Best movie on Sundance Now — May 2017
Did you ever see that movie that Tommy Lee Jones directed, starring January Jones and Dwight Yokam? No?
Did you know that the screenplay was written by the same guy who wrote 21 Grams? Well, it happens to be my pick for the best movie coming to Sundance Now in May.
In The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Tommy Lee Jones plays a local ranch foreman who kidnaps a U.S. Border Patrol agent after a body is found in the high desert of West Texas. Here’s the trailer of this fine film, which you will only find on Sundance Now.
Not too shabby, eh?
Sundance Now has a new slate of award winning films in May, many of which you won’t be able to see anywhere else.
For a mere $6.99 per month – the cost of two rentals – a Sundance Now subscription offers a bonanza of movies to watch all month long.
You will get mainstream hits, independent films and documentaries. Check out my review of Sundance Now to get a feel of what’s up for grabs. I also rank it among the best Netflix alternatives out there.
Below is a list of all the other titles coming to Sundance Now this month.
If you want to try out Sundance Now, there’s two ways to get a 7-day free trial. Either head over to the Sundance Now web site and check out what else is in their movie lineup. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can also get a free trial through Amazon Channels.
Amen (2002): During WWII SS officer Kurt Gerstein tries to inform Pope Pius XII about Jews being sent to extermination camps. Young Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana helps him in the difficult mission to inform the world.
Cast: Mathieu Kassovitz, Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Muhe
Awards: Cesar Awards, Lumiere Awards
Capital (2012): The newly appointed CEO of a giant European investment bank works to hold on to his power when an American hedge fund company tries to buy out his company.
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Gad Elmaleh, Natacha Regnier, Celine Sallette
Awards: San Sebastian Film Festival
Director: Phil Morrison
Cast: Embeth Davidtz, David Kuhn, Amy Adams, Alessandro Nivola, Matt Besser, Will Oldham
Awards: Academy Awards (nominee), Film Independent Spirit Awards, Sundance Film Festival, BFCA, Gotham Awards, National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics, San Francisco Film Circle, etc
The Baker (2007): A hit man has second thoughts about his career and seeks refuge from his boss by finding work as a baker in a rural Welsh village.
Director: Gareth Lewis
Cast: Damian Lewis, Kate Ashfield, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michael Gambon
Awards: RiverRun International Film Festival
A Prophet (2009): The illiterate eighteen year-old Franco-Arab Malik El Djebena is sent to Brécourt prison sentenced to six years for assaulting police officers. Alone and without money, Malik finds unprotected in an environment of corruption and violence divided by the Corsican and Muslim gangs.
Director: Jacques Audiard
Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb
Awards: Academy Awards (nominee), Golden Globes (nominee), Cannes Film Festival, BAFTA, Cesar Awards, Lumiere Awards, European Film Awards, National Board Of Review, Austin Film Critics, British Independent Film Awards, Chicago Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics, London Critics Circle, etc
The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada (2005): A man is shot and quickly buried in the high desert of west Texas. The body is found and reburied in Van Horn’s town cemetery. Pete Perkins, a local ranch foreman, kidnaps a Border Patrolman and forces him to disinter the body. With his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule, Pete undertakes a dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico.
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, January Jones, Melissa Leo, Levon Helm
Awards: Film Independent Spirit Awards (nominee), Cannes Film Festival
Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Lea Seydoux, Adele Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche
Awards: Golden Globes (nominee), Film Independent Spirit Awards, Cesar Awards, Lumiere Awards, Cannes Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, British Independent Film Awards, BFCA, National Board Of Review, National Society Of Film Critics, London Critics Circle, New York Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics, Austin Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics, San Francisco Film Critics, Women Film Critics, etc
Frances Ha (2012)
Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver, Mickey Sumner
Awards: Golden Globe (nominee)
Frozen River (2008): Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling presents a daily challenge to single moms who would otherwise be earning minimum wage. Two women – one white, one Mohawk, both single mothers faced with desperate circumstances – are drawn into the world of border smuggling across the frozen water of the St. Lawrence River. Ray and Lila – and a New York State Trooper as opponent in an evolving cat-and-mouse game.
Director: Courtney Hunt
Cast: Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Charlie McDermott, Michael O’Keefe, Mark Boone Jr
Awards: Academy Awards (nominee), Film Independent Spirit Awards, AFI Awards, Gotham Awards, Sundance Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, SIFF, National Board Of Review, New York Film Critics, Alliance Of Women Film Journalists, Women Film Critics, etc
Midnight Return: The Story Of BIlly Hayes & Turkey (2016)
An exploration of the emotional and political power of film as seen through the lens of the blockbuster hit, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS when Billy Hayes, the real life subject, returns to Turkey thirty years after his daring escape from prison to face the nation still haunted by the film.
Director: Sally Sussman Morina
Cast: Billy Hayes
Awards: Cannes Film Festival (nominee)
The Tree (2010)
Director: Julie Bertuccelli
Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Morgana Davies, Marton Csokas
Midnight Express (1978): On October 6, 1970, American college student Billy Hayes is caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of Turkey. The Turkish courts decide to make an example of him, sentencing him to more than 30 years in prison. The prison environment is inhospitable in every sense, with a sadistic prison guard named Hamidou ruling the prison, he who relishes the mental and physical torture he inflicts on the prisoners for whatever reason. Hayes has two opportunities for release: the appeals made by his lawyer, his family, and the American government, or the “Midnight Express”.
Director: Alan Parker
Cast: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith, Randy Quaid
Awards: Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA, National Board Of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics, etc
Paprika (2006): When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients’ dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.
Director: Satoshi Kon
Cast: Megumi Hayashibara, Toru Furuya, Koichi Yamadera, Katsunosuke Hori
Awards: Fantasporto, Tokyo Anime Award, etc
The Point (1971): A father tells his son a bedtime story about young Oblio, who believes that having no point in the fantastical kingdom of pointed heads and things, still has a point.
Director: Fred Wolf (written by Harry Nilsson)
Cast: Ringo Starr, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Frees, Bill Martin
Waltz With Bashir (2008): An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.
Director: Ari Folman
Cast: Ari Folman, Ori Sivan, Ronny Dayag, Shmuel Frenkel, Zahava Solomon
Awards: Academy Awards (nominee), Golden Globes, Cesar Awards, British Independent Film Awards, European Film Awards, Cannes Film Festival (nominee), DGA, IDA, BFCA, National Board Of Review, Cinema Eye Honors, National Society Of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics, etc
Take 5 (Season 2)
In TAKE 5: A MORE PERFECT PATRIOT, filmmakers will explore the concepts of patriots and patriotism, touching on geopolitical conflicts and hot button issues including immigration, challenging one’s government, and flag burning. Season two questions what and who is a patriot through complex narratives and vivid imagery.
Director: Jason Cohen, Jehane Noujaim, Keith Maitland, Kiran Deol, Razan Ghalayini, Jordan Ching
Cast: Van Jones, Nate Boyer
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Elijah Smith
Awards: MTV Movie Awards (nominee), Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Film Independent Spirit Awards, BAFTA, Cesar Awards, SAG, AFI Awards, British Independent Film Awards, Cinema Eye Honors, Gotham Awardds, Berlin International Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, SXSW, SIFF, BFCA, National Board Of Review, New York Film Critics, London Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics, Austin Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics, Seattle Film Critics, Alliance Of Women Film Journalists, Indiewire Critics’ Poll, etc
GRADUATE FIRST (1978): A study of a group of young working class people in a French village, who are embarking upon adult life. The film follows the choices and decisions made for their futures.
Director: Maurice Pialat
Cast: Sabine Haudepin, Philippe Marlaud, Annick Alane, Michel Caron
JESS + MOSS (2011)
Director: Clay Jeter
Cast: Sarah Hagan, Austin Vickers, Haley Strode
Awards: Tallinn Black Nights, Ghent International Film Festival, etc
How to try Sundance Now for free
Remember, there are two ways to get a 7-day free trial of Sundance Now. Either head over to the Sundance Now web site and check out what else is in their movie lineup. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can also get a free trial through Amazon Channels. Have you ever tried Sundance Now? Let readers know what you thought of the app in the comments below.