Entertainment

The 10 Best Titles Leaving Netflix This Month

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This month’s Netflix exodes include some big names – Eastwood, Scorsese, Soderbergh, Verhoeven – and a host of amusements from cop comedy to gangster sprawl to historical documentaries, as well as the adult thriller That A Thousand Copycats (and Parodies). .

Catch these 10 titles before they leave Netflix in the US in late February. (Dates indicate the last day a track is available.)

Adam McKay began his film career with funny and philanthropic Will Ferrell comedies like “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights”. Today he is known as an Oscar winner and director of the sharp-edged sociopolitical studies “The Big Short” and “Vice”. This 2010 comedy was the unlikely hinge between these worlds. On its surface, “The Other Guys” is a broadcast of buddy cop films starring Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as New York cops second in line. But McKay uses these bogus elements as a cover and smuggles a targeted charge against the shenanigans who led to a financial collapse, culminating in an informative final credit sequence that now plays like a prologue to “The Big Short”.

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Making a western in the 21st century is a tricky business: it’s a genre tied to leftover stereotypes and assumptions, and the real legacy of that era is to be reckoned with, especially with respect to the Native American genocide a bigger job than most filmmakers are willing to accept. The 2017 efforts of writer and director Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”), on the other hand, deal directly with these issues, focusing on a cavalry officer (Christian Bale) who must put his bigotry aside when forced to escort the dying Cheyenne boss (Wes Studi) back to his home in Montana. Cooper refuses to romanticize the era or gently kick its brutality. It’s a dull, difficult film, but a worthwhile one.

When A&E debuted this prequel series “Psycho” in 2013, it sounded like a dead horse situation (especially since the franchise had already spawned three sequels, a TV movie, and a remake). The series developed quickly, however, complementing its original exploration of the rich psychological dynamics between a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), with in-depth stories about their family history and the town around them. Ultimately, however, the show works thanks to Highmore and Farmiga, who turn two of cinema’s most iconic characters into living, breathing, and complicated people.

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The runaway commercial success of this 1992 mystery would start a year-long cycle of erotic thrillers – steamy, provocative portraits of murderously attractive women and the ruthless men who must have them. But few have been matched with the sleek style and sweaty flair created by the flammable combination of director Paul Verhoeven and writer Joe Eszterhas. The most controversial items haven’t aged well, yet it remains a case study of the specific skills required to make really great junk. It made Sharon Stone a star too, and it’s not hard to see why; Her work here is a vibrant combination of noir femme fatale, icy Hitchcock blonde, and non-apologetic sexuality from the MTV era.

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Another stone – Emma – also starred 18 years later thanks to her work as the “bad girl” on a big screen, although in this case it’s all just a plot. Director Will Gluck’s clever riff in “The Scarlet Letter” shows Stone as the great named Olive Penderghast, whose completely fictional promiscuity makes her a high school celebre. Bert V. Royal’s script asks properly targeted questions about gender roles and identity, and features juicy roles for a stellar supporting cast (including Lisa Kudrow, Thomas Haden Church, Malcolm McDowell, and best of all, Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci as Olive’s parents). However, the main attraction remains Stone, who conveys the character’s intelligence, wit, self-confidence and self-doubt with charm and sharpness.

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Actor Joel Edgerton (“Loving”) made his feature film debut as a writer and director in this moody, annoying psychological thriller from 2015. He also plays Gordo Moseley, who tries a little too hard to get into the life of a former high school classmate ( Jason Bateman) and his wife (Rebecca Hall). Edgerton’s crisp script cleverly dramatizes the delicacy with which social norms and “good manners” can hide our deepest secrets, and he coaxes a disturbing twist from Bateman and gives a hint to “Ozark” of the darkness that lies beneath his established persona of happiness lurks ironic distancing.

This 1990 Martin Scorsese gangster epic seems to come and go from Netflix every few months, but it goes again, so catch it while you can. Ray Liotta plays the real-life Wiseguy Henry Hill, a low-level grinder for a New York criminal family whose cocky, backward life of crime turns into a paranoid nightmare of drugs and death. Robert De Niro is both sociable and terrifying as Hill’s mentor, while Joe Pesci won an Oscar for his unforgettable role as a heated shooter with an itchy trigger finger. (He’s very funny, but don’t tell him that.)

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Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this 2008 drama about a bitter and bigoted Korean War veteran who sits on the porch of his Detroit home for most of his time, growling at his Hmong neighbors – until he forms an unlikely friendship with the boy Thao (Bee) builds up Vang) and begins to understand the difficulties in Thao’s life. Just as his 1992 masterpiece “Unforgiven” complicated and re-contextualized many of Eastwood’s western films, “Gran Torino” subtly examines the casual racism of the actor’s police drama and suggests one of the quietest ideas of his late filmography: that there should never be too much is late to change limited ways of looking at the world.

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Steven Soderbergh is known for many types of films – indie character studies, Oscar-winning dramas, philanthropic heist films – but few saw him as an action director until he built this vehicle for mixed martial artist Gina Carano in 2012. Eschewing “Haywire” is one of the most irritating techniques in contemporary action cinema (like editing tapes and overpowering music). It’s essentially a James Bond gender-specific adventure in which Carano is burned to death by her employer as a contract worker (Ewan McGregor) and has to save her own skin. The results are sleek and action-packed, and offer the added pleasure of watching Carano select an all-star cast one at a time (including Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, and Michael Fassbender).

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On the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles uprising in 1992 (after the acquittal of four white police officers who caught a black driver, Rodney King, on tape), Oscar winners Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin (“Undefeated”) gathered for a harrowing ticktock of the protests, riots and riots of those days. The filmmakers throw away documentary standbys such as contemporary retrospective interviews and the narrative “Voice of God” and instead rely solely on archive material from this period. The effect is harrowing and creates a visceral immediacy that transports the viewer into this earth-shaking moment without a clear dissolution in sight.

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Robert Dunfee