27 Movies that Don’t Suck

best movies

Who looks at the four seasons like this?

1) Tulips 1, Frozen Tundra 0

2) If anyone would like to melt steel, I believe you can do so in my driveway

3) Oh how sweet, every leaf in the neighborhood came over for a visit!

4) Five months of Netflix

The multiple month movie marathon is, of course, accompanied by the answerless question of, “What should I/we watch?” Leading to the unavoidable dissection of Netflix, Amazon.com Instant Video, Red Box, IMDB and the fruitless experience of attempting to use Blockbuster.com. The good news about this process is the time you allocated to watch the movie is typically used up in attempting to find one – and before you have so much as pressed play – it is time for bed. Leaving your story re:  “What you did this winter?” to one simple sentence: “I attempted to find a movie that didn’t suck.”

True story: on the rare occasion, I find movies I believe to be 5 stars and to help you get through the season we must get to before we can see daffodils – I provide you this list. PLEASE provide me any suggestions you have in the comments below. We can get through this winter together!



Labor Day – How this movie never made it to the Oscar contender list is beyond my earthly comprehension. Apparently Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin didn’t kiss enough Hollywood rear end. Basic storyline: Kate Winslet and her son are held hostage in their house by Josh Brolin, a man accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

All Good Things – A love story and thriller based on a real unsolved murder case involving the mega-wealthy NYC real estate family who manages The World Trade Center.

Ides of March – A political thriller jammed with twists, turns and entertainment.

A Simple Plan – Brothers come across a never-reported plane crash and a bag of money that changes their life – but not at all how they expected.

Memento – I have zero idea how to describe this movie and you likely won’t either –  which is why you need to see it.

Primal Fear – Richard Gere is representing Edward Norton, and Norton’s multiple personalities, in this court room thriller.

The Truth about Emanuel – Jessica Biel befriends a her neighbor, a teenage girl and then a spine chilling, all kinds of nutty get out, secret is revealed. This is yet another one I have zero idea why it didn’t make it on the movie award list.



Searching for Sugar Man – Sixto Rodriguez – a musician living a tough life in Detroit had no idea he was a national sensation throughout South Africa. The story on the filmmakers who found him, told him of his notoriety and what happened next.

Cocaine Cowboys – The story of how drug dealers built a cocaine empire – and Miami – all at the same time.

Craigslist Joe – How one man spent 30 days living exclusively off the kindness and generosity of people he met on Craigslist.

Detroit Lives – A fair, fascinating and I am just going to say it – inspiring – look at the Detroit everyone who just looks at pictures of decay is missing. Narrated by Johnny Knoxville.

A Fragile Trust – The story of the plagarism scandal that rocked the New York Times. My interview with the filmmaker here.

Manufactured Landscapes – A fascinating look at the landscapes that did not exist until mankind did.

Lion Ark, The Movie – How one group is traveling the world saving animals from circuses. My interview with the filmmaker here.

Blackfish – The true story behind where Sea World gets their animals and how they treat their animals. An absolute must-watch for anyone considering a visit there.

Tiny: A Story about Living Small – A Colorado man’s adventure in building a tiny house.

We the Tiny House People – A documentary of how people live big in tiny houses around the world.

I’m Fine, Thanks – The story of how people live, and live well, outside of the traditional American Dream.



Revolutionary Road – Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and the story of marriage behind closed doors.

Life is Beautiful – A father and son are taken to a concentration camp and the father turns into a game to protect his child.


Funny, Feel Good, Haha Entertainment

Legally Blonde – Sorority girl, Reese Witherspoon, gets into Harvard Law to get her boyfriend back. Had I spent as much time watching this as I did in high school – maybe I would have been accepted to Harvard Law too.

Home Alone – A mischievous kid, Macaulay Caulkin, is accidentally left when his family goes on vacation.

Pitch Perfect – It is a acapella choir throwdown with Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow.

Obvious Child – A stand up comedian, Jennny Slate, gets pregnant in a one night stand and wops a daisy, kind of forgets to tell the guy.


Addictive TV Series

Damages – Glenn Close is a domineering, not-so-law-abiding attorney, head of a powerhouse firm which selects Rose Byrne to be a first year associate. Then all kinds of irresistible scandal, can’t-stop-watching-even-if-it-is-4-am, ensues. You might want to clear your calendar for the next six weeks. You can’t quit this.

Downton Abbey – I resisted the Downton Abbey fan club for years. British people talking funny dressed up in turn of the century garb dealing with their turn of the century rich people problems – where’s the snooze button? But then I went through all other Amazon and Netflix series options and like all addictions, decided to try it once, got hooked, watched them all episodes and am now jonesing for my next fix.

House of Cards – Kevin Spacey, a U.S. Congressman has exactly zero scruples when it comes to getting what he wants – including the Presidency without every having to run. His equally shifty wife, Robyn Wright, has her own agenda which sometimes does and sometimes does not support her husband. The first season had me hooked. Only finding out there was in fact no man in a red suit coming down my chimney on 12/24 was a greater disappointment than season two. Season 3 redeemed itself.


Now you tell me – what should I be watching?

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