10 great adult movies that are hidden on Disney +

Subscribing to Disney+ in order to find great adult movies would be like subscribing to Penthouse in search of the quality of the texts. And yet famous writers like Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs once wrote for publications considered pornographic.

Forgive the parallelism, especially in the case of a platform mainly aimed at the little ones in the house, but in this series of pieces that we have been doing for a few months in EL PAÍS with the best cinema of the main companies of streaming, the stop in search of titles of excellence for adults, in the mother house of cartoons, of entertainment without pause or measure, of superheroes and goofy series, has something of a paradox. Even so, rummaging through the carousel of products for kids (or grown-ups with the soul of a child), many of them excellent, there is a good handful of moviegoing possibilities exclusively for adults. Few, yes, from decades prior to the seventies, but from later years. So, if you are subscribed only for and for the enjoyment of your children, know that there are good opportunities for you too. The ten films in this selection, moreover, can only be seen at this time through Disney +.

– QuizShow. The dilemma (1994), by Robert Redford.

The television program that triumphs in each historical moment of each country says a lot about that place, its citizens, its time, its way of living and acting. In the late 1950s, in the United States immediately after McCarthyism and before political assassinations and government corruption, a trivia quiz show keeps the nation on the lookout for its winners. But the space is rigged. It is played with the illusion and with the confidence of the viewer. Redford, magnificent heir to the so-called compromise generation of directors, the one formed by names like Sydney Pollack, Arthur Penn and Alan J. Pakula, with whom he had worked as an actor, recovers his political consciousness to analyze not only a television program and its internal functioning, but the political and moral foundations of an entire country, with a critical, deep, sophisticated and charismatic film, around dignity, work, sacrifice, reputation, freedom, shame, power, image, envy, honesty and, above all, money.

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The last night (2002), by Spike Lee.

David Benioff, who would later become famous as one of the creators of the series Game of Thrones, he adapted his own novel with the strength of the great minimal stories that transcend to the maximum. The sinking of a man, parallel to the sinking of a city, New York, rotates a year earlier with the attack on the Twin Towers. The mistakes, always the mistakes, in this case those of a young drug dealer who has become rich and who, betrayed by someone close to him, must spend seven years in prison. The film recounts the last hours before confinement: the abyss of the night, of passion, of the forbidden, of the hidden, of the murky. Edward Norton, Rosario Dawson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper and Brian Cox, second to none. And Lee, in a work initially alien to his world, shines with an expressive direction full of details: breaks in the axis, looks at the camera, subjective shots and sound suppressions. What could have been and what was, with a halo of hope, to the rhythm of Terence Blanchard’s solemn soundtrack.

– Marriage of convenience (1990), by Peter Weir.

After Sole witness, The coast of the mosquitoes Y Dead poets society, written by the hands of others, Weir delved into a more personal project of smaller proportions, which he was responsible for producing, directing and writing. Then perhaps it was seen as one more of the abundant romantic comedies of the nineties. Recovered today, it is a prodigy of finesse, narration and gaze. The first quarter of an hour, with successive and wonderful ellipses, is a subtle and at the same time energetic film course, in which Weir takes the action just where it is not expected, failing to show what most directors would have taught. The marriage of convenience between the cold, beautiful and orderly Andie MacDowell and the volcanic verve of Gérard Depardieu is doomed in advance: they are two irreconcilable worlds, like those of Sole witness. The stranger in a strange land who fails to change the behavior of those already established, one of the great axes of Weir’s solid career, has his most unique contribution in this beautiful comedy.

– The prophecy (1976), by Richard Donner.

Paradigm of adult terror of the time, along with works such as The Exorcist Y At the end of the stairs, In recent years, Donner’s film has acquired an even more social and interesting interpretation, deployed in two ways. First, because of the myth of “bad mothers”, and the trauma that caring for children can entail, represented by a mother far removed from the stereotype of affection, exquisite and professional care. And second, because of the widespread opinion of the “right to be parents”, regardless of who weighs and falls who falls, with the consequent illegal adoptions. Lee Remick distrusts his son for well-founded reasons, and anticipates in a certain sense characters like We need to talk about Kevin. Donner, then 36 years old, masterfully directs the worst possible idea: that your son be, directly, Evil with capital letters. The charisma of Gregory Peck and the memorable perfidy of Willie Whitelaw, Samuel Beckett’s muse, complete a portentous film.

– The fly (1986), by David Cronenberg.

The mutations of the body are at the base of the complete works of Cronenberg, and what better conversion than that of the scientist who transformed into a fly from the original film of the same name, directed by Kurt Neumann in 1956. Now, the Canadian filmmaker, faithful to his cinema of the New Flesh, more than a transformation, what he sought was a complete chaos, a fusion between two different genetic models. With just three characters and a special guest, The fly, Almost a camera film, it raises society’s fear of meat, reaching dangerous conceptual heights: the creation of a second nature. The archetype of the mad scientist played by Jeff Goldblum, together with the tragic love story that usually accompanies the model, thus leads to a painful figure that, symbolically, can be associated even with a much more common disease. In fact, in one of the conversations in the film, they even talk about “a rare form of cancer”.

– French connection II (1975), by John Frankenheimer.

Four years after William Friedkin won the Oscar for best picture at a time for American cinema full of masterpieces, Frankenheimer dared to continue the story of the policeman Popeye Doyle, on the hunt for the elegant drug dealer Charnier, with a second delivery even more paranoid and overwhelming, set in a dirty and inhospitable Marseille. Gene Hackman and Fernando Rey are separated this time by a group of French policemen as eager to put an end to crime as they are suspicious of the work of that violent American who is unaware of the city and his methods. And Frankenheimer, aware that the car chases through the streets of New York in the first installment were unbeatable, applies himself with a historic eight-minute foot chase, commanded by prodigious subjective shots. A bloody descent into drug hell, with a setting that borders on documentary thanks to the shots of the city and its people through telephoto lenses.

– Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), by Sean Durkin.

In times of crisis of traditional religions, but with the same loneliness as always, and with the need for shelter, support and a certain spirituality, the sects offer a false hope disguised as calm, which in reality contains a more than probable grave. The story alternates the two years of a young woman (the magnificent, and now star, Elizabeth Olsen) in the bosom of one of these cliques of love, peace, sexual abuse and self-destruction, and her subsequent attempt to recover for a life conventional. Durkin, unfortunately not too prolific, has only signed since Martha Marcy MayMarlene, shocking debut of an unusual and fascinating title, a television miniseries in the United Kingdom, Southcliffe (2013), and a work for cinemas that in Spain had to be seen through a platform more than a year after its premiere: The Nest (2020). Of course, the two, the series and the movie, were also splendid.

final verdict (1982), by Sydney Lumet.

At what point does a loser sunk in economic, social and moral misery cease to be, and decide to try to fight against insurmountable windmills, in order to recover his honor? Lumet frames that moment in a hospital, where an alcoholic shyster takes photos of a woman who, due to an error in anesthesia, has been left “like a vegetable”. He prepares a lawsuit that he has won beforehand: $210,000 in compensation for an out-of-court settlement. But, from that illumination —Paul Newman with a lost look—, the loser rebels against the alms that power has decided to grant to the family. A power that, in this case, is the Catholic Church, to which the hospital belongs. Lumet, a great filmmaker of corruption, composes between the gloomy shadows of Andrzej Bartkowiak’s photography the chilling and sober portrait of desolation, martyrdom and redemption, and one of the most influential judicial films of all time.

-Rushmore Academy (1998), by Wes Anderson.

Sounds Nothin’ in the World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ‘Bout that Girl, of the Kinks, as Bill Murray tosses golf balls into a swimming pool, and one couldn’t be happier admiring the four corners of a picture with delight. Contrast, tone modulation, melancholy, daring. He then climbs onto the diving board while downing a whiskey and doing a perfect bomb on the water. Sometimes cinema is as simple and as profound as Rushmore Academy. For those of us who are not fans of Anderson, perhaps his best film. Adolescence is just that: a strange period of insolence and peculiar aspirations. Like those of Max Fischer, a role designed for the unique physical and acting ways of Jason Schwarztman, an aspiring casanova with a teacher twice his age, whom he treats successively as a lackey and as a madman. But who is the teenager, Schwarztmann’s character or Murray’s? The frontality in Anderson’s staging, and his eternal collection of wonderful songs, make a target in a film that would have fascinated Hal Ashby of Harold and Maude.

– The descendants (2011), by Alexander Payne.

Does Payne write dramas that flow like comedies, or comedies in which the pain of living always underlies? As in About SchmidtBetween glasses and the later Nebraska, the American director articulates a strambote about the absurdity of certain situations of our existence, and the moral decisions that sometimes surround it. A woman in a coma; even if she wakes up, she will never be like her before. And what was she like? Happy, fun, free, alcoholic, adulterous. So her moral decision rests with her husband: unplug her from the machines that keep her alive, and bid her a good farewell. The (im)possible farewell. Payne delves into the origins of the family institution, offers a blessed defense to all his characters, and leaves a sentence for eternity, related to education: “Give your children enough money, but not so much that they do nothing” .

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