Netflix is celebrating the final month of 2015 by bringing some of the year’s most acclaimed indies to its streaming library. From Alex Ross Perry’s psychological dark comedy “Queen of Earth” to Oren Moverman’s “Time Out of Mind” to Sean Baker’s exhilarating low-fi dramedy “Tangerine,” Netflix is offering many a holiday streaming gifts this December. There’s no better way to spend the holidays than by catching up on the great titles you have missed over the last 12 months, and it looks like Netflix will be a huge help for those who can’t get their hands on awards screeners.
Below are all of the titles hitting the streaming library next month, plus Indiewire’s personal selections on what to stream.
“A Christmas Star” (2015)
“A Genius Leaves the Hood: The Unauthorized Story of Jay Z” (2014)
“Christmas Wedding Baby” (2014)
“The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury” (2004)
“Cradle 2 the Grave” (2003)
“Jenny’s Wedding” (2015)
“See You in Valhalla” (2015)
“Stir of Echoes” (1999)
“That Touch of Mink” (1962)
“Stations of the Cross” (2014)
Indiewire Pick: “Tangerine” (2015)
Writer-director Sean Baker’s followup to “Starlet” is another shrewd character study involving a pair of unlikely protagonists: Two transgender prostitutes in Los Angeles looking for a pimp boyfriend who may be unfaithful. Set over the course of a single day and shot entirely using an iPhone, the vibrant movie plays out like a buddy comedy as Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor) wander around and undergo a series of misadventures. Their plight adopts an unsuspecting screwball mold — a canny trick that manages to make their tale universally relatable — and Baker imbues each scene with a charming quality that sets the movie apart from anything else currently in theaters.
“Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” (2015)
“A Very Murray Christmas” (2015)
“A Case of You” (2013)
“Dinosaur 13” (2014)
“Vampire Academy” (2014)
“One & Two” (2015)
Indiewire Pick: “Phoenix” (2014)
Christian Petzold’s post-Holocaust drama is based around an incredulous premise: A German woman (Nina Hoss) emerges from the concentration camps with horrific facial scars, receives plastic surgery and rediscovers her husband in Berlin, where he fails to recognize her. Rather than reveal her identity, she allows him to believe she’s dead, only to wind up part of his scheme to have her pretend to be herself so he can claim her inheritance. But if “Phoenix” requires a certain suspension of disbelief to make its contained scenario work, the rewards of such a gamble speak for themselves. Petzold’s followup to the 2012 Hoss vehicle “Barbara” is a fascinating study of Holocaust trauma rendered in intimate terms. As Hoss’ performance and the final shot make clear, history may fade from view but the scars it leaves behind are insuppressible.
“The Ridiculous 6”
“The Da Vinci Code” (2006)
Indiewire Pick: “Time Out of Mind”
A favorite on last year’s fall festival circuit, Oren Moverman’s revelatory “Time Out of Mind” stars Richard Gere in a show-stopper of a performance as a New York City homeless man spinning through the cycle of addiction while also tearing through every relationship that could possibly offer him even a smidge of salvation. Shot mostly guerrilla style in and around NYC, the majority of the film feels more like a particularly brutal documentary than a narrative feature, with Gere (in character) moving unnoticed throughout the city while Moverman tracks his every excruciating interaction. Bolstered by supporting performances by Jena Malone and Ben Vereen (who was so wild about the role that he flew to NYC just to meet with Moverman for a day), “Time Out of Mind” is hard to shake.
“Fresh Dressed” (2015)
“chloe and theo” (2015)
“Leo the Lion” (2013)
“Magic Snowflake” (2013)
“Santa’s Apprentice” (2010)
Indiewire Pick: “Queen of Earth” (2015)
Acclaimed writer-director Alex Ross Perry and “Mad Men” Emmy nominee Elisabeth Moss flex their genre muscles in their dynamite psychological thriller about an artist who slowly loses her mind while vacationing with her best friend at the latter’s secluded lake house. With its retro vibe, hyper-stylish credits, aristocratic moniker and unblinking distaff emphasis, “Queen of Earth” is janglingly unsettling and darkly comic all at once. In a towering performance, Moss expertly puts herself through the winger here, appearing numerous times in a state of extreme emotional duress courtesy of a screenplay that energetically burrows into her characters’ motivations and neuroses. Think Roman Polanki by way of Perry’s singular touch of dark comedy.
“Invisible Sister” (2015)
“Manhattan Romance” (2014)