6. Giant
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Release Date: 1956

Genre: Epic Western

Director: George Stevens

Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean

Giant was James Dean‘s last film, released after his death. For that alone, it’s worth seeing. The film even presents a hypothetical look at what Dean would’ve looked like had he grown older (spoiler alert: he’d have a mustache). This is a sprawling epic about three people, played by Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. The backdrop is Texas, and there’s so much going on here that it’s almost exhausting. The 201 minute runtime might be overwhelming for some, but those who can put up with it will be treated to movie making on a grand scale. Hudson is a Texas rancher who marries out-of-towner Elizabeth Taylor. Their marriage is tumultuous, and things are further complicated by the roguish cowboy Jett Rink (Dean), who wants to strike it rich on his own. Of the three Dean-starring films – the other two being Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden – Giant is the weakest, and there’s some racist overtones that are hard to ignore. But it’s still a masterwork worth visiting.

For fans of: East of EdenDays of HeavenThere Will Be Blood, characters named Jett Rink.

 

7. Incident at Loch Ness
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2004

Genre: Mockumentary

Director: Zak Penn

Cast: Werner Herzog, Zak Penn, Kitana Baker, Robert O’Meara, Michael Karnow

Did you know there was a mockumentary about the Loch Ness Monster starring Werner Herzog? It’s true! That film is Incident at Loch Ness, a clever, strange film. Herzog plays himself, making a documentary called Enigma of Loch Ness. The film we’re watching is supposed to be a behind-the-scenes look at Herzog making his new documentary, but really, it’s all an elaborate leg-pull in which Herzog and company end up encountering what might just be the real Loch Ness Monster. If this sounds silly, it is. But it’s also a heck of a lot of fun. Primarily for Herzog, who is just a delight to watch as he plays a fictionalized version of himself.

For fans of: LunopolisCave of Forgotten DreamsWillow Creek, Werner Herzog doing Werner Herzog things.

 

8. Single White Female
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1992

Genre: Very ’90s Thriller

Director: Barbet Schroeder

Cast: Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber, Peter Friedman

Rejoice! One of the quintessential ’90s thrillers is now available to stream. Bridget Fonda is a modern woman on the go who needs a roommate. That roommate is Jennifer Jason Leigh, who turns out to be craaaaazy. Leigh becomes obsessed with Fonda, going so far as to get the same exact haircut as her. Things get even more complicated and unnerving from there. Fonda and Leigh are both fantastic here, although it’s Leigh who really steals the show as the increasingly insane roomie. They don’t really make movies like this anymore, and when they do, they always end up being hokey and kind of, well, terrible. Single White Female does it right.

For fans of: Fatal AttractionThe Hand that Rocks the CradlesPlay Misty for Me, death by high-heel shoe.

 

9. Go
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1999

Genre: Comedy with heavy Pulp Fiction influences.

Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Taye Diggs, William Fichtner, J. E. Freeman, Katie Holmes, Breckin Meyer, Jay Mohr, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Polley, Scott Wolf

There were many Pulp Fiction knock-offs in the late ’90s, but Go is one of the best. Like Tarantino’s film, this Doug Liman crime comedy interconnects several different stories and a wealth of characters in amusing, unexpected ways. The film is set during Christmastime in Los Angeles, and finds characters engaged in wild and crazy (and sometimes criminal) activities. It’s not quite as brutal as Pulp Fiction, but the influence is impossible to miss. And that’s okay! Sarah Polley is predictably great as a supermarket clerk trying to score some ecstasy to sell, and William Fitchner steals most of the movie as a character who may or may not be crazy. Go is bursting with energy and style, and it never slows down for one second. It’s a hell of a lot of fun.

For fans of: Pulp FictionSwingersThe Rules of Attraction, Jane Krakowski cameos.

 

10. The Ghost and the Darkness
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1996

Genre: Historical adventure

Director: Stephen Hopkins

Cast: Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer

Sometimes, you just want to watch a movie about Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer trying to hunt down man-eating lions. The Ghost and the Darkness is based on a true story. I don’t know how accurate the movie is to history, and I don’t really care. What I do care about is that this film has a script from William Goldman, one of the best screenwriters of all-time. Goldman makes this potentially ludicrous story work, and the end result is something highly entertaining. It’s 1898, and proper gentleman Val Kilmer has been sent to Kenya to help complete a railroad. Unfortunately, there are some killer lions picking off the workers one by one. Kilmer recruits the help of a famous hunter (Michael Douglas). The film is fine to begin with, but once Douglas enters, it really picks up, because Douglas is having a blast playing his character as a sweaty lunatic. Roger Ebert gave this movie half a star. That’s right – not even a full star. In his review, he wrote: “Many scenes are so inept as to beggar description. Some of the lion attacks seem to have been staged by telling the actors to scream while a lion rug was waved in front of the camera.” I can’t disagree with him. And yet…this movie is still somehow worth seeing.

For fans of: RoarThe EdgeSurviving the Game, Michael Douglas shouting lines like “I am the devil!”

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