The winter movie season has come and gone. November through January is usually the time that studios release big, budgeted films and Academy Award contenders, but 2020 altered most of those plans. Studios like Warner Bros. led the way by shifting all of their big properties like Wonder Woman 1984, The Matrix 4, and In the Heights to HBO Max, an at-home streaming service. While huge event films like Top Gun: Maverick and the newest James Bond flick No Time to Die might suffer without moviegoers flocking to the big screen, smaller and more intimate films are finding new life in our living rooms.
Here are three gems waiting to be discovered in between your couch cushions:
Eddie Palmer (Justin Timberlake) goes from high school football star to convicted felon. After 12 years in a Louisiana prison, Palmer is released and hopes to rebuild his once promising life. Things get complicated when Palmer forms an unlikely friendship with his neighbors unique 7-year-old son, Sam (Ryder Allen). Palmer is a redemption story that has been told plenty of times before. The difference here is that the relationship between Palmer and Sam gives the film so much heart that it’s easy to overlook its conventionality.
Promising Young Woman (2020)
Carey Mulligan stars as Cassie, a college dropout in her mid 30’s who spends her evenings going to clubs, pretending to be blackout drunk, and waiting for the perfect, unsuspecting guy to take her home. All is not what it seems, as Carrie is consumed by grief and hell bent on revenge. Promising Young Woman is an exceptional, ticking time bomb of a film that should net Mulligan her first Oscar. She is absolutely incredible.
News of the World (2020)
Five years after the end of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kidd (Tom Hanks) travels from town to town reading the news from around the world. One day he crosses paths with a 10-year-old girl who has been taken from her home. Kidd agrees to escort the child across the harsh and treacherous terrain of Texas to get the girl to her aunt and uncle. News of the World is a highly entertaining road trip-movie anchored by the always adept and resourceful Tom Hanks.
By SCOTT PETERSON