17 Movies To Watch Instead Of The Oscars

Things To Come

(In theaters now)

Isabelle Huppert scored a best actress nom this year for her unflinching performance in Paul Verhoeven’s twisted rape-focused drama Elle. But don’t miss her powerful (and quietly heartbreaking) turn in French drama Things To Come, playing a philosophy teacher at a midlife crossroads and feeling a pull to a former student who lives in an anarchist commune. — OWEN MYERS


(Streaming now)

In which a prodigal mother finally returns home to a family gathering and — slowly, surely — ruins everything. Through the crash, we’re never far from the unspoken calamities inside Krisha’s own addled brain. It makes us hate and love her, simultaneously, and fiercely. — AMOS BARSHAD

The Handmaiden

(Streaming now)

Park Chan-wook’s psychosexual fairy tale is also the year’s most epic queer love story. It’s a hyperreal masterwork in three parts, each one more balls-to-the-wall twisted than the last. — PDM

Southside With You

(Streaming now)

What kept the Obamas going during those eight years? I suspect, if you asked, they might offer the politically correct answer. (“The will of the people who deserved a better country and future.”) But the real answer roots back to the summer of 1989, when Barack and Michelle, then working at a Chicago law firm, went on their first date. With a glint of tender magnetism, Southside With You captures the moment they realized their love — for each other, and for their community — could carry them through even the darkest of days. — JASON PARHAM

Green Room

(Streaming now)

A hardcore band called the Ain’t Rights makes the mistake of booking a gig at a neo-Nazi club in rural Oregon. They kick off their set with The Dead Kennedys’s eternal “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” and from there things go incessantly, maniacally south. A gory, glorious “fuck you” to white supremacy. — LEAH MANDEL

10 Cloverfield Lane

(Streaming now)

A perfectly conceived, perfectly executed compact little freakout thriller with an ending that proudly insists on a questionable filmmaking mantra: go big or go home. — AB