2 Best Movies to Watch by Richard Pryor

Staff & contributors

There is a lot to appreciate and learn from this work, which is a streamlined history of queer standup with so many enlightening stories. There is a LOT of standup footage and commentary from different eras, and different flavors between them evoking crass, feel-good, and revolutionary — which is reason enough to dive in. It’s got a self-assured tone to it, thanks to all the unapologetic and quick-witted figures telling their story and choosing to make it one of inspiration. In a word, it’s an informative celebration of queer standup comics, of tapping into empowered selves on and off-stage, reminding us that activism is always within reach.

Genre: Comedy, Documentary

Actor: Alec Mapa, Bill Clinton, Billy Eichner, Bob the Drag Queen, Bruce Vilanch, Carol Burnett, Cher, Conan O'Brien, Dave Holmes, David Letterman, Diane Sawyer, Eddie Izzard, Eddie Murphy, Ellen DeGeneres, Fortune Feimster, Gina Yashere, Guy Branum, Hannah Gadsby, James Adomian, Joel Kim Booster, Judy Gold, Lily Tomlin, Lucille Ball, Madonna, Mae Martin, Margaret Cho, Marsha Warfield, Matteo Lane, Patti Harrison, Richard Pryor, River Butcher, Ronald Reagan, Rosie O'Donnell, Sandra Bernhard, Scott Thompson, Sonny Bono, Susan Stryker, Tig Notaro, Todd Glass, Trixie Mattel, Wanda Sykes

Director: Page Hurwitz

Rating: R

It’s immediately apparent that there are more carefully made documentaries out there than Remembering Gene Wilder. The film is riddled with pixelated photos for one, and the overall tone is fawning for another. But Wilder is too great of a man to be affected by mediocre filmmaking, and so Remembering Gene Wilder still makes for an entertaining and insightful watch despite its small faults. The film is less about his life and more about his work—a chronological account of his career with nuggets of wisdom for performers, comedians, and writers tucked neatly in between. It still dives into his personal life, to be sure, but as Wilder will readily admit, his creative decisions spell out all you need to know about him.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Alan Alda, Alan Zweibel, Ben Mankiewicz, Burton Gilliam, Carol Kane, Eric McCormack, Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Harry Connick Jr., Mel Brooks, Michael Gruskoff, Mike Medavoy, Peter Ostrum, Rain Pryor, Richard Pryor, Zero Mostel

Director: Ron Frank

Rating: NR