7 Best Movies To Watch After The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

The Spool Staff

She Came to Me

Watch afterBullet Train (2022), Five Nights at Freddy's (2023), The Killer (2023), The Marvels (2023),
MPAA RatingR

Seven films into her career as a filmmaker and Rebecca Miller is still a perplexing study. From 1995’s Angela, her symbolic unpacking of a lost childhood (presumably her own) to 2015’s Maggie’s Plan, a symbolic study of a desire for independence (presumably her own), she's made female pain and pleasure her subject without ever settling on a formal approach. Miller is an auteur in the sense that the peculiar combination of confrontational sexuality and highly personal discursiveness seem like the province of someone who both knows exactly what kind of things she wants people to think about, even if she’s never decided the way she wants us to think about them, other than “immediately.” Continue Reading →


MPAA RatingPG-13 R

Ladies, sometimes life deals you a rough hand. Sometimes, in the blink of an eye, you can lose someone or something infinitely precious to you. Grief is so easy to slip into, it’s hard to pull yourself out of that darkness, but you know what will help? Spelunking. Or maybe ocean kayaking. Or, in the case of director Scott Mann’s Fall, climbing a 2000+ foot tv tower in the hopes that doing so will help to push through the horrifying memory of your husband’s death in a climbing accident.   Continue Reading →

Judas and the Black Messiah

SimilarBrubaker (1980), Chicago (2002), Freedom Writers (2007), Mississippi Burning (1988), Primal Fear (1996)
MPAA RatingR
StudioBron Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures

(This review is part of our coverage of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.) Continue Reading →

Malcolm & Marie

SimilarBoys Don't Cry (1999) East of Eden (1955), Jackie Brown (1997) Rebecca (1940) The Good German (2006),
MPAA RatingR

Sam Levinson’s gorgeously shot but obnoxious and exhausting relationship drama Malcolm & Marie is filled with plenty of big ideas — about film, about art criticism, about authenticity, about the relationship between artists and their muse. But more often than not, those big ideas are just big ideas that go unexplored. Instead of trying to make solid arguments about what it wants to say at the beginning, Malcolm & Marie is too busy being angry and whiny. So what could’ve been a compelling two-hander drama examining art and a fractured relationship instead ends up as a movie struggling to find itself, made by a man with nothing but pettiness in his mind. Continue Reading →

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Awards season is upon us, which means all the studios and streaming services are breaking out their big guns. Luckily, one of the best films of the year comes to Netflix this weekend. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, based on the play by August Wilson and starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in his final role. A fictionalized snapshot in the life of the Mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey, George C. Wolfe's film imagines her in a sweaty, muggy Chicago recording studio in the 1920s, trying to record her most popular singles for white Northern audiences, far from her comfortable Black Southern crowds. Of course, tensions rise over everything from artistic freedom,  racial animus, and Coca-Cola. Continue Reading →

The Social Dilemma

Jeff Orlowski's documentary about the effects and ethics of social media lacks enough emotional depth or practical solutions to work. (This review is part of our coverage of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.) Did you know that the Internet is scary? Don’t worry, you're about to hear it again. Did you know that companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google store your information in order to sell it to advertisers? Of course, but maybe it'll really sink in if you hear it one more time. And—just bear with me—were you aware that these companies are so fine-tuned that they can track how long you stay on one given page, post, or picture? Of course you did, but The Social Dilemma doesn't care about that. There are a handful of working parts to Jeff Orlowski’s latest documentary, but rather than make use of its potential to say something new, it simply sticks to the most basic information and fleshes it out with some good old fashioned fear-mongering. It's part regular doc, part dramatic reconstruction, and mostly an insipid polemic, which, when paired with its potential to comment on the ethics of privacy and social manipulation, comes off as a regurgitation of what's been said before. Continue Reading →