Peter Kowalke

Recent Movies Worth Watching

Peter watching a movie

I love a good movie, one that expands your boundaries, makes you think, or sticks with you years after you watch it. Here’s what’s got me excited recently.

Note that most of these films are not on Netflix. You’ll have to find them on Amazon Prime Video or one of the many free movie sites (reach out if you need some links).

Burning (2018)

Jong-soo runs into Hae-mi, a girl who once lived in his neighborhood, and she asks him to watch her cat while she’s out of town. When she returns, she introduces him to Ben, a man she met on the trip. Ben proceeds to tell Jong-soo about his terrifying hobby.

Kingmaker (2019)

Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield examines the controversial history of Filipino politician Imelda Marcos and her family.

Notes on a Scandal (2016)

Barbara Covett (Judi Dench), a veteran teacher at St. George’s, senses a kindred spirit in Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), the school’s new art teacher. The younger woman’s charisma intensely draws in the older, and the two become friends. Then Barbara learns of Sheba’s affair with a teenage student and becomes the keeper of the explosive secret.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

Extremely shy Lars (Ryan Gosling) finds it impossible to make friends or socialize. His brother (Paul Schneider) and sister-in-law (Emily Mortimer) worry about him, so when he announces that he has a girlfriend he met on the Internet, they are overjoyed. But Lars’ new lady is a life-size plastic woman.

Her (2013)

Theodore Twombly, an introvert writer, buys an Artificial Intelligence system to help him write. However, amazed by the AI’s ability to learn and adapt, he falls in love with it.

City of Life and Death (2009)

Japanese forces invaded Nanjing, the former capital of the Republic of China on December 9th 1937. Throughout the following six weeks, soldiers raped thousands of women and annihilated hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians – with mass executions, crowds mown down by firing squads and victims digging their own graves.

The Lovers (1992)

Set in 1920s colonial Indochina, a pretty, virginal French teenager (Jane March) meets a handsome Chinese playboy (Tony Leung Ka Fai) from a respectable family. Going against the conventions of their respective societies, the pair begin a torrid affair in a seedy Saigon neighborhood.

Also Seen Recently (Honorable Mention)

These are some of the other movies I’ve seen recently that are worth a watch. While not quite as good as the films above, they still are well worth your viewing time. Consider these honorable mentions.

War Witch (2012)

African rebels force a village girl (Rachel Mwanza) to kill her own parents and join their army, but a miraculous event makes the rebels think she has supernatural powers.

El Norte (1983)

When a group of Mayan Indians decides to organize a labor union to improve conditions in their village, their community is violently destroyed by the Guatemalan army. Teenage siblings, Rosa (Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez) and Enrique (David Villalpando) manage to escape the massacre and decide to start a new life in El Norte — the USA.

In the Mood for Love (2000)

A Hong Kong romantic drama that tells the story of a man and a woman whose spouses have an affair together and who slowly develop feelings for each other.

Leviathan (2014)

A Russian fisherman (Alexey Serebryakov) fights back when a corrupt mayor tries to seize possession of his ancestral home.

The Big Short (2015)

In the mid-2000s, a few finance experts observe the instability in the US housing market and predict its collapse. Through their research, they discover the flaws and corruption in the system.

Phantom Thread (2017)

Reynolds Woodcock is a celebrated dress designer whose meticulous lifestyle undergoes a drastic change when he falls for Alma, a waitress who later becomes his muse and lover.

Grown Without Schooling (2001)

My movie (which you can watch here)! Accompany 10 grown homeschoolers from around the U.S., ranging in age from 19 to 31, as they explore and candidly discuss the lasting influence home education has had on their lives.

My All-Time Favorite Movies

For the full list of movies that get me excited, see my All Time Favorite Movies List:

See My Favorite Movies List