Ideas for the Queue: Thriller/Drama
Ever get to the video store and draw a complete blank on what to see? Is your Netflix queue bare and empty? I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite films that you might not have seen. I’ll do my best to make this a recurring feature, to keep our readers fully stocked on substantial cinema! Please keep in mind that I’m recommending these films because I have enjoyed them. You won’t find many of these films in Christian bookstores, but I believe that biblical wisdom can be gleaned from each of them. Okay, enough with the obligatory disclaimer..
I’ll start with Thrillers and Drama.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
We’ve spoken about this film on the show before, but this is one of the finest films made about life during World War II and the perspective of the film is remarkable. It follows a young boy as his family moves from a large city to the countryside due to his father’s reassignment. His father is an up-and-coming official in the Nazi party and the boy leads a charmed existence. Once at the new home, everything begins to change with strict “out of bounds” areas and unanswered questions. It does deserve the PG-13 rating, due to the subject matter.
This indie film made some waves this year in the film festival circuit but didn’t garner any recognition from the major award ceremonies. Superbly acted, it is a story about an unlikely friendship born out of one man’s loneliness and another man’s desire for companionship. It is truly a shame that Red West was not nominated for Best Supporting Actor, he deserved at least a nomination for his work. This film is rated R for language.
Many of you might have seen this when it came out in 1997, but it’s still an often overlooked classic. I won’t say much about it except to say that if you enjoy edge-of-your-seat films that make you work to figure out the ending: you will like this film. It’s rated R for language, some violence, and some sexuality.
House of Games
This is the first David Mamet film that I saw and I was hooked. This film has more plot twists than an hour on the floor of the House. Mamet always writes quirky plots and dynamite dialogue and this is no exception. It follows a psychiatrist (Lindsay Crouse) as she decends into the dark and seedy world of scammers and con-men. Joe Mantegna is excellent and the supporting cast is great. You might have to watch this one more than once to figure out all the ins and outs, but it has aged very well since it was released in 1987. It is rated R for language and some violence.
A Simple Plan
This movie revolves around just that: a simple plan. More than anything, this film explores the ramifications of one simple moral choice and how quickly things can spiral out of control. Billy Bob Thornton and Bill Paxson are great, with a surprising guest appearance by Gary Cole (one of my favorites and current Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member); it is also directed by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead series and Spiderman series). This film is rated R for violence and language.
I hope that this gives you some ideas for your queue! Please add any suggestions that you have for Thrillers or Dramas in the comments below. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.