at the stool and compose." —Amy Nicholson

Ex Machina
(Amazon Prime)
"Ex Machina is an egghead thriller with a scary selling point: It's a smart film about the shrinking divide between man and robot. It's also a hoot, an anti-comedy where all of the jokes double as threats, and vice versa. Ex Machina is the directorial debut of sci-fi screenwriter Alex Garland. It's the film version of an iPhone: small, expensive-looking, and a touch overhyped — plus an addictive sales pitch for whatever Garland makes next." —Amy Nicholson

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Netflix)
"World cinema may have no better builder of delightful scenes than Roy Andersson, the deadpan Swedish existentialist. Each shot in an Andersson film is part diorama, part theatrical performance, part moviemaking the way Thomas Edison did it: Build a set, plant a camera and stage highly orchestrated comedy and tragedy." —Alan Scherstuhl

Phoenix
 (Netflix)
"A rapturous noir thriller from German director Christian Petzold, Phoenix is ardent, urgent and smoldering, so beautifully made that it comes close to perfect. The script is by Petzold and Harun Farocki, adapted from French crime writer Hubert Monteilhet's 1963 novel Return From the Ashes (also the source material for a 1965 film starring Maximilian Schell and Samantha Eggar). It's also, incidentally, a riff on Vertigo: The extraordinary Nina Hoss plays Nelly Lenz, a woman who has survived Auschwitz but whose face has been disfigured." —Stephanie Zacharek



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