2 Movies Like The Return of the King (1980)

Staff & contributors

This fascinating documentary traces the roots of freestyling back to the rhythmic sermons of Baptist preachers, the improvisational energy of jazz music, and the spoken word artistry of the civil rights era’s Last Poets — but, like the form of rap it chronicles, it largely exists in the moment. The ephemeral nature of freestyling makes it a tricky thing to bottle, but The Art of Rhyme does so by mimicking the freewheeling energy of the MCs onscreen. And there are many legends of the medium featured here: from underground titans like Supernatural and Craig G (whose epic battles are shown here) to big names who crossed over into recording success like Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and even precious footage of a 17-year-old Notorious BIG. It’s as enlightening as you’d hope, but what makes this documentary such an impressive portrait of freestyle are all the ways it mirrors the impulsive, quick-thinking philosophy of the form in little over an hour.

Genre: Documentary, Music

Actor: Akim Funk Buddah, Bahamadia, Bobbito Garcia, Boots Riley, Debi Mazar, DJ Kool Herc, Eluard Burt, John Coltrane, Muhammad Ali, Planet Asia, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Yasiin Bey

Director: Kevin Fitzgerald

There’s something frightening about being consistently spurned due to circumstances out of your control. This is the main concern of Pulimada’s Vincent, since he’s not marriage material due to his family’s history of mental illness. The twisty plot is reminiscent of old gothic mysteries, complete with a tiger metaphor, but the execution is off, especially since it takes more than two thirds of the film before there’s anything to fear. It’s clear that Pulimada has an engaging, though dated concept, and Joju George’s transformation for Vincent could have definitely gotten there. But entering this tiger’s den feels like a letdown when there’s no risk, no style, no intrigue in the film’s approach.

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Actor: Abu Salim, Aishwarya Rajesh, Balachandra Menon, Chemban Vinod Jose, Dileesh Nair, Jaffer Idukki, Jeo Baby, Johny Antony, Joju George, Krishna Prabha, Lijomol Jose

Director: A K Sajan