Spectrum editor’s list of films to watch for Aug. 25

“Sound of Metal” (2019) 

This drama follows drummer and recovering drug addict Ruben Stone, played by Riz Ahmed, as he gradually loses his hearing and comes to terms with it. Director Darius Marder constructs the sound in order to make the audience understand Ruben’s perspective and the difficulty of losing hearing. 

Available on Amazon Prime Video | 97% Rotten Tomatoes 

“Mystic River” (2003)

In this mystery crime film directed by Clint Eastwood, a man investigates the murder of his teenage daughter. As he discovers more details about the murder, him and his two childhood friends, one of which is the lead detective on the case and the other the prime suspect, are forced to face the demons of their pasts while coping with the present. 

This film was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2004 and won two — best actor in a leading role and best actor in a supporting role. 

Available on Netflix | 88% Rotten Tomatoes

“Untold: Malice at the Palace” (2021)

This docuseries looks at the details and subsequent consequences of the 2004 Pacers-Pistons brawl (better known as “The Malice at the Palace”) that occurred in 2004 during an NBA game when a major fight broke out between the players and the spectators. It led to nine of the players being suspended afterwards, while five of them were charged with assault. 

Available on Netflix | Unrated on Rotten Tomatoes

“If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018)

This film is centered on both romance and justice, focusing on two lovers, Tish and Fonny, in the ’70s who struggle to build their new life together as a young Black couple. When Fonny is accused of rape, Tish attempts to clear his name so they can have a free life together. This powerful film looks at what the American dream meant for people who had to fight for it.

Available on Hulu | 95% Rotten Tomatoes

“The Half of It” (2020)

This coming-of-age film follows the story of Ellie Chu who decides to write a love letter for a jock at her school to another girl, Aster, in order to make money to support her and her father. As Ellie forges bonds with both the jock, Paul, and Aster, Ellie is forced to come to terms with her relationships with both while evaluating her future. 

Available on Netflix | 97% Rotten Tomatoes

“I Am Sam” (2001)

This emotional film, starring Sean Penn and Dakota Fanning, follows the trial of Penn’s intellectually disabled character, Sam Dawson, as he fights for custody of his young daughter. Sam and his lawyer, a woman who takes the case pro bono in order to prove her generosity, become close as the case advances, confiding in each other about their problems. 

A moving film, it looks at the story of this disabled man and work-obsessed lawyer while they fight for their families and become unlikely friends.

Available on Netflix | 35% Rotten Tomatoes

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