This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Falls, which began Jon Garcia’s trilogy of films about an impassioned romance between two Mormon men (Benjamin Farmer and Nick Ferrucci). If you can, watch the film with friends or family; it’s a conversation starter in the most profound, thrilling and emotional sense of the term. Free on Peacock, Roku, Tubi, Vudu.
Yes, the scenes in Skate Kitchen (2018) with Jaden Smith are annoyingly slick and hollow. But it’s still worth seeing for Rachelle Vinberg’s ferociously realistic performance as a skater who runs away from her anguished and domineering mother (Elizabeth Rodriguez). Amazon Prime. Free on Plex, Tubi.
Based on a graphic novel by Max Allan Collins, Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition (2002) stars Tom Hanks as a gangster defending his son (Tyler Hoechlin) from a sadistic mob prince (Daniel Craig). The film’s sublime cinematography won Conrad L. Hall a posthumous Oscar, but the real revelation is Hanks, whose unnervingly convincing portrayal of a stoic killer makes the ebullience of Big feel far, far away. Netflix, Paramount+.
A Tunisian immigrant (Habib Boufares) attempts to start a couscous restaurant in The Secret of the Grain (2007), which won Best French Film at the César Awards (France’s version of the Oscars). The restaurant’s struggles are at once hilarious and unsettling (never has the prospect of missing couscous been so terrifying!), but Hafsia Herzi’s climactic belly dancing scene is pure cinematic bliss. Free on Plex.