To help you navigate through the 11,000+ hours of content available on SBS on Demand, CW has compiled a list of nine of the best movies available in 2021 on the popular, free streaming platform.
Accompanied only by her faithful dog and four camels, a young Australian explorer turned writer satisfies her craving for solitude by embarking on a solo trip across the desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean.
Starring Canberra actor Mia Wasikowska and now Hollywood A-lister Adam Driver and based on a true story, Tracks takes viewers on a slow-paced but worthwhile journey across the Northern Territory with spectacular on-location footage from some extremely remote areas, and excellent performances from its leads and supporting cast.
Tracks is available on SBS on Demand until 31 March 2021.
This critically acclaimed 2016 slice-of-life, character-driven movie follows Paterson (Adam Driver), a bus driver and budding poet who lives in Paterson, New Jersey for a week.
Gorgeously shot on location in the town itself, director Jim Jarmusch revels in long, lingering scenes showcasing the beauty found in the simplicity and humility of everyday life. A restrained, emotive performance from Driver makes Paterson work, complementing Jarmusch’s vision.
Whether this film is a self-indulgent Indie-light or deep and introspective darling is really for the viewer to decide. An argument could be made both ways, but Paterson gets a strong endorsement here.
Paterson is available on SBS on Demand until 31 March.
The Italian Job (PG)
The cars, the cast, the clothes, the action, the locations, the soundtrack, and that famous cliff-hanger ending! The Italian Job (1969) is a classic widely regarded as one of the best British movies of all time, and rightly so, it brings a lot to the table.
Starring Michael Caine as Charlie Croker, the leader of a cockney criminal gang released from prison with the intention of doing a “big job” in Italy to steal gold bullion from an armoured security truck.
It went on to receive a 2003 Hollywood remake that starred Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, and the new Mini Cooper, in what served as both a homage and some very in-your-face product placement.
The Italian Job is available on SBS on Demand until 30 April.
Cold War (M)
Music is central in this cinematic romance set in post-WWII Poland, although it’s not a musical. The story follows a young Polish woman, Zula, who’s voice and star quality immediately stand out to Soviet state talent scouts at auditions for a folk music ensemble. The leader of the ensemble, Wiktor, falls in love with Zula and for a time they travel and perform together in the troupe designed to inspire national pride. But when a chance to escape to the West goes awry, so too does their love story. Director Pawal Pawlikowski weaves beauty and tragedy masterfully in this lyrical black and white treasure.
Cold War is available on SBS on Demand until 31 May.
By Rosa Ritchie
This Icelandic 2015 drama has been widely regarded both in its motherland and abroad.
It tells the story of two sheep farming brothers, Kiddi and Gummi, who live in adjacent houses on the family farm yet have stubbornly not spoken to each other for 40 years.
For Kiddi, his temper and alcoholism have caused friction, while Gummi has long resented Kiddi over his prize-winning ram.
The film was shot with anamorphic lenses to impart the feeling of a western, capturing the sparse, rugged splendour of rural Iceland.
Rams has resonated widely due to the universal relatability of family conflicts, and even had a 2020 Australian remake starring Sam Neil, Michael Caton and Asher Keddie.
Rams is available on SBS on Demand until 31 May.
The Red Turtle (PG)
The Red Turtle is a silent animated movie about a shipwreck survivor’s engagement with his tropical island surrounds.
Inspired by Robinson Crusoe, in it, the survivor castaway tries desperately to float back to civilisation until an encounter with an enormous red turtle changes everything for him.
An exploration of key themes isolation, solitude and immersion in nature, the 2016 movie is a co-production between famous Japanese film company Studio Ghibli, the French Why Not Productions, and German distributor Wild Bunch.
The Red Turtle is available on SBS on Demand until 29 June.
The Kids are All Right (MA15+)
Gay couple Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) have a well-established life together with two teenage children named Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), conceived via artificial insemination.
Unbeknownst to Jules and Nic, their kids seek out their biological father, a cool, laid-back restaurateur named Paul (Mark Ruffalo) who is receptive to establishing a fatherly bond.
Things become complicated as their relationship with Paul blossoms and he becomes part of their lives.
A funny, touching and ultimately uplifting exploration of the messiness and awkwardness of family, The Kids are All Right works on the back of strong performances from its classy cast and a well-written story from director Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg.
The Kids are All Right is available on SBS on Demand until 30 June.
Blending sci-fi with comedy and drama, Colossal is a unique and inventive take on the monster movie subgenre.
It sees leads Gloria (Anne Hathaway) and Oscar (Jason Sudekis) discover their direct role in a giant monster terrorising Seoul, South Korea all the way from their sleepy American hometown.
Things take a turn when Oscar reveals his true colours and the film becomes quite confronting with its depiction of a controlling relationship. Gloria ultimately musters up the courage, inner-strength, and inner-giant monster to stand up for herself.
Colossal is available on SBS on Demand until 31 August.
The Lobster (MA15+)
In a dystopian near-future society, single people are escorted to “the hotel”, where they must find a mate within 45 days or be transformed into an animal of their choice.
The Lobster is considered a compellingly bizarre, at times disturbing deadpan satire of societal values toward relationships, singledom and modern dating norms.
It received universal acclaim on release, however some criticism suggests the film runs out of steam before its 118 minutes are up.
The Lobster is available on SBS on Demand until 30 November.
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