4 Movies Like Last Call for Istanbul (2023)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching Last Call for Istanbul ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

At first, the Last Call for Istanbul feels like one of those serendipitous travel romances reminiscent of Before Sunrise. As Serin and Mehmet enjoy New York at night, it’s absolutely enchanting, especially with the unique, striking mirrored transitions that shift between the two as they get ready, but this nighttime stroll has already been walked on before, complete with droll dialogue and impulsive choices. However, the film makes a shift to its second half, and it suddenly reconfigures what we know about the two and their romance. While it does employ other familiar romance tropes, it’s still an intriguing shift that explores the concept of possibilities, and the cost in choosing one over the others.

So much of Puppy Love is adorable. The title alone promises that, and to be fair, it actually delivers. The movie is filled with romance, pooches, and hijinks that circle back to those two core aspects. I couldn’t be giddier watching this, as a dog lover and romantic comedy aficionado myself, but it’s frustrating how the movie doesn’t go above and beyond its basic premise, even if it easily could’ve done so. It has strong leads in Hale and Gustin, whose chemistry may be lacking but who individually perform well. It has a decent script, “reasonably funny” as it calls itself in the film, delivering amusing and touching lines in equal measure. It even manages to flesh out Nicole and Max with backstories; Max, in particular, gets an interesting characterization as an anxious germaphobe who refuses to go to the office for work. But for whatever reason, every exciting thorn in this premise gets smoothed out by the end. The tension is never realized and loose ends are tied up neatly in a conclusion that feels too simplified for its own good. 

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Al Miro, Christine Lee, Corey Woods, Grant Gustin, Jane Seymour, Lucy Hale, Michael Hitchcock, Nore Davis, Rachel Risen, Sarah Almonte Peguero

Director: Nicholas Fabiano, Richard Alan Reid

With every chaotic fight scene, ridiculous stunts, and crazy scheme, All-Time High is a wild ride where two scammers lie to each other and fall in love. It’s fun to see these irresponsible people reap the consequences, and it’s fun to see the way Youssef and Stéphanie recognize that they’ve met their match, made all the more fun with the natural chemistry between Nassim Lyes and Zoé Marchal. That being said, the film’s irreverent humor depends a bit too much on stereotypes and gags, and can be a bit too specific for viewers outside of France.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Adrien Essamir, Alexandre Kominek, Ciryl Gane, Guillaume Canet, Gustave Kervern, Hakim Jemili, Hedi Bouchenafa, Ichem Bougheraba, Kenza Fortas, Nassim Lyes, Panayotis Pascot, Yassine Stein, Yousef Ramal, Yovel Lewkowski, Zoé Marchal

Director: Julien Royal

Between Overhaul's frequently nonsensical blend of truck racing and vehicular heists, and its focus on found families, the comparisons to the Fast & Furious series are undeniable. This also means that this Brazilian blockbuster is also much less engaging than it thinks it is; the stakes don't feel particularly urgent, and the near indifference of the rest of the world to all this criminal activity means these characters may as well be fantasy heroes. It does, however, have more significantly more color to it than its Hollywood role model, thanks to the gorgeous vistas of Brazil and the unique physical attributes of the big rigs the main characters drive. All things considered, it's pretty novel to have these high-speed chases through more cumbersome vehicles—less flashiness, more brute power.

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Evandro Mesquita, Flávio Pardal, Fumassa Alves, Gillray Coutinho, Leandro Tadeu Gonçalves, Milhem Cortaz, Orã Figueiredo, Paulo Vilhena, Raphael Logam, Sheron Menezes, Thiago Martins, Vitória Valentin

Director: Tomás Portella

Rating: R

, 2024

When life imitates art unexpectedly, it can be thrilling, exciting, and maybe even dangerous. As dissatisfied wife Gokce finds an unpublished novel, we hoped that her eventual escapades would be similarly riveting, but sadly, Ashes isn’t thrilling. Part of it is because the first half is just dedicated to pretty images that don’t even feel particularly steamy, but mostly this stems from the fact that Ashes hasn’t formulated a coherent plotline for the manuscript Gokce was reading, so all the twists and turns in the second half feels more randomly tossed, than carefully set up as a surprise.

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Actor: Alperen Duymaz, Canan Atalay, Funda Eryiğit, Gökçe Eyüboğlu, Mehmet Günsür, Nur Sürer, Seda Türkmen, Yıldıray Şahinler

Director: Erdem Tepegöz