Patrick Fugit and Kate Hudson star in Cameron Crowe's autobiographical 'Almost Famous.'

‘Almost Famous’ on Netflix

Almost Famous (2000), Cameron Crowe’s thinly fictionalized autobiography, is deftly poised between rosy affection, thoughtful remembrance, and giddy adolescent awe. As perhaps it should be. Revisiting the mid-seventies rock scene, the story of 15-year-old William (Crowe’s stand-in, played by Patrick Fugit) sent by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with an up-and-coming band (Stillwater, a fictional […]

Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry in 'Things We Lost in the Fire,' directed by Susanne Bier

‘Things We Lost in the Fire’ on Netflix

Things We Lost in the Fire (2007) – Grieving widow Audrey (Halle Berry) reluctantly tracks down her husband’s best friend, the down-and-out heroin addict Jerry (Benicio Del Toro), for the funeral. She disliked Jerry in life but her husband wouldn’t abandon his friend (flashbacks show their connection). Now she unexpectedly invites him to move in […]

Jamie Chung in 'Eden,' directed by Megan Griffiths

‘Eden’ – Surviving sexual slavery on Amazon Prime

Eden (2012) is the name given to Hyun-Jae (Jamie Chung), an 18-year-old Korean-American teenager kidnapped and imprisoned in a sex slavery ring in the American southwest, in Megan Griffiths’s dramatization of the true story of Chong Kim (who collaborated on the screen story). Hyun-Jae is held captive with dozens of other girls in what can […]

Mel Gibson in George Miller's original 1979 'Mad Max'

‘Mad Max’ on FilmStruck

The original Mad Max (1979), George Miller’s grungy 1979 revenge flick, was an international smash when American International Pictures—the kings of the drive-in movies who spawned Roger Corman, teen horror, and biker films—acquired the film and replaced those Aussie accents with good ol’ American talk. It never really hit in the US and it’s hard to […]

Édgar Ramírez plays Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, aka Carlos the Jackal, in 'Carlos,' from filmmaker Olivier Assayas

‘Carlos’ – The making of a terrorist superstar on Netflix and Sundance Now

Carlos (2010), Olivier Assayas’ epic account of the life and myth of real-life terrorist Carlos the Jackal, is a mesmerizing portrait of a committed activist who transforms himself into a media-hungry rock star of an international terrorist. Édgar Ramírez plays Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, aka Carlos the Jackal (a name he appropriates from a Fredrick Forsythe […]

‘Legend’-ary Martial Arts Comedy with Jet Li and Jackie Chan on Netflix

Jet Li became a superstar in Asia after taking the lead in the hit Once Upon a Time in China films, epic martial arts adventures set at the turn of the century and featuring Li as the real-life healer and martial arts master Wong Fei-hung, transformed into a modest, soft-spoken scholar who unleashes his unworldly […]