Watch List Weekly Recap 12/4/21

Watch List Weekly Recap 12/4/21

This is the Friday recap of Ty Burr’s Watch List postings for the week. If you’d like to receive this weekly email ONLY, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” uncheck every box except “Weekly Digest.” If you’d prefer to not receive it at all, uncheck just “Weekly Digest.”

What, if anything, does a movie owe to the book on which it’s based? Should a critic make a point of reading the source novel? Should a moviegoer? Or is the film the thing? In the Tuesday thread I mulled over all these matters and so did readers.

The Tuesday Thread: Should you read the book?
I’ll be writing something about Jane Campion’s excellent new film, “The Power of the Dog,” when it debuts on Netflix on Wednesday, but for the moment I want to pose a question: What does a movie owe to the book on which it was based? I ask because Netflix sent critics a copy of the 1967 source novel by the late Thomas Savage, and I could have read it be…

Wednesday’s spotlight was on “The Power of the Dog,” a fierce new western drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst (pictured) and directed by Jane Campion (in theaters and on Netflix). Also: Reviews of “House of Gucci” and “Licorice Pizza,” both in theaters.

The Nut Graf: “The Power of the Dog” (on Netflix, ***1/2 stars out of ****), from Jane Campion, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a brutal Montana cattle rancher. “Licorice Pizza” (in theaters, *** stars out of ****) is middle-drawer Paul Thomas Anderson but a great showcase for Alana Haim.

It was a Netflix kind of week, I guess. The Friday newsletter rounded up 12 films currently playing on the service that you might not have heard of but that you may well enjoy. Dramas, comedies, B-flicks, art films — something for everyone.

12 Good Movies on Netflix Right Now
Not long after I started the Watch List in July, I did a deep dive into the Netflix catalogue in an effort to figure out why their film pickings are so slim. (Short answer: Movies aren’t really part of the company’s streaming business plan anymore; TV series and Netflix “originals” are.) Out of the 3,800 or so feature films offered by the service, I ide…

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