Melissa Roth

Melissa Roth has written for Rolling Stone, VanityFair.com, Marie Claire, and The Washington Post, among other outlets.
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Flee

The most urgent and relevant Oscar-nominated film of 2022, Flee is a deeply personal documentary about a man’s childhood as a refugee that inspires as it creates empathy for those forced out of their homelands.

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Charlie Wilson’s War

A suddenly timely look back at how the U.S. first escalated involvement with Afghanistan in the 1980s, told through an eye-opening story that feels like it had to be made up by its Oscar-winning screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin.

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The Last Letter from Your Lover

A date night movie that transports you to a lush 1960s French Riviera, the adaptation of the JoJo Moyes novel entwines two eras and two sharply contrasted romances, delivering a wistful summer escape watch.

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Sex and Lucía

A cinephile’s choice for a Netflix and Chill night, Sex and Lucia is a steamy and intoxicating portrait of two lovers … and their other lovers … that explores the blurry lines between reality and imagination, love and lust, tragedy and obsession.

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My Neighbor Totoro

A joyful, enchanting classic, My Neighbor Tortoro is the rare film that can captivate all ages, from young kids to their parents and grandparents.

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Origin Story: How Friends Became the Ultimate Watercooler Hit

After a year-long delay due to the pandemic, the much-anticipated Friends Reunion Special finally has a “stream date”:  Thursday, May 27th, a tribute to its original “Must-See TV” night.  The big event has already driven legions of fans sign up for HBOMax, turning the service into “Must Stream TV.” David Janollari was a young development

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I May Destroy You

An addictive, provocative, Emmy-nominated limited series that challenges how we think and feel about our own relationships – romantic, platonic, and professional. Creator and star Michaela Coel captivates.

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Dolores

A gripping history lesson that also sheds light on the methods, risks, and compromises required to organize and sustain a movement.

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I Am Greta

Surprising and inspiring, I Am Greta is a testament to the power of one voice — no matter the age.  Watch it with the disenchanted young student in your life.

Melissa Roth

Melissa Roth has written for Rolling Stone, VanityFair.com, Marie Claire, and The Washington Post, among other outlets.
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Black-ish: “The Juneteenth Episode”

In 30 comedic minutes, this special “Juneteenth” episode manages to give insight into the end of slavery in the United States—the date it actually ended, how it was ended, and what happened after it did.

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Can You Ever Forgive Me?

At first glance a true crime story, the film is actually a look at how poverty, loneliness and imposter syndrome can seduce someone into creating a false reality.

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Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Is it technically a silly stoner comedy from the early 2000s? Yes. But it’s also about the struggles of being young, what it means to “figure things out,” and how you should exit your comfort zone to embrace both youth and maturity.

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Fruitvale Station

Based on a true story, the film is a poignant and powerful snapshot of a life interrupted, cut brutally short without warning.

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Time: The Kalief Browder Story

This series that goes behind the headlines to get to the raw truths about what happened to 16-year-old Kalief Browder, who ended up in Rikers for three years for allegedly stealing a backpack.

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The North Pole

A metaphor for the effects of gentrification, complete with endangered native “species”—the human population.

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Kingdom

Packed with horror, action and gore, not to mention a deeper exploration of political game. Season 2’s story focuses on the power struggles amid an epidemic.

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Little Fires Everywhere

A series full of powerful lines and dramatic turns that would give the cast of Desperate Housewives a run for their money.

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The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy is a wildly imaginative take on the superhero genre, but it works mainly because of the strong characters and dysfunctional family at its core.

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Rutherford Falls

Rutherford Falls is a clever and sweet satire similar to Michael Schur’s other half-hour comedies. Like Parks and Recreation and The Good Place, it’s surprisingly deep and deserves just as much attention.

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Cha Cha Real Smooth

Cha Cha Real Smooth is a sweet, intimate antidote to all the noisy summer blockbusters out there. Filmmaker Cooper Raiff proves he’s someone to keep a close eye on.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Love, Death + Robots

Netflix’s animated anthology Love, Death + Robots includes so many worthwhile episodes, but these 10 are a great place to start.

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We are Lady Parts

This is a funny, endearing, fresh show that demonstrates what proper representation looks like.

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Why I’m Watching Ms. Marvel and You Should Too

Ms. Marvel delivers the representation Muslims finally deserve. And you don’t have to be Muslim to appreciate it.

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Fire Island

Fire Island is one of the best gay films released in recent memory. It’s funny, it’s romantic, and it is beautifully written, acted, and directed. It may not win Oscars–comedies rarely do; gay films more rarely still–but it is an instant classic that critics and audiences will be citing for years.

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