Ryan Gosling in director Shane Black's action comedy The Nice Guys.
Ryan Gosling in director Shane Black's action comedy The Nice Guys.

Star-studded movie is bonkers mad

After almost two months in various stages of coronavirus lockdown, dare I say we've settled into a pattern?

For many, the routine of shuffling from one side of your home to the other, popping up the road for a coffee or the deli, means that initial burst of anxiety has subdued.

Sure, we're still trying to hygge our rooms - and now that it's cold, you're not crazy to pull out all those wool throw blankets - but we can all probably shift a little away from pure comfort viewing to mix in some thrills as well.

So this week's list of seven movies to watch at home will include some flicks that might make you tense or anxious, but we're all grown-ups here. We can handle it.

(Remember, if you're not subscribed to a particular streaming service that has the movie you want to watch, you can always rent it on digital platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, PlayStation or Fetch.)

THE NICE GUYS

 

Up to no good?
Up to no good?

 

We love a buddy cop action comedy, especially when it's an odd couple. It doesn't get much odder than Russell Crowe's straight-laced enforcer and Ryan Gosling's shady, slippery private eye trying to solve a complicated mystery with a teen girl tagging along.

Shane Black's spiritual successor to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it's a hijinks-filled 1970s tale of a missing girl, a dead porn star and debaucherous parties with mermaids, mocking both the counterculture and the capitalists. This is one madcap, bonkers ride you'll want to take.

Watch it: iTunes/Google Play

 

THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY

 

Beautiful and dangerous
Beautiful and dangerous

 

Patricia Highsmith certainly knew how to write a heart-in-your-throat thriller and Anthony Minghella knew how to adapt it. With a cast including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett, this is one drama that holds up perfectly.

Tom Ripley's envy and knack for impersonations finds a target on the glistening Italian coast when the clever but impoverished young man charms his way into Dickie Greenleaf's group of well-funded layabouts. Fuelled by danger and repressed sexuality, The Talented Mr Ripley is a seductive thriller.

Watch it: Stan/Foxtel Now

REALITY BITES

 

The one we all lusted after
The one we all lusted after


An anthemic movie for Generation X, Reality Bites captured the disenfranchisement, ennui and frustrated ambitions of early-20s folks in the 1990s - out of university and wanting something different to their parents' middle-class life.

Then you've got that will-they-won't-they mess between Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke's Leilana and Troy, a low-key, grungy love story for the ages, even though in 2020, Ben Stiller's yuppie media producer looks like a much better option. OK, maybe not 2020 because so much of the media sector is getting made redundant, but definitely in 2010.

Watch it: Foxtel Now

MAGGIE'S PLAN

 

Screwball charm
Screwball charm

 

The second (unintentional) Ethan Hawke movie on the list, Maggie's Plan is directed by Rebecca Miller, the daughter of famed playwright Arthur Miller, and also stars Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore.

It's a rom-com of sorts with a sweet and endearing performance from Gerwig that makes the most of her screwball talents. She plays Maggie, a woman who falls in love and has a kid with an academic and aspiring novelist, but ends up trying to set him back up with his ex-lover.

Watch it: SBS On Demand

KICK-ASS

 

Don’t mess with Hit Girl
Don’t mess with Hit Girl

 

Yes, the American spelling of "ass" hurts us too but it's one small concession to make for a riotous, gleefully violent and bloody funny movie, directed by Matthew Vaughn who would go on to make Kingsman and X-Men: The First Class.

In a subversion of traditional comic book movie conventions, Kick-Ass's roster of superheroes include an ordinary teenager, an 11-year-old purple-wigged Hit Girl and Nicolas Cage as former cop Big Daddy. It's, uh, something else.

Watch it: Foxtel Now

GROUNDHOG DAY

 

I got you, babe
I got you, babe

Looking for things to pass the time? The best shows to watch, the funniest videos, the best hacks? Find it all at our Life (goes on) in Lockdown section

We could rewatch Groundhog Day as many times as Phil Connors has to relive February 2 in Punxsutawney - it never gets old, unlike that Sonny and Cher song, which we could do without hearing 17 times in 30-minute period.

Groundhog Day has everything - comedy, familiarity and a classic character development arc in which an arsehole learns he could be kinder and more considerate to everyone around him. In the process, he gets the girl, masters the piano and changes a few other lives too.

Watch it: Foxtel Now

SING STREET

 

Feel-good
Feel-good

 

From John Carney, the writer and director of Once, Sing Street is a plucky, coming-of-age story set in Dublin in the mid-1980s. It's a sweet and sassy story about Conor, a teenager in a new school who forms a band to impress a girl.

Assembling a group of misfits, they start covering the big numbers of the day from Hall & Oates, The Cure, Motorhead and Duran Duran, while also trying out some ditties of their own. It's a proper feel-good movie.

Watch it: iTunes/Google

Originally published as Star-studded movie is bonkers mad


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