During the holidays, it is generally much easier to come by free time to relax and watch movies. So we thought we’d share 5 recommendations for your “to watch” list. Thankfully you can watch them comfortably, especially appreciated during the holidays, as one has much more time to just relax and enjoy good movie. Keep in mind, these are only 5 of the many great options available to watch, in fact you can browse through movies and TV shows on CHILI to see what else catches your eye.
Bridge of Spies
Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance, is a take on Steven Spielberg’s cold war thriller featuring a spy-swap. Scripted by Joel and Ethan Coen, the story is about the recovery of U2 pilot Gary Powers in 1960s Berlin. The swap was set at Glienecke Bridge, running from East to West Berlin, where in exchange for Gary Powers, played by Austin Stowell, Russian spy Rudolf Abel, played by Mark Rylance, would be handed over. Civilian lawyer James Donovan, played by Tom Hanks, brokered the arrangement somewhat single-handedly and maneuvered the environment boldly. Last minute, he also insisted on a two-for-one, wanting wrongfully imprisoned American student Frederic Pryor to also be recovered. The film highlights the history of Berlin and wartime environment exquisitely, leaving viewers with the hope for a peaceful exchange.
The 60’s are certainly pulling a focus in the cinematic world. This film is based upon the 1997 novel, American Pastoral, written by Philip Roth that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. The movie, American Pastoral, is about a seemingly ‘perfect’ couple (him a former high school star athlete, her a former beauty queen) whose 16-year-old daughter, Merry, commits an act of terrorism while protesting the Vietnam War. Director and star, Ewan McGregor, told NPR, “There’s lots in this story that, sadly, reflects things that are happening today… And Merry, our daughter … is politicized and radicalized and becomes a bomber, as you said, so that’s obviously sadly still very current today too.” It may not be a true story, but the movie’s setting and storyline makes it feel very real.
It stars Charlie Hunnam as the lead character, King Arthur, who was raised by prostitutes and is the would-be king of Britain. Throughout the film, he is working to avoid being killed by tyrannical king (and his uncle) Virtigem, played by Jude Law. It is full of action and a different spin on the classic story of King Arthur.
Murder on the Orient Express
Murder on the Orient Express, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, is a nearly two-hour movie full of drama and mystery. It is about a murder that occurs on a train that celebrated detective Hercule Piorot, played by Branagh, is on. An avalanche stops the train and Detective Piorot races against the clock to solve the murder before the killer takes another victim. The movie has a long line of well-known actors in it, including Tom Bateman, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman, and Penélope Cruz.
Wonder is a film that will leave you in honest tears. It is absolutely heart warming and a great movie to watch during the holidays. Based on the award-winning novel by R.J. Palacio, it is about a sweet 10-year-old boy named Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) who is all sorts of smart and has a congenital facial deformity. The movie follows his journey to attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time, as his parents Isabel (Julia Roberts) and Nate (Owen Milson) decide to stop protecting him from the world forever and instead supporting and loving him on his journey out into it. This is a must-see film and a beautiful reminder that at the end of the day, no matter what you look like, who you are and what is in your heart is what counts.