Noovie's Alt. Movies: 'The Forty-Year-Old Version' and Other Gems

Here's the latest on what's new, what's next, and what you should watch this weekend from across the indie scene. Stay safe out there!

By Matt Lissauer

Radha Blank in "The Forty-Year-Old Version."

© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

  • Noovie's Alt. Movie Pick: The Forty-Year-Old Version

    © Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection

    A struggling playwright (Radha Blank) switches careers to pursue stardom as a rapper. Blank makes her directorial debut with this comedy that's loosely based on her own experiences as a playwright. Her debut feature was entered into competition at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where Blank ended up winning the U.S. Dramatic Competition Directing Award.

    ‣ Where to watch: Netflix

The Forty-Year-Old Version

Comedy Drama / 2020 / R

A struggling New York City playwright finds inspiration by reinventing herself as a rapper.

  • Charm City Kings

    © HBO Max / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Adapted from the documentary "12 O'Clock Boys," this drama from Angel Manuel Soto follows a young teen who is looking to make a name for himself on the streets of Baltimore by joining a dirt bike gang. Soto's drama was another Sundance pickup from this year. Initially acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for a theatrical premiere in April, the film's release was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and later picked up by HBO Max for streaming distribution.

    ‣ Where to watch: HBO Max

Charm City Kings

Drama / 2020 / R

A young boy joins a dirt bike gang in Baltimore.

  • Black Boys

    © Peacock / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Sonia Lowman's documentary provides an illuminating portrait of black male life in America across generations. As we as a nation continue to wrestle with the footprint of our racial past, this urgent and timely documentary offers valuable insight into all facets of black identity, from sports and pop culture, to education and criminal justice.

    ‣ Where to watch: Peacock

Black Boys

Documentary / 2020

Marking 400 years since enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, "Black Boys" illuminates the full spectrum of Black male humanity in America through an intimate, intergenerational conversation at the intersection of sports, education and criminal justice. The film elevates an urgent and timely reckoning on identity, opportunity and equity to reimagine success for Black males in America while also touching on their vulnerability and resilience in the face of dehumanization.

  • Time

    © Amazon Studios

    Amazon's Sundance pickup was another in-competition film that won a top directing award for documentary. Produced and directed by Garrett Bradley, "Time" follows entrepreneur Sibil Fox Richardson as she fights for the release of her husband who is serving a 60-year prison sentence in Louisiana for his role in an armed robbery. As The Hollywood Reporter's Sheri Linden wrote in her Sundance review, Bradley's doc shows a "concise and impressionistic account of love and waiting, of the American justice system and the fight to keep a family whole."

    ‣ Where to watch: In theaters (on Prime Video 10/16)


Documentary / 2020 / PG-13

Entrepreneur Fox Rich spends the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year prison sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early 1990s in a moment of desperation.

  • Yellow Rose

    © Stage 6 Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Rose (Eva Noblezada), an undocumented Filipina living in Texas, dreams of escaping her one-horse town to become a country music star. Her dreams are shattered when her mom gets taken away by I.C.E. Left on her own, she makes her way to the "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin, TX, to figure out the next stage in her life.

    ‣ Where to watch: In theaters

Yellow Rose

Drama / 2019 / PG-13

A Filipina teen must decide whether to stay with her family or leave her small Texas town to become a country music singer.

  • Faith Based

    © Gravitas Ventures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    As "South Park" continuously proves, everything is ripe for parody. Jason Alexander stars in this send-up of faith-based movies in which two friends look to make easy money by making their own faith-based film.

    ‣ Where to watch: On VOD (Amazon, Apple, Vudu)

Faith Based

Comedy / 2020

Hoping to make millions, two slacker friends set out to film the first faith-based movie that takes place in outer space.

  • The Wolf of Snow Hollow

    © Orion Classics / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Small-town Sheriff Hadley (Robert Forster) and local cop John Marshall (Jim Cummings) investigate a series of murders that occur each full moon, gripping the townsfolk with terror and fear. This horror-comedy is the latest for actor-director Cummings ("Thunder Road") and features the final film role of Forster, who passed away last year.

    ‣ Where to watch: In theaters and VOD (Amazon, Apple, Google, Vudu)

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

Horror / 2020 / R

A stressed-out police officer struggles not to give in to the paranoia that grips his small mountain town as bodies turn up after each full moon.

  • Aggie

    © Strand Releasing / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Filmmaker Catherine Gund explores the interconnection of art and racial justice as she talks to art collector Agnes Gund, who started the Art for Justice Fund after selling Roy Lichtenstein's famous pop-art "Masterpiece" for $165 million.

    ‣ Where to watch: In theaters and virtual cinema (support an independent theater)


Documentary / 2020

Philanthropist Agnes Gund sells expensive artworks to start social justice funds.

  • Hot Indie Trailer: Mank

    © Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Director David Fincher makes his long-awaited return to cinema with this historical drama that focuses on "Citizen Kane" screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) and the troubles he faced from Orson Welles (Tom Burke) during the making of the greatest film ever made.

    ‣ Coming to Netflix December 4th


Drama / 2020 / R

1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish "Citizen Kane."

  • Hot Indie Trailer: News of the World

    © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Tom Hanks reteams with his "Captain Phillips" director Paul Greengrass for an epic journey through the Wild West as a Civil War veteran (Hanks) agrees to deliver a girl (Helena Zengel) back to her family after she was taken by the Kiowa people years prior.

    ‣ In theaters December 25th

News of the World

Drama / 2020 / PG-13

Five years after the end of the Civil War, Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd crosses paths with a 10-year-old girl taken by the Kiowa people. Forced to return to her aunt and uncle, Kidd agrees to escort the child across the harsh and unforgiving plains of Texas. However, the long journey soon turns into a fight for survival as the traveling companions encounter danger at every turn -- both human and natural.

About the Author

Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.

More from Matt Lissauer