DPL Staff Movie Picks: December

The year is about two weeks away from ending and you have survived 2021! What better way to reflect on the past 365 days than be talking about your favorite movie of the year that you saw? Our staff here at DPL decided to do just that this month!

Nearly all Denver Public Library locations are open for walk-in services but if you’re not yet comfortable coming out to public spaces, we still have so many services available! For Denver residents, we have Kanopy, which is always updating with new, awesome films ranging from documentaries to indie films and classics to blockbusters, all for at-home streaming. We also have several recurring virtual programs for all my movie lovers out there called Doc & Talk and What We’re Watching.

Also, as you know, so many great movies are adapted from great books, so if you’re looking for your next great read, feel free to try our Personalized Reading List service, in which our librarians will review what you have loved to read in the past and create a list of new titles specifically designed for you. We’ll also make you a Curbside Bundle full of surprises, if you’d like!

See you next month, stay safe, sane, and watch a movie!

Rachel R.

Staged (2020-2021) Kanopy
David Tennant and Michael Sheen are famous actors and real life friends who decide to virtually practice a play during lockdown, but things are harder, weirder, and funnier than they expect. Special guest stars often pop up and each season can be watched in an afternoon. A funny, sweet, and original show to watch during these times. 


Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-) DVD
The life and times of Larry David and the predicaments he gets himself into with his friends and complete strangers. 


The Donut King (2020) Kanopy
About Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee who built a multimillion dollar donut shop empire in California. “An immigrant story with a (glazed) twist, The Donut King follows the journey of Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy, who arrived in California in the 1970s and, through a mixture of diligence and luck, built a multi-million dollar donut empire up and down the West Coast”--https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/documentaries/the-donut-king/

Le’ Trail

Free guy (2021) DVD
A bank teller, who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story, one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way, before it is too late.


John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020) DVD
Remind yourself of the Civil Rights icon’s path, including those notable times through the 60s to his decades as a congressman. Archival footage and interviews show his leadership style, developed as a child when he preached to the chickens, and highlight his continued push to expand and protect voting rights. Lewis died shortly after the film’s release but he reflects on moments from his life, even being surprised at photos he didn’t know were taken. This is a good film to reignite a passion for politics or social justice.


Mountain (2018) DVD & Kanopy
It’s really hard this year to get psyched for winter activities, but this action film will have you headed for the higher altitudes! Mountain is a visual and aural ode to the beauty, mystery, and power of mountains, and the people who commune with them. It draws on 2,000 hours of filming across twenty-two countries and is narrated sparsely and with solemnity by Willem Dafoe. The Australian Chamber Orchestra provides a score that blends seamlessly with the visuals. The film showcases the world's highest places rather than any individual mountain and includes footage of early mountaineers as well as examples of the modern-day exploitation of mountains.

Kristen A. 

One Night in Miami… (2020) DVD
On February 25, 1964 – less than a year before Malcolm X (played by Kingsley Ben-Adir) was assassinated – he hung out with Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom, Jr), Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), and JIm Brown (Aldis Hodge) in his hotel room after Clay’s big fight against Sonny Liston. What happened? What did they talk about? The film, so beautifully directed by Regina King, imagines a fascinating possibility, with incredible music!


The Green Knight (2021) DVD and Blu-Ray
Based on the classic Arthurian legend, this is the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel) who goes on a journey to find the gigantic emerald, “Green Knight” who challenges Gawain to a test of skill and bravery towards the movie’s beginning.  We follow Gawain on his surreal, yet beautifully filmed journey.  If you want to read the tale this movie is based on, DPL also has it available (and we even have a juvenile version too)!

Erin W.

Three Identical Strangers (2018) DVD, Blu-Ray, Kanopy
This documentary about identical triplets who find one another in adulthood has a jaw-dropping twist that raises a lot of questions. A fantastic pick for anyone interested in psychology and sociology.


A Perfect Planet (2021) DVD
Focusing on the huge forces that shape and hold our world together, like weather, volcanos, the sun, and oceans, this is classic Sir David Attenborough nature documentary. Did you know every single spot on the planet receives the same amount of sunlight, just in differing seasonal distributions? Amazing.


Never Gonna Snow Again (2020) Poland, DVD
Zhenia is a Russian-speaking Ukrainian masseur who appears at a gated Polish community and becomes the center of his clients’ lives. This comedic drama has a fairytale vibe that tetteres on the edge of Brothers Grimm but the sociopolitical satire doesn’t drag the viewer into darkness. Beautiful lighting and other treats await lucky viewers. Directing duties shared by Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert.


Written by lhall-nance on December 16, 2021