5. Disney’s BFG
Rating: PG (for action/peril, some scary moments and brief rude humor)
Genre: Kids/ Family
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Melissa Mathison
Although definitely not Spielberg’s best film the BFG is still a good watch. According to RogerEbert.com, “The BFG minimizes the darker elements of Roald Dahl’s classic in favor of a resolutely good-natured, visually stunning, and largely successful family-friendly adventure.” The BFG arrives on Netflix April 6.
4. Tropic Thunder
Rating: R (for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material)
Directed By: Ben Stiller
Written By: Justin Theroux, Ethan Cohen and Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. lead an ensemble cast in Tropic Thunder. Tropic Thunder is an action comedy about a group of self absorbed actors who set out to make the most expensive war film. After ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting, leading his cast into the jungles where they encounter real bad guys. Robert Downey Jr. was nominated for an Oscar in this film which is unusual for a comedy. Tropic Thunder will be available on Netflix April 1.
3. Kubo and the Two Strings
Rating: PG (for thematic elements, scary images, action and peril)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation , Science Fiction Fantasy
Directed By: Travis Knight (II)
Written By: Marc Haimes, Chris Butler
Although it didn’t win the Oscar for Best Animated Picture this year, this stop-motion animation masterpiece deserves your full attention. Laika studios has done it again both making a stunning animation feature with a great story. Kubo will be streaming on Netflix April 8.
2. The Prestige
Rating: PG-13 (for violence and disturbing images)
Genre: Action and Adventure, Drama, Mystery Suspense
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
The Prestige is an often under appreciated Christopher Nolan gem. It is a cinematic magic trick both figuratively and literally. The Prestige has such a great narrative you will appreciate it more and more upon rewatch. Not only does this film have Nolan at the helm it has terrific performances from Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman and Michael Caine. Not to mention supporting cast including Scarlett Johannson, Andy Serkis, David Bowie and Rebecca Hall. The Prestige will be available on April 21.
1. Schindler’s List
Rating: R (violence and disturbing images)
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Steve Zaillian
Simply one of the greatest films of all time. This outstanding Holocaust drama, based on Thomas Keneally’s bestseller Schindler’s Ark, won seven Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Score. It tells the story of World War II entrepreneur Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson), whose operation to supply the German war effort led him to be the unexpected savior of more than 1,000 Jewish factory workers in Poland. Spielberg uses stark, brutal realism to put over his powerful points about racism and ethnic cleansing. The use of stunning black-and-white photography and gritty hand-held camera footage give the film a potent documentary style. Ralph Fiennes invokes an awesome mixture of revulsion and sympathy as the inhuman Nazi commandant, Amon Goeth, and Neeson matches him with a heartfelt performance as the enigmatic Schindler. Ben Kingsley is also superb as Schindler’s Jewish accountant and conscience. Spielberg’s masterpiece is available on April 1.