Movie Recommendations for a satisfying experience

Ed Park, MD dr ed park, movies Leave a Comment

As someone who has spent thousands of hours studying film while learning screenwriting, I have seen a lot of movies. In case you are bored with all the staying at home, I would like to recommend some less popular movies that will demand and yet richly reward a full attention span.

Horror/Psychological Thriller

Jacob’s Ladder (1990; Adrian Lyne)

Tim Robbins stars as a strung-out Vietnam vet who seems to be losing his mind. An allegory of the religion of antiquity known as Sethian Gnosticism that builds to a genuinely haunting ending. Can you guess the movie that drew heavily from it?



Historical Drama

The Professor and the Madman (2019; Farhad Safinia)

Featuring Mel Gibson as the Scottish professor and Sean Penn as the Madman. Two brilliant but challenged polymaths collaborate to create the first English dictionary while shuffling in their mortal coils and battling prejudice and insanity. Not your typical Hollywood film so be prepared for that.



-Beauty and the Beast (1946; Jean Cocteau)

The fairy tale comes alive in the black and white masterpiece of magic and images made possible by the master of story telling and visual art. Pro-tip: might go well with a relaxed or enhanced state of mind.



-In the Loop (2009: Armando Iannucci)

Palace intrigue surrounding the British role in generating the Gulf war. Although it takes a while to build, if you like swearing and insult comedy, this one does not disappoint. Peter Capaldi and James Gandolfini use words like blunt instruments as they try to herd their feckless cats sleepwalking backwards into disaster.



-Poulet au Prunes (2011; Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud)   

An Iranian movie acted in French. The quirky story line and magical realism creates a sort of melange of Amelie meets The Notebook. The ending is a rare near-perfect cinematic moment that is earned yet surprising.




-The Name of the Rose (1986; Jean-Jacques Annaud)

Sean Connery stars as William of Occam in the film based on the Umberto Eco novel of the same name. Gruesome murders in an medieval French abbey brings Connery and his acolyte played by Christian Slater in mortal conflict with the evil inquisitor played by F. Murray Abraham. Will logic or superstition win the day?



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