Sound of Metal (2019) R

Sound of Metal

Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

A heavy-metal drummer, Ruben (Riz Ahmed), life is changed when he begins to lose his hearing, and he thinks that his life and music career are over. With the help of his band and his girlfriend (Olivia Cooke), Ruben checks into a secluded sober house for the deaf in hopes it will prevent a relapse with heroin and help him adapt to his new world.    Sound of Metal Website

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What to Watch For: The film won Best International Feature Film at the 2019 Zurich Film Festival.

Word on the Street: Riz Ahmed spent six months learning to play the drums and learned ASL (American Sign Language) for the film.

My Take: My fellow film critics who have seen the film feel that Riz Ahmed has a great chance of being nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars.


The Last Vermeer (2019) R

The Last Vermeer

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

During World War II, Joseph Piller (Claes Bang) was fighting in the Resistance while Han van Meegeren (Guy Pearce) was hosting parties and selling Dutch art treasures to the Nazis. Now that the war is over, the two men cross each other’s path as Piller is investigating war crimes and van Meegeren has been accused of collaboration. As Piller investigates, he becomes convinced that van Meegeren is innocent and tries to save his life.    The Last Vermeer Website

What to Watch For: The film is based on a true story.

Word on the Street: This is the first film directed by Dan Friedkin, known for producing The Mule (2018), All the Money in the World (2017), and The Square (2017).

My Take: I read the book that the film is based on, The Man Who Made Vermeers by Jonathan Lopez, so I am looking forward to this film.


Dating Amber (2020)

Dating Amber

Photo courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

Eddie (Fionn O’Shea) is gay but is afraid that his parents and classmates will find out. Amber (Lola Petticrew) is a loner with an attitude. The two decide the only way they will survive their last year of school is to pretend that they are in a straight relationship.    Dating Amber Website

What to Watch For: Writer/director David Freyne also brought us the acclaimed 2017 film The Cured starring Ellen Page and Sam Keeley.

Word on the Street: The film won Honorable Mention at the 2020 NewFest: New York’s LGBT Film Festival.

My Take: I am a big fan of Sharon Horgan, who plays Eddie’s mother in the film. Horgan wowed audiences with her performance as the fiery Lisa in last year’s Military Wives.


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Born to Be (2019)

Born to Be

Photo courtesy of Kino Lorber

The documentary follows the work of Dr. Jess Ting at the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York City. The film follows the doctor as his work impacts his patients’ lives while he becomes a pioneering gender-affirming surgeon.    Born to Be Website

What to Watch For: One of the patients in the documentary is Leiomy Maldonado, who is in the TV show Pose.

Word on the Street: The film won the Best Documentary Feature at the 2020 Nashville Film Festival.

My Take: I am always ready to watch a good documentary.


Crazy, Not Insane (2020)

Crazy, Not Insane

Photo courtesy of HBO

This documentary examines the research by forensic psychiatrist Dorothy Onto Lewis, a pioneer in the study of the psychology of murderers and serial killers.    Crazy, Not Insane Website

What to Watch For: The film is from Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief).

Word on the Street: One of the people that Dr. Lewis talked to was noted serial killer Ted Bundy.

My Take: I am a massive fan of Alex Gibney’s work.


Embattled (2020) R


Photo courtesy of IFC Films

A son Jett (Darren Mann)m strives to follow in the footsteps of his famous MMA father, Cash (Stephen Dorff). Their relationship comes to a head when they agree to a fight against each other in the ring for the championship.    Embattled Website

What to Watch For: The cast includes Elizabeth Reaser (Grey’s Anatomy), Donald Faison (Scrubs), and Said Taghmaoul (Wonder Woman).

Word on the Street: Director Nick Sarkisov is known for his award-winning production of the 2019 film Show Me What You Got.

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My Take: I am a big fight fan, so you know I will be watching this one.