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Under-the-radar indie films to stream this holiday weekend instead of heading to the theater

MOVIES | Last years most underrated films are just waiting to be viewed

Rather than shell out cash for poorly reviewed blockbusters, consider streaming these indie gems instead

With the Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, there's no better time to take it easy with the friends or family and watch a movie. Unfortunately this weeks major releases Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch have found themselves decimated by critics, leaving a dearth of quality new films playing at our local theaters. Still, because no one should be forced to pay those high ticket prices just to see a lackluster flick, we decided to compile a list of some top-caliber indie films that may have flown under your radar last year that are currently available to rent or stream this weekend.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

While there are plenty films looking at growing up and making a family, how many involve a young boy and his foster father being hunted by authorities through the forests of New Zealand? From director Taika Waititi, the man behind this year's highly anticipated Thor: Ragnarok, the film is a funny and surprisingly endearing look at two outsiders and the bond they manage to form in the craziest of circumstances. For those seeking feel good entertainment with a hearty dash of adventure or just dreaming of seeing Flight of the Conchords Rhys Darby as an insane hermit, boy are you in for a treat with this one.

Don't Think Twice

What do you do when your closest friends get to live out your wildest dreams? This is the question the acclaimed film from Mike Birbiglia examines in this story of an improv troupe trying to stay afloat after one if it's members joins an SNL-esque TV show. While the film and its improv sequences bring the comedy in spades, Birbiglia doesn't shy away from the aches and sadness of trying to make a living in the ruthless world of comedy. Thanks to a loaded cast including Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs, don't overthink saying yes to this thoughtful and charming film.

Christine

For those looking for a heavier story, this drama explores the true story of Christine Chubbuck, a Florida journalist in the 70's who became part of one the darkest events in TV history. Starring Rebecca Hall in a transformative performance as the determined, yet fragile Chubbuck, the film is a tense and captivating study of a woman's mental health struggle amidst an increasingly sensationalized media. In a world still struggling with the role of the news media and treating depression, the film serves as an important reminder of the painful resonance Chubbuck's story has over 40 years later

20th Century Women

This Oscar nominated coming of age story from writer-director Mike Mills tells the moving and often very funny story of a single mother trying to raise her son into a "good man" and enlisting two other women to help her do so. While light on conventional plot, the film stands as a charming snapshot of growing up in the late 70's in addition to the origins of modern day feminism. Driven by career best work from Annette Benning, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning, the film stands as a both timely and timeless testament to the beautifully complicated women in all of our lives.

Sing Street

This is the movie for every high school student who's ever day dreamed about starting a band to impress a girl. Coming from the director of Once and Begin Again, the movie focuses on a young teen in 1980's Ireland dreaming of breaking out and winning the girl of dreams through the power of rock and roll. Filled to the brim with classic 80's tracks and insanely catchy original songs, the film is a joyful demonstration of the ways music can unlock the people we've always dreamed of becoming.


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