Every year some good movies fly under the radar (or slip through the cracks, if you prefer), despite the best efforts of distributors and drum-beating by critics who do their best to spread the good word. Here are a few that I think are worth your time.

Jules is a quiet film of considerable charm. Ben Kingsley has been outfitted with a wig that gives him the look of an ordinary American small-towner. He is so convincing that it’s easy to forget who is playing this eccentric character: a man who cried wolf. He lives by himself and attends every city council meeting with the same complaint about an unmarked crosswalk. Then one day a spaceship lands in his backyard and with it comes an alien…but no one believes him. Jane Curtin and Harriet Sansom Harris costar in this disarming fable, written by Gavin Steckler and directed by Marc Turteltaub.

Full Time was screened at the 2021 Venice Film Festival but crept into a handful of theaters earlier this year. Éric Gravel wrote and directed this Energizer Bunny of a film about a single mother who is juggling a demanding job and caring for her two young children. It’s a variation on Run, Lola, Run, except in this instance it’s easy to relate to the central character at every moment of her nonstop, hectic day. We’ve all been there at some point. Laure Calamy stars and perfectly embodies the woman whose nerves are stretched taut on a daily basis. I couldn’t remember where I’d seen her before but my wife reminded me that she was a cast member of the terrific Netflix French series Call My Agent (Dix pour cent). She also won a Cesar Award for her performance in My Donkey, My Lover & I (Antoinette dans les Cevennes) in 2021.

It Ain’t Over is a documentary must-see for anyone who, like me, grew up in thrall to the New York Yankees and its ever-reliable catcher Yogi Berra. You can read my full review HERE. Now that it’s widely available online you have no excuse to miss it. Pop open a Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink (Yogi’s favorite) and get ready to learn about a good man who lived a great life.

Finally, I heartily recommend Dream Scenario, which is still playing in theaters. Nicolas Cage has entered a phase of his career where seemingly every film is built around him or his persona. Here he plays an aging, balding college professor who mystically turns up in other people’s dreams. What begins as an amusing if fantastical premise builds in intensity as the phenomenon spreads like kudzu. Bravo to Norwegian writer-director Kristoffer Borgli for giving Cage a role he can warm up to and a film we can enjoy for its dark humor and sheer originality. The star says it’s one of his most personal endeavors; you can watch him talk about it on See if it doesn’t inspire you to go out to an actual movie theater to check it out.

Leonard Maltin is one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely-used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, now in its third edition, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears regularly on Reelz Channel and Turner Classic Movies. His books include The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego’s Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park. (Or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?) He holds court at Follow him on Twitter and Facebook; you can also listen to him on his weekly podcast: Maltin on Movies. — [Artwork by Drew Friedman]

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April 2024