8 Indie Must-Sees for Decemberby IMDb-Editors | last updated - 2 weeks ago
IMDb's editorial team takes a closer look at the month's indie, foreign, and documentary releases in the U.S.
The Disaster Artist
As a long-time fan of The Room, I have eagerly been awaiting this story about the making of a "disasterpiece." Despite being known as the Citizen Kane of bad movies, with an IMDb user rating of 3.6, The Room still plays packed cinemas every week in theaters around the world as audiences cannot seem to get enough of a film that's so bad, it's great. James Franco perfoms a spot-on impression of Tommy Wiseau, the man who wrote, directed, starred in, and financed The Room. The resulting movie is as intriguing and moving as it is hilarious. — Michael
The Disaster Artist opens in limited U.S. release Friday, Dec. 1, before going wide on Friday, Dec. 8.
I hear that actress Fantine Harduin, who has a young Jodie Foster thing going on, is the smoldering secret weapon in Michael Haneke's latest family psychodrama, which doubles as a takedown of colonialism. That's two of my favorite subjects in one increasingly unnerving sit! — Arno
Happy End opens in limited U.S. release Friday, Dec. 22
The urban landscape of New York in the 1980s was a particularly unforgettable canvas for some of the most iconic street artists of all time, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Richard Hambleton, better known as the "Shadowman" for his black paint-splattered graffiti. The Canada-born conceptual artist Hambleton is the center of this Oren Jacoby-directed documentary, which seeks to turn the focus on a figure who's escaped the spotlight that his contemporaries enjoyed and who passed away this fall. Hambleton's fortunes, we discover, are a mixed bag, complicated by addiction and homelessness. But his art, mysterious and haunting, remains noble as ever. — Bret
Shadowman opens in limited U.S. release Friday, Dec. 1.
Even the so-so reviews of Margot Robbie's portrayal of vindictive professional figure skater Tonya Harding make me want to see it on opening night. "[It] plays like a less effective mishmash of To Die For and Fargo," Benjamin Lee of The Guardian says in his review. Like that's a bad thing? Personally, the movie also seems like it would play well on a double bill with Drop Dead Gorgeous. Speaking of Allison Janney movies, her presence as Tonya's mother might be the main reason we're primed for this dark comedy that somehow redeems its subject. — Arno
I, Tonya opens in limited U.S. release Friday, Dec. 8.
"Brutal" is the word most people have used in their generally ecstatic reviews of Scott Cooper and Christian Bale's second collaboration, which is set in the U.S. Great Plains circa 1892. The story seems to tread over familiar Western territory. But after I saw the trailer and checked out the complete stellar cast, Hostiles shot to the top of my must-watch list for the month. — Arno
Hostiles opens in limited release U.S. Friday, Dec. 22
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Time and cultural propriety conspire against the two lovers in this British-American biodrama, but their relationship nevertheless results in a fruitful, if offbeat, romance. Annette Bening plays real-life screen legend Gloria Grahame in the last years of her life, and Jamie Bell stars as Peter Turner, a young actor who becomes her companion. This movie, which was well-received at the Telluride, Toronto, and London Film Festivals, is an ode to the later years of Grahame's life; the screen actress was known widely for her eccentricities. But the film is also a simple love story between two individuals with unmistakable attraction and need for each other. The film has drawn strong reviews for Bell, and it looks like yet another memorable performance by Bening, as well. — Bret
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool opens in limited U.S. release Friday, Dec. 29.
This Canadian import is the B-movie to see this month, as Officer Lou Garou — aka WolfCop — returns soon after the events of the original cult hit. The plot has something to do with a questionable new brewery and hockey team in the town of Woodhaven, but really we're here for more lo-fi/high-return indie moviemaking that doesn't scrimp on the gore, or donuts. May WolfCop return soon to make this a proper trilogy. — Arno
Another WolfCop opens in limited U.S. release Friday, Dec. 8.
This Agatha Christie tale is flying under the radar despite a fantastic cast ruled by a shotgun-wielding Glenn Close and a screenplay by Julian Fellowes of "Downton Abbey" fame. Even if you're familiar with the story, it should be entertaining to watch this cast navigate its twists. — Arno
Crooked House opens in limited U.S. release Friday, Dec. 22