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32 Great Movies to Savor on Filmstruck While You Still Have the Chance

The streaming service might be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still appreciate their extraordinary library while it’s still available.
By  · Published on November 9th, 2018

Funny Games (1997)

Funny Games

Michael Haneke’s opus of discomfort (which he remade shot-for-shot in English in 2007) gets better each time you watch it –that is, if you’re able to sit through it more than once. The premise is basic: two young men terrorize a nice Austrian family just for kicks. The execution, which is all excruciatingly lengthy shots and unsettling fourth-wall-breaking, is anything but basic. Funny Games is more harrowing than almost any other movie because, through its politely psychotic antagonists, it picks slowly at the idea that the unspoken pressure of good manners can be a gateway to exploitation. Like in Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation, its characters have a dozen chances to get away, but their fear of leaving a bad impression is stronger than their gut feeling that these two strangers aren’t who they seem. That’s a scary thought. – Valerie Ettenhofer

Godzilla (1954)


Never forget. Don’t forget the bomb. Don’t forget your cultural roots as technology and national psyche evolves. Don’t forget your fallen heroes. Don’t forget your own country’s crimes. Those are the core messages that permeate Ishiro Honda’s genre-defining monster movie. There’s a lot to unpack here, but if you just want to see a monster destroy a city then you won’t be disappointed in that regard, either. Subsequent Godzilla movies were more fun and sillier (and a few of them are available in the Filmstruck library), but the original is pure horror at its finest. – Kieran Fisher

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

Written, produced, scored, edited, directed, and starring Melvin Van Peebles. And, oh yeah, when studios refused to touch the script for fear of the content within, Van Peebles raised the financing himself, tossed his own son into a small role, and shot the anger-fueled thriller in nineteen days. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song was born out of revolution. The film is a scream of independence, a charge from its filmmaker to break free from the white system and prove the profitability of the black audience. In combination with Shaft released just a few months later, the Blaxploitation boom erupted and Hollywood was forced to take notice by a tidal wave of green dollars. – Brad Gullickson

What Price Hollywood? (1932)

What Price Hollywood

When it comes to A Star is Born history, you can’t forget this original. This 1932 rendition of a waitress (Constance Bennett) plucked from regular life to become a big star is the movie that doesn’t get credit for its story inspiring the string of movies that have transcended decades. With some of the most striking monochrome cinematography to come out of early Hollywood, it’s a must see in its best quality on Filmstruck. – Emily Kubincanek

Fish Tank (2009)

Fish Tank

Fish Tank is the kind of coming-of-age movie that’s raw and painful like a pressed-on bruise. Dark, angry, and deeply evocative, Andrea Arnold’s film follows Mia (Katie Jarvis), a broke East Londoner who likes hip-hop dance and stealing glances at her mom’s new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender). Tension and yearning simmer under every scene, with first-time actress Jarvis playing Mia as a girl whose emotions constantly threaten to boil over, even as she internalizes her truest feelings. Fish Tank is a revelation in its consistent refusal to romanticize any aspect of young womanhood, instead letting the blood, sweat, and tears fall where they may. The verisimilitude lets us know that we aren’t meant to pity Mia, nor are we meant to want her, and in the end that refusal to adhere to narrative expectations makes her story one-of-a-kind. – Valerie Ettenhofer

Cruel Gun Story (1964)

Cruel Gun Story

This is another hidden gem from the Land of the Rising Sun. The story follows a criminal who, after being released from the slammer, falls back into old habits when he is coerced into one last job — to rob an armored van carrying some loot. With the help of his criminal comrades, they plan and carry out an elaborate heist and go into hiding until it all blows over. However, that’s when our protagonist’s trouble really begin. Everyone is out for themselves in the criminal underworld, and his accomplices can’t be trusted. – Kieran Fisher

James Stewart, Robert Mitchum: Two Faces of America (2017)

James Stewart, Robert Mitchum Two Faces Of America

This documentary shows how two polar opposites became two of Hollywood’s biggest stars. James Stewart and Robert Mitchum both had niche roles throughout their career, but they represented American culture in their own ways: the wholesome warrior of American hope and the bad boy who challenged American standards. With interviews from their children and many others that knew them the best, this documentary shows the impact of two men on American film that is still felt in Hollywood today. – Emily Kubincanek

Minutes (2017)


Jim Cummings strings six single-take short films together to sublime effect. Each story centers on a crucial few minutes in the life of their main character. From an outrageously pathetic convenient store robbery to the worst night in a restaurant manager-on-duty’s life. Minutes probes for sincerity in the absurd, accomplishing laughter amongst human failing. These shorts signify the arrival of a major new voice, and if you haven’t already flocked to Cummings’ feature debut of Thunder Road then these stories will guarantee that ticket purchase. – Brad Gullickson

M (1931)


Best known for his contributions to science fiction, film noir, and crime, Fritz Lang excelled at multiple genres and gave us classics like Metropolis, The Woman In the Window, Scarlet Street, Dr. Mabuse, and The Big Sleep. They’re all fantastic, but M, his masterpiece about a child-killer on the loose in Berlin, is astonishing. M is arguably the film which established the foundations for the serial killer film as we know it today. As a portrait of killers, it’s quite complex, but the film also does a great job at capturing a sense of urban hysteria and examines how society can produce these monsters. There’s no clear-cut, black and white, good versus evil mantra in this one, and that’s what makes it so chilling and effective. – Kieran Fisher

The Earrings of Madame De… (1953)


If there’s a director with a better eye for ingenious camerawork than Max Ophüls, I have yet to find them. With impeccably crafted tracking shots, the film follows Louise (Danielle Darrieux), the wife of a wealthy general who pawns the eponymous earrings to pay off her debts. Through a series of coincidences, these earrings come to impact the lives of Louise, her husband (Charles Boyer), and her lover (Vittorio De Sica) in ways none of them could have anticipated. The film is as dazzling as it is devastating, a signature trait of Ophüls’. – Anna Swanson

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.