Film

Watch trailers to our pick of maddening and motivating independent films.

The Best Reason to Ride a Bike
by Peter Kalmus
The film “Bikes vs Cars” tells us that bicycling for transportation can reduce our emissions. But more importantly, bicycling can change our mindset.
Why You Should Watch an Uplifting Movie Tonight
by Sophie H. Janicke
Research shows meaningful films, in particular those that depict values of love, kindness, and connectedness, go a long way toward changing your worldview.
In Photos: The Indigenous Protectors of the World’s Most Sacred Places
by Christopher McLeod
All around the world, sites sacred to indigenous people are besieged by mining, tourism, and other threats. Meet the groups safeguarding and restoring them.
Why Does Being a Man Require So Many Masks?
by Terrance Hayes
National Book Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes writes about fatherhood and his own struggle to negotiate Americans' narrow definition of masculinity.
New Film About Sex Trafficking Celebrates the Resilience of Children
by Jasleena Grewal
Filmmakers hope “Sold,” based on the bestselling young adult novel, will inspire empathy and action among young viewers.
Poor Families and Blue-Collar Heroes: “The Confirmation” is Keeping Hollywood Real
by Christopher Zumski Finke
“Nebraska” writer Bob Nelson on his new film and how economically depressed father and son characters are pulled from his own life story.
Danish Girl’s Oscar Loss a Satisfying Win for Trans Women
by S.E. SMITH
As Hollywood directors race to cash in on the growing interest in the trans community, the results aren’t always good.
What Star Wars Taught Me About Being a Mindful Parent
by Jeremy Adam Smith
After years reporting on the science of mindfulness, I now realize that the practice of moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness darts in and out of the series. But as a kid, I just wanted to blow stuff up.
Capitalism vs. Climate: Naomi Klein’s New Film Takes Us From the Current Crisis to the World We Want
by Kate Aronoff
In "This Changes Everything," Naomi Klein lays out how industry interests are opposed to those of ordinary people—a point climate activists have had trouble communicating and been reluctant to fully embrace.
A Quarter of Pakistani Girls Are Married Before They’re 18. This Film Shows What That Feels Like
by Christopher Zumski Finke
In her directorial debut, Afia Nathaniel brings the reality of Pakistan's child bride crisis to American audiences.
Researchers Say Watching Movies Helps You Work Your Empathy Muscle
by Christopher Zumski Finke
Can something as simple as watching movies—and empathizing with fictional characters—help generate more compassion and understanding in the real world?
New Movie Finds “No Escape” From Controversy. Here's What the Filmmakers Have to Say About It.
by Christopher Zumski Finke
I interviewed the filmmakers of "No Escape" to see if they think their movie is racist. Spoiler alert: They don't.
New David Foster Wallace Movie Shows a Regular Guy Who Happens to Be a Genius—That’s Why It Works
by Christopher Zumski Finke
Jason Segel steers away from his usual funny guy persona in "The End of the Tour," and plays the late "Infinite Jest" author David Foster Wallace.
All Sign Language, No Subtitles: Behind the Ukrainian Thriller That’s Changing How We Experience Cinema
by Christopher Zumski Finke
"The Tribe" has no spoken dialogue at all—viewers must search for meaning through body language and emotion. This is why it works.
This “Raging Granny” Crashed a Wall Street Dinner to Demand Answers
by Peter D'Auria
“Two Raging Grannies” is a beautifully shot film that juxtaposes a journey into activism with a profound meditation on aging.