While Harvey Weinstein might be the lowest form of human life, his movies certainly aren’t. The Weinstein Company or TWC is one of the oldest and most successful corporate bodies in the industry. With its string of box-office successes and gradual construct towards works of art, the now-disgraced name company certainly counts for a lot. The production banner has made some really memorable films, primarily producing for hard-core action movies and box-office conquerers. Here is the list of top movies produced by Harvey Weinstein. You can watch many of these best Weinstein movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon prime.
15. Lion (2016)
‘Lion’ isn’t a flawless film. There are a lot of things that aren’t likable about it. The brief romantic exchanges between Dev Patel and Rooney Mara’s characters were totally unnecessary and certainly derailed the movie in the middle. But the heart of the story, the fairytale of Saroo, is what makes this a humbling and cathartic experience. When a young, illiterate boy is lost on a train, he ends up in an estranged place. Unable to recall the name of his hometown, Saroo is dumped in an orphanage, until an Australian couple picks him up. Years later, now a charming, educated man, Saroo uses Google Earth to recall his place of origin and reunite with his mother. A great longing looms over the first half of the movie that keeps ‘Lion’ at a safe distance from melodramatic cliches. Despite having all the luxuries in the world and most of all, loving parents, Saroo is burdened by the love for his mother and the memories of the past. Every action of his seems to be a step towards finding his beloved family in his gerbil covered, poverty-stricken motherland.
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14. The Reader (2009)
‘The Reader’ is as much a lesson in acting as it is a moving artwork. Kate Winslet is a force of nature and delivers a career-defining, and possibly, one of the best performances of the century. Winslet captures with perfection the tight-lipped guardedness that characterized German women of the era and acts her heart out to weave you in the web of lies and love that keeps the story connected. The unconventional premise sees a younger boy fall in love with an older woman, who, bereft to the former, is a Nazi-guard. Ten years later, when they meet again, Hanna faces indictment and Michael Berg a deep, relentless pain that will stay with him for every breath he draws. The narrative slows down to accommodate its stunning leads’ every movement, which is the saving grace of an otherwise uninspiring movie.
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13. The Imitation Game (2014)
While Alan Turing remains a spearhead in terms of modern-day computers, his role in the WWII was obscure. Until, of course, ‘The Imitation Game’ came along. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the ingenious cryptographer, ‘The Imitation Game’ revives one of the tensest and maimed chapters of mankind’s history. With the Germans gaining an upper hand due to their wonderous Enigma, the British scamper for help. Assembling a team of highly-skilled and discreet cryptographers, the objective is to intercept messages sent by Germans and decrypt them to save the loss of lives and goods. Despite being rough around the edges, ‘The Imitation Game’ benefits greatly from a career-best performance by Cumberbatch and a palatable tension that is constructed with the care of a midwife and executed with the precision of a surgeon in an atmospheric film filled with homages to the past.
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12. The Founder (2016)
The story of McDonald’s inception is inspiring. It started with a solitary outlet in San Bernadino in 1940 and has now evolved into a billion-dollar global franchise with thousands of stations around the globe. ‘The Founder’, though, tells the same story through a different lens. Its narrative is constructed around Ray Kroc, a perseverant salesman who operates a company that sells machines making milkshakes. When he gets an order for six machines, at the time when no one is buying even one, he personally completes the order. The food revolution, which absolves itself off girls on roller skates and long waiting hours, takes aback Ray, who subsequently ‘perseveres’ to partner with the McDonald brothers. Gradually, he takes over control of the company and makes it national. Even though at the heart of it ‘The Founder’ is an insipid tale of conversion and bullying, it is characterized by the tendencies of the script to highlight human tenacity and hard work and find in it the spirit of ambition that defines our very species.
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11. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
2018 will be the first year in which Woody Allen will not make a movie. The saddening news came at a loss of emotion and reason that instantly stuck our minds back to some of his best works. ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ is undoubtedly one of them, drawing a perfect mix of oddball syncretic-romance and the drama of life. The complex four-fold love and attraction that brews between the four leads of the film exhaust you by the end. Allen’s static undercurrents of natural comedy and exuberance serve as moments of reprieve in an otherwise emotionally charged movie.
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10. Fruitvale Station (2013)
Though he once spent time in San Quentin, 22-year-old black man Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) is now trying hard to live a clean life and support his girlfriend (Melonie Diaz) and young daughter (Ariana Neal). Flashbacks reveal the last day in Oscar’s life, in which he accompanied his family and friends to San Francisco to watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and, on the way back home, became swept up in an altercation with police that ended in tragedy. Police brutality and hate crimes have almost become synonymous in the transition of modern-day American into the 21st century. Bigoted officers still swarm the forces burdened with the protection of the people, behind genuine officers who discharge honorably. ‘Fruitvale Station’ remains a timely reminder and harrowing account of what impact the color of one’s skin can have on another with a different one.
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9. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
An offbeat movie played by an offbeat ensemble, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ had nothing stereotypical about it, battling prejudices in every sense. David O’ Russell shows his plethora of stories with this odd tale about hope and willing to live life on one’s own terms. It was comical in parts, romantic and contained a deep tale about rediscovering of life. One of the most refreshing movies ever made, Playbook doesn’t have any deep layers or critical mastery but possesses a soothing narrative which is equally gripping. The lead trio was fantastic; Bradley Cooper showing the world that he was something more than a good-looking mannequin and Robert de Niro bringing his years of experience in the picture. Jennifer Lawrence took the gold for her own, a bit undeservingly, but satisfactorily for a performance which is way away from her usual path.
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8. The Fighter (2010)
Christian Bale’s best performance of his career anchors this David O. Russell tragedy and redemption about a struggling pugilist and his efforts to further his career. He unites with his addictive brother to fulfill his dreams of being a world-beater. The ensemble is decorated with devoted thespians who elevate the movie. All in all, ‘The Fighter’ paints an inspiring picture of the bond of family and hard work in life.
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7. Django Unchained (2012)
Quentin Tarantino’s stylish, breathtaking brand of cinema hasn’t been brought to life with such force and charisma before. ‘Django Unchained’ offers colorful characters, a vivid resuscitation of the times marred by slavery, and a vengeful protagonist, who’s just awesomely cool. Dr. Schultz is a bounty hunter and frees Django, the only person alive who could help him identify the “bounty”. Even after the assignment, the now rejuvenated Django forms a partnership with Schultz that bears fruitful results for the two. In the course, Django reveals the separation from his wife, Broomhilda, a folklore legend, and Schultz prepares an elaborate plan to rescue her from the influential and eccentric Mr. Candy. Tarantino’s immersive universe will suck you right in and acquaint you with sharp performances that remain true to the spirit of the outlandish script.
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6. Wind River (2017)
Jim Sheridan’s heartfelt ode to the dead and the missing takes place in the washed-out, pale winter of Wyoming. Much like its taciturn protagonist, ‘Wind River’ isn’t characterized by loud noises or expansive visuals; instead, it is bolstered by uncomfortable, harrowing moments of silence and an unflinching fidelity to the truth. A tracker is employed by a small town to locate the whereabouts of a missing girl. Her corpse is shortly discovered, in a condition that can only be inflicted by some inhumane entity. Jeremy Renner’s spirited performance makes you feel the anguish and the muffled indignation that his character carries with him, almost like a burden. Despite being overlooked for awards due to all the wrong reasons, ‘Wind River’ is a haunting experience, one that will impact you and stay with you for some time.
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5. Blue Valentine (2010)
A dysfunctional couple hopelessly watches their marriage crumble. Their daughter remains a reference point for them to connect with each other, as they ruminate to make sense of their relationship. ‘Blue Valentine’ burns with a slow heart, pining you with an astute bout of seeping pain that hits you at the very core. The melancholy in the film is beautifully epitomized by the characters, played with subtle ingenuity by Gosling and Williams. The morbidly sprayed imagery resembles an old oil painting, that comes alive with director Cianfrance’s vivid strokes and indomitable craftsmanship. A Shakespearean tragedy that is an enriching and cathartic experience.
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4. Carol (2015)
An upper-class lady discovers her sexual tendencies when she meets a small-time saleswoman at a departmental store. The two subsequently meet and embark on an odyssey to discover true love and experience life without chains. ‘Carol’s intricate layering and breathy, subtle romantic strings infuse this lean, sensitively polished period drama with radiance and truth. Leads are in pitch-perfect form, and Kyle Chandler is the only actor in the world who can pull off the name “Hargess”. Stunning performances from the leads make sure the soulful script isn’t bereft of provocative emotion that is harrowing and moving in every sense.
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3. Inglorious Basterds (2009)
A Nazi-hating Jewish-American hit squad recruits in order to kill a high-ranked SS Officer. The atrocities of the past invariably set the squad and its new recruits on their path to extract revenge. Christoph Waltz has been nominated twice for Academy Awards and has won on both occasions, being awarded for his work in Tarantino films. ‘Inglorious Basterds’ is probably the most aesthetic and meaningful use of color in Tarantino’s films. The way he uses red and other colors in frames is stunning and quite praiseworthy. Bolstered by incredible performances from an all-star cast and Tarantino’s unique brand of cinema, ‘Inglorious Basterds’ is a modern-day masterpiece that is nothing short of absolute sublimity.
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2. The King’s Speech (2010)
When power confronts your personal weaknesses in life, the results are often disastrous. Tom Hooper’s immeasurably humane and honest portrayal of a novice royalty, who struggles with his speech, eventually overcoming it, is a sheer work of art. Powered by a memorable performance by Colin Firth as King James the VI, Hooper’s magnum opus unfurls with harrowing moments of beauty and pulsating, adrenaline-rushed moments of drama that mostly characterize the film. Geoffrey Rush’s serene display also musn’t go unnoticed. Overall, ‘The King’s Speech’ is an overpowering cinematic experience lifted by its supreme performances and crafty direction, but it is the inspiring story of a King becoming a muse to a lowly speech-expert and letting his pride go that wins your heart.
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1. The Master (2012)
“If you leave me now, in the next life you will be my sworn enemy. And I will show you no mercy”. Unflinching and unquestioned obedience isn’t something which can be inherited. It is constructed, through pain-stricken control, tantalizing repetition, and a belief so brawny it could weather the strongest storms. ‘The Master’ utilizes these traits and presents a profound and humbling experience that still seems difficult to top. Freddie Quell’s life isn’t life at all. His eccentrics are marked by violent sessions of self-infliction and a burning rage that is all-consuming. A hardened war veteran, Freddie gets a second chance in life when he meets Scientologist Lancaster Dodd, a polished, articulate, and subservient psychologist. Dodd attaches Quell to The Cause, a social revolution he believes will allow people to travel back in time to their past. Paul Thomas Anderson’s witchery is so bewildering and beautifully layered that falling in almost seems inevitable. His indurate characters, played out by arguably the best ensemble of the century, work so manipulatively that ascertaining who is the real “master” becomes an impossible task by the end.
Performances like Joaquin Phoenix’s are rare occurrences in art and cinema. His intricate blend of indignation, fear, and a deep longing for affection is perfectly located at the juncture between cinematic realism and theatrical spectacle. Hoffman shines radiantly as Dodd and encompasses with effortless ease a man within a man, who appears confident and self-assured on the outside, but is wrapped by insecurities and loathing on the inside. The earnest performance offers the generosity and eagerness to please, the awkward mix of sophistication and provincialism, the rawness of emotion that makes him at once tactless and easily bruised. A film of the highest proportions from a visionary who’ll go down as one of the greatest filmmakers of all times by the minute he’s done with his illustrious career.
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