Deciding which movie to watch is hard, and doesn't always end well. Sometimes you spend so long scrolling through your Netflix queue that by the time you settle on re-watching Hercules you only have three hours left until you have to get up for work. Sometimes you pay $15 for a special IMAX screening only to walk out halfway through because the 3D blue cat people are giving you a headache.
We at PolicyMic know that your time is precious, so we've created a handy guide that we hope will alleviate the pressure of finding a movie that's worth it. Gut-wrenching drama, Southern charm, and motherlovers make up our picks for the best flicks to see, stream, or skip this week.
Would you like to see a list like this every week on PolicyMic? What movies are you looking forward to watching (or not)? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter at @JulianneRoss.
What it's about: Short Term 12 follows the frequent struggles and occasional triumphs of a passionate 20-something who works as a counselor at a group home for troubled teens.
Why you should see it: The film won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for best narrative feature at SXSW this year, and has been wrenching the hearts of nearly every critic who’s seen it thus far. Lauded as a "masterpiece of storytelling" and a "quiet revelation," Short Term 12 deftly avoids the pitfalls of its potentially melodramatic premise to become a deeply thoughtful examination of trauma, friendship, and love. If you want to feel a whole lot of feelings, go see this.
Directed by Destin Crettin.
Starring Brie Larson, John Gallagher, Jr., and Kaitlyn Dever.
In select theaters now; wider releases throughout September.
What it's about: While traveling down the Mississippi River, teenaged boys Ellis and Neckbone stumble across a mysterious fugitive named Mud (played by Matthew McConaughey) hiding out on a deserted island. Intrigued by his extraordinary tales of murder and bounty hunters, Ellis and Neckbone decide to embark on a life-changing adventure to help Mud evade the law and reconnect with his estranged lady love.
Why you should stream it: Mud marks another win for McConaughey in his steady transition from oft-shirtless heartthrob to serious actor. A coming-of-age story steeped in Southern literary traditions, the film has been called "the best Southern film in years" and an engrossing modern fairy tale that expertly evokes the sights, sounds, and feelings of the Delta.
Directed by Jeff Nichols.
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, and Sam Shepard.
Streaming on Amazon and iTunes.
What it's about: In this scandalous drama, "older" women/bffs Naomi Watts and Robin Wright start scandalously sleeping with much younger men who, in a scandalous twist, also happen each other's sons. Did I mention that it's all very scandalous?
If the plot sounds familiar, you're probably thinking of this:
Why you should skip it: Adore was reportedly nearly laughed off the screen at its Sundance premiere, and has since received some scathing reviews that liken the film to an unsympathetic "mommy fantasy" about "#richwhitewomenproblems." But if you can get over the absurd notion that Watts and Wright are over the hill and don't mind the shallow, "utterly ridiculous" dialogue, I do hear that the film's scenery is quite lovely.
Directed by Anne Fontaine.
Starring Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, and Ben Mendelsohn.
In theaters now.