5. The Wedding Banquet (1993)
> Directed by: Ang Lee
> Starring: Winston Chao, May Chin, Ah-Lei Gua
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
> Available on: Vudu, VUDU Free, Pluto TV, Hoopla
Ang Lee’s hilarious rom-com is about a gay landlord in New York who wants to please his traditional Taiwanese parents by marrying his female tenant in a marriage of convenience. Then a series of farcical situations ensue. The film has a 96% Freshness score on Rotten Tomatoes, and 87% of audiences enjoyed “The Wedding Banquet.” Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Tribune called the movie “a very adroit and entertaining social comedy.”
4. Pariah (2011)
> Directed by: Dee Rees
> Starring: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis
> Genre: Drama
> Available on: Vudu, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Starz Play Amazon Channel, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, FlixFling, Redbox, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW, Apple iTunes
This coming-of-age film tells the story of a 17-year-old African American woman from Brooklyn as she finds her way through adolescence. The movie — described in its Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus as “pulsing with authenticity” — has a 95% Freshness rating from critics. Audience members were slightly more reserved, with 82% enjoying it.
3. Raising Victor Vargas (2002)
> Directed by: Peter Sollett
> Starring: Victor Rasuk, Donna Maldonado, Kevin Rivera
> Genre: Drama, Romance
> Available on: Amazon Video, Amazon Prime Video, Apple iTunes, Kanopy, VUDU Free
Peter Sollett directed and co-wrote this film about a teenage Romeo living on Manhattan’s Lower East Side trying to balance his life with an eccentric grandmother, a new girlfriend, and a bothersome brother. The film resonated with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, who gave “Raising Victor Vargas” a Freshness score of 96%, and 83% of audiences liked the movie.
2. Fresh (1994)
> Directed by: Boaz Yakin
> Starring: Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson
> Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
> Available on: Google Play Movies, Amazon Video, YouTube, Hoopla, Pluto TV, Microsoft Store, Vudu, FandangoNOW
The directorial debut from filmmaker Boaz Yakin (“Remember the Titans”) portrays a 12-year-old drug courier who devises a plan to free himself and his family from the clutches of his criminal employers. The urban drama impressed 87% of the critics who reviewed it on Rotten Tomatoes and did even better amongst audience members, with a 92% approval rating.
1. The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
> Directed by: John Sayles
> Starring: Jeni Courtney, Eileen Colgan, Mick Lally
> Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy
> Available on: Amazon Video, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu
Critics hailed the direction of John Sayles’ “The Secret of Roan Inish.” The movie tells the story of a young girl staying with her grandparents in Donegal, Ireland, who believes a wild child on the island of Roan Inish is her long-lost little brother. The family film is considered one of the best movies of the 1990s. It has a 95% rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 87% rating among audiences.