Each week within this column we strive to pair the latest in theatrical releases to worthwhile titles currently available on Netflix Instant Watch. This week we offer alternatives to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Young Adult, & New Year’s Eve.
This week a subtle spy faces off against a mean girl and a cavalcade of celebs in theaters nationwide. Want more thrilling espionage tales, badass black comedies and schmaltzy star-studded stories? We’ve got you covered with some stellar selects that are Now Streaming.
Based on John le Carré’s espionage novel, TTSS centers on stoic MI6 agent George Smiley (Gary Oldman), who is in the midst of a mole hunt. Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and John Hurt co-star. Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) directs.
Like your thrillers with British accents? Sure you do!
Sherlock (2010) TTSS co-star Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this extraordinary BBC sleuth series as a sociopathic Sherlock, addicted to the puzzles inherent in crime-solving. Martin Freeman is the Watson to his Holmes over the course of three 90-minute-long episodes, packed with macabre humor and twisted thrills.
44 Inch Chest (2009) Underworld kingpin Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone) is not a man to be trifled with. So when he discovers his wife is cheating, he sends his crew to kidnap her French paramour (Melvil Poupaud) and make him pay. John Hurt, Ian McShane and Tom Wilkinson co-star.
From Russia With Love (1963) The sleekest British spy of all time takes on the Iron Curtain in Sean Connery’s second outing as James Bond. 007 is in a race against time to track down Lektor, a Russian decoding device, before SPECTRE finds it. Along the way he seduces a gorgeous Russian, Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi).
Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is a writer of Young Adult fiction who is still fixated on her high school boyfriend (Patrick Wilson). So when she discovers he has just had his first child with his wife (Elizabeth Reaser), she decides to go home and rekindle the old flame. Patton Oswalt co-stars; Diablo Cody writes and Jason Reitman directs.
Like your comedy with a mean streak?
Big Fan (2009) Young Adult’s Patton Oswalt stars in this deeply dark Spirit Award-nominated comedy as Paul Aufiero, a hardcore Giants fan whose devotion is so deep it leads him into stalker territory. When his dangerous obsession leaves this blue-and-white fan black-and-blue, he’s left with a difficult decision to make: his family or his team? Kevin Corrigna and Matt Servitto co-star.
The Vicious Kind (2009) Adam Scott earned a Spirit Award nomination for his portrayal of Caleb Sinclaire, an enraged insomniac who is estranged from his widowed father (Young Adult’s J.K. Simmons) and overly protective of his naïve younger brother (Alex Frost). So when his brother brings his college girlfriend (Brittany Snow) home to meet the family, things get …let’s say complicated in this dark and manic comedy.
Death Becomes Her (1992) In this campy dark comedy two long-time frenemies (Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep) duel unto death and beyond competing for men, money and status. When a dweeb/plastic surgeon (Bruce Willis) becomes the latest object of their rivalry, the competition kicks into high gear, culminating in some truly ghoulish results. Robert Zemeckis directs.
This saccharine spin-off of Valentine’s Day has a bevvy of stars traipsing about New York on New Year’s Eve looking for love. Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Ludacris, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank and Sofía Vergara co-star.
Stars aplenty fall in love in these romance movies:
New York, I Love You (2008) Both star-studded and director-studded, this vignette-stocked romance offered 9 short films set in New York City and helmed by 9 different directors including: Faith Akin, Yvan Attal, Shunji Iwai, Mira Nair and Brett Ratner. Rachel Bilson, Andy Garcia, Bradley Cooper, Orlando Bloom, Ethan Hawkes, Natalie Portman, Christina Ricci and James Caan co-star.
The Romantics (2010) NYE’s Josh Duhamel co-stars with Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Malin Akerman, Adam Brody, Elijah Wood, Rebecca Lawrence and Dianna Agron in this complicated tale of tangled love. A group of long-time friends (known as “the Romantics” because of their cross-pollinated dating history) reunite for a couple’s upcoming wedding. But trouble brews when an old flame reignites between the bridegroom and the bride’s best friend.
Killers (2010) NYE co-stars Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher first teamed up on this action-rom-com. Kutcher is an top-notch hitman who retires after wedding Heigl’s glamor-girl/computer whiz. But his life has far from settled down when he discovers a hits been put out on him. Hm.
Hook (1991) Revisit this off-beat holiday classic from Steven Spielberg that features Robin Williams as a grown Peter Pan who has long ago lost his way to Never-Neverland. Nowadays Pan is a pudgy, workaholic lawyer with kids who desperately crave his attention. His non-stop neglect is wearing on his adolescent son Jack (Charlie Korsmo), so when Pan’s childhood nemesis Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) abducts his children and carts them off to his pirate ship in Never Neverland, Pan has one chance to redeem himself and save his kids. Beyond offering one amazing mouth-watering moment, plenty of slapstick, action, and goofy humor, this magical adventure also features some truly dazzling pirate performances from Hoffman and Bob Hoskins, who plays Hook’s oft-put upon sidekick Smee! Trust me, it’s as bangarang as you remember.
Is there a title Now Streaming that you think is worth recommending?
Send your pick(s) to Kristy.
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