10 Sundance Film Festival Gems That You Can Stream Right Now


The small mountain town of Park City, Utah is being invaded this week by thousands of movie lovers eager to see what's premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. But you don't have to be among them to enjoy the Sundance experience. Many of the festival's past hits are available to stream into your own home, where presumably you will not have to stand in line or wear a parka. If you'd like to program your own mini-festival, here are 10 Sundance world premieres to get you started. 

1. THE HOUSE OF YES (1997) 

Where to watch it: Amazon/iTunes

Parker Posey, the undisputed Queen of Sundance in the 1990s, won a Special Jury Recognition for her performance in this dark comedy about an unstable, Jackie Kennedy-obsessed young woman who gets very upset when her twin brother (Josh Hamilton) brings home a fiancée. Dysfunctional hilarity ensues as the family's old secrets come to light. The film was by Mark Waters, who later made Mean Girls.

2. HAMLET (2000)

Where to watch it: Amazon/iTunes

Sure, you've seen Hamlet before. But have you seen it set in modern-day New York City, with Ethan Hawke as the Dane, Kyle MacLachlan as Claudius, and Bill Murray as Polonius? Michael Almereyda (who made last year's Experimenter) retains the Bard's language while refitting everything to the present: Elsinore is a luxury hotel; eavesdropping is accomplished via hidden microphone; and instead of staging a play to embarrass his uncle, Hamlet makes an artsy short film. Nothing rotten here!

3. CHAIN CAMERA (2001)  


Where to watch it: Amazon

Want to feel hopeful about the future? Here's a documentary showing that the kids are all right. Or at least they were in 1999 to 2000, when this was shot. Kirby Dick gave video cameras to 10 high school students and had them film themselves for a week before passing the cameras along to someone else. Sixteen kids' weeks were chosen and distilled into the segments in Chain Camera, offering a unique view (and now something of a time capsule) of young life at the turn of the century.

4. MANIC (2001) 

Where to watch it: Amazon

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, future stars of Sundance hit 500 Days of Summer, first appeared together in this low-key drama set in a juvenile psychiatric ward. (Don Cheadle is here, too, as their tough but sympathetic doctor.) Shot on digital video at a time when digital video tended to make things look cheap, Manic overcomes its aesthetic limitations with believable characters and totally natural performances. 

5. PUMPKIN (2002) 

Where to watch it: Amazon/iTunes

Christina Ricci plays a Southern California sorority blonde who's paired up with a mildly disabled fellow named Pumpkin (Hank Harris) during a charity drive, disrupting her rich, clueless life. It's a sunny, exaggerated satire—think Bring It On meets Heathers—and there's an added level of curiosity: the directors, Anthony Abrams and Adam Larson Broder, never made another movie before or since. 


Where to watch it: Amazon/iTunes

Tom McCarthy is up for two Oscars this year for directing and co-writing Spotlight, but he started his directing career (after more than a decade as an actor) with this enormously pleasant comedy about a surly dwarf (Peter Dinklage) who inherits a rural train depot and reluctantly becomes friends with the locals (including Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale). The film won Sundance's Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award as well as the coveted, regular-people-like-this-too Audience Award.

7. THE SAVAGES (2007) 

Where to watch it: iTunes/Amazon

Not to be confused with Savages, the 2012 Oliver Stone movie, The Savages is a sharply funny comedy starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as over-educated, under-achieving siblings grappling with their father's impending death and their own midlife crises. Writer-director Tamara Jenkins' screenplay and Linney's lead performance were actually nominated for Oscars in 2008, but the film largely slipped away from public consciousness after that. 


Where to watch it: Netflix/Amazon/iTunes

There are some red flags on this one: it's a dark comedy about suicide, and it stars Robin Williams. To enjoy it requires not just a suspension of disbelief, but a suspension of taste. But if you can handle it, it's hilarious, as Williams plays a high school teacher who writes fake diaries to change students' perception of his loathsome son after the latter's death. It was written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, who has emerged as one of the most daring filmmakers in the business.

9. PARIAH (2011)

Where to watch it: Netflix/Amazon/iTunes

One of the more widely praised films at the 2011 festival was this drama about a 17-year-old black lesbian (Adepero Oduye) in Brooklyn trying to navigate her sexuality without upsetting her family. Coming-of-age dramas about gay teens aren't rare (especially at Sundance), but this one has an air of raw authenticity that many lack, and it offers a glimpse into a corner of American culture that will be new to a lot of viewers.


Where to watch it: Amazon/iTunes

It was just two years ago that this dramatic comedy about suicidal siblings—played by Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig—made waves in Park City and earned the festival's screenwriting prize. It went on to make just over $5 million in its limited theatrical release before being forgotten entirely. It deserved better, especially for fans of Hader and Wiig's un-fakeable comic chemistry.

Every New Movie, TV Series, and Special Coming to Netflix in May

Netflix is making way for loads of laughs in its library in May, with a handful of original comedy specials (Steve Martin, Martin Short, Carol Burnett, Tig Notaro, and John Mulvaney will all be there), plus the long-awaited return of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Here’s every new movie, TV series, and special making its way to Netflix in May.


27: Gone Too Soon

A Life of Its Own: The Truth About Medical Marijuana


Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures: Season 1

Beautiful Girls


God's Own Country

Hachi: A Dog's Tale

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous Live at Radio City

Mr. Woodcock

My Perfect Romance

Pocoyo & Cars

Pocoyo & The Space Circus

Queens of Comedy: Season 1

Reasonable Doubt

Red Dragon

Scream 2


Simon: Season 1

Sliding Doors


The Bourne Ultimatum

The Carter Effect

The Clapper

The Reaping

The Strange Name Movie

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Season 2




A Little Help with Carol Burnett


Busted!: Season 1

Dear White People: Volume 2

End Game

Forgive Us Our Debts

Kong: King of the Apes: Season 2


My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Tina Fey

No Estoy Loca

The Rain: Season 1


Faces Places


The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale



Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives


Dirty Girl

MAY 11

Bill Nye Saves the World: Season 3

Evil Genius: the True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist

Spirit Riding Free: Season 5

The Kissing Booth

The Who Was? Show: Season 1

MAY 13

Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife

MAY 14

The Phantom of the Opera

MAY 15

Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce: Season 4

Grand Designs: Seasons 13 - 14

Only God Forgives

The Game 365: Seasons 15 - 16

MAY 16


Mamma Mia!

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The Kingdom


MAY 18


Catching Feelings

Inspector Gadget: Season 4

MAY 19

Bridge to Terabithia

Disney’s Scandal: Season 7

Small Town Crime

MAY 20

Some Kind of Beautiful

MAY 21

Señora Acero: Season 4

MAY 22

Mob Psycho 100: Season 1

Shooter: Season 2

Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 2

Tig Notaro Happy To Be Here

MAY 23


MAY 24

Fauda: Season 2

Survivors Guide to Prison

MAY 25


Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life

The Toys That Made Us: Season 2

Trollhunters: Part 3

MAY 26

Sara's Notebook

MAY 27

The Break with Michelle Wolf

MAY 29

Disney·Pixar's Coco

MAY 30

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 4

MAY 31

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Howard Stern

Pop Culture
Solve a Murder Mystery (and Eat Cheesecake) with The Golden Girls

Something is rotten in the city of Miami. A murder has been committed—and nobody knows who’s behind the dastardly crime. The police are likely no match for the killer, so it’s up to the Golden Girls characters to combine their wits (over cheesecake, of course) to crack the case. But they can’t do it without your help.

That’s right: Peddler’s Village, a quaint shopping village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, is now offering a Golden Girls Murder Mystery dinner and show every Friday and Saturday night through August 25, 2018. The whodunit takes place at Peddler's Pub at the Cock 'n Bull Restaurant, at 7 p.m.

While the major plot details have been kept under wraps (it is a murder mystery, after all), we do know that Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia have "invited a couple of well known detectives to join the party and discuss their famous capers." And given that the show is titled "The Golden Girls: The Curse of Jessica Fletcher," we can only guess (and hope) that an amateur sleuth from Cabot Cove, Maine will be making an appearance.

It's not the first time Peddler's Pub has hosted the gals from Miami; the current show is a sequel of sorts to the original Golden Girls Murder Mystery that Peddler's Pub put on back in 2016. Fun fact: Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy beat out a room full of other Betty White sangria-drinking armchair detectives to correctly solve the mystery during its original run. (She has the mug to prove it.)

Tickets are $69.95 per person, and you can make a reservation (which is required) by calling 215-794-4051. As for what you'll be dining on: You can scope out the menu online (and yes, the Girls’ favorite dessert is involved).


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