Indie Fresh List

The Indie Fresh List: Ethan Hawke and Cynthia Erivo Find Redemption, One Quietly and One with a Bang

Check out the latest Fresh indie releases, including what's still in theaters and what's coming soon.

by | October 31, 2019 | Comments

Join us weekly as Rotten Tomatoes reports on what’s opening, expanding, and coming to the specialty box office. From promising releases from new voices to experimental efforts from storied filmmakers – or perhaps the next indie darling to go the distance for end-of-year accolades – we will break it all down for you here each week in Fresh Indie Finds. 


This week at the specialty box office, we have new offerings from Cynthia Erivo, Ethan Hawke, and Martin Scorsese. Erivo’s take on Civil War icon Harriet Tubman joins Ethan Hawke in a new indie tale about an ex-con and an abandoned baby, while Scorsese’s long-awaited Jimmy Hoffa gangster epic starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel – all together for the first time ever – opens a theatrical run before it drops on Netflix. In our spotlight section, we highlight the per-screen-average winning film from last week’s three-way showcase featuring The LighthouseParasite, and Jojo Rabbit. And finally, in our indie trailer section, we have new clips featuring Vin Diesel, Sterling K. Brown, and a foreign language Oscar hopeful some are dubbing a modern-day Parisian Do The Right Thing. 


Opening This Weekend

Adopt a Highway (2019) 69%

Logan Marshall-Green follows up his 2018 appearance in the violent, fast-paced action flick Upgrade with his directorial debut, an understated drama starring SXSW darling Ethan Hawke. In Adopt a Highway, Hawke plays Russ Millings, an ex-con who is paroled after a 21-year prison sentence and suddenly finds purpose and meaning after he rescues an abandoned infant from a dumpster. As an instant parent navigating the perils of a world he no longer recognizes, Hawke is moving and heartfelt in Marshall-Green’s first-time effort as both writer and director. Matt Donato of Slashfilm called the film “as naked, vulnerable, and warmly fulfilling a directorial debut as you can ask for.”

Playing Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, Orlando, Seattle, Tampa; and available on VOD November 1.


Harriet (2019) 73%

Tony-winner Cynthia Erivo makes her lead actress feature debut in Kasi Lemmons‘ biopic about the most celebrated member of the underground railroad, Harriet Tubman. The former slave escaped to freedom and then returned several times to free over 300 runaways without a single person lost, and the British-born actress is earning raves for her quiet, moving performance. It’s one that stands slightly above the film itself, as Loren King of Newport This Week notes Erivo is “the main reason to see Harriet, a solid, well-crafted film that aims more for education than innovation.”

Playing select cities on November 1.


The Irishman (2019) 95%

Lastly, we hesitate to call a $200 million Martin Scorsese epic produced by the biggest streaming studio around an “indie” film, but it is only getting a limited release in theaters before it hits Netflix, so if you wanted to see it on the big screen, now you know it’s happening this weekend. Scorsese made headlines recently with his thoughts on superheroes and cinema, with everyone from Jon Favreau to James Gunn weighing in on the Oscar-winning director’s assertion that Marvel movies are more akin to theme parks. But the public brouhaha over that hasn’t affected The Irishman‘s chances to become a major player come Oscar time. Stars Robert De NiroAl Pacino, and Joe Pesci, as well as the GoodFellas director himself, all look poised for deep runs this awards season, and with the use of new technology not unlike what we’ve seen in the MCU or Ang Lee’s Gemini ManThe Irishman has positioned itself for multiple nominations across the board. “A masterpiece. Scorsese’s most ambitious work to date [and] one of his very best. Believe the hype,” writes Joey Magidson of Hollywood News.

Playing New York and Los Angelesavailable on Netflix on November 27.


Fresh and Still in Theaters

Jojo Rabbit (2019) 80%

 

Out of our three spotlight picks from last week (The Lighthouse, Parasite, Jojo Rabbit), the anti-hate satire from Taika Waititi earned the highest per-screen-average of the weekend in fewer than 50 markets. When we chatted with the Thor: Ragnarok director, he told us his satire was the perfect antidote to the re-emergence of Nazi ideology. Though critical reaction to the film has been slightly less enthusiastic, audiences have nothing but praise for Waititi, his hilarious script, and the dynamic cast. Set in Germany at the end of World War II, the film follows Jojo, a 10-year-old fan of the Führer who discovers his mother is hiding a teenaged Jewish girl in the attic. Jojo must then decide what to do next: Will he choose to side with his mother or with his best friend and father-figure, an imaginary version of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, played by Waititi? The winner of the 2019 Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, this absurdist anti-hate satire is a timely skewering of blind ideology as well as a surprisingly feel-good family film with standout performances from Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Leave No Trace star Thomasin McKenzie, and newcomer Roman Griffin Davis in the title role. It’s a coming-of-age story that Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle writes is “unlike any other, filled with the director’s trademark heart and a soul-stirring argument against the ever-ready darkness of unswerving, ‘patriotic’ nationalism.”

Playing New York and Los Angeles; expanding to wide release on November 8.


Along with…

  • Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) , a darkly comedic satire about the terrifying antics that ensue when an underprivileged family latches on to a more affluent one and things go sideways.
  • The Lighthouse (2019) , a surreal psychological drama about two men who are tortured by the elements and by each other while isolated at a remote lighthouse.
  • First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) , an action flick/broad comedy/pulse-racing thriller/heartfelt rom-com that follows a young boxer and a call girl through a wild night in Tokyo.
  • Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) , a drama about an aging director who reflects on his films, collaborators, and legacy after he is sidelined by severe back pain.
  • Monos (2019) , a South American Lord of the Flies – but about 1,000 times bloodier.

New Indie Trailers

Waves (2019) 84% 

The second trailer for It Comes at Night Director Trey Edward Shults’ third effort, complex love story and family drama set in Miami Florida, starring Sterling K. BrownKelvin Harrison Jr.Lucas Hedges, and newcomer Taylor Russell.


Little Joe (2019) 67%

A new trailer for this sci-fi thriller starring Ben Whishaw about a genetically modified plant that is transformed into a modern-day Frankenstein’s Monster meets Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors).


Les Misérables (2020) 88%  

A new trailer for Les Misérables, a socio-thriller inspired by the 2005 Paris riots set in the outer suburb of Montfermeil, where Victor Hugo famously set sections of his eponymous novel.


Bloodshot (2020) 30%

Vin Diesel stars in this action thriller about an artificially enhanced soldier who’s brought back from the dead to avenge his wife’s killer — or at least that’s what he’s been told.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

The CW Western Ellie Kemper rotten war hist Pop TV Opinion trailers dragons The Academy theme song OneApp name the review Mary Tyler Moore hispanic CBS All Access ABC Family football golden globe awards USA Network Extras lord of the rings 72 Emmy Awards TV Land ABC Superheroe Schedule romance HBO Go Pop AMC Reality golden globes Black Mirror Certified Fresh ghosts robots dc Holiday 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards VICE finale worst TV movies 1990s Marvel TCA Awards Sundance Kids & Family Reality Competition FOX Film Festival Avengers Box Office game show Grammys ratings PBS binge canceled TV shows serial killer 2015 blaxploitation Apple TV Plus Pet Sematary reboot boxing San Diego Comic-Con Shudder Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt children's TV films Bravo Exclusive Video scene in color ViacomCBS Lionsgate halloween Fantasy IFC Films halloween tv Food Network saw independent toronto HBO A24 RT21 Best and Worst franchise Winter TV Mystery police drama social media FXX The Purge cults Sci-Fi what to watch FX on Hulu talk show First Reviews movies PaleyFest Universal MCU Spectrum Originals streaming movies Amazon Studios Marathons 2021 Hulu Masterpiece Image Comics CBS Syfy japanese hollywood die hard fast and furious cartoon discovery MTV slashers comics christmas movies Fox News cars singing competition Pirates olympics politics target 2017 Sony Pictures TNT news aapi Rocky OWN marvel cinematic universe Tomatazos razzies spinoff blockbusters jurassic park Drama concert Cosplay free movies pirates of the caribbean Disney Summer Emmys Awards Tour a nightmare on elm street italian Broadway Superheroes Sundance Now The Arrangement CMT supernatural BAFTA witnail blockbuster stop motion Dark Horse Comics 20th Century Fox Columbia Pictures boxoffice sitcom Star Trek rom-coms docuseries Logo Captain marvel Nat Geo ITV ESPN Valentine's Day TCM telelvision technology Shondaland Trivia crime thriller series DC Comics Disney streaming service know your critic YouTube WGN BBC Election crossover APB Podcast Mary Poppins Returns kong Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 90s Disney Channel cancelled TV series docudrama Academy Awards best new zealand Premiere Dates 71st Emmy Awards The Walking Dead FX SXSW superhero anime Writers Guild of America zombie animated archives Countdown international Year in Review WarnerMedia BET spanish language Starz composers BET Awards Mudbound Comic-Con@Home 2021 Showtime DC Universe Elton John australia sequels President TIFF LGBTQ Tokyo Olympics YA DGA documentaries cinemax Lucasfilm Netflix Lifetime stoner spider-man Rock festivals indie Holidays Sundance TV adenture stand-up comedy asian-american 24 frames breaking bad historical drama 45 TV One GoT Walt Disney Pictures monster movies Biopics zombies political drama Awards American Society of Cinematographers Disney Plus psychological thriller A&E Legendary suspense Marvel Studios crime drama Character Guide Tumblr Oscars indiana jones cancelled foreign heist movie Hallmark Christmas movies elevated horror Comedy Central all-time Nickelodeon Set visit werewolf Family high school Turner facebook book nature critics live action sag awards VOD streaming dark anthology TruTV USA Toys Crunchyroll directors YouTube Red Peacock CW Seed DirecTV 2016 Red Carpet Polls and Games E3 NYCC aliens mockumentary Amazon Prime Video screenings french james bond twilight Star Wars Horror cats El Rey Apple renewed TV shows Sneak Peek tv talk Winners natural history Emmy Nominations Wes Anderson cooking adaptation Amazon Prime thriller comic Travel Channel Adult Swim chucky Epix comiccon Fox Searchlight Thanksgiving Chernobyl SDCC RT History green book documentary revenge Paramount Plus miniseries Song of Ice and Fire psycho adventure comedies Crackle DC streaming service satire godzilla deadpool parents justice league reviews transformers sequel space unscripted Brie Larson ID Stephen King Rom-Com Black History Month Disney+ Disney Plus cancelled TV shows Teen popular The Walt Disney Company true crime TCA 2017 Mary poppins laika sports versus Christmas CNN Watching Series jamie lee curtis teaser emmy awards batman spain IFC Marvel Television joker See It Skip It First Look NBC Women's History Month Turner Classic Movies mission: impossible 2020 TCA Winter 2020 BBC America Fall TV kids latino E! spanish Discovery Channel Calendar medical drama The Witch video Musicals rt archives travel Hallmark Pixar Television Academy Spring TV canceled Trophy Talk diversity Television Critics Association New York Comic Con mutant japan Britbox hidden camera Classic Film Comics on TV HBO Max TV Cartoon Network screen actors guild toy story Paramount Network rotten movies we love Lifetime Christmas movies Acorn TV Rocketman award winner 93rd Oscars book adaptation scary movies romantic comedy dramedy prank quibi Super Bowl venice Mindy Kaling nbcuniversal TCA 007 fresh Creative Arts Emmys vampires Netflix Christmas movies History based on movie strong female leads Martial Arts television Ghostbusters NBA casting Pacific Islander Nominations dceu 21st Century Fox ABC Signature Anna Paquin doctor who Animation comic books Hear Us Out period drama harry potter Arrowverse Tubi Vudu dogs obituary Film TV renewals kaiju new york Amazon 4/20 zero dark thirty YouTube Premium superman spy thriller Heroines movie Country Trailer Freeform TBS VH1 Photos 2019 PlayStation Funimation GIFs Esquire crime Musical Tarantino scorecard Warner Bros. Quiz video on demand LGBT Apple TV+ south america basketball Interview BBC One 2018 Paramount black Comic Book classics Alien richard e. Grant women worst movies National Geographic Cannes Infographic GLAAD child's play new star wars movies criterion Spike X-Men universal monsters 99% Baby Yoda Endgame TLC MSNBC Binge Guide Pride Month Ovation Comedy Video Games cancelled television Action festival game of thrones nfl science fiction remakes disaster cops SundanceTV Music king kong biography