Part One of the fourth and final season of the popular Netflix series, Ozark, is officially here with Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and Julia Garner returning in their respective roles. This show follows Marty Byrde, a financial planner on the move after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong. He’s forced to pay off the huge debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. With a talented mix of veterans and newcomers in the cast, this list will highlight the five best films involving the cast of Ozark. Each of the movies has ten or more favorable reviews. The only features exempt from this list are animated (sorry, Zootopia). Let’s get started with the first movie.
In a freak accident on Jan. 19, 2009, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger tries to make an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 strikes a flock of geese. Thankfully, all 155 passengers and crew escape that horrifying ordeal, but a deeper investigation threatens to destroy Sully’s career and reputation. A well-done modern take of cynicism based on a situation of a man who’s simply doing his job, Sully may not be the best drama you’ll ever see but it’s easily a compelling feature that’s elevated by the amazing performance from Tom Hanks.
The Squid and the Whale
An emotionally resonating feature that stars Jeff Daniels and Joan Berkman as a couple who’s in the middle of a divorce. Walt sides with his dad, but their younger brother Frank is firmly on the mother’s side. The household tension rises when Joan’s career officially takes off. On the surface, The Squid and the Whale is seemingly light-hearted, but the film is actually a thought-provoking piece that’s equally hilarious and heartbreaking. Daniels and Berkman are great as the soon-to-be-divorced couple, expertly showcasing the strain that parents often having when they’re going to through a rough in their relationships while trying to manage a poker face in of the kids. The film does an excellent job of not being a grim take on marriage and parenting, though it doesn’t hold back on the honesty and truth regarding the subject either.
A harsh look into workplace harassment and the systemic oppression that has negative effects on plenty of victims, The Assistant follows Jane, an aspiring film producer who landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment. Jane’s job is no different that the ordinary assistant; however, the college graduate grows frustrated over the daily abuse that seems to come with the gig, and decides that she needs to take a stand, a move that could actually ruin her career. A stark and chilling look at how power and intimidation is another form of bullying out of the school walls. The Assistant is never afraid to tackle its subject head on, asking thought-provoking questions that are rarely explored in television and media.
In this hilarious coming-of-age story, Juno is a teen who becomes pregnant, and she chooses a not-so-hot rock star and his wife to adopt her unborn child. Complications arise when Mark starts to grow feelings for the soon-to-be mother, putting both his marriage and the adoption in jeopardy. Packed with colorful dialogue and fun, yet relatable characters, Juno is a sly stab at the well-worn genre that manages to be dramatic, funny, and captivating. The all-star cast manages to elevate the already strong script, with Michael Cera and Jason Bateman being the two standouts. However, it’s Jason Reitman’s confident direction that helps keeps this picture fresh and engaging. Juno manages to steer clear from being over-the-top or cartoonish because Reitman understands the delicate balance and maintains a nice sense of realism and truth to the story.
In this underrated feature, Simon and Robyn’s life drastically takes a turn for the worse when they meet Gordo, a mysterious presence from Simon’s past. All seems good when Gordo gets himself reacquainted with the couple; however, a troubling series of uninvited encounters and a mysterious gift expose a dark secret. However, when Robyn learns the truth about the relationship between Simon and Gordon, she begins to question how well she knows her spouse. This neat little thriller continues subverts expectations to create a fun and unforgettable thrill ride. Joel Edgerton’s work as both actor and director are amazing. The veteran is effectively creepy as Gordo, never veering into cartoonish territory and leaves enough nuance in his performance that leaves some intriguing questions. The Gift is a slow burn, but the film packs one hell of a punch when all hell breaks loose in the final act.
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