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A de-glamorized Salma Hayek (left) is the star of “Beatriz At Dinner.”

Mr. Movie: Good films you've never heard of

From Mr. Movie’s apparently endless trunk, here are another batch of really good movies most of you have probably never heard of. Give one a try (If you can find it).


Beatriz At Dinner gives diminutive Salma Hayek a chance to shine. She plays a massage therapist with her own business. When her car breaks down after a session with super rich Kathy, she is invited to stay for dinner. The other guests include Doug Strutt (aptly named and played to the hilt by John Lithgow). When Beatriz enters the room, Doug assumes she is a servant and acts accordingly. Even when he discovers otherwise, he continues to be the quintessential bigot. My daughter and I both loved everything about this film except the ending. What do you think?


Crown Heights is one of the best innocent-man-sent-to-prison films I’ve ever seen. It is based on a true, and unbelievable, story. There is no one in it you’ve ever heard of, but that’s to the good. Colin Warner was no Boy Scout. He had a long rap sheet and was up to no good the night Mario Hamilton was shot and killed. But he had nothing to do with the murder, although an eyewitness says that he did. His best friend loses his job and his family to gather proof of Colin’s innocence. It takes a while. Like 21 years. Spellbinding film!


Remember that incredibly cute couple in Barefoot In The Park (1967)? Okay, maybe you don’t. Anyway, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford are back 50 years later in Our Souls At Night. Based on Kent Haruf’s wonderful book, it is the story of two aging people finding companionship and even romance. Both have survived the death of a spouse, and the story begins when she asks him to come over and sleep with her. Platonically, just for the warmth and comfort of another person. He reluctantly agrees.


Five Flights Up also stars two actors who are consummate pros. Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton are a couple who have been married many years. Their nice apartment is up five flights of stairs. There is no elevator and they’re getting up in years. The plot, such as it is, deals with their search for a new place, their care for their aged dog, and their relationship with their daughter. Just a nice time at the movies!


An Honest Liar is a riveting documentary about James Randi, a magician by trade. He tells you he is going to fool you, and then he does. There is nothing supernatural about the magic of true magicians. He despises and sets out to destroy charlatans who bilk the public by pretending they have supernatural powers. How they do their tricks, and how he catches and exposes them, is quite good.


All of the films in this article are theoretically available on DVD. A word about availability: With the demise of Netflix DVD discs, it will be hard to find these and other recommended films. I always check with Amazon and if they have the disc, I say it’s available. But it may not be free. And I cannot possibly keep track of all the streaming sites. So good luck!