5 Movies Like Mea Culpa (2024)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching Mea Culpa ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

You don’t come into a Tyler Perry movie expecting to be dazzled, but you do expect to be entertained. Mea Culpa evokes neither of those feelings, at least not in the first half of the film. Between the predictable plot and Rhodes’ bewilderingly flat performance, it’s a mighty challenge to stay awake. Rhodes is, of course, the lead in the award-winning film Moonlight, where he gave a soulful and lived-in performance. So it doesn’t make sense why, in Mea Culpa, despite playing a perennially horny man, he’s as exciting to watch as paint dry. We’re supposed to believe that his charisma (or lack thereof) seduces Rowland’s character, but there’s no chemistry to be found. For her part, Rowland is a delight to watch. The many turns she experiences fit her range, and she is effectively the heart of the film. Mea Culpa, to be fair, revs up and gets thrilling by the second half, when the chips start to fall and the twists unfold. But it’s too little too late, and they barely shock you at that point, that is if you’re still awake.

, 2024

To the untrained eye, a TV interview is just that: an interview, a simple (and at times rehearsed) back-to-back between a reporter and a subject. But Scoop is a thrilling reminder of how complex the process actually is, from the legwork to the questioning and even after airing. In the UK, that quest for truth is complicated by stringent palace rules and the fact that the BBC, which McAlister and her colleagues work for, is a publicly funded institution. How free is the free press when a Royal can call off a story, and how far are reporters willing to go to protect it? Scoop is bolstered by a smart script and a wealth of strong performance—Sewell is almost unrecognizable as Prince Andrew and Gillian Anderson is commanding as anchor Emily Maitlis. But the movie won’t be as strong as it is without Piper leading it; she’s relatable and entrancing as she works her way from underestimated underdog to compelling champion.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Alex Waldmann, Amanda Redman, Andrew MacBean, Aoife Hinds, Billie Piper, Charity Wakefield, Charlie Roe, Charlotte Avery, Christopher Fairbank, Colin Wells, Connor Swindells, Gillian Anderson, Gordon Warnecke, Harriet Benson, Jonathan Rhodes, Jordan Kouamé, Kate Fleetwood, Keeley Hawes, Lia Williams, Mark Noble, Mia Threapleton, Nicholas A. Newman, Nicholas Murchie, Paul Popplewell, Raffaello Degruttola, Richard Goulding, Romola Garai, Rufus Sewell, Tim Bentinck, Vangelis Christodoulou, Zach Colton

Director: Philip Martin

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.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Beren Saat, Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ, Michael Loayza, Senan Kara, Susan Slatin, Zihan Zhao

Director: Gönenç Uyanık

Rating: R

This is Me…Now is more than just a glorified music video. It’s a personal confessional for one, and a surprisingly effective comedy for another. In parts, Jennifer Lopez speaks to her therapist (Fat Joe) about the dreams she’s been having, which then give way to surreal sequences of Lopez singing songs off her latest album, all about love and personal growth. You’d have to be a fan of Lopez’s pop style to appreciate the music, but the choreography is mesmerizing and, dare I say, Lopez’s true strength. When she’s not regaling us with her thoughts on love, we have the Council of Zodiac Signs, played by a stacked cast that includes Jane Fonda, Sofia Vergara, and Trevor Noah, to humor us with their genuinely funny observations. Lopez obviously has a vision, and it’s admirably big and earnest, but the technical side of the film fails her. Except for the ornate storybook opener, most of the dream sequences are gray and sludgy, and they rarely reflect Lopez’s rose-tinted view of life. I wish the film had more light, but instead, we get melty, inferior CGI work that is just painful to look at. Some people might be able to forgive this, but because film is largely a visual medium, I find that it ultimately detracts from the experience.

Genre: Drama, Music

Actor: Alex West, Alexander Pelaez, Alix Angelis, Ashley Versher, Ben Affleck, Brandon Delsid, Carlito Olivero, Danielle Larracuente, Derek Hough, Fat Joe, Idaliz Christian, Jane Fonda, Jay Shetty, Jenifer Lewis, Jennifer Lopez, Jocelyn Marie, Keke Palmer, Kim Petras, Malcolm Kelner, Matthew Law, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Paul Raci, Post Malone, Sadhguru, Sofia Vergara, Trevor Jackson, Trevor Noah

Director: Dave Meyers

Rating: PG-13

To Catch a Killer feels like a limited series shrunken down to fit a movie’s runtime: its many ideas, though potentially compelling on their own, are so underserved by the breezy treatment here that they lose all value. The film wants to hit every hot button — misogyny in the police force, demagoguery on TV news channels, high-level corruption, white supremacy, and the mental health crisis — but its frantic box-ticking makes it feel like a speed-run of topical issues rather than anything genuinely reflective. 

The characters feel similarly underdeveloped, not least star Shailene Woodley’s, a Clarice Starling wannabe who winds up delivering emotional counseling to the film’s bafflingly motivated serial killer in just one of many implausible scenes. Add to that the cringe-inducing dialogue, which is crammed to bursting point with clunky metaphors, and you can call off the manhunt —  the script is the real killer here.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Adam LeBlanc, Alain Chanoine, Arthur Holden, Ben Mendelsohn, Benz Antoine, Bobby Brown, Chip Chuipka, Christian Jadah, Daniel Brochu, Darcy Laurie, Dawn Lambing, Dusan Dukic, Erniel Baez, Frank Schorpion, Heidi Foss, Jason Cavalier, Joan Hart, Jovan Adepo, Karine Dion, Lesley Pahl, Leyda Aleyli, Lilou Roy-Lanouette, Luc Morissette, Marcello Bezina, Mark Antony Krupa, Mark Camacho, Mark Day, Martyne Musau, Maurizio Terrazzano, Michael Cram, Michael Dozier, Nabil Khatib, Patrick Émmanuel Abellard, Patrick Labbé, Ralph Ineson, Richard Zeman, Rosemary Dunsmore, Sean Tucker, Shailene Woodley, Ted Pluviose, Teneisha Collins

Director: Damián Szifron

This was an uncomfortable, unnecessary mess of a movie—it’d be a lot faster to just go to Literotica or something. It’s got rough romance dialogue; everyone’s faces are always pressed so close together; and worst of all is even the fight scenes are awkward. Outside of storylines, music from Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish were made to be associated with this movie which mucks up their good name for people that haven't discovered them in neutral conditions. Caterina Ferioli’s performance as the film’s muse Nica, along with Nica’s warm girl-friendships, carries the entire thing to a semblance of watchability. But I'm not trying to give you hope, I'm saying just open your Incognito tab if you're here "for the plot."

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Alessandro Bedetti, Anna Cianca, Caterina Ferioli, Eco Andriolo Ranzi, Eugenio Krauss, Juju Di Domenico, Laura Baldi, Nicky Passarella, Orlando Cinque, Roberta Rovelli, Sabrina Paravicini, Simone Baldasseroni, Sveva Romano Candelletta

Director: Alessandro Genovesi

Rating: R