2 Movies Like The Strangers: Chapter 1 (2024)

Staff & contributors
With Netflix producing countless true crime documentaries, you’d be forgiven for dismissing How to Rob a Bank as usual, forgettable fare. But the documentary ever so slightly curbs cliches by focusing on a theme—in this case Hollywood, in honor of Scurlock’s pseudonym and love of movies—without losing sight of the bigger picture. Which is to say, directors Seth Porges and Stephen Robert Morse go all in the movie theme without giving way to cheesiness, mostly by honing in on Scurlock’s favorite films like Heat and Point Blank and effectively replicating the thrill of those action classics. It uses fine, storyboard-like illustrations that are mostly entertaining and nostalgic but occasionally quite beautiful, and borrows the same synth soundtrack from the said films. But it even though it initially sets Scurlock as the anti-hero, a Robin Hood of the times, its sympathies lie with the victims, the traumatized bank tellers and goers. It’s a smartly made and engaging film, complete with the quintessential shootouts and elaborate heists, and it thankfully doesn’t let the talking heads do all the work.

Genre: Crime, Documentary

Actor: Al Pacino, Chezca Vega, Gavin Langelo, Jeff Bezos, Jordan Burtchett, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Costner, Kurt Ostlund, Lesley Mirza, Lori Petty, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Swayze, Randy Lee, Robert De Niro, Scott Patey, Tristan McKinnon, Val Kilmer

Director: Seth Porges, Stephen Robert Morse

Rating: R

While most people were aware about the devastating atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, less people knew about the continued nuclear testing during the Cold War that occurred on American soil. Downwind shines a light on this in the usual documentary fashion, but it’s an important discussion to have, as the state government deemed nuclear testing in a cheaper place more urgent than the lives of the native Americans living near the plantation, and as the death of one of Hollywood’s leading men unable to even change this. While it was interesting to hear from Hollywood stars, Downwind works best in discussion with the Shoshone Nation, who bore the brunt of the consequences of nuclear fallout.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Lewis Black, Mark Dickson Deans, Martin Sheen, Michael Douglas, Patrick Wayne

Director: Douglas Brian Miller, Mark Shapiro