During this quarantine, I’ve been trying to keep busy and maintain my normal lifestyle as much as possible. My days consist of working, hanging out with Billy, going for jogs and exercising in my apartment (I’ll be sharing my favorite home workout videos and tips in the coming weeks). Each morning Billy and I choose a film to watch later on in the evening. We go back and forth between films we haven’t seen yet, and our favorite classics.
As a way to help deal with boredom from being stuck indoors, Gina and I each came up with a list of ten movie recommendations. These choices are ones that we’ve recently watched and loved. At the bottom, you’ll find a comprehensive list of more movies to watch at home, which are broken down by genre, along with where you can stream them. Stay indoors and stay safe, everyone! Xo.Kristie
With the “me too” movement taking center stage, this narrative needed to be told. Bombshell covers the toxic work environment at Fox News. Most of the film is a true story based on newscasters Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson. It delves deep into the sexual harassment claims against CEO Roger Ailes. The composite character Kayla Pospisil was created to represent multiple women’s accounts regarding the hostile work situations they were forced to endure. The beginning of the film features the 2016 Republican debate when Kelly asked Donald Trump about the comments he’s made regarding women and their looks. Trump then went on TV and stated she was “anger-menstruating,” and continued to bully her on Twitter for months to come. This led to death threats from his followers and Fox did little to help Kelly. Carlson accused Ailes of demoting her (she was removed from Fox and Friends) when she rebuffed his sexual advances. This exposé portrays the downfall of Ailes and how most of the women stuck together to take him down.
If you’re brave enough to watch Contagion I commend you. The film captures the frightening but realistic look at the world we’re presently living in. Director Steven Soderbergh talked with the World Health Organization as well as doctors and he asked them their biggest fears when it comes to a pandemic. I streamed the movie a few weeks ago, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, it was informative, but on the other, it was absolutely terrifying. After watching it, I realized it was only a matter of weeks before the virus spread throughout the United States, and here we are. Every day it feels like we’re living in this nightmarish movie. To be honest, if you’re someone who suffers from anxiety, I would skip this one.
I pretty much love anything produced by A24. Some words I would use to characterize their movies are gritty, dreamy, deep, and thought-provoking—and Waves is a perfect example. What begins as a teenage love story turns dark very quickly. The film illustrates how a South Florida family deals with tragedy, forgiveness, and hope. There’s also a kickass soundtrack to add to the vibrant landscape. Here’s a list of A24’s movies and where you can stream them.
I didn’t know what to expect before I watched Hustlers. Was it going to be cheesy? I wasn’t sure, so I waited and streamed it one evening when I couldn’t find anything else to watch. Well, it ended up being one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. It’s based on New York Magazine’s exposé titled The Hustlers at Scores. The true story is centered around a group of strippers who drugged and stole from their wealthy clients. With an all-star cast (Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Cardi B, and more) it has a mix of comedy, crime, drugs, and a look back at the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. From spotting Juicy Couture to hearing throwback songs like Make It Rain, Conceited, Beautiful Girls, and Love In This Club, Hustlers brought me back to my early 20s when life was all about shopping at Kitson and wearing the newest velour tracksuits.
(Spoilers) I vividly remember in 2011 watching Nancy Grace cover the Long Island serial killer. While searching for missing escort Shannan Gilbert, the police discovered the bodies of multiple sex workers along Ocean Parkway (near Gilgo and Oak Beach). Who were these women and what happened to them? After they were identified, we learned their families had reported them missing. However, the detectives were dismissive and did little to help, especially in Shannan Gilbert’s case. Now their loved ones wanted answers, but years later, they haven’t gotten much. Although there have been numerous suspects, no one has been charged with their murders. Lost Girls tells the story of the intertwining cases and how a group of women band together to speak up for their daughters and sisters—when no one else would.
In this time of self-isolation and quarantine, escapism is everything. The coming-of-age comedy-drama Submarine is perfect for this. The plot deals with the 15-year-old pretentious Oliver, who is infatuated with his risqué classmate, Jordana, and who he soon starts dating. His parents have a rocky relationship that further becomes threatened when his mother’s ex-boyfriend moves in next door to them. Oliver makes unconventional plans to guarantee his parents stay together and that Jordana continues to like him. I love this film because it makes you feel like a young teenager again, falling in love for the first time and trying to find out who you are through the process. It has awkward and embarrassing moments that everyone can relate to, and it puts you back into the throes of being a 15-year-old. I’m also obsessed with the soundtrack performed by one of my favorite artists, Alex Turner, lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys. The soundtrack is only 6 songs, but they tie into the movie perfectly. Turner created a beautiful rendition of the main themes in this movie regarding relationships, heartbreak, identity, and belonging. Everyone can see a little of Oliver in themselves!
Zodiac is one of my favorite films for how intriguing, suspenseful, and mesmerizing the story is. I promise it’s not just my favorite because my crush Jake Gyllenhaal is the lead, although that gives it extra points in my book. Zodiac is a mystery thriller film based on the true story of the Zodiac Killer, a serial murderer from the Bay Area during the 1960s and early 70s. This is one of the most iconic true crime stories in history and the movie does an exceptional job reenacting the events. Throughout the film, investigators played by Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards and reporters Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. become obsessed with figuring out the killer’s identity and bringing him to justice. While doing this, Zodiac claims victim after victim while taunting the media and authorities with cryptic messages, ciphers, and haunting phone calls. I am a sucker for anything true crime, so I especially love the film as this case remains one of America’s most infamous unsolved crimes. After finishing the film, I spent weeks researching it and reading countless forums on Reddit to string together some of my own theories. It’s a fun film to socially distance watch with friends and afterwards take turns sharing each other’s ideas on who the Zodiac Killer could have been.
I heard from everyone and their mother to watch the Netflix Original film The Irishman and I am so glad I took their advice. The movie features iconic actors Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, and Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino. Martin Scorsese’s epic based-on-a-true-story film is a tale of organized crime in post-war America that’s told through the eyes of a hustler, hitman Frank Sheeran. As it spans decades, the film accounts for one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa. It also records a monumental journey through the hidden roads of organized crime, such as its inner workings, the rivalries, and the connections of the Italian-American gangs to mainstream politics. The flick hits close to home for me as it takes place in Philadelphia, the city my father comes from. The film even shows specific streets my father grew up on. Tip: If you can’t commit to watching the entire 3 hours and 30 minutes in one sitting, you can pause at 1 hour and 48 minutes to watch the film in two parts.
The Florida Project is a slice of life drama that also happens to be one of my favorite films in the last couple of years. While having an interesting and emotional plotline, the visuals of the movie are stunning and capture your attention. This must-watch movie is set in the shadow of the most magical place on Earth, Disney World in Florida. 6-year-old Moonee and her two best friends create their own adventures in the projects of Kissimmee, Florida. Moonee lives in a motel with her single, troubled mother. However, the struggling mother and caring hotel manager played by Willem Dafoe try to protect the kids from the harsh reality (drugs, poverty, homelessness) that surrounds them. The Florida Project is emotional, heartfelt, and filled with childhood wonder that will leave you in tears.
If you are like me and are head-over-heels in love with Timothee Chalamet, then you need to watch Beautiful Boy. This film is based on a true story biographical drama which features the main character Nic Sheff (Timothee Chalamet) and his turbulent relationship with his father (Steve Carell). Nic has everything any boy would want: good grades, acting talents, artistic talents, he’s an athlete, and he’s editor of the school newspaper. However, he goes down the wrong road when he uses heroin and crystal meth. His addiction slowly destroys him and everything he loves. His father does whatever he can to save his son and family. This emotional story explores how drug addiction can ruin lives, while it also highlights how families come to terms with their child’s addiction. This movie left me in tears more than once and it’s a powerful watch. The film is based on the memoir written by real-life father, David Sheff, and it’s a must-read!
What to watch...
Thriller + Suspense: United 93, Drive, Spenser Confidential, The Dark Knight, Chloe, Spring Breakers, Gemini, Natural Born Killers, Righteous Kill, Notes on a Scandal, A Simple Favor, Ingrid Goes West, Hick, The Neon Demon, Trafficked, Fatal Attraction, Kalifornia
Feel Good Comedies: The Beverly Hillbillies, Down to You, Due Date, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Mrs. Doubtfire, One Fine Day, Step Brothers, Interview, Ferris Buller’s Day Off, The Ugly Truth, A Night At The Roxbury, Swingers, Booksmart, Morning Glory, American Graffiti, Good Luck Chuck
Chick Flicks: Bridesmaids, Failure to Launch, Sex and the City 2, My Girl, Monster in Law, Heathers, Book Club, No Strings Attached, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Under The Tuscan Sun, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Pretty in Pink, The Baby-Sitters Club, Second Act
Dramas: 54, Black Swan, Bohemian Rhapsody, Boys Don’t Cry, Fight Club, Gia, The Dirt, White Girl, Crash, Jerry Maguire, Dallas Buyers Club, Moonlight, I, Tonya, Ben is Back, Paranoid Park, If Beale Street Could Talk, Buffalo ‘66, Cinema Paradiso, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Lady Bird, Leaving Las Vegas, The Soloist, Katie Says Goodbye, Hot Summer Nights, mid90s, Blue Valentine, Flash Dance, Girl, Interrupted, Good Will Hunting, Little Women, On The Basis of Sex
Crime: Harsh Times, Maria Full of Grace, End of Watch, City of God, Goodfellas, Paid In Full, Takers, Along Came A Spider, Donnie Brasco, Goodtime, The Shawshank Redemption, 68 Kill, Blow, Savage Youth, 50/50, Shottas, American History X, Boyz N The Hood, Serpico
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Xo.A Girl in LA