Written by Oleg Negin & Andrey Zvyagintsev
Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
Zhenya and Boris are in the final days of their acidic and hateful marriage. When they are forced to be around each other in their Moscow apartment, they fill the bitter silence with mouthfuls of venom spewed at each other. One thing that is agreed upon is that their twelve-year-old son Alyosha is going to be sent to a “boarding school” that will primarily act as an orphanage. Zhenya wants to move on with to her new life with an older, wealthy and established man while Boris has already gotten his twenty-something girlfriend pregnant. Alyosha is destined to be forgotten. One morning, Zhenya discovers that their son hasn’t been to school in two days and appears to have not been in the apartment during that time either. They realize he is missing and contact authorities. The subsequent search forces these two hate-filled people to spend hours together, but don’t expect a reconciliation.
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Written by Joel & Ethan Coen
Directed by George Clooney
It’s 1959 in the city of Suburbicon, USA, and the first black family has moved in. This event is causing quite the stir, and the “well-meaning” people of the town just don’t that black people are ready to live in their neighborhood yet. When The Mayers don’t seem to get the message the citizenry begin to escalate matters. Meanwhile, the next block over Nicky Lodge’s life is turned upside down when two strange men barge into the house in the middle of the night. They end up killing Nicky’s mother leaving his father, Gardner, a widow. Thankfully, Nicky’s aunt and his late mother’s sister Margaret is there to help.
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Seven Days in May (1964)
Written by Rod Serling
Directed by John Frankenheimer
U.S. President Jordan Lyman has signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union which has led to the American public beginning to question if he should resign. Meanwhile, US Marine Colonel Casey works in the Pentagon and comes across evidence that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by Air Force General Scott, are plotting a coup d’etat to remove Lyman. The overthrow of the government will be staged a military emergency exercise, but involve Scott commandeering the airwaves to announce Lyman being forced out of office. Casey has only a week to work with the President and find solid proof to show the American people. But at every turn, Scott and his people are there to stop them.
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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Written by George Axelrod
Directed by John Frankenheimer
A platoon of U.S. soldiers fighting in Korea is abducted by Soviets and taken across the border into China. Then months later they are returning to the States with Sgt. Raymond Shaw receiving the Medal of Honor for bravery under fire. However, the surviving members of his platoon are having strange nightmares of sitting among a ladies auxiliary meeting on flowers. The commanding officer, Captain Marco believes these dreams hide a secret about what really happened in Korea and truth behind Shaw’s heroism. Meanwhile, Shaw is pulled into the political ambitions of his mother, Eleanor and his stepfather, Senator Iselin. Shaw is also receiving strange phone calls that trigger weird behaviors. This rabbit hole will pull Marco and Shaw to ending neither of them can avoid.
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Lost River (2014)
Written and Directed by Ryan Gosling
In a rundown neighborhood of Detroit lives Bones, his mother Billie, and his little brother Franky. Bones is focused on stripping abandoned homes of copper so he can buy replacement engine parts for his car. The ultimate goal is to get the car running and get out of town. Billie, on the other hand, is concerned about holding onto her mother’s house, one of many decaying homes on a nearly deserted street. This involves her entering into a dark deal with a banker and taking a job at a macabre nightclub. Bones, meanwhile, has started a relationship with his next-door neighbor Rat and is attempting to avoid the vengeful wrath of Bully, a man who believes himself a sort of overlord of this neighborhood.
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The Rover (2014)
Written by Joel Edgerton & David Michôd
Directed by David Michôd
A man sits on the side of a dusty Australian road. He exits his car and enters a bar where he has to pour himself a drink. Meanwhile, a trio of men speeds down the highway having escaped some sort of shootout. The paths of these men and the nameless rover on the side of the road will cross. He will make them his mission to hunt down and put an end to. This is ten years after the collapse of society, so some pockets are attempting to retain order. The military patrols the outback. Store owners still want paper money in exchange for goods. But everyone is packing a weapon and death can come in the blink of an eye.
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Utopia Series 1, Episode 1 (2013)
Written by Dennis Kelly
Directed by Marc Munden
The first time I watched Utopia I knew I was going to have to binge watch the whole thing. It is rare that a television series in this polished, this sure of itself, and this damn good. Utopia gets dark, incredibly dark and it lets you know that from its opening scene (more on that in a minute). And it is a profoundly relevant show still five years out, talking about big ideas that are continuing to cast doubt on the future of humanity. Instead of framing this concept huge from the outset, the creators keep things small and intimate. The characters are where the story of Utopia starts and stays throughout its all too short run. And when you get to the end, you won’t forget those characters.
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