New Streaming Movies: June 2021

Another Round

There’s a theory that we should be born with a small amount of alcohol in our blood, and that modest inebriation opens our minds to the world around us, diminishing our problems and increasing our creativity. Heartened by that theory, Martin and three of his friends, all weary high school teachers, embark on an experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday. If Churchill won WW2 in a heavy daze of alcohol, who knows what a few drops might do for them and their students? Initial results are positive, and the teachers’ little project turns into a genuine academic study. Both their classes and their results continue to improve, and the group feels alive again! As the units are knocked back, some of the participants see further improvement and others go off the rails. It becomes increasingly clear that while alcohol may have fueled great results in world history, some bold acts carry consequences.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“In a year when much of the world has been stuck at home, day drinking, Another Round is a welcome shot of bitters with a warm cognac chaser, and a bracing/revealing renewal of a grand Danish partnership, Vinterberg and Mads his muse.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“Here, merriment and melancholy go hand in hand, partners in life’s dance just as a stiff drink is an accompaniment to life’s pleasures. The combination proves as intoxicating as the fancy-pants cocktails the boys whip up together—if not more so.” – Andrew Crump, Paste

“A peak-form Mads Mikkelsen stars in this hilarious and heartbreaking spellbinder as a Copenhagen high-school teacher who thinks day drinking might sharpen his faculties. The Oscar for Best International Feature belongs right here.” – Peter Travers, ABC

Available on Kanopy.

The Man Who Sold His Skin

Sam Ali, a young sensitive and impulsive Syrian, left his country for Lebanon to escape the war. To be able to travel to Europe and live with the love of his life, he accepts to have his back tattooed by one of the World’s most sulfurous contemporary artists. Turning his own body into a prestigious piece of art, Sam will however come to realize that his decision might actually mean anything but freedom.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

The Man Who Sold His Skin may not be entirely believable, but its many great metaphors for multiple social ills create their own, withering truth. The film doesn’t ask us to turn our gaze away from the world’s ugly realities, but to see them in the very handsome images they inspired Ben Hania to make.” – Bob Strauss, San Francisco Chronicle

“When it’s all over, the viewer gets to wrestle with everything everyone here does — the plight of Syria, the nature of art, ‘exploitation’ and the nature of ‘freedom.’ Not bad for the first Tunisian film much of the world will have ever had the chance to see.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“Tunisia’s first Oscar-nominated film, The Man Who Sold His Skin, is an emulsion of ideas, each as ambitiously thought-provoking as the next.” – Jenny Nulf, Austin Chronicle

Available on Kanopy.

City Hall

City government touches almost every aspect of our lives. Most of us are unaware of or take for granted these necessary services such as police, fire, sanitation, veterans affairs, elder support, parks, licensing of various professional activities, record keeping of birth, marriage and death as well as hundreds of other activities that support Boston residents and visitors. City Hall, by Frederick Wiseman, shows the efforts by Boston city government to provide these services. The film also illustrates the variety of ways the city administration enters into civil discourse with the citizens of Boston. Mayor Walsh and his administration are presented addressing a number of their policy priorities which include racial justice, affordable housing, climate action, and homelessness. City Hall shows a city government successfully offering a wide variety of services to a diverse population.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Even in a filmography with more than its fair share of impressive achievements, it deserves consideration as one of Wiseman’s greatest.” – Peter Sobczynski,

“It’s a civics lesson that’s subtly delivered within some thoroughly exciting documentary filmmaking.” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“What Wiseman’s film boils down to, in many ways, is a much-needed dose of competency porn – a snapshot of government officials trying their very best to do better, and to be better. And that might be the story he’s really telling: a reminder that government, for all of its speed bumps and snags, can work. It can help. The people running it just have to want it to.” – Jason Bailey, The Playlist

Available on Kanopy.

Magic Mountains

When a couple goes climbing in the mountains, their professional guide senses that the husband may have bad intentions.

Description provided by Hoopla.

Magic Mountains indeed delivers its intended suspense.” – Ulkar Alakbarova, Let the Movie Move Us

Available on Hoopla.


Brad Lunders (P.J. Boudousqué) is a teenager forcefully abducted from his home in the middle of the night by his mother’s consent to a harsh wilderness reform facility. There is no contact with the outside world and the retired war colonel in charge prides himself on breaking an inmate’s spirit in order to correct delinquent behavior. As we learn of the tragic events that led to Brad’s arrival, unforeseen circumstances threaten to tear the already eroding reform facility apart, forcing Brad to confront not only his fellow inmates and the personnel in charge, but finally his own sense of what is right and what is wrong.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Grashaw’s convincing drama distills this underexposed world into the story of a single young man trying to survive a system designed to break him.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

“For a first time feature outing, Coldwater is a fine effort from Grashaw, and the setting feels fresh and new. It’s an original take on a coming of age, young masculinity tale…” – Katie Walsh, The Playlist

Coldwater lives or dies by the dynamic between Boudousqué and Burns ebbing and flowing from nemeses to partners and back again as the latter begins to lose control.” – Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage

Available on Kanopy.

Russian Ark

A unique panorama of the Hermitage, the most famous palace in Russia, now one of the great museums of the world.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“A coda that will have the movie’s audience gasping in exhilarated exhaustion, whispering astonished gratitude to Sokurov for having created vigorous art out of 21st century video technique and asking themselves, ‘What’s the Russian word for Wow!?'” – Richard Corliss, TIME

“The film is a glorious experience to witness, not least because, knowing the technique and understanding how much depends on every moment, we almost hold our breath.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Extraordinary film, one that, like the museum itself, captures and shows three centuries of Russian culture and history in all its beauty, confusion, terror and majesty.” – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

Available on Kanopy.

The Odd Couple

Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Lemmon and Mathau’s finest hour.” – Kim Newman, Empire

“Felix and Oscar are now part of the American mythos.” – Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

“Revisiting Saks’ screen version nearly 50 years later is like a class in how comedy and storytelling evolve, and how some aspects of a story endure over time, while others get sloughed away.” – Tasha Robinson, The Dissolve

Available on Kanopy.


Awaken is a documentary film exploring humanity’s relationship with technology and with the natural world. Shot over a 5-year period in more than 30 countries, the film pioneers new timelapse, time-dilation, underwater, and aerial cinematography techniques to give audiences new eyes with which to see our world. Awaken is a celebration of the spirit of life, an exploration of the Earth, and an ode to the Cosmos.

Description provided by Metacritic.

“…a gorgeous, mesmerizing work of cinematic poetry…” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

“There’s a sense of joy, distilled through a juxtaposition of images of celebration and ritual: women in a forest in Belarus, placing floral tributes on water; an elephant illuminated in a street fair; lanterns lifting into the air over Thailand like shooting stars in reverse; a Chinese cormorant fisherman with his bird; masked revelers at Bolivia’s Carnaval de Oruro.” – Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle

“After the perpetual dormancy of our lives this past year, humanity is on the verge of reawakening, and Awaken is a worthy testament to just how much there is to explore.” – Jordan Raup, The Film Stage

Available on Hoopla.


Lives are left in pieces after a white cop responds to a violent hostage call and kills a black man only to learn he may have been set up. Facing trial, he must find the person responsible while examining his own accountability.

Description provided by Metacritic.

“[A] heart-wrenching look at when the thin blue line actually takes responsibility… convincingly gives the audience various viewpoints.” – Diedre Johnson, Black Girl Nerds

“The writing is excellent, which is made clear through twists and turns from each scene.” – James R. Sanders, The Baldwin

Available on Kanopy.


A peaceful pit bull struggles to maintain his values while surviving in the brutal world of dogfighting.

Description provided by Metacritic.

“The filmmakers’ righteous anger is palpable…” – Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times

“…important… this film is here to try and help make a change.” – Darren Lucas, Movies Review 101

“The character Chance is a spokesman for anyone who wishes for a better life and questions the injustices they see.” – Morena Duwe, Huffington Post

Available on Hoopla.

Born To Be

Born to Be follows the work of Dr. Jess Ting (he/him) at the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. There, for the first time ever in New York City, transgender and gender non-conforming people have access to quality transition-related care. With extraordinary access, this remarkable documentary offers an intimate look at how one doctor’s work impacts the lives of his patients as well as how his journey from renowned plastic surgeon to pioneering gender-affirming specialist has led to his own transformation.

Description provided by Metacritic.

“A brave, revelatory, and beautifully realized film, it is easily one of the year’s best and most important documentaries.” – Godfrey Cheshire,

“Through it all Ting is an anchor, a presence of compassion and good sense. Anyone confused about transgender people will certainly benefit from a viewing of this picture.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“The stories here are of triumph and tragedy, from those who’ve grown up in a society where they felt free to be themselves to those who’ve been reshaping their faces and bodies since long before it was socially acceptable.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

Available on Kanopy.


When 14-year-old Hirut is abducted in her rural village’s tradition of kidnapping women for marriage, she fights back, accidentally killing her captor and intended husband. Local law demands a death sentence for Hirut, but Meaza, a tough and passionate lawyer from a women’s legal aide practice, steps in to fight for her. With both Hirut’s life and the future of the practice at stake the two women must make their case for self-defense against one of Ethiopia’s oldest and most deeply-rooted traditions.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“This film is a necessary reminder of what can happen when people preserve tradition for its own sake.” – Alan Zilberman, Washington Post

Difret is painful but profound, skirting the pitfalls of the inspirational biopic for something more grounded and remarkable. Its authenticity extends beyond its central characters, conveying a very real sense of what is at stake.” – Monica Castillo, Village Voice

“[An] affecting drama that is honest and clear-eyed about Hirut’s trauma, and the ongoing struggles she’ll face even if she’s freed, without ever treating her abuse in an exploitative manner.” – Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic

Available on Kanopy.

Under the Tree

When Baldvin & Inga’s next door neighbors complain that a tree in their backyard casts a shadow over their sundeck, what starts off as a typical spat between neighbors in the suburbs unexpectedly and violently spirals out of control.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Maintaining an unrelentingly gleeful grip on the film’s tone, Mr. Sigurdsson skillfully whips absurdist comedy and chilling tragedy into a froth of surging hostilities.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

“This film moves from black satire to a horror-thriller so smoothly you don’t even realize it’s happening – like the proverbial slow-boiling frog. Grim stuff, gloriously so.” – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

“Unsettlingly perceptive as well as absurdly comedic, Under the Tree chronicles domestic tensions left to fester; when grudges branch out like a leafy tree in a suburban backyard, everyone suffers.” – Sarah Ward, Screen Daily

Available on Kanopy.

Super Dark Times

Enjoying their normal lives in mid-’90s suburbia, Zach and Josh are best friends with numerous shared interests, chief of which is an attraction to their classmate Allison. One seemingly routine day, along with two other friends, Zach and Josh borrow the latter’s older brother’s prized samurai sword to goof around in the local park. But the afternoon soon spirals out of control. Wracked with guilt, Zach struggles to assimilate back into high school life, even as Allison begins to show a romantic interest in him. The situation gets even more complicated once Zach notices a disturbingly off-balance change in Josh’s behavior.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“What makes Super Dark Times one of the most exciting American filmmaking debuts in recent years is how well Phillips and company grasp both the intensity and ephemerality of adolescence.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

Super Dark Times perfectly nails the minute details of adolescence—a minefield of confusion about right and wrong that leads to all kinds of impulsive bad decisions.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“Debuts shouldn’t be this tense or composed, yet Super Dark Times is an instantaneous must-see.” – Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

Available on Hoopla.


Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in South America, waits for a letter from the King granting him a transfer from the town in which he is stagnating, to a better place. His situation is delicate. He must ensure that nothing overshadows his transfer. He is forced to accept submissively every task entrusted to him by successive Governors who come and go as he stays behind. The years go by and the letter from the King never arrives. When Zama notices everything is lost, he joins a party of soldiers that go after a dangerous bandit.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The final shots are both majestic and damning, and they lift the film with a kind of gentle contempt into a surrealism that makes an awful kind of sense, the world in its lushness swallowing Zama as it will swallow us all. Some movies unfold as dreams; Zama dances us playfully toward the edge of nightmare and then asks us to open our eyes.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“Give yourself some time to adjust and Martel’s style, at once immersive and disorienting, starts to feel like a corrective, a clearer way of seeing and hearing. The physical world here is not some abstract commodity; it is fiercely, palpably present, and utterly indifferent to the whims of men arrogant enough to think they can tame it into submission.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“The dramatic fusion of physical and administrative power captures nothing less than the bloody forging of modernity.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Available on Kanopy.

The Palindromists

The Palindromists is a documentary delving into the world of palindromes- those peculiar words and phrases that read the same backwards and forwards. Explore palindromes in history and meet the world’s greatest palindromists as they see everything backwards preparing for the World Palindrome Championship. The competition is hosted by Will Shortz during The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, where the palindromists will be judged by the smartest wordplay fans in the country. Once they have spent day and night crafting the perfect ‘dromes, they will present them to the eager audience and a new World Palindrome Champion will be crowned.

Description provided by IMDb.

The Palindromists is a wonderful exploration of how wordplay can be elevated into art, as a beautifully crafted palindrome has all the aesthetic appeal of poetry… The film is a fun and engaging ride following the master palindromists as they prepare for the championship and compete under pressure. To do it justice, I can only say: So many dynamos!” – Ben Zimmer, Beyond Wordplay

Available on Hoopla.

Reboot Camp

After finding out that his wife has blown their life savings on self-help gurus, Seymour teams up with his brother Danny, a filmmaker, to document how easy it is to start a fake self-help group and con people into believing just about anything. But once started, the Reboot Camp takes on a life of its own, and grows into a full-blown cult.

Description provided by IMDb.

“[A] clever and really funny mockumentary… both entertaining and thought provoking as it sheds light on how quickly people can be drawn into cults without understanding what’s really happening to them.” – Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now

Reboot Camp nails the art of mockumentary by balancing absurd circumstance with sincere circumspection; it is 97 minutes of artful comedy that will leave audiences questioning their own loyalties and persuasiveness.” – Paige Pfeifer, Young Hollywood

Reboot Camp presents a satirical and truthful look at self-help groups/cults in an amusing film.” – Gary Catig,

Available on Hoopla.

The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien

Tim O’Brien has been called “the best American writer of his generation,” and America’s “poet laureate of war.” A Vietnam veteran, and National Book Award-winner, O’Brien is one of the great voices in modern American literature. The Library of Congress recently named his groundbreaking novel about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried, one of the 65 most influential books in US history. But O’Brien hasn’t put pen to paper in nearly two decades. He swore off making sentences when, at a late age, he had his first of two children. Plus, the nation was waging new wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that he couldn’t wrap his head around – wars that both reconfirmed and upended the notions of war, soldiers, and society that animated his books. Now, Tim O’Brien is trying to write again. He thinks the country is past due for a conversation about war’s impact. He thinks we’re running out of time. And, at age 70, that he is too. What makes wars worth fighting? How do we write about war? What are the obligations of citizens with respect to war? What are the after-effects of war on individuals and families? The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien follows O’Brien on the journey of his last book, as he reveals the everyday ties between duty, art, family, and the trauma of war.

Description provided by Metacritic.

“As he types away, constantly interrupted, taking too little care of his health, exasperated by a dying Lexus or his sons’ addiction to ‘screens,’ we marvel at the compulsion of the artist to make art, to leave a legacy not just to all of us, but to those living under his roof.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“O’Brien is a jocular, reflective sort who posses unique views on war, death and peace. Writerly types will surely be intrigued.” – Tom Meek, Cambridge Day

“It may not be perfect from a technical level, but the documentary still delivers on many fronts.” – Liam Trump, Film Threat

Available on Hoopla.

The Emoji Story

Exploring the complex, conflict-prone, and often hilarious world of the creators, lovers, and arbiters of the emoji, the world’s newest pictorial language.

Description provided by Rotten Tomatoes.

“Everything you always wanted to know about emojis, but were afraid to ask.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

“The idea of a feature-length documentary about emojis may sound whimsical, but the more filmmakers Ian Cheney and Martha Shane probe the topic, the more intriguing questions are opened up.” – Jake Wilson, The Age

“An interesting look at the power and importance of emojis. A fun look that takes on serious questions.” – Nathaniel Muir, AIPT

Available on Kanopy.

The Arbors

Set against a dreary small town, The Arbors follows Ethan Daunes, a reclusive locksmith struggling to keep ties with his younger brother, Shane. Ethan’s life takes an unsettling turn after finding a strange small creature and forming a mysterious connection. After a string of unexplained killings, the creature’s true nature is soon revealed, and Ethan finds himself at the center of panic and paranoia.

Description provided by Rotten Tomatoes.

“It’s a carefully controlled, well-thought-out and finely crafted film that’s being sold as a monster movie but is really a disquieting mood piece.” – Michael Gingold, Rue Morgue

“It’s a fairly sophisticated (almost noirish) psychological narrative for the genre, and director Witmer does a fine job of maintaining a keen sense of anxiety in the film.” – Steve Davis, Austin Chronicle

“This is a complex, brooding film that deserves to move beyond the indie circuit to devour a wider audience.” – Seth Troyer, Dread Central

Available on Hoopla.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life explores the life and work of the legendary neurologist and storyteller, as he shares intimate details of his battles with drug addiction, homophobia, and a medical establishment that accepted his work only decades after the fact. Sacks was a fearless explorer of unknown mental worlds who helped redefine our understanding of the brain and mind, the diversity of human experience, and our shared humanity.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is a moving portrait of a man taking deep stock of his life with great satisfaction and verve.” – Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times

“What’s most moving about Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is that Sacks, whose extreme love of existence was there in every sentence he wrote, could embrace death because it would be the most out-there adventure of his life. What he saw is that we were all, in our ways, afflicted and all unique. And therefore all extraordinary.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“The documentary’s chief virtue, after the very considerable pleasure of getting to spend time in Sacks’s company, is learning how much his personal life rivaled his career in remarkableness.” – Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

Available on Kanopy.

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