Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Marathon Man

John Schlesinger’s classic 1976 thriller has retained its ability to shock. Dustin Hoffman stars as a marathon runner and college student who becomes the target of a Nazi fugitive, played by Sir Laurence Olivier. Hoffman — in his second film with Schlesinger after their Oscar-winning “Midnight Cowboy” — and Olivier are astonishing together, marking a major highlight in both their careers. Watching two definitive screen actors share riveting and unbearably intense scenes together make this an unforgettable event. William Goldman’s screenplay is pulpy, but exciting. The only drawback is that it may put you off from visiting the dentist, possibly forever. (On Paramount+)

The Joy Luck Club

When it comes to remarkable mother-daughter movies, Wayne Wang’s 1993 masterpiece is worth revisiting — or discovering for the first time. Based on Amy Tan’s bestselling 1989 novel, this ensemble drama is about generations of Chinese-American women connecting with their Chinese immigrant heritages. The film is absorbing, beautifully told and emotionally overwhelming. There are simply too many memorable scenes and performances to cite, with Tsai Chin, Tamlyn Tomita and Rosalind Chao’s work leaving a lasting impression. This is one of the best films of its year. (On Hulu)

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