September Is Almost Over, So Let's Start Watching Good Movies Again

By Rebecca Pahle | Streaming | September 30, 2014 | Comments ()

By Rebecca Pahle | Streaming | September 30, 2014 |


September is not a good month for movies. It is known. For this last 30 days, we’ve lived through some hard times together, movie fans. Physical Violence Against Women: The Movie. Dolphin Tale 2. I’d say The Identical, but I’m pretty sure no one actually saw that one. (Except poor, poor Dustin.)

There have been some good times, too. I personally enjoyed God Help the Girl, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, and The Skeleton Twins, and I adored The Boxtrolls. (Agent Bedhead didn’t. Fight me.)

But, for the most part, the month was blah followed by more blah. I think we could all use a palate cleanser, don’t you? So here are the five worst movies of September—determined by Rotten Tomatoes approval rating, not my own personal judgement, because again: I am not seeing The Identical—paired with better movies you can watch on Netflix Instant instead.

Frontera—54% Tomatometer Ranking
Watch Instead: The Machine


This was my absolute favorite movie to come out of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013, and it didn’t get much of a theatrical release, so I may have squealed a little bit when I saw it pop up on Netflix Instant the other day. Guys. Guys. You can all watch The Machine now. The movie it’s compared to most is Blade Runner, and watching the trailer you can see why: Robots that look like humans, philosophical questions about the nature of humanity vs artificial intelligence, etc. etc. What sets The Machine apart from a lot of AI movies, though, is how its writer/director Caradog W. James is unabashedly positive towards scientific advancement. None of that “Humanity has gone too far, why oh why must we play God?!” nonsense. I hate that trope. Looking at you, Transcendence.

This Is Where I Leave You—43% Tomatometer Ranking
Watch Instead: Blue Ruin


Imagine a revenge movie where the main character is a total schlub who has no clue what he’s doing. That’s Blue Ruin. It’s comedic, but very darkly so—there are moments of deadpan humor in watching poor Dwight (Macon Blair) doggedly pursue the deaths of those who killed his wife and child and being so, so bad at it. But it’s also depressing as hell, because… well, read the previous sentence. Also bloody. Did I mention bloody?

Hector and the Search for Happiness—33% Tomatometer Ranking
Watch Instead: Short Term 12


Has Dustin not gotten you to watch Short Term 12 yet? What’s wrong with you? Go watch it.

No Good Deed—11% Tomatometer Ranking
Watch Instead: Killing Bono


This is absolutely not the best of the movies I’m recommending in this post. Hell, its 55% Tomatometer rating is only 1% more than what Frontera got. Killing Bono is one of those mostly forgotten indies, and rightfully so. But I need more people to see it so I’ll have someone’s ear to talk off about why the fuck Martin McCann, who plays Bono with a pitch-perfect balance of sincerity and smarmy jackassery, isn’t a big deal by now. I even really liked him in Whole Lotta Sole, a Brendan Fraser movie the title of which is a fish pun. (It was renamed Stand Off somewhere along the line, because… Whole Lotta Sole. Still, I say stick with the fish pun. It’s much more evocative.) Since then McCann’s been in Titanic: Blood and Steel, plus some shorts, indies, and scattered TV episodes, but seriously, world, give him bigger projects. Again: He was really good in a Brendan Fraser fish pun movie. He can do this.

The Identical—7% Tomatometer Ranking
Watch Instead:Like Father, Like Son


Emotionally gutting like The Identical, but in an intentional way as opposed to an “Oh God, Seth Green, why are you in this?,” way, Like Father, Like Son is about a successful, emotionally closed off businessman who discovers that his son is actually not his son—that he was switched at birth with another kid, and now both sets of parents have to decide whether they’re going to switch back. Director Hirokazu Kore-eda did another film, also on Netflix, about a 12-year-old boy who has to look after his siblings after their mom abandons them, so… yeah, not a big fan of feel-good cinema, Kore-eda. Like Father, Like Son avoids a melodramatic treatment of what a very sap-prone subject, and his unsentimental approach digs your heart out of your chest and steps on it. This is a good movie, but not an easy one to watch.

50% what The Identical is, then.

Rebecca’s on Twitter and is the Senior Editor at The Mary Sue.


See Also: October’s Best Films and TV Series on Netflix and The 16 Best Movies Released Since 2013 Currently On Netflix Instant

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