Holiday Streaming Picks: Surprise and Delight

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 17 Dec 2015

Here are a few movies now available on Amazon Video that are worth watching — or watching again. May they surprise, delight, inform, and entertain you and your family long past this holiday season. — Bret Federigan

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Joan Allen in Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

Here's a heartwarming dog movie for all ages. Based on a true story, this 2009 drama focuses on the extraordinary relationship between an Akita and his owner. Richard Gere plays Parker Wilson, a professor who comes upon an abandoned dog at the train station and names it Hachiko. When nobody claims the pup, his family decides to keep him, and Parker develops a tremendous bond with the animal. Over time, Hachi demonstrates incredible loyalty to his owner, despite difficult circumstances.

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Jiro Ono in Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

Never before have rice and fish looked so sumptuous on screen as they do in this charming, unassuming documentary that focuses on the art, discipline, and passion of 85-year-old Jiro Ono. In the basement of a Tokyo office building, the sushi master runs his renowned restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, where he doles out tiny masterpieces for the eyes and stomachs of a wide range of devoted customers ranging from the Japanese everyman to world-class chefs. This film, however, is more than just a chronicle of the day-to-day running of a beloved sushi restaurant. It captures one man's relentless pursuit of perfection.

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Sarah Polley in Stories We Tell (2012)

Stories We Tell (2012)

Director Sarah Polley turns the camera on her parents in this tender, absorbing, and deeply personal documentary that uncovers the power of stories that remain untold among a family of storytellers. In exploring the relationship between her parents Michael and Diane, Polley finds truth elusive: It all depends on who's telling the story. She finds herself constantly negotiating between myth and reality as she slowly comes to form a true portrait of her family and her own identity.

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Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now (2013)

The Spectacular Now (2013)

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley star as Sutter and Aimee, two high schoolers who learn a whole lot about love and themselves in this winsome romantic comedy based on Tim Tharp's novel. The pair develop a strong relationship despite their differing backgrounds and worldviews. This tender coming-of-age film captures the sheer exhilaration of adolescent discovery as memorably as any teen movie in recent years.

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David Oyelowo in Selma (2014)

Selma (2014)

Here's a movie worth watching again and again. Ava DuVernay's 2014 film, released in time for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965, documents a pivotal and heroic period of American history, in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) helps a nation wake up to the realities of racial injustice. The movie covers a period of three months where, despite violent opposition, King Jr. and other civil rights heroes take to their feet to demonstrate their commitment to a cause that culminates in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This is an important story of epic proportions, inhabited by larger-than-life historical figures.

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