Netflix’s Earthquake Bird, which hit the streaming service last Friday, uses expat life in Tokyo as the backdrop for a murder mystery. Scored by Atticus Ross, the film stars Alicia Vikander, Riley Keough, Jack Huston, and Japanese actors Naoki Kobayashi and Kiki Sukezana—the latter of whom recently played the central antagonist in AMC’s The Terror: Infamy. Ridley Scott also serves as a co-producer here, as he did with that series.

There’s a long line of Hollywood movies set in Japan, many of which betray a decidedly ethnocentric perspective. When we first meet Vikander’s character, she’s working as a translator, doing subtitles for Scott’s 1989 yakuza thriller, Black Rain. As a Netflix film, Earthquake Bird comes on the heels of last year’s The Outsider, another such thriller that cast everyone’s least favorite Joker, Jared Leto, in the role of an unlikely yakuza enforcer. In contrast to that movie’s hollow posturing, Earthquake Bird is much more grounded in some semblance of recognizable reality. It isn’t a perfect film, but parts of it ring truer than the typical “gaijin in Tokyo” flick, because it was made with an eye toward authenticity by a director who lived in Japan and an actress who committed herself to learning Japanese.

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colette trailer

Keira Knightley in a period drama! What will they think of next? But Colette may be the period drama queen’s most modern movie yet. In the first Colette trailer, the Oscar-nominated actress stars as the real-life French writer Gabrielle Sidonie Colette who goes on to become a leading literary figure and an early sexual revolutionary.

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Julianne Moore in Still Alice

With just three weeks to go until the end of the year, we’ve still got several noteworthy pictures to look forward to. Among them is Still Alice, an indie drama that emerged as one of the brightest gems from this year’s TIFF crop.

Julianne Moore leads as Alice Howland, a professor and married mother of three who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Alec Baldwin plays her husband, and Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish play her children. Hit the jump to watch the new Still Alice trailer. Read More »