6. Gangs of New York

Streaming on Hulu June 1

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first: while Leonardo DiCaprio can be a truly wonderful actor, he’s kind of terrible in Gangs of New York, his first team-up with his frequent collaborator/BFF Martin Scorsese. But you can overlook DiCaprio’s lackluster performance because almost everything else in Gangs of New York is fantastic, particularly Daniel Day-Lewis, who steals the entire film as the volatile Bill the Butcher. Set in mid-19th century New York, Gangs of New York follows a young Irish immigrant (DiCaprio) as he sets in motion a complicated revenge plot against the man (Day-Lewis) who killed his father (Liam Neeson). There’s enough plot and history packed into this movie to fit into an entire season of television, but Scorsese weaves his magic to concoct an engrossing, often ultra-violent period drama. (Warning: Gangs of New York features a closing-credits song from U2, but please don’t hold that against it.)

7. Days of Heaven

Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Before he committed fully to total tone-poems, Terrence Malick did actually make films that were just a tad more focused. Witness his absolutely gorgeous 1978 drama Days of Heaven. Bill (Richard Gere), Abby (Brooke Adams) and Abby’s younger sister Linda (Linda Manz) flee their home after Bill accidentally murders his boss. The trio end up working on the land of a kind, shy, and most of all, wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard). The farmer is apparently dying, so Bill convinces Abby to seduce him so that when he croaks he’ll leave her all his money. Of course, complications arise, as the best laid plans of Richard Gere often go awry. Shot almost entirely at magic hour – with the sun either setting or rising – Days of Heaven is a dreamy, almost hypnotic film that will remind you why Malick is so highly regarded a filmmaker.

8. Daughters of the Dust

Streaming on Netflix June 10

Julie Dash’s groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust comes to Netflix in June, where hopefully a new audience will experience it. Set off the coast of South Carolina at the dawn of the 20th century, Daughters of the Dust follows a group of African-American women on the verge of migrating to the North. Told in a nonlinear fashion, with characters speaking in authentic Gullah dialect, Dash’s film is poetic and rich. “I didn’t want to tell a historical drama about African-American women in the same way that I had seen other dramas,” the filmmaker said. “The story unfolds throughout this day-and-a-half in various vignettes. It unfolds and comes back. It’s a different way of telling a story. It’s totally different, new.”

9. Paterson

Streaming on Amazon Prime June 22

It’s not easy to make poetry – particularly the writing of poetry – cinematic, but Jim Jarmusch was more than up for the challenge with his 2016 film Paterson. Inspired by the poetry of William Carlos Williams, Paterson follows a bus driver (Adam Driver) who pens poems in his spare time. It probably doesn’t sound very exciting, but Paterson is an idyllic dream, where characters long to not just write, but breathe poetry. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world like that for a few hours? 

10. Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl

Now streaming on Shudder

Fans of slow-burn chillers like Let’s Scare Jessica to Death and Burnt Offerings will get a kick out of A.D. Calvo’s throwback horror flick Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl.  Nervous loner Adele (Erin Wilhelmi) agrees to care for her agoraphobic Aunt Dora (Susan Kellermann) in the woman’s spooky, gothic home. Things look rather somber for Adele until she happens to meet Beth (Quinn Shephard), who is everything Adele is not – outgoing, impulsive, and just a little bit wild. The friendship between the girls leads to tomething more, and through it all there’s an unmistakable air of menace that Calvo exploits perfectly. Fans of jump-scares and cheap thrills should probably stay away, but anyone looking for well-crafted psychological melodrama will find something to enjoy here.

Pages: Previous page 1 2

Cool Posts From Around the Web: