Good luck finding a streaming service that doesn’t give conservatives fits.
Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Max brim with progressive programming while promoting causes hardly near and dear to a conservative’s heart.
Amazon is no different. The mega-company’s Prime platform is as robust — and compelling — as its competitors. The parent company still behaves badly, from temporarily shelving a film on the life of Clarence Thomas or plotting ways to attack Matt Walsh’s best-seller, “Johnny the Walrus.”
Still, those willing to swallow hard at Prime’s excesses can enjoy the following films. None proved to be blockbusters. Many slipped by audiences entirely. They’re all worth a second look.
This Russell Crowe thriller dropped as pandemic anxieties first gripped the nation. That proved cathartic then, and now, given the Biden era’s many miscues. The Oscar winner plays a bundle of hate and rage who makes it his mission to hunt down the motorist who honked at him over a driving dispute. Crowe, large and menacing, cannot be stopped. It’s that primal rage that powers this agreeable B-movie. There’s not an ounce of fat on this lean, mean genre machine, and that’s exactly how it should be.
Brad Pitt won an Oscar for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” but this early effort showed him disappearing behind a far less agreeable soul. David Duchovny stars as a journalist hitting the road to research serial killers. Lucky for him, he agrees to a ride-share arrangement with a gent who might just fit that description. This gritty tale lets Pitt show his darkest impulses in a convincing fashion.
Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, stars in this fact-based thriller pitting man against the elements. Radcliffe’s character, on an Amazon jungle trip with a pal, burrows deep into the brush thanks to a charismatic travel guide. Bad move.
“Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” (2011)
Popstar documentaries too often yield PR-like features, devoid of flaws or nuance. This documentary is different. Yes, it showcases O’Brien’s comedic charms, but it also flashes his hunger to remain at the top of the showbiz ladder. Even better? The concert tour in question came after O’Brien’s humiliating run as host of “The Tonight Show.” That strips the veneer off his comic persona, revealing a humbled talent aching for redemption.
“Come As You Are” (2019)
The set-up suggests a raucous comedy or a depressingly woke affair. It’s neither, just a beautifully rendered tale of men seeking dignity on their own terms. Three disabled gents set out to lose their virginity across the border at a Canadian brothel, but getting there won’t be easy. Their collective banter with their world-weary nurse (Gabourey Sidibe) gives the film an added layer to savor.
“Man Camp” (2019)
This indie treat packs more laughs than most mainstream comedies. Three brothers learn their mother has finally found a beau to replace their late, alpha male pappy. Shocked, they hatch a scheme to test the poor guy’s fatherly instincts, knowing no one can live up to their father’s legacy. Slick performances, relatable emotions, and a woke-free screenplay mean “Man Camp” is an oasis from most modern comedies.
“American Hero” (2015)
Sick of the same ol’ superhero movies? This is the “Hero” you need. Stephen Dorff plays a super-powered slacker trying to get his life back on track for his son’s sake. He decides to use his telekinetic powers for good, aided by his smart-aleck sidekick (Eddie Griffin). This “Hero” is rough around the edges, but the low-budget FX enhances its charms.
“Can We Take a Joke?” (2015)
This documentary was sadly ahead of its time, but that doesn’t mean its pre-woke lessons aren’t still vital for modern audiences. Filmmaker Ted Balaker asks comics like Gilbert Gottfried, Adam Carolla and more where the new cultural lines are being drawn around comedy, and why select audiences suddenly treat jokes like political land mines.
Riz Ahmed plays a doting dad trying to protect his sons from an alien invasion. Except this isn’t an “Independence Style” romp. It’s about parenthood, grief, and a few other topics that can’t be shared without veering into spoiler terrain. The third act isn’t perfect, but Ahmed’s bravura turn keeps the audience’s attention despite those flaws.
“The Woman in Red” (1984)
This Gene Wilder farce couldn’t be made today, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your while. The story follows a happily married man (Wilder) who meets everyone’s fantasy woman from the era, Kelly LeBrock. What Wilder’s character won’t do to pursue her says everything about the way the male mind works. It ain’t pretty, but it’s hilarious. Add Gilda Radner and Charles Grodin in peak form, and you have a sex comedy with heart and brains.
“The Healing Garden” (2021)
A military chaplain who lost his faith connects with a young girl, and together they set about transforming a dry, neglected patch of land. Smart, spry, and brimming with wisdom, “The Healing Garden” shows what can be accomplished with limited funds but endless imagination. If only more faith-based movies had this combination of grit and humor.
“Harry Brown” (2009)
Dirty Harry. Paul Kersey. Harry Brown? Michael Caine stars as a senior fed up with soaring crime rates in his urban neighborhood. Matters get personal when a dear friend ends up dead. Now, it’s time to take out the trash. Except Caine isn’t a kid anymore, and there are consequences to his late-stage vigilantism. Solid material, no doubt, but Caine elevates everything he touches.
“Little Pink House” (2017)
The saga of Susette Kelo, the nurse who stared down Big Government, gets a beautifully realized closeup. Catherine Keener stars as Kelo, the real-life heroine battling to protect her singular “house” against an eminent domain fight. The filmmakers clearly have a message to send, but they refuse all the usual tics to make that happen. The results are rich and rewarding, with a surprising sense of balance.
Vince Vaughn continued his mid-career makeover here, playing a villain we haven’t seen before. A pair of mid-level-at-best drug runners find themselves chasing down the brains behind the operation. That’s Vaughn, toning down his natural charisma to fuel a different breed of bad guy. It’s hardly a classic, but the film’s unique cadence and colorful characters make it a cut above the average yarn.
Underrated character actor Bruce Greenwood stars as a backpacker who mentors a teen he meets along the Alaskan wilderness. The girl (Ella Purnell) brings plenty of baggage to her hike, but the older man offers a sounding board and sagely guidance to set her on the right path. Smart, sensitive, and told against a breathtaking backdrop.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” (2014)
It’s a foodie feud when a young Indian chef starts a restaurant next to an elegant eatery run by Helen Mirren. A culture clash ensues, but slowly the older woman realizes the wisdom found in learning a new culinary trick or two. It’s feel-good storytelling from the veteran of the genre, director, Lasse Hallstrom (“My Life as a Dog,” “Chocolat”).
“The Taking of Deborah Logan” (2014)
The Found Footage genre is dead and buried, and good riddance. We still saw a few watchable entries before last rites were performed, from the Bigfoot thriller “Willow Creek” to “Chronicle,” an MCU-style effort with heart. This horror film makes the most of the found footage style, in part thanks to a stellar performance by Jill Larson as the title character.
“Still Mine” (2013)
This tender tale follows an old man (James Cromwell) desperate to build a home for his dementia-addled bride. The new structure will be suited to her specific needs, allowing them to live together as long as possible. Enter the big, bad local government, which throws as many wrenches into his plans as possible. It’s a near-perfect Libertarian movie as well as an ode to monogamy.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.