Films & TV in quarantine

Dec 2020

Tenet - A SciFi action-thriller that is best digested via multiple viewings while perusing Reddit discussions.

Nightcrawler - A neo-noir psychological-thriller with a highlight performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as a creepy, tenacious photojournalist.

The Irishman - An epic crime film that is well worth the extended 209-min runtime, with themes that echo Scorsese’s 1990 film, Goodfellas.

Uncut Gems - A crime-thriller that kept me on the edge of my seats and my heart pounding from start to finish.

American Factory - A documentary that takes a thoughtful look into the behavioral, cultural, and ethical dynamics between workers and employers in a Chinese company’s factory in America.

Miss Americana - A documentary that showcases a more vulnerable side of Taylor Swift, and provides a glimpse into her journey in finding her platform and voice.

The Before Trilogy - Three films — each shot 9 years apart, and each taking place over the course of a few hours — that captures the essence of love via natural, realistic dialogue between the two main characters, Jesse and Céline.

Hell or High Water - A neo-Western heist film that has complex, multifaceted characters, and grey areas between right and wrong.

Wind River - A neo-Western murder mystery that uses location imagery to communicate emotion, and is not afraid of taking its time to build up tension.

Back to the Future - A science fiction film that is well ahead of its time during its initial release, and remains timeless through the decades.

君の名は。(Your Name) - An animated romantic fantasy that has one of the most interesting applications of time travel in film.

误杀 (Sheep Without a Shepherd) - A thriller with a clever cat-and-mouse chase between a seasoned police detective and a father determined to protect his family after horrible incident.

부산행 (Train to Busan) - An action-horror film that delivers a jolt of thrill on the zombie genre with fully developed characters and sympathetic motivations.

기생충 (Parasite) - A black comedy thriller that can be watched over and over again to learn new themes, motifs, and interpretations.

몽타주 (Montage) - A thriller whodunit story with a surprise twist.

江湖儿女 (Ash Is Purest White) - A drama with an observant and unbiased lens into the industrialization of the modern Chinese society and how that affects the everyday people.

Dark (Season 3) - A mind-bending conclusion to the science fiction thriller series, with some of the most exciting depictions of time travel ever shown on screen.

Westworld (Season 3) - An ambitious expansion of world-building outside the playgrounds of the first two season.

Halt & Catch Fire (Seasons 1 - 6) - A nostalgic period drama about the personal computing era of the 80s and 90s.

The Mandalorian (Season 2) - An excellent addition to the adventures of Din Djarin and Baby Yoda in the Star Wars universe while thoughtfully building on lore introduced from both the animated Clone Wars and the original trilogy; this is the way.

Schitt’s Creek (Seasons 1 - 6) - A hilarious sitcom with characters that start off as unrelatable, but eventually grows on you.

Raised by Wolves - A SciFi series with plenty of world-building, characters, and lore that have the potential to be further explored in subsequent seasons.

Ozark (Season 3) - A gritting crime drama that is also a family drama at its core, with sympathetic characters and complex motivations.

Upload - A SciFi comedy-drama that slowly stripes away its cheerful facade of the digital afterlife and reveals the dystopia within.

Haunting of Hill House - A supernatural horror drama that alternates between two timelines with beautiful cinematography, following a family traumatized by their experience at Hill House.

Haunting of Bly Manor - A drama-gothic series with a nonlinear narrative, extraordinary use of lighting & color, as well as strongly developed characters.

The Witcher - A fantasy drama that is a nice addition to exploring the lore of the Witcher universe, along with the original book series and CD Projekt Red’s video game series.

Kingdom (Season 2) - A period political horror thriller (so many genres!) that has strongly developed protagonists and antagonists, along with an interesting take on combining historical drama with the zombie genre.

隐秘的角落 (The Bad Kids) - A drama thriller that masterfully exposes a series of consequences after three children accidentally film a murder.

沉默的真相 (The Long Night) - A drama thriller set in three timelines that explores the corruption and depravity of the justice system, with similarities to HBO’s True Detective (Season 1).

新世界 (New World) - A historical drama set 22 days before the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing 1949, with developed characters, intrigue, action, and mystery.

以家人之名 (Go Ahead) - A drama about three kids growing up in dysfunctional households that find themselves building a loving, non-traditional family.