Photo: Sundance Selects/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Dark and Dramatic: Phoenix
Disfigured in Auschwitz, a former cabaret singer undergoes facial reconstruction surgery and returns to her shifty husband—who doesn't recognize her. What follows is a taut, twisty tale of fraud and treachery that unfolds one betrayal at a time.
the witch

Photo: A24/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Innovative, Dark, Dramatic: The Witch
It's circa 1630. A New England boy goes missing. His older sister, suspected to be under Satan's power, is blamed. The source of this horror film's horror? The specter of black magic, certainly—but also the devilishly rendered anguish of a family fractured by paranoia.
sleeping with other people

Photo: IFC Films/Courtesy of Everett Collection

This wry friends-with-sexual-chemistry story is no standard rom-com. Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie are less Harry and Sally than Abbott and Costello, slinging barbs and reveling in sarcasm. Do they fall in love? Well, yes—but sans any cloying sweetness.

Photo: Cohen Media Group/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Dramatic and Gripping: Mustang
Five orphaned sisters in hyperconservative rural Turkey yearn for laughter, thrills, freedom, and sex. They get all of the above at tremendous cost, but the movie remains buoyant even as it breaks your heart.

Photo: Film Presence/Courtesy of Evertt Collection

Dramatic, Gripping, Innovative: Advantageous
It's the near future, when it's possible to implant one's consciousness in a host body. One single mother, newly fired, does just that, hoping a more palatable appearance will land her a job. The tension this creates between mother and daughter propels this startling film forward, building to a bracingly tender ending.