Indie Fresh List

The Indie Fresh List: Unwanted Pregnancy, Arrested Development, and a Remastered Anime Classic

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

by | March 11, 2020 | 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 the re-release of a Japanese cult-classic animation, a compelling tale about two women’s journeys to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and a comedy about arrested development from SNL star Pete Davidson. In our re-vamped Spotlight Section, we again have director Kelly Reichardt’s latest Pacific Northwest tale, featuring an interview with star John Magaro, and in the Indie Trailer section, we have new clips from Taika Waititi and The Act star Joey King.

Opening This Weekend

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) 99%


Eliza Hittman has premiered each of her first three features at the Sundance Film Festival, including her second film, the Sundance prize-winner Beach Rats. This year, Hittman returned to the Park City festival with her powerful new drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always, which hits theaters this weekend. It’s an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls who journey to terminate an unintended pregnancy; with little support and facing harrowing obstacles along the way, the young girls band together to defeat the odds stacked against them. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, “Eliza Hitmann’s devastating abortion drama, starring a wonder of an actress named Sidney Flanigan, is an emotional wipeout that’s impossible to forget.”

Playing New York & Los Angeles this weekend.

Big Time Adolescence (2019) 85%


If you’re thinking an aggressively unmotivated college dropout whose sole interests are partying, sleeping, and chasing girls sounds like a role tailor-made for SNL star Pete Davidson, then you would be right. In truth, Davidson gives a powerful performance as a drug-addled man-child named Zeke who befriends the only person who still thinks he’s cool, his ex-girlfriend’s teenage brother. Since its Sundance debut in 2019, critics have lauded Davidson and his co-star Griffin Gluck’s screen work. “The two central performances from Pete Davidson and Griffin Gluck are outstanding, but it’s Jon Cryer who is allowed to deliver a devastating scene expressing his blindness to whatever Moe sees in this sad excuse for a friend,” writes Jason Orley of Flickering Myth. 

Playing New York & Los Angeles, available to stream on Hulu March 20th.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003) 91%


Tokyo Godfathers, Satoshi Kon’s seminal albeit unconventional Japanese Christmas animation, was a critical hit when it was released in 2003. Three homeless people in Tokyo find a baby girl at a garbage dump on Christmas Eve and are profoundly changed by it. This week, a newly remastered version with an all English dub hits theaters. Marrit Ingman of the Austin Chronicle called the Japanese original “the kind of old-fashioned, all-ages entertainment Hollywood used to churn out in live-action form before the era of niche marketing when a good story sold a film”.

Playing New York  & Los Angeles this weekend.

Fresh and Still in Theaters

First Cow (2019) 96%

Spotlight Pick

On only four screens, Kelly Reichardt earned a $25,000 per-screen average and $96,000 box office haul, which marked a career high for the indie filmmaker. Reichardt was awarded the Bonnie Award at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards, and the film that earned her the honor is currently playing in select theaters. First Cow is a quiet tale about two men who form a friendship around their theft of milk from the first cow to arrive in a rural settlement in the Pacific Northwest of the 1800s. John Magaro and Orion Lee’s delicate dance of performances anchors this slice-of-life period piece. Utilizing her distinctive filmmaking style and aesthetic, “Reichardt, America’s foremost chronicler of small stories rooted in meticulously-crafted geographical expanses, has delivered another slow-burn heartbreaker,” writes Sophie Monks Kaufman of Little White Lies. We spoke with star John Magaro ahead of the film’s release, and he detailed why working with Reichardt was tremendously freeing and gave us some of his favorite new indies. 

Jacqueline Coley for Rotten Tomatoes: Talk about working with Kelly; she is a director with a very particular style of filmmaking. 

John Magaro: Kelly is actually a very direct filmmaker. There is an economy of action and language in the story. It can be a scary thing for an actor, as there is no safety net. But, it is also tremendously freeing. You get to focus on the situation and live in an extremely honest way. She just lets the camera roll.

RT: How did you and your co-star Orion Lee develop the feel of two instant friends who form an intimate bond? 

Magaro: It is a strange thing we do as actors. We meet someone and have to figure out a relationship somehow almost immediately. Fortunately, in this case, we had a few days of camping in the woods of Oregon. Orion and I had a guide who helped us learn some necessary skills we may have had as settlers in 1820. It also gave us a sense of each other’s rhythm and style.

RT: Any memorable moments from the Telluride premiere? 

Magaro: Telluride is one of my favorite festivals. It is a schlep to get to, but because of that isolation, it feels true about [the] film. It gave me a chance to see a lot of great films from the past year before they came out in theaters, including Two Popes, Uncut Gems, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, and a few more. Also, it was a little reunion for our First Cow team.

RT: What’s on your personal “Fresh” list?

Magaro: Going back to something I saw at Telluride, the film The Climb from Michael Angelo Covino is about to come out and is a must-see. It is boldly shot and has a ton of humanity and honesty.

Playing Select theaters.

Along with…

  • And Then We Danced (2019) , about two male dancers who compete against each other and fall in love in repressive Romania.
  • Swallow (2019) , about an affluent housewife who develops a deadly case of pica — the urge to swallow inanimate objects.
  • The Wild Goose Lake (2019) , about a Chinese gangster who meets a woman with a deadly secret.
  • The Assistant (2019) , which follows a Hollywood assistant who struggles with what to do when she suspects her boss is harassing women.
  • The Dog Doc (2019) , a documentary about a compassionate vet who tries to save vulnerable animals.
  • Les misérables (2019) , about a Paris riot that breaks out suddenly and pits the local cast of characters against the police.
  • Pain and Glory (2019) , a drama about an aging director who reflects on his films, collaborators, and legacy after he’s sidelined by severe back pain.
  • Jojo Rabbit (2019) , a satire about a naive Hitler youth who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl during World War II.
  • Saint Frances (2019) , about a reluctant nanny who grows personally as she cares for a precocious toddler named Frances.
  • The Lodge (2019) , a thriller about a woman who is left to care for her boyfriend’s kids at their wintry cabin when unseen forces descend upon them.

New Indie Trailers

Radium Girls (2018) 75%

The Act‘s Joey King stars in this narrative take on the real-life “radium girls” of the early 1900s who suffered unspeakable medical conditions and death due to their work making radium dials for WWI.

Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen by the Holy Storsh (2018) 65%

Kate Micucci, Sam Huntington, and Taika Waititi star in this sci-fi horror-comedy about a cult leader whose ritual suicide inspires his followers to break into a young couple’s new home, where he killed himself in the bathtub, in order to copy the act.

Thumbnail images by Focus Features, Hulu, GKIDS 

Tag Cloud

BBC archives A24 Mary poppins serial killer dogs Sundance Now heist movie Amazon Prime Video Walt Disney Pictures Sneak Peek The Academy American Society of Cinematographers Comedy Nat Geo Tarantino CBS Wes Anderson TNT National Geographic Binge Guide Fox Searchlight south america GoT reviews Amazon remakes docudrama FX on Hulu psychological thriller jurassic park canceled TV shows worst movies Musicals superman Tumblr Kids & Family batman hollywood binge LGBT fresh rt labs critics edition renewed TV shows films stand-up comedy ITV Cannes cancelled TV shows miniseries The Walking Dead comic Masterpiece Video Games boxoffice DC Universe Peacock cults El Rey Vudu Horror adventure Chernobyl talk show Universal kong robots 24 frames marvel comics A&E Amazon Studios name the review Lifetime Cartoon Network obituary halloween tv Grammys Superheroes revenge space cancelled die hard GLAAD crossover adaptation screen actors guild Adult Swim First Reviews Film 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Women's History Month Fox News witnail BET Awards Dark Horse Comics discovery dramedy PBS Drama international documentary Anna Paquin TV movies Year in Review FXX Sony Pictures Holidays Funimation cancelled TV series Hear Us Out Toys HBO Max Lifetime Christmas movies Disney streaming service blockbuster debate slasher Oscars The Purge romance adenture IFC SXSW crime drama OWN Marvel Rock Set visit child's play aapi anthology Black History Month Western Box Office Hulu 71st Emmy Awards BBC America 45 TCA spanish feel good canceled australia science fiction Freeform biography 2015 Stephen King YouTube Premium Columbia Pictures rotten movies we love NBC Awards X-Men Musical mission: impossible Martial Arts Disney Channel Spring TV Film Festival french hispanic heritage month Fantasy godzilla Mystery Tomatazos king kong Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt NBA WGN The CW based on movie Nickelodeon toronto APB Pop Spectrum Originals breaking bad teaser DC streaming service pirates of the caribbean Showtime sequel sag awards what to watch werewolf harry potter spy thriller Schedule CW Seed Captain marvel BBC One Biopics dragons Marvel Studios Esquire singing competition 72 Emmy Awards prank rt archives dc Netflix Christmas movies police drama President hispanic thriller japan book cats marvel cinematic universe ratings spider-man new star wars movies Sci-Fi Avengers free movies TIFF LGBTQ Acorn TV lord of the rings 2018 Rocketman Tokyo Olympics docuseries green book latino Warner Bros. asian-american comic book movies Nominations Lionsgate Pop TV royal family crime thriller italian Netflix zombies cooking concert Television Critics Association Turner Classic Movies diversity festival Heroines cinemax Rom-Com TCM San Diego Comic-Con video Television Academy award winner Starz Countdown toy story ghosts IFC Films Winners indie MTV 2016 superhero chucky ABC BET Endgame screenings Marathons historical drama dceu Alien Epix First Look ID universal monsters game show wonder woman The Witch ESPN sequels Trailer E3 nbcuniversal versus Polls and Games TruTV TV Land trailers monster movies deadpool Bravo Red Carpet mcc Shondaland GIFs franchise Opinion facebook Winter TV tv talk Family children's TV 007 basketball all-time critics foreign criterion natural history true crime Baby Yoda new york Arrowverse rt labs emmy awards The Walt Disney Company DC Comics target golden globe awards disaster posters Calendar Writers Guild of America Extras Ellie Kemper Syfy casting ViacomCBS hidden camera travel theme song Ghostbusters supernatural christmas movies Sundance TV movies sitcom YA cops technology Apple aliens Holiday Animation stop motion See It Skip It rom-coms richard e. Grant Thanksgiving Election Black Mirror 99% Fall TV Photos Awards Tour WarnerMedia social media Ovation scary movies Comics on TV war comic books 2019 VH1 japanese halloween popular NYCC BAFTA Action Mindy Kaling Pet Sematary television TV Apple TV Plus quibi composers best Elton John Superheroe 90s Sundance Summer Music Valentine's Day Shudder Turner Discovery Channel 4/20 Reality SundanceTV jamie lee curtis Legendary Reality Competition Premiere Dates Comedy Central YouTube Trivia History independent Disney Plus young adult Paramount Network slashers Chilling Adventures of Sabrina finale politics Food Network critic resources Mudbound VOD twilight reboot TCA Awards FX scorecard ABC Signature Quiz CBS All Access CNN movie Disney Britbox DGA james bond fast and furious Best and Worst 2020 blaxploitation DirecTV doctor who documentaries action-comedy razzies The Arrangement stoner animated cancelled television Image Comics spain Infographic Star Trek saw HBO rotten psycho Crunchyroll mutant gangster Star Wars game of thrones MCU streaming movies OneApp RT21 USA Network Country 21st Century Fox biopic period drama comic book movie Amazon Prime TLC suspense cartoon AMC unscripted legend USA MSNBC high school satire YouTube Red olympics Christmas nature video on demand TCA 2017 comics Hallmark Christmas movies Academy Awards joker TBS spinoff football Pixar elevated horror Emmy Nominations Emmys Travel Channel cars Teen spanish language medical drama scene in color dark Mary Tyler Moore Certified Fresh 93rd Oscars series zombie Apple TV+ HBO Go kaiju comiccon RT History Marvel Television Spike Paramount CMT anime 73rd Emmy Awards streaming TV One Exclusive Video Watching Series 2017 classics hist Broadway romantic comedy parents Trophy Talk Super Bowl Pride Month SDCC zero dark thirty know your critic dexter TV renewals PlayStation blockbusters 1990s justice league transformers 20th Century Fox news telelvision Crackle a nightmare on elm street Pacific Islander Hallmark E! VICE book adaptation Mary Poppins Returns TCA Winter 2020 laika festivals new zealand 2021 Comic-Con@Home 2021 sports Paramount Plus directors Podcast Lucasfilm Pirates women nfl Tubi Comic Book boxing Classic Film king arthur mockumentary kids golden globes Interview Logo indiana jones Brie Larson Creative Arts Emmys venice ABC Family comedies PaleyFest Cosplay New York Comic Con black political drama crime vampires Disney+ Disney Plus live action FOX worst strong female leads Character Guide Rocky Song of Ice and Fire