September is officially underway, which means the end of summer movies and the beginning of fall films and likely Oscar contenders. Right now, however, the transitional period leaves something to be desired as far as new theater releases. So instead of spending your hard earned cash and venturing out to the cinema only to be disappointed this weekend, I’ve decided to gather 10 of the best movies available to rent from your couch. So settle in, grab your remote, and let’s get started.
1. The Battery
Zombies have been exhausting every entertainment outlet available, so these days it’s nearly impossible to encounter a zombie movie that brings anything new or remotely scary to the subgenre. Enter The Battery, a low budget zombie movie that follows two friends through the aftermath of an apocalypse. This film is more of a character study that just happens to take place in a world destroyed by zombies. It’s an honest and heartbreaking look at friendship and the strain chaos can place on it. The Battery is currently available to rent on Amazon for $2.99 and iTunes for $3.99.
2. Blue Ruin
The positive buzz about Blue Ruin has been spreading steadily since it was release on VOD back in April. This brutally violent look at a man who takes revenge for the murder of his parents is a movie that gets under your skin and stays there. Hopefully this will be far from the last time you hear from Jeremy Saulnier who was the director, writer, and cinematographer for the film. Blue Ruin is currently available on Netflix and to rent on Amazon and iTunes for $3.99.
3. The Calling
Susan Sarandon stars in this detective movie about a series of gruesome, religiously motivated murders that take place in a small, sleepy town. Fans of the hardboiled detective film will be happy to be able to quench their thirst with The Calling, a solemn procedural that pulls influence from the grisly tone of the likes of David Fincher. The big reveal is easy to predict, but the characters are more enthralling than the case itself from the beginning, so the result doesn’t disappoint. The Calling is available to rent on Amazon for $6.99.
4. The Congress
Robin Wright plays herself in The Congress, a half live action/half animated science fiction film about a woman who essentially sells herself to a movie studio to be manipulated and digitized however they please for future characters and movies. This one’s a bit of a trip, to say the least, but our reviewer, Josh Rosenfield, insists that if you approach it with minimal expectations and don’t over-analyze it, you’ll enjoy every minute. The Congress is currently available to rent on Amazon and iTunes for $6.99.
You know those awkward dinner parties you attend sometimes, full of old friends and new significant others? Well, Coherence adds a twist that keeps these party goers on their toes and then some, caused by the passing of a comet. It starts off slow, building on itself as it reveals bit by bit to both the characters and the audience. For every question answered, another arises, but part of the fun of it is not knowing all the answers. Coherence is available to rent on Amazon and iTunes for $3.99.
6. The Double
Based on the novel of the same name by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Double is about a young man named Simon whose life is taken over by a doppelganger who’s better at being Simon than Simon is. Jesse Eisenberg continues to display his acting range by playing both characters, giving a powerful performance and creating some uncomfortably funny moments. The Double is available to rent on Amazon and iTunes for $3.99.
Michael Fassbender plays an eccentric musician who dons a giant fake head to hide his face. Apart from having to deal with the inevitable frustration that arises from knowing Fassbender is underneath that mask and not being able see his face, you’re guaranteed to breeze through the 95 minute run time. It’s a dramedy for just about any audience, managing to be both dark and endearingly lighthearted. Frank is currently available to rent on Amazon for $6.99.
Locke is generating buzz for featuring Tom Hardy’s best acting performance of his career, which is high praise considering the film relies solely on his acting chops. The entire movie takes place in his car, while other actors supply simply their voices to supplement the story. Hardy demands the screen as a man who makes a life-altering decision, and the movie shows this decision affect every aspect of his life. It’s grim and at times almost painful to watch, but it’s well worth the discomfort. Locke is currently available on Amazon and iTunes for $3.99.
9. The One I Love
Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss star in this dramedy about a couple on the brink of separation, who escape on a mysterious weekend getaway to rekindle their relationship. It’s nearly impossibly to say much more about this movie without spoiling it, but The One I Love is much more than it appears to be on the surface. It’s a unique take on the modern romance study, and Duplass and Moss give compelling performance, so that should be enough information to make this one worth a watch. The One I Love is currently available to rent on Amazon and iTunes for $6.99.
If you’ve heard of only one movie on this list, it’s probably Snowpiercer, as it’s been spreading through the movie world like wildfire since its limited theater and On Demand release earlier this year. Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton give powerhouse performances in his science fiction tale of the rebellion of those who have spent their lives barely surviving in the back of a train that carries the remainder of the human race after earth freezes over. The action fires up within minutes and doesn’t let up until the credits roll. Snowpiercer is currently available to rent on Amazon and iTunes for $6.99.