Andrew Lapin

Last Christmas is moviemaking as a Top Chef challenge. Your assignment: Craft a warm, engaging, character-driven romantic comedy, a type in very short supply these days. Your must-use ingredients: Lots of Christmas tinsel and, for some reason, the entire back catalog of George Michael.

Netflix is the perfect home for low-budget stage adaptations, and the service should really be churning them out with the same frequency as its stand-up specials. Its take on American Son, the hyper-topical drama by Christopher Demos-Brown that premiered on Broadway last year, isn't trying to be fancy. The film is almost entirely contained inside the police station that serves as the show's setting, with occasional, unnecessary flashbacks to other moments and moods.

In the opening scenes of the new French drama By The Grace Of God, we see a Catholic family man named Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud) taking his wife and five kids to church. He's happy, excited to share his faith with his family. In voiceover, though, we hear him say he'd been molested repeatedly by his priest thirty years prior. What's more, he's recently learned the priest has returned to the area, and is again in close contact with children.

In Jexi, Adam DeVine's life partner calls him an idiot, a "little bitch," and many other, less printable things. The abuse is near-constant. The person heaping it on him is his phone.

Covering up a crime is hard work when you do everything half-assed. The Death of Dick Long, a gnarly new dark comedy about some misbehaving adult boys in Alabama, imagines what would happen if the dumbest people alive wound up with a dead body on their hands.

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