If you’re like us, then you’re also unhealthily obsessed with analyzing films. Hell, we probably enjoy the post-movie analysis as much as watching the film itself. When we finish watching something, we head straight to the critics to read their takes, and maybe even hold a lively debate in our heads. And if you know movie critics, then you’ll know that they don’t always dole out praise easily. Well imagine our pride when we discovered that the vast majority of our films and series have been highly lauded and many of them have even garnered unanimously rave reviews. Excuse us while we cheers ourselves real quick.
Maybe that’s because our criteria is simple: original stories, bold storytelling, authentic performances. That’s it. Those are the only ingredients we’re after, and I guess they’re the main ingredients needed to make a glowing review. We are proud to present 14 of our best-reviewed titles, in two parts (there were just too many to include in one article!). Here is part one — be sure to check out part two for the remaining seven titles.
From director Shane Meadows, this gripping drama follows Joseph, a man with a traumatic upbringing whose life is turned upside down when his son leaves the country with his ex. With nothing left to lose, he decides to return to his hometown in Ireland to confront his past and finally get his due.
“‘The Virtues’” saw Meadows working on a new level, blending raw feeling and technical mastery to create drama that will live in viewers' minds for days, weeks, maybe years to come.” —Jake Seale, The Guardian
Milla is a tender look at one young girl’s evolution, from love-sick teen to single mom. Quiet performances and measured storytelling create an utterly realistic portrayal of love and motherhood.
“‘Milla’ is a major achievement, a film that is at once as delicate as it is strong, a fitting testament to motherhood, to survival.” — Teo Bugbee, The New York Times
Director Carla Simon draws on her personal experiences to deliver a moving coming-of-age snapshot of a young girl’s first summer after experiencing major loss.
“In its subtlety, richness and warmth it is entirely beguiling — complex and simple at the same time. It is also very moving.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Produced over a decade, this documentary takes viewers straight into the imagination, process, and life of one of the most groundbreaking fantasy writers in literary history.
Le Guin describes her work as one of “holding doors or windows open” for people; this film does just that, opening an intimate window onto the tender interiority and expansive curiosity of Le Guin's mind.” — Nina Li Coomes, Chicago Reader
Set inside Folsom Prison, this affecting documentary follows a four-day group therapy retreat with level-four convicts, capturing their candid, raw emotions and setting them free of gender and societal expectations.
“The movie valuably demonstrates how, for some, when it comes to rehabilitation, it's never too late to do ‘the work.’” — Gary Goldstein, The Los Angeles Times
A former soccer player and current bureaucrat in a small Romanian town dreams of revolutionizing soccer by overhauling its rules. Despite its sports-driven premise, this documentary is really about the remarkable man at its center.
“It's one of the most original and visionary documentary films to have emerged recently…” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Featuring breathtaking cinematography and starring Ann Dowd, Essie Davis, and Jessica Barden, this suspense series follows three Catholic nuns living in a remote and forgotten convent. When a priest intrudes and threatens their way of life, they’ll prove to be a lot less holy than expected.
“You just knew from the way the camera descended onto a big black bush, being sunned on a rock, that this wouldn't be anything except proper bonkers telly.” —Camilla Long, Times (UK)
Click here for part two of our best-reviewed titles.