How to find good movies

In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love

So, you are in the video store looking for something to watch. How do you know whether a movie is going to be good? Turn over the case and if it says Focus Features, stop looking and rent it. If you get your movies through netflix or the library, this is what I suggest: Go to the Focus website and put every single movie in their catalog in your queue.

Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich

I am telling you, this studio is incapable of producing a bad film. It could be because they work with some of the world’s greatest directors including Mira Nair, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai, Joel and Ethan Coen, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, Jim Jarmusch and Woody Allen.

Far From Heaven

Far From Heaven

You’ve probably seen some Focus films. After all, they put out Being John Malkovich, Lost in Translation, The Pianist, 21 Grams, Motorcycle Diaries and Brokeback Mountain.

21 Grams

21 Grams

If you dig a little deeper into their catalog there are some real little gems in there.

My Summer of Love

My Summer of Love

On a Clear Day

On a Clear Day

I just checked the site and have a bunch of new films on my list to check out. Life is good.

Lost in Translation

Postscript: In looking for photos to post here, I discovered that there are plenty of people who found some of these films boring and not worth watching. If you have the patience for stories that unfold slowly, and spend more time on character than plot, you’ll be rewarded. I developed a taste for this style of filmmaking back in Austin when I was in school. I tried to watch every foreign film at Vulcan Video, country by country. Non Hollywood movies are different. The French and Chinese especially like to linger and let you get into a character. I’m glad to see, years later, the “independent film” movement in America getting differnt kinds of movies out there. And Focus, the “art house” division of Universal Pictures, is now putting out some quality film for us to enjoy.

4 Responses to “How to find good movies”


  1. 1 DCup August 31, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks! The only one I’ve seen all the way through was Far From Heaven and I thought it was terrific.

  2. 2 mrsemmapeel August 31, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I love cinema, and this is one of the best suggestions I’ve heard in a while. It never occured to me to look at Focus Features in particular, so thank you for that. I had no idea they produced so many great film. In the Mood for Love and Far From Heaven are particularly excellent.

  3. 3 1minutefilmreview September 1, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Yup, nice selection of films…

  4. 4 Wide Lawns September 11, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Oohh I’ve seen a bunch of these and I agree that they were really good. Some of the others I haven’t heard of and they’re going on my queue! Thanks!


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