Film enthusiasts looking to warm up during the winter months or watch the perfect movie for a romantic Valentine’s Day at home will find love, hope and patriotism in these five great stories:
“Brooklyn” featured 2015’s most romantic film score with adventure, humor and international appeal. Viewers are quickly immersed into this beautifully shot journey of a young girl from Ireland setting her sights on New York City in the 1950s.
Romantically, this film is the land-based film version of “Titanic.” Two young people, from widely different backgrounds, brought together by adventure and happenstance. Their unlikely match is marked by tragedy, heartbreak and love.
Enjoyable for its quick wits, top-notch performances and fascinating look at an Era long past, “Brooklyn” shines bright. Very bright. An authentic and exceptional cast combines with a splendid screenplay for a timeless—yet somewhat predictable–underdog bout.
Rated PG-13. Available via Amazon, Netflix, Redbox, iTunes and On Demand.
Dissecting the complexity of grief, 2016’s “Collateral Beauty” features a star-studded ensemble, and follows the life-changing circumstances and aftermath of one Howard Inlet (Will Smith). This underrated film explores the role that death, love and time play in our daily lives and how they intertwine. A fresh storyline and unusual plot lure us into this tightly-crafted yet uplifting journey.
From the director of 2006’s “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Marley & Me” (2008), the movie quickly moves between emotions without missing a step. The Hall of Fame cast consists of Smith, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris and Michael Pena. While each character only has modest screen time, all of them shine.
Rated PG-13. Available via Amazon, Netflix, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu.
Set in Dublin, 2007’s “Once” is a drama in which a singer who plays his guitar on the street for cash teams up with a younger girl who can hold her own on the piano and vocals. One of my Top 10 movies of 2007, “Once” is about relationships and music—both raw and still incomplete. Both characters are well developed yet viewers never learn their names.
Made on a budget of only $160,000 and filmed in 17 days, this movie earned $20 million at the box office. Its soundtrack won a Grammy nom and the song “Falling Slowly” took home the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Rated R. Available via Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, On Demand and Vudu.
One of America’s most crowning Olympic moments ever is presented in 2004’s “Miracle” through perspective of U.S. men’s hockey head coach Herb Brooks, played perfectly by Kurt Russell. Just when the United States needed a victory over dominant Russians during the Cold War, Brooks gathers a young, motivated and fast group of ice skaters with heart to do the unthinkable in 1980.
Yes, we do believe in miracles!
Rated PG. Available via Amazon, Netflix, Redbox, iTunes, On Demand and Vudu.
“Secretariat” (2010) is a fast-paced thriller through history in a four-legged version of the Rocky vs. Apollo Creed. Yes, we know Big Red stands in the winner’s circle but excellent performances by Diane Lane and John Malkovich earn the movie’s Place and Show standings.
The cinematography and sound are so good you’ll look for mud on your clothes. This true story will leave you standing and cheering. Secretariat Wins!
Rated PG. Available via Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, On Demand, and Vudu.