If you find yourself at a loose end for the next couple of days (or weeks) and you're looking for a decent drama to watch, Amazon Prime Video has a decent selection of both classics and more recent fare.
Here's a selection of movies we'd recommend if you're in the mood for something a little bit dramatic...
As we've previously opined in the past, courtroom dramas now generally tend to be the preserve of TV shows, but for a brief moment in the '90s, courtroom dramas were all the rage in cinemas and it's hard not to see why. They have a way of distilling drama down to a potent formula, and 'The Client' is no exception. Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon and Mary-Louise Parker bounce off each other in this tense drama adapted from John Grisham's novel of the same name, ably directed by Joel Schumacher.
Yes, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in a period adventure drama about eccentric English people. Shocking, yes, but 'The Aeronauts' more than makes up for that bit of tediousness by crafting together a cracking script from Jack Thorne and very assiduous directing and framing by Ben Harper, who did the likes of 'Wild Rose' and BBC's recent adaptation of 'War & Peace' with Paul Dano.
While 'The Irishman' may be lauded as Scorsese's return to crime epics, 'Silence' also saw him returning to the theme of faith and loss of it. By no means a lighthearted affair, 'Silence' is nevertheless a fascinating and deeply emotional story about two Jesuits - Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield - who land in Edo-era Japan in an attempt to find their mentor, played by Liam Neeson. When they arrive in Japan, they find the Christian population driven underground, their mentor disappeared, and their faith in their mission waning as they're eventually captured and tortured by the shogunate. Like we said, not exactly an easygoing watch.
If you can see past the BDSM thing, 'Secretary' is in fact a deeply moving story about love, passion, acceptance, and shame. It's no surprise that James Spader - who's made a career out of these kind of sexually adjacent roles - is involved here, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as well explores themes and ideas that she revisited again in the likes of 'The Deuce'. Considering how the likes of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' has warped people's idea of what BDSM is, 'Secretary' is a far more authentic and much better acted and directed movie.
Although the spin-off TV series with Kyle Chandler might be more recognisable, the progenitor movie is just as good and features Billy Bob Thornton on fire as Coach Gaines, a single-minded leader who's determined to lead his team to victory, despite the crushing injuries and the personal toll it takes on all concerned. Peter Berg's direction is clear and vivid, and while it may lean in to sports movie tropes just a little too hard in places, it's never not rousing or compelling in a way that these kinds of movies can be.
Although 'The Mule' might have been an enjoyable enough affair, it would have been a perfect swansong to Clint Eastwood's on-screen career if he left things with 'Gran Torino'. Playing an Korean War veteran who feels increasingly alienated by his children and the world around him, he strikes up a friendship with his next-door neighbours, a family of Hmong, whose young son is being terrorised by a local gang. It may be simplistic in parts, but 'Gran Torino' is an affecting drama with one of Eastwood's best performances.
With the recent passing of US Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this biopic about her early career as a jurist and the landmark case she fought for to ensure equal treatment under the law for men and women. Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer have wonderful chemistry, and Mimi Leder's assured direction gives the movie an inspiring tone, one that's sorely needed in these times.