3 Best Movies to Watch by Emory Cohen

Staff & contributors

The movie starts with Luke (Ryan Gosling) as a stunt driver who learns he has a newborn child. Luke wants to properly provide for him, so he turns to robbing banks. That causes conflict with the mother (Eva Mendes) and a police officer (Bradley Cooper), which ends up spanning two generations. The Place Beyond the Pines is gritty and emotional, and at the heart of it, a good take on father-son relationships and long-term consequences.

Genre: Crime, Drama

Actor: Angelo Anthony Pizza, Anthony Angelo Pizza, Anthony Angelo Pizza, Jr., Ben Mendelsohn, Bradley Cooper, Brian Smyj, Bruce Greenwood, Craig Van Hook, Dane DeHaan, Derek Cianfrance, Emory Cohen, Ephraim Benton, Eva Mendes, Gabe Fazio, Greta Seacat, Harris Yulin, Jennifer Sober, Luca Pierucci, Lynette Howell Taylor, Mahershala Ali, Mark McCracken, Michael Cullen, Olga Merediz, Patrick Husted, Penny, Ray Liotta, Robert Clohessy, Rose Byrne, Ryan Gosling, Shannon Plumb

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Rating: R

Blue Bayou is a powerful film about a Korean-American man threatened with deportation from the only country he has ever known. Antonio LeBlanc is a hard-working mechanic living in a small town in Louisiana with his wife, Kathy, and their young daughter Jessie. Blue Bayou is a beautifully made film with compelling performances from Chon, Vikander, and the rest of the cast. The film is heartbreaking and hopeful, offering a powerful message about the importance of family and belonging. Justin Chon's direction is assured and confident as he captures the beauty of the Louisiana Bayou and aptly conveys Antonio's isolation and loneliness. He brings a strong sense of empathy and humanity to the material.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Alicia Vikander, Altonio Jackson, Emory Cohen, Geraldine Singer, Jeremy Sande, Jim Gleason, Justin Chon, Linh Dan Pham, Mark O'Brien, Martin Bats Bradford, Randy Austin, Renell Gibbs, Rhonda Johnson Dents, Susan McPhail, Sydney Kowalske, Sylvia Grace Crim, Tyler Henry, Vondie Curtis-Hall

Director: Justin Chon

Reminiscent of classic gang films, The Bikeriders comes as a familiar but still enjoyable piece of Americana. It’s properly nostalgic and structured much like Goodfellas, with someone narrating the entire thing and smartly teasing the surprising end. In this case, the brooding leading man’s wife, Kathy (Comer), softens the film’s rough macho edges. But as fascinating as this slice of American life is, it’s the stacked cast who take the film one step further. Tom Hardy is commanding as the club’s leader, while Comer grounds the film’s darker moments with charm and reason. Mike Shannon and the rest of the gang are realistically gritty and interesting, but surprisingly, Austin Butler and Faist are given little to do. There’s an unevenness to The Bikeriders that makes you wonder if it would be better or worse under a different director, but as it stands, the film is a welcome entry in the crime and ride genre.

Genre: Crime, Drama

Actor: Austin Butler, Beau Knapp, Boyd Holbrook, Damon Herriman, David Myers Gregory, Emory Cohen, Happy Anderson, Jodie Comer, Karl Glusman, Michael Abbott Jr., Michael Shannon, Mike Faist, Norman Reedus, Paul Dillon, Paul Sparks, Phuong Kubacki, Radek Lord, Toby Wallace, Tom Hardy, Tony Donno, Valerie Jane Parker, Will Oldham

Director: Jeff Nichols

Rating: R