Michelle Williams in Kelly Reichardt's frontier western

‘Meek’s Cutoff’ – Lost on the Oregon Trail on Amazon Prime

Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff (2010) opens without preamble. We are given a place and a year—”Oregon, 1845,” stitched into a piece of homespun embroidery—and then dropped in the high desert to observe three frontier families ford a river. They wordlessly, almost morosely, march across, then take the opportunity to fill canteens, wash and check the […]

Jacob Tremblay and Best Actress Oscar winner Brie Larson in 'Room,' directed by Lenny Abrahamson

Brie Larson in ‘Room’ on Netflix and free on Kanopy and Hoopla

It’s called Room (2015). Not The Room, simply Room, as if there were no others. And for Jack (Jacob Tremblay), the five-year-old son of a young mother (Brie Larson), there aren’t. It’s his entire world, his universe, and as far as he knows nothing exists outside the walls. His mother, known only as Ma in the film, […]

Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson star the homefront war drama directed by Oren Movermen

‘The Messenger’ – The bearer of bad news on Hulu

In The Messenger (2009), combat veteran Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) may be “a goddamn hero,” in the words of his commanding officer, but in the final months of his enlistment he’s assigned to the most challenging mission of his career: casualty notification and the emotional minefield of civilians dealing with the death of a loved […]

‘Y tu Mama Tambien’ on Criterion Channel and Sundance Now

Y Tu Mamá También (Mexico, 2001), Alfonso Cuaron’s return to Mexico after his initial sojourn in Hollywood, recharged his ambitions and his creative juices. Ostensibly a coming of age drama by way of a sex comedy, it’s vivid, thoughtful, political and unapologetically raw. Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna star as best friends, a pair […]