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Mr. Movie: 2023's sleepers

2023It’s time for Mr. Movie’s annual rundown of the good movies from last year that didn’t get noticed much.

The Covenant stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Sgt John Kinley, home from a tough tour in Afghanistan. His interpreter Ahmed goes to incredible lengths to save Kinley’s life after he is seriously injured miles from help. Kinley discovers his heroic interpreter and family have had to hide since his saving of Kinley has made him famous. The Taliban have put a price on their heads. Kinley decides he must return to Afghanistan and get Ahmed and his family safely out of the country.


I am an unabashed fan of all things Yogi Berra, so I was bound to love It Ain’t Over. And I did! The title comes from one of Yogi’s famous saying: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” This is a semi-documentary look at Yogi’s career and life, paying tribute to his Hall Of Fame ability as a catcher, as well as his funny quotes. My favorite, among many: “Nobody goes there any more; it’s too crowded.”


I am also an all-in fan of the legendary Michael Jordan. Air is the true (mostly) story of how shoe companies turned up their collective noses at Jordan, refusing to use his name on their shoes. Sonny Vaccaro (Ben Affleck) convinces Nike to take a chance on Michael. About $3 billion in earnings later, it would seem like a good idea. This movie is a fun trip about how this happened.


Abby Fortson is the young newcomer who stars as Margaret in the faithful adaptaion of Judy Blume’s coming of age novel, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. This is how Margaret begins her prayers. With a Jewish father and Christian mother, who leave Margaret’s religious instruction up to her, Margaret is religiously at sea. The movies charts Margaret’s path through puberty, as she learns about wearing a bra and getting her period. This is an absolute charmer!

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is a no-nonsense documentary about Fox’s battle with Parkinson’s disease. Disdaining the obvious tendency toward sentiment, director Davis Guggenheim charts a fine path toward understanding Fox’s life. Beginning with the TV sitcom Family Ties, Fox’s career took off like a rocket. His matter-of-fact depiction of how he continued to work but hiding his trembling left hand is both moving and amusing. The title is derived from the fact that after being diagnosed in 1991, Fox is still around 33 years later. His surprise appearance at this year’s BAFTA awards engendered a heart-felt standing ovation.

Well, since Amazon has all of these movies (except Still) for sale or rent,  I’m going to say they are available. Just not free. Streaming? Don’t know. By now there must be at least a dozen streaming sites. All but the first one are fine for all ages.