‘Palmer’ is a movie about its titular protagonist (Justin Timberlake), who has lost all sense of purpose in life. As a young boy, he had a terrific reputation owing to his position in the high school football team as a star quarterback. But as they say, one bad decision is enough to ruin a person’s life. Palmer impulsively destroys his own through a violent outpour that harms someone and subsequently lands him in jail. After spending his peak years cooped up behind bars, he is finally released.
But where will Palmer go? How will he paint a sunny picture upon a reality that has already been tainted beyond repair? Forging a life against the burden of these questions is what the story is about. If Palmer’s poignant story tugged at your heartstrings, we have conceived a list of similar movies that you may be interested in checking out. You can watch a few of these movies similar to ‘Palmer’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
5. A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)
’A Street Cat Named Bob’ is the real-life account of a man named James Bowen whose life, which is full of failure and damage, is turned around by his encounter with a stray cat. The movie revolves around James (Luke Treadaway) strolling in the streets of London with his feline companion Bob upon his shoulder. He performs in crowded places, and the cat dazzles in the rhythm of the music. The duo then becomes famous. James’ family disowns him because of his long history of drug addiction, similar to ’Palmer’ where the protagonist is shunned by the people in his hometown.
4. The Midnight Sky (2020)
Directed by George Clooney, ‘The Midnight Sky’ is a heroic tale of a scientist Augustine (Clooney), with a mission to save people from a planetary crisis. He has to send a message to a space shuttle called Aether that is in danger. He then chances upon a seemingly mute girl named Iris (Caoilinn Springall), and together, they set off on a harrowing journey to the Arctic, where his signal would be strong enough to reach the people in the shuttle.
The highlight of ‘The Midnight Sky’ is Augustine’s relationship with Iris. The silence between them speaks volumes, and Augustine’s character shines in the little girl’s presence. The protagonist in ‘Palmer’ encounters a child who becomes the central focus of his life. They’re both outcasts, which gives them more reason to hold on to each other.
3. News of the World (2020)
‘News of the World’ revolves around a Civil War veteran Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks), who is endowed with a mission to take a ten-year-old girl Johanna (Helena Zengel), to her distant relatives. The story takes place in Texas as the duo faces difficult challenges and soul-crushing obstacles in their journey. Johanna has spent her entire life in the captivity of Native Americans and does not know English. But the pair share a chemistry that is deeply endearing. There is so much grace and emotional nuance in their relationship that it reminds us of the similar bond that is depicted in ‘Palmer.’
2. The Fountainhead (1949)
‘The Fountainhead’ follows the life of an individualistic architect Howard Roark (Gary Cooper), who wants to design modern buildings against the wishes of the orthodox mindset of the people in his field. His life slowly falls apart because of the criticism and disapproval hurled at him at every opportunity. However, Howard’s beliefs still sit intact. He fights everything and everyone to achieve his vision. From a philosophical perspective, Howard’s story is very much in line with that of Palmer’s. They’re both loners struggling to find acceptance in society, yet nobody wants to understand or empathize with a misfit’s struggles.
1. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
A Lasse Hallström directorial, ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ is a drama film that revolves around Gilbert (Johnny Depp), a family-oriented young boy who is continuously bogged down by his responsibilities. He has a younger brother Arnold (Leonardo DiCaprio), who lives with an intellectual disability. Just shy of turning 18, Arnold is a massive part of Gilbert’s life. The universally acclaimed movie puts a lot of emphasis on Gilbert and Arnold’s relationship.
The siblings go through rough patches in their dynamic but their love for each other trumps every problem and issue. In ‘Palmer,’ the titular protagonist’s fondness for the kid is almost fatherly, and the duo shares a bond that is even stronger than blood ties. It also landed a then-19-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio, his first Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for his supporting role.
Read More: Is Palmer a True Story?