5 Movies Like The Marsh King's Daughter (2023)

Staff & contributors

South African director John Trengove follows-up his debut The Wound with another take on masculinity, this time set in the States. Manodrome stars Jesse Eisenberg and Adrien Brody as a newbie and a veteran in a support group for men who have been emasculated by women and feminism. That's right, this is a film about incel culture, but one you haven't seen before. In tandem with Taxi Driver, Fight Club, or Joker, Manodrome represents a new era for the incel movie, as it confronts all the terror and aggression feeding into the community head on. Ralphie (Eisenberg) insists that his girlfriend Sal (Odessa Young) keeps their unplanned baby and deep down the rabbit hole he goes. Mental health struggles that have no outlet, worries, disappointment, alienation: all these facets of Ralphie's character come to the fore and bring him to the Manodrome clan, where Dad Dan (Brody) promises two miracles—absolution and acceptance—in exchange for celibacy. Trengove's sophomore feature is a blood-curdling psychological thriller that is not afraid to go to extremes (content warning!) to show that incels are not, in fact, a dorky online minority of youngsters, but a real wound in the body of our patriarchal world.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Adam Wade McLaughlin, Adrien Brody, Brian Anthony Wilson, Caleb Eberhardt, Ethan Suplee, Evan Jonigkeit, Garrett Richmond, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonah Wharton, Lamar Johnson, Matthew Lamb, Odessa Young, Philip Ettinger, Riley Keough, Sallieu Sesay, Zia Anger

Director: John Trengove

Rating: R

Everyone has those days where nothing goes right, but no one’s having as bad of a day as detective Yuji Kudo is in Hard Days. It isn’t just that nothing goes right– everything goes wrong, and he’s just a hair away from losing it all each time. This Japanese adaptation might take a slightly more serious tone than the South Korean original, but it does retain its ridiculous escalation of increasingly terrible things that could possibly happen, with Junichi Okada and Go Ayano letting loose in their detective characters’ morally dubious behavior. Hard Day is a decent watch, if a bit bloated, especially for those familiar with the story.

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Akira Emoto, Go Ayano, Hayato Isomura, Junichi Okada, Kurumi Shimizu, Maho Yamada, Mario Kuroba, Ryoko Hirosue, Ryusuke Komakine, Takashi Yamanaka, Taro Suruga, Tetta Sugimoto

Director: Michihito Fujii

True crime stories set in the world of crypto are still relatively unexplored and therefore have a real contemporary edge to them; they feel more relatable because these criminals share the same online spaces we do. Bitconned taps into this with a more casual, carefree energy, but it also brings up the same concerns—namely: how helpful is it, really, to give this much attention to a con artist currently running free? The film spends most of its time explaining how its main characters built their scam then failed spectacularly at covering their tracks, but after a while even the entertainment of others' mistakes needs to be supported by more thorough analysis, which this documentary doesn't provide.

Genre: Crime, Documentary

Actor: Damian Williams, Ray Trapani, Robert Farkas, Sam Bankman-Fried, Sohrab Sharma

Director: Bryan Storkel

Rating: R

Yet another drama designed to be emotional without actually doing the heavy lifting to get us invested, Prisoner's Daughter takes the easy way out at every turn, mistaking its use of capital-I Issues and dramatic plot points for substantial writing. This doesn't mean that the film itself isn't still watchable and competently performed (by a typically strong Brian Cox, but especially by Kate Beckinsale); it just fails to make a statement about any of its disparate parts mashed together. At the end of the day, it feels as if the film doesn't have enough faith in the already complex and difficult relationship at its center, so it attempts to dress it up with prison, cancer, drug addicts, and epilepsy—which only cheapens what's already there.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Brian Cox, Christopher Convery, Chuti Tiu, Cinthia Moura, Ernie Hudson, Jon Huertas, Kate Beckinsale, Mark Kubr, Mark Oliver Everett, Tyson Ritter, Yonel Dorelis

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Rating: R

It's smart that If You Were the Last takes what's usually an overused romcom/fan-fiction scenario (two attractive people stuck in one place), acknowledges it, and uses it to fuel an entire a story. Unfortunately, the film also doesn't quite know where to go with it, insisting on having its cake and eating it too: that is, it wants to be annoyingly quirky and dead-serious about the consequences of infidelity at once, without the tonal balance to sell these contrasting sides. It's hard to feel for the central characters and their respective spouses still living on Earth because the film does so little to sketch out any of these people beyond surface-level feelings of desire and guilt. As much as it tries to convince us that big changes are happening within these protagonists, the film doesn't seem to be willing to enter any truly messy territory.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction

Actor: Andrew Farrier, Anthony Mackie, Bernard Hocke, Geoff Stults, Jason Bayle, Kaleka, Langston Fishburne, Missi Pyle, Natalie Morales, Sarah Voigt, Taylor Shurte, Zoë Chao

Director: Kristian Mercado Figueroa

Rating: R