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Defendor (2009)

FunnyTragicCharmingRomantic

A crooked cop, a mob boss and the young girl they abuse are the denizens of a city's criminal underworld. It's a world that ordinary Arthur Poppington doesn't understand and doesn't belong in, but is committed to fighting when he changes into a vigilante super-hero ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Stebbings
CAST:  Woody Harrelson  •  Kat Dennings  •  Elias Koteas  •  Sandra Oh

A crooked cop, a mob boss and the young girl they abuse are the denizens of a city's criminal underworld. It's a world that ordinary Arthur Poppington doesn't understand and doesn't belong in, but is committed to fighting when he changes into a vigilante super-hero ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Stebbings
CAST:  Woody Harrelson  •  Kat Dennings  •  Elias Koteas  •  Sandra Oh

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

TragicDarkAdventurousFantastical

Three wealthy children's parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Brad Silberling
CAST:  Jim Carrey  •  Meryl Streep  •  Jude Law  •  Emily Browning

Three wealthy children's parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Brad Silberling
CAST:  Jim Carrey  •  Meryl Streep  •  Jude Law  •  Emily Browning

Amour (2012)

DepressingTragicSlow movingRomantic

Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Haneke
CAST:  Emmanuelle Riva  •  Jean-Louis Trintignant  •  Isabelle Huppert  •  William Shimell

Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Haneke
CAST:  Emmanuelle Riva  •  Jean-Louis Trintignant  •  Isabelle Huppert  •  William Shimell

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

RomanticBeautifulTragicOriginal

In director Baz Luhrmann's contemporary take on William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and secretly wed. Though the film is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Baz Luhrmann
CAST:  Leonardo DiCaprio  •  Claire Danes  •  John Leguizamo  •  Harold Perrineau

In director Baz Luhrmann's contemporary take on William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and secretly wed. Though the film is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Baz Luhrmann
CAST:  Leonardo DiCaprio  •  Claire Danes  •  John Leguizamo  •  Harold Perrineau

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

DepressingDisturbingTragicEmotional

Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. Hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina houses over a thousand refuges in his hotel in attempt ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Terry George
CAST:  Don Cheadle  •  Nick Nolte  •  Sophie Okonedo  •  Joaquin Phoenix

Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. Hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina houses over a thousand refuges in his hotel in attempt ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Terry George
CAST:  Don Cheadle  •  Nick Nolte  •  Sophie Okonedo  •  Joaquin Phoenix

A Single Man (2009)

TragicGrippingDarkEmotional

The life of George Falconer, a British college professor, is reeling with the recent and sudden loss of his longtime partner. This traumatic event makes George challenge his own will to live as he seeks the console of his close girl friend Charley, who is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tom Ford
CAST:  Colin Firth  •  Julianne Moore  •  Nicholas Hoult  •  Matthew Goode

The life of George Falconer, a British college professor, is reeling with the recent and sudden loss of his longtime partner. This traumatic event makes George challenge his own will to live as he seeks the console of his close girl friend Charley, who is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tom Ford
CAST:  Colin Firth  •  Julianne Moore  •  Nicholas Hoult  •  Matthew Goode

The Pianist (2002)

TragicEmotionalIntenseReal

The true story of pianist Władysław Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he stays behind, works ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Roman Polanski
CAST:  Adrien Brody  •  Thomas Kretschmann  •  Frank Finlay  •  Maureen Lipman

The true story of pianist Władysław Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he stays behind, works ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Roman Polanski
CAST:  Adrien Brody  •  Thomas Kretschmann  •  Frank Finlay  •  Maureen Lipman

We the Animals (2018)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalTear-jerker

Manny, Joel and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father and Ma dreams of escape, Jonah, the youngest, embraces an imagined world all his own.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jeremiah Zagar
CAST:  Raúl Castillo  •  Sheila Vand  •  Evan Rosado  •  Isaiah Kristian

Manny, Joel and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father and Ma dreams of escape, Jonah, the youngest, embraces an imagined world all his own.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jeremiah Zagar
CAST:  Raúl Castillo  •  Sheila Vand  •  Evan Rosado  •  Isaiah Kristian

Losing Isaiah (1995)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalTear-jerker

Khaila Richards, a crack-addicted single mother, accidentally leaves her baby in a dumpster while high and returns the next day in a panic to find he is missing. In reality, the baby has been adopted by a warm-hearted social worker, Margaret Lewin, and her husband, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Gyllenhaal
CAST:  Jessica Lange  •  Halle Berry  •  David Strathairn  •  Samuel L. Jackson

Khaila Richards, a crack-addicted single mother, accidentally leaves her baby in a dumpster while high and returns the next day in a panic to find he is missing. In reality, the baby has been adopted by a warm-hearted social worker, Margaret Lewin, and her husband, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Gyllenhaal
CAST:  Jessica Lange  •  Halle Berry  •  David Strathairn  •  Samuel L. Jackson

The Railway Man (2013)

EmotionalThought provokingIntenseTragic

A victim from World War II's "Death Railway" sets out to find those responsible for his torture. A true story.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonathan Teplitzky
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Stellan Skarsgård  •  Colin Firth  •  Jeremy Irvine

A victim from World War II's "Death Railway" sets out to find those responsible for his torture. A true story.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonathan Teplitzky
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Stellan Skarsgård  •  Colin Firth  •  Jeremy Irvine

Camp X-Ray (2014)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalTear-jerker

A young woman joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small-town roots. Instead, she ends up as a new guard at Guantanamo Bay, where her mission is far from black and white. Surrounded by hostile jihadists and aggressive squadmates, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Sattler
CAST:  Kristen Stewart  •  Payman Maadi  •  Lane Garrison  •  Joseph Julian Soria

A young woman joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small-town roots. Instead, she ends up as a new guard at Guantanamo Bay, where her mission is far from black and white. Surrounded by hostile jihadists and aggressive squadmates, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Sattler
CAST:  Kristen Stewart  •  Payman Maadi  •  Lane Garrison  •  Joseph Julian Soria

System Crasher (2019)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalTear-jerker

On her wild quest for love, 9-year-old Benni's untamed energy drives everyone around her to despair.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Nora Fingscheidt
CAST:  Helena Zengel  •  Gabriela Maria Schmeide  •  Albrecht Schuch  •  Lisa Hagmeister

On her wild quest for love, 9-year-old Benni's untamed energy drives everyone around her to despair.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Nora Fingscheidt
CAST:  Helena Zengel  •  Gabriela Maria Schmeide  •  Albrecht Schuch  •  Lisa Hagmeister

Black Swan (2010)

DramaticIntenseDisturbingTragic

A journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Darren Aronofsky
CAST:  Natalie Portman  •  Chris Gartin  •  Mila Kunis  •  Winona Ryder

A journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Darren Aronofsky
CAST:  Natalie Portman  •  Chris Gartin  •  Mila Kunis  •  Winona Ryder

Albert Nobbs (2011)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalThought provoking

Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man, so she can work as a butler in Dublin's most posh hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Rodrigo García
CAST:  Glenn Close  •  Mia Wasikowska  •  Aaron Taylor-Johnson  •  Pauline Collins

Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man, so she can work as a butler in Dublin's most posh hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Rodrigo García
CAST:  Glenn Close  •  Mia Wasikowska  •  Aaron Taylor-Johnson  •  Pauline Collins

Quills (2000)

DepressingDisturbingEmotionalSuspenseful

A nobleman with a literary flair, the Marquis de Sade lives in a madhouse where a beautiful laundry maid smuggles his erotic stories to a printer, defying orders from the asylum's resident priest. The titillating passages whip all of France into a sexual frenzy, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Geoffrey Rush  •  Kate Winslet  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Michael Caine

A nobleman with a literary flair, the Marquis de Sade lives in a madhouse where a beautiful laundry maid smuggles his erotic stories to a printer, defying orders from the asylum's resident priest. The titillating passages whip all of France into a sexual frenzy, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Geoffrey Rush  •  Kate Winslet  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Michael Caine

Anesthesia (2016)

DepressingHeartbreakingSuspensefulEmotional

Multiple lives intersect in the aftermath of the violent mugging of a Columbia University philosophy professor.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tim Blake Nelson
CAST:  Kristen Stewart  •  Glenn Close  •  Corey Stoll  •  Katie Chang

Multiple lives intersect in the aftermath of the violent mugging of a Columbia University philosophy professor.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tim Blake Nelson
CAST:  Kristen Stewart  •  Glenn Close  •  Corey Stoll  •  Katie Chang

Angela's Ashes (1999)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalTear-jerker

Based on the best selling autobiography by Irish expat Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alan Parker
CAST:  Emily Watson  •  Robert Carlyle  •  Joe Breen  •  Michael Legge

Based on the best selling autobiography by Irish expat Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alan Parker
CAST:  Emily Watson  •  Robert Carlyle  •  Joe Breen  •  Michael Legge

American Honey (2016)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalRomantic

A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Andrea Arnold
CAST:  Sasha Lane  •  Shia LaBeouf  •  Riley Keough  •  Raymond Coalson

A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Andrea Arnold
CAST:  Sasha Lane  •  Shia LaBeouf  •  Riley Keough  •  Raymond Coalson

North Country (2005)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalThought provoking

A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Niki Caro
CAST:  Charlize Theron  •  Elle Peterson  •  Thomas Curtis  •  Frances McDormand

A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Niki Caro
CAST:  Charlize Theron  •  Elle Peterson  •  Thomas Curtis  •  Frances McDormand

Clemency (2019)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalThought provoking

Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Chinonye Chukwu
CAST:  Alfre Woodard  •  Aldis Hodge  •  Richard Schiff  •  Wendell Pierce

Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Chinonye Chukwu
CAST:  Alfre Woodard  •  Aldis Hodge  •  Richard Schiff  •  Wendell Pierce
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