This week, the family drama dominates the streaming film offer. In “Concrete Cowboy” father and son have to come together, in “God, you can be an ass” parents want to find their cancer-stricken daughter again, and in “Hillbilly Elegy” a boy has to free himself from his drug-ill mother.
If that is too upsetting for you, you can let yourself be carried away to a children’s world with “Max und die wilde 7” or into the vastness of space with “Alien”.
“Concrete Cowboy” – When the father sits with the son with a saddle
DIE STORY: Because his mother can no longer cope with him, the father is supposed to take care of 15-year-old Cole (Caleb McLaughlin). Harp (Idris Elba) has not seen his son for ten years and lives in a shabby shack. He’s a cowboy and only seems to care about horses. Cole threatens to go wrong. Harp must finally act in his responsibility as a father.
DIE STARS: For Idris Elba, the TV series “Luther” was the leap into the big film business. In “Thor” he played the comic hero Heimdall for the first time. He was then seen as a South African apartheid fighter in “Mandela – The Lane Path to Freedom”, most recently as a villain in “Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw”. Caleb McLaughlin sang young Simba in the musical “The Lion King”. With “Stranger Things” he became a series star.
THE DIRECTOR: Based on the novel of the same name by Greg Neris, short film maker Ricky Staub made his feature film debut with “Concrete Cowboy”.
BG-RATING: Ricky Staub also deals with topics such as gentrification, poverty and racism. The focus remains on the father-son relationship, which is difficult to develop. This is often tiring. The emotional power is lost because the film wants too much, but never becomes specific (11 min., Free from 12, exclusively on Netflix).
“God, you can be an ass” – Til Schweiger and Heike Makatsch reunited after 25 years
DIE STORY: 16-year-old Steffi (Sinje Irslinger) has to find out that she is terminally ill with cancer. When her parents Eva (Heike Makatsch) and Frank (Til Schweiger) cancel the school trip to Paris, the girl travels afterwards alone to meet her boyfriend as agreed to love. Eva and Frank take up the chase.
DIE STARS: Newcomer Sinje Irslinger (“The most beautiful girl in the world”) alongside big German stars like Til Schweiger, Heike Makatsch (both played together in “Männerpension” in 1996) as well as Jürgen Vogel, Benno Fürmann, Dietmar Bär and Jasmin Gerat in various guest roles .
THE DIRECTOR: Andé Erkau staged “Life is not for cowards” with Wotan Wilke Möhring and “Arschkalt” with Herbert Knaup.
BG-RATING: Inspired by the novel of the same name by Frank Pape, comical moments are repeatedly incorporated to cushion the tragedy of the whole thing. Ultimately, however, it is the great emotions that make this road movie worth seeing (98 min., Free from 6, from now on at Kino on Demand, among others)
“Hillbilly Elegy” – Glenn Close and Amy Adams as losers of the American dream
DIE STORY: JD Vance (Owen Asztalos) grew up in poor conditions in Ohio. His mother Bev (Amy Adams) is a nurse and it is easy for her to get hold of drugs. More and more often she gets out of control, so that JD moves in with his grandmother (Glenn Close). She motivates him with her severity. JD (Gabriel Basso) becomes manager, but the past keeps catching up with him.
DIE STARS: Glenn Close (“A fateful affair”) is hardly recognizable behind thick make-up and glasses and can be seen on April 25th. hope for an Oscar. Amy Adams (“Bewitched”) also shows the courage to be ugly, but she also impresses with her playing.
THE DIRECTOR: Ron Howard began his directing career in the 1980s with “Splash” and “Cocoon”. Today he is one of the most renowned directors in Hollywood with “Apollo 13”, “Illuminati” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story”.
BG SCORING: Ron Howard switches back and forth on two time levels, which initially irritates. But since this is a US success story based on the autobiographical novel by JD Vance (quasi from dishwasher to millionaire), it makes sense to involve the audience emotionally in this way. This works without getting cheesy (116 min., Free from 16, exclusively on Netflix).
The special film: “A Billion Stars – You are not alone in the universe”
DIE STORY: Are we alone or is there other life out in space? The astronomer Isaac (Patrick J. Adams) is desperate to find an inhabited planet. Clara (Troian Bellisario) applies to him for an advertised assistantship position. Although the painter knows nothing about astronomy, he employs her and through her learns about earthly life.
DIE STARS: Patrick J. Adams also plays in various series such as “The Heroes of the Nation” and “Suits”. Troian Bellisario was already in front of the film camera as a three-year-old and was recently seen alongside Cate Blanchett in “Bernadette”.
THE DIRECTOR: Akash Sherman started out as a visual effects artist and has already filled almost every position (script / production / camera / editing / acting) for his short films.
BG-RATING: The love for life develops from the fascination for the stars. Unfortunately, that is a little little for a full-length film. The two main actors can try as hard as they can, but the plot remains flat and does not lure anyone out from behind the stove (105 min., Free from 6, including on Amazon Prime).
Home cinema for kids: “Max and the wild 7”
DIE STORY: Max (Jona Eisenblätter) lives in a real knight’s castle. Not alone, though, because the walls serve as a retirement home where his mother works as a nurse. The nine-year-old outsider befriends a retired professor (Günther Maria Halmer), an ex-soccer coach (Thomas Thieme) and an old actress (Uschi Glas). Together they want to catch a thief who has suspected Max’s mom.
DIE STARS: In addition to Thomas Thieme (“The Lives of Others”) and Günther Maria Halmer (“Family Festival”), Uschi Glas in particular shines with self-irony when she quotes earlier box office successes from “Winnetou and the half-blood Apanatschi” to “To the point, sweetheart”.
THE DIRECTOR: Winfried Oelsner, who lives in Berlin, created the children’s book series “Max und die wilde 7” with his wife Lisa-Marie Dickreiter. As a director he made a name for himself with “Project Gold” and “Tsunami”.
BG-RATING: A fun children’s film that invites you to take part in puzzles and works just as well from the humor level as it does on the tension level – and that cross-generational (87 min., Free from 0, including at Sky)
The classic: “Alien – The uncanny creature from another world”
DIE STORY: The crew of a space freighter ends up on a strange planet due to an emergency signal. Three of them venture outside and discover egg-shaped structures. On board, Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) finds out that the signal was a warning. Too late! Kane (John Hurt) becomes infected. A little later, an alien bursts from his stomach.
DIE STARS: For Sigourney Weaver, the role was the starting signal for a world career. She returned to the screen three times as Ripley, but also celebrated success with “Ghostbusters” and “The Ice Storm”. John Hurt (77) enriched every film in minor parts. He was the mentor of “Hellboy” and in “Harry Potter” he played the wand seller Mr. Ollivander.
THE DIRECTOR: With “Blade Runner” (1982) Ridley Scott created another classic science fiction film. With “Prometheus” (2012) and “Alien: Covenant” (2017) he ventured into the prehistory of “Alien” (1979).
BG-RATING: Still the scariest space thriller ever made. The sets and the monster designed by the Swiss HR Giger († 74), but also the dark music by Jerry Goldsmith († 75), are particularly disturbing. Shocking until the end (117 min., Free from 16, including at Star / Disney +).