Poetry is a masterpiece from one of South Korea's most cherished movie directors, Lee Chang-dong. The simple story follows the everyday life of a grandmother, Mija, who works as a caretaker for a living. To fill her inner emptiness, she decides to join a poetry club with other grandmothers in her neighborhood. Meanwhile, as Mija deals with her own financial and health problems, she struggles to connect with her teenage grandson — only to find out that he is keeping a dark secret. If you are familiar with Lee Chang-dong works, then you know that the movie will tug at your heartstrings. But if you aren't, prepare to be moved.
19 Best TV-PG Movies to Watch
Find the best movies rated TV-PG, as per MPAA rating standards. These recommendations are at the same time acclaimed by critics and highly-rated by users.
This story of a filmmaker who stayed in Aleppo, Syria during the war, got married then had a child called Sama, is a mix of difficult and inspiring.
There are stories of unsurmountable loss, as the filmmaker’s husband is one of the 30 remaining doctors in Aleppo (a city of almost 5 million), and she films many of the victims that come to his hospital. But while this is happening, there are also uplifting stories of resilience and rare but profound moments of laughter and joy.
We’re growing too sensitized to violence in Syria, and this movie, possibly the most intimate account of the war, can stir back a much-needed awareness of the injustices that take place.
When things get really bad in the documentary, it’s hard not to wonder where the humanity is in all of this. You quickly realize that it’s right there, behind the camera, in Sama and her mother’s will to live.
Abbot Elementary is a mockumentary that follows a group of well-meaning but cash-strapped teachers trying to make their school a better place. The premise sounds simple enough, but the show's big heart and sharp observations about the rotting U.S. education system make it a breath of fresh air in the sitcom world. Abbot Elementary's characters are funny and likable, while also being fearless, defined, and nuanced.
The show manages to do the seemingly impossible: genuinely and lightheartedly uplift the people it represents. It shines some much-needed light on the public service these undervalued teachers provide, without ever sounding too preachy or patronizing: an impressive feat for such a progressive show.
The Netflix four-part miniseries Lost Ollie is a bit like if Toy Story was adapted into a live-action dramedy. You’ll recognize the premise immediately: lost toy comes to life and loyally sets out on a journey to find its kid. But stuffed in between those points are poignant moments and reflections about life, family, and being.
The film isn’t also afraid to touch on darker themes, so if you’ve always wished for a slightly more mature but still kid-friendly version of this narrative—and if you’re a fan of the likes of Paddington the Velveteen Rabbit—then you’ll enjoy Lost Ollie.
This docuseries follows six couples from Japan, the U.S., Spain, Brazil, and India, as they share their stories of a lifelong partnership.
It might sound like any other Netflix Original, but there are no twists or turns, and it never feels forced or aimed at a trend. Instead, it’s a mirror of the peacefulness that the couples have built together: a tender and simple existence that’s impossible not to aspire to.
The first episode follows a couple in Vermont who maintained the last farm in their area until passing it on to their son. Once high-school sweethearts, Ginger and David went on to have six children, and stay married for 60 years.
This life of quiet doesn’t necessarily mean an easy life, especially as the two have to pick between expenses like affording care or getting their grandchildren birthday gifts. Their biggest concern at this point is making it easy for their children after their passing, which carries its own weight.
This movie’s energy is completely intoxicating.
It’s the directorial debut of renown British/Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, but it feels like the work of a veteran.
In a true story told in English and Chichewa (a language from Malawi), a young boy is expelled from school because his parents couldn’t afford tuition. At the same time, his village is struck by a variety of natural circumstances that bring them the threat of drought and famine.
The young boy sneaks into the library in the hopes of making a windmill and saving his village, and you can guess what follows from the title.
The triumph of engineering and a boy with a dream; mix in an incredibly interesting culture, full of unique family dynamics and a thought-provoking intersection between religion, tradition, and technology. The result is a delicate but uplifting movie, not to be missed.
This comedy-drama is about a British family that moves from England to Corfu, Greece, in hopes of a better life.
At first the cultural shocks and mishaps are hilarious, but The Durells quickly becomes a heartfelt drama centered around the mother, who has to push through a lack of money, new responsibilities and a sense of loneliness on top of the cultural adjustment.
Every episode of Better Off Ted starts with a satirical commercial from Veridian Dynamics, a multinational that does just about anything: biotech, weaponry, food, clothes, furniture. A soothing, soulless voice narrates the ad as happy, empty stock footage fills the screen: they can get you anything you please as long as it pleases them more. Money before people, goes the company motto, and there seems to be nothing that can stop them from achieving this goal.
Except perhaps for Ted and his small research and development team. As the conscience of Veridian Dynamics, he mediates between his amoral supervisors and hardworking colleagues and sticks up for the little guy as best as he can. He looks for the slim silver lining in every project he’s assigned, but the hijinks that ensue are both silly and sinister, highlighting the inherent contradiction of ideas like “family company” or “work-life balance.”
Released in 2009 and cut short by ABC after its second-season run, Better Off Ted is an impressively prescient show that holds its own in a TV age obsessed with satirizing corporate culture. It tackles topics like racially-biased tech and meatless meat before they’ve even entered mainstream knowledge. It lacks some of the warmth and character depth you may be used to in typical half-hour sitcoms, but if you’re looking for something wickedly sharp, Better Off Ted is the way to go.
5 Centimeters per Second is a quiet, beautiful anime about the life of a boy called Takaki, told in three acts over the span of seventeen years. The movie explores the experience and thrill of having a first love, as well as being someone else’s. In depicting how delicate it is to hold special feelings towards another, director Makoto Shinkai also perfectly captures how cruel the passing of time can be for someone in love. While the early stage of the movie maintains a dreamy mood, as the stories develop we become thrust back into reality, where it is not quite possible to own that which we want the most. All things considered, 5 Centimeters per Second is a story about cherishing others, accepting reality, and letting people go.
The Automat is a charming documentary about the historic place it names—a spacious self-service cafeteria that fed thousands of people during a good part of the 20th century. Through nostalgic footage and delightful interviews with the likes of Mel Brooks, Howard Schultz, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, The Automat successfully convinces you that more than just some gimmick, it was a cultural landmark, a piece of Americana whose existence alone taught an entire generation integral values like democracy, diversity, and hard work. It’s also straight-up hilarious, especially when Brooks attempts to direct the film himself, or other subjects salivate as they recall the Automat’s unbeatable menu. It’s more anecdotal than academic, so if you’re looking for a sweet, sentimental, and simple watch, this is it.
A quiet documentary that was released to celebrate the British Royal Air Force's centenary, Spitfire tells the story of the famous plane that younger audiences might only recognize from movies like Dunkirk or Darkest Hour. It features gorgeous footage of the last remaining planes in service flying over the British coast, testimonies from pilots who are still alive and a reminder of the key role that this plane once served. It feels like an attempt to capture and archive the importance of the plane, but also of its pilots, who for the most part were young kids with little training, but who, with time, learned valuable lessons from warfare. A must for aviation fans and a great option for anyone looking for a quiet movie to watch with their family (grandparents included).
Full of charm and nostalgia, Bang Woo-ri’s first feature film is a love letter to the late 90s—and to the heartstopping experience of first love, as high school student Na Bo-ra tries to get to know her friend’s crush Baek Hyun-jin. While at times immature, she comes across as endearing through Kim Yoo-jung’s charismatic, devoted performance. And as the Na Bo-ra goes through all the ways people wooed each other in the 90s—figuring out each other's phone numbers, filming each other through old camcorders, renting out VHS tapes—the film evokes memories of our own first loves. Even with some underdeveloped characters and certain contrived moments, 20th Century Girl is still a stunning picture of young love at the turn of the century.
As far as newsroom dramas go, Alaska Daily is on the cheesier side, its structure hewing closer to network television than cinematic streaming. There's always a lesson to be learned and an evil to be exposed, which leaves little room for gray areas. But ultimately, the series is smart, good-hearted, and clear about what it stands for, namely, the importance of community journalism and ethical storytelling.
It's also plain riveting to watch; each episode unravels the main mysteries (that of government corruption and indigenous neglect) along with a side mystery that may seem incidental at first, but proves to be central to the themes the show plays with. The series also looks into the intersection between the press, politics, and crime, proving that journalism isn't as clean nor heroic as it may sometimes seem.
Showrunner Tom McCarthy was also the brain behind the award-winning newspaper drama Spotlight, so it's not surprising to see his precise insights about the craft make their way into this series. But to be sure, Alaska Daily is no Spotlight, or for that matter, The Newsroom. It's neither fast-paced nor splashy, but it's all the better without being those. Alaska Daily is about the little guys, and as that, it succeeds.