To help you navigate the hours of movies available on SBS on Demand, Canberra Weekly journalist Jessica Cordwell shares her top 10 streaming picks for 2023.
2001: A Space Odyssey (G) 1968
Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking space saga that sparked hundreds of science fiction films.
After a monolith is found buried on the Moon, in what seems to be a deliberate attempt to conceal it, a team is sent aboard Discovery One to Jupiter to uncover what lifeforms may be watching over Earth. Guiding them is supercomputer H.A.L 9000. As they get closer to their target, Hal becomes paranoid. Does it know something the astronauts don’t? Will they make it to Jupiter?
Visually striking cinematography is accompanied perfectly by the film’s score, a must-see for any film buff.
2001: A Space Odyssey is available now on SBS on Demand.
The Paperboy (MA15+) 2012
A collection of odd characters in the Deep South swamplands of the USA where secrets like to remain undiscovered.
Ward (Matthew McConaughey), a reporter, returns to his hometown to investigate a racially charged murder. His brother Jack (Zac Efron) has also come home after failing college. Ward gives Jack a job as the driver throughout his investigation.
Soon they meet with the convicted killer’s fiancée Charlotte (Nicole Kidman) who wants to see her man, played by John Cusack on the outside. Jack finds himself drawn to Charlotte in inappropriate ways while Ward and his colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) uncover things people want to stay hidden, putting everyone at risk.
A grim yet intriguing look at lives filled with secrets, love, and life after loss.
The Paperboy is available now on SBS on Demand.
Monster (MA15+) 2003
The harrowing real-life story of convicted and executed serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
In the film that won her the Oscar for best actress, Charlize Theron plays a raw and heart-wrenching portrayal of Wuornos. While working as a street-based sex worker, Wuornos meets and falls for Selby (Christina Richie). She tries to ‘set herself straight’ but struggles due to a lack of education and social skills.
Wuornos’ first kill is one of self-defence, the rest are murders of convenience. A hard childhood, toxic relationships, and personal issues all come to light before the trial which ultimately sentences her to death via lethal injection.
The film leaves viewers questioning whether Wuornos was merely a cold-hearted killer or a product of her environment who wasn’t given the right resources.
Monster is available now on SBS on Demand.
Natural Born Killers (MA15+) 1994
In a psychotic twist on Bonnie and Clyde, two lovers go on a murder spree which is glorified by the media.
Woody Harrelson plays the unsettling Mickey Knox alongside Juliette Lewis as equally damaged Mallory Knox in this blood-fuelled tale. Both survivors of traumatic childhoods, together they go on a road trip, killing people at every turn, while ensuring one person is left alive to continue telling their story.
The cult classic was written by Quentin Tarantino (story) and directed by Oliver Stone. A visual feast that will leave you gripping the edge of your seat.
Natural Born Killers is available now on SBS on Demand.
Flight of the Navigator (PG) 1986
This quirky blast from the past with fun characters and interesting special effects offers another take on finding our way back home.
After slipping and falling into a hole, David wakes up and goes home to find that eight years have passed in the interim. NASA wants to know where David has been, as they find a spacecraft around the same time, and soon David learns he can communicate with the ship as he is its navigator.
With intergalactic adventures, a witty ship, and an absurd sidekick, this space flick is one the whole family can enjoy.
Flight of the Navigator is available now on SBS on Demand.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (M) 1979
Encouraging viewers to always look on the bright side, this iconic flick follows a man as he is falsely identified as a Messiah.
Brian of Nazareth (Graham Chapman) had the unfortunate luck to be born in the stable next to Jesus Christ on the very same night. He tries to take a different path to the Son of God, filled with a quick wit and wild adventures on the way.
The classic comedy is full of laughs and tunes that will be stuck in your head for weeks.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian is available now on SBS on Demand.
Ghost World (M) 2001
Two young women who are sure they will be best friends forever have their relationship tested by a strange older man.
Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) are outcasts and are happy to be so, spending their days bothering losers. They trick a real big one in Seymour (Steve Buscemi) but this time Enid finds something more than a creep, she finds someone she can connect with despite their overwhelming age gap. The two best friends slowly drift apart; is one of them changing or are they both just growing up?
Deadpan and cynical while being light-hearted and clever, the film speaks to anyone who ever felt they may not quite belong.
Ghost World is available now on SBS on Demand.
The Counterfeiters (MA15+) 2007
Viewers are taken inside one of the biggest counterfeiting operations in history, in the deep belly of a Nazi concentration camp during WWII.
Operation Bernhard was conducted from Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg, Germany, composed of inmates with special talents who attempted to recreate the Pound Sterling and US dollar.
King of the counterfeiters, as he was known before his arrest, Solomon ‘Sally’ Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics) heads the mission as he navigates the terrifying new world he has ended up in. Driven by the desire to endure the war, he must work with his captors.
A story of survival and morality in one of humanity’s darkest hours, the film is shot in German and Russian with English subtitles.
The Counterfeiters is available now on SBS on Demand.
Empire Records (M) 1995
An eventful day at a hip, cool record store where the young staff have to make some adult decisions.
The star-studded crew includes Liv Tyler, Renee Zellweger, and Anthony LaPaglia. Music star Rex Manning (Maxwell Caulfield) is coming to the store, which receives mixed feelings from the staff who are battling to keep their store independent and not taken over by a corporate chain. Individually they all face their own personal crises, but can they work together and save the record store?
The ‘90s classic will leave viewers reminiscing about the trials of youth, fashion, and great tunes.
Empire Records is available now on SBS on Demand.
Lovelace (MA15+) 2013
Deepthroat, a movie that changed the porn world, starred Linda Lovelace. While the actress became a symbol of sexual freedom, this film reveals the darker side of her story.
Linda Marchiano (Amanda Seyfried) spent less than three weeks in the adult film industry, yet her impact was felt around the world. Taking on the moniker Linda Lovelace, the young woman was used and abused by her husband (Peter Sarsgaard) and the industry.
The movie shows two sides of the story, one of which Linda detailed in her book Ordeal, in which she says she was forced to perform the acts against her will and at gunpoint.
A compelling yet confronting story of a woman who was defined by a short period of time, trying to take back control of her life.
Lovelace is available now on SBS on Demand.
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