I have 491 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.

What’s the movie? Noise (2007)

What’s it rated? Unrated for the silence of the city, the isolation in our lives and the screeching behind our eyes.

Did people make it? Written and Directed by Matthew Saville. Acted by Brendan Cowell, Maia Thomas, Fiona MacLeod, Luke Elliot, Nicholas Bell, Katie Wall, Henry Nixon and Simon Laherty.

What’s it like in one sentence? A character study masquerading as a thriller.

Why did you watch it? RelaxingDragon made it sound awfully appealing.

What’s it about in one paragraph? After a brutal mass murder on a subway train, the only survivor of the shooting and a cop with tinnitus get pulled into the aftermath. As their everyday lives start getting infused with madness, paranoia and good old fashioned complacency, they’ll have to wade through the bullshit to figure out whether the danger is real or just a figment of their own ever expanding isolation.

Meet the next Rusell Crowe: Mr. Brendan Cowell. He acts real good.

Play or remove from my queue? Play this one most immediately. Noise is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while, even though I’m pretty sure I’m not smart enough to have grabbed several of the pieces it was putting down. I’m not going to go into it too heavily this week because I need to watch it again to see if I can find a few of the threads that seemed to disappear by the ending, or to at least discover that the threads actually go nowhere and it was all just a bunch of smoke and mirrors. When the closing credits hit, I felt extremely satisfied with the film and exhilarated to have discovered such a wonderful character piece that wasn’t a dreadful slog to get through, but as I thought about the film more and more, I realized that there were several side plots (and even a main one) that had no resolution at all. The reason I know it’s a great film though is that I don’t care. I just feel lucky to have discovered the movie. Thanks RelaxingDragon! I do think all the pieces are there for me to put together, however, I just need to find them.

The direction is subtle and assured first time feature director Matthew Saville and the central performance by Brendan Cowell is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. In a just universe, Cowell would be the next giant Australian import like Russell Crowe, Sam Worthington or Mel Gibson. He’s fantastic and his performance is filled with these tiny interesting choices you don’t find many actors making. It’s a star-making performance and I can’t wait to see Cowell in many more things. Other characters do seem to get the short shrift a bit, as some seem to come and go in service of the story and don’t end up being as crucial as they initially seem but, again, all of this feels purposeful and extremely important to what the filmmaker is trying to say. Cowell is the only character I felt connected to, but the connection was so strong that the film really didn’t need to hang its weight on anyone else.

Minor Spoilers

Next week I’ll try and figure out a few of the things perplexing me with the film (like what Cowell sees in Lucky Phil’s picture towards the end or why the killer let Lavina live or how the killing of Dean’s fiancee’ ties into the train killings). Even if I can’t figure some of these questions out (and the 4 or 5 other ones I have), I’ll still be grateful to the film for being thought provoking and fascinating enough to make me care.

"There's like 8 or 9 dead bodies in here and it smells no worse than normal. What the fuck?"

Do you have a favorite line? I don’t want to transcribe it because it’s too powerful to spoil for you, but Constable McGahan’s monologue to Dean about what he thinks heaven and hell are like is one of the finest pieces of writing I’ve experienced in months.

Do you have an interesting fun-fact? It’s not very fun, but this film only made $16,157 in the United States. That shit is crazy. Why don’t people like good things? At least The Grey did well this weekend, as I was pretty worried about that one.

What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? Day Night Day Night (sounds promising), Rule of Three (looks interesting but the user reviews are ass. Not that that means anything, though), New Town Killers (started watching this and I’m not too sure about it), Bubble (haven’t gotten around to this one) and The Square (truly excellent film).

What does Jared say I’d like if I like this? The only other film that is comparable to Noise (that I can think of) is the wonderful Danish film from 2008 called Terribly Happy. They’re both about isolation, both internal and external, and deal with a cop sent to an area they’re not familiar with to do a job they’re not excited about. These films together would make for a wonderfully quirky and insane double feature.

What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 3.5

What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? 4.5

Can you link to the movie? I sure can!

Any last thoughts? Just that it’s a really gorgeous film, not just in how it’s shot, but in how it’s acted and written, as well. I can’t wait to go into it more in the spoilers section of next weeks column. I don’t think many people have seen this (judging from the $16,000 it made in the states), so I hope you have a chance to watch it this week so we can dive into it more in the comments.

Did you watch anything else this week? Watched Season 1 of Boardwalk Empire, which was pretty great, but kind of underwhelming at the same time. I wasn’t invested enough in the elections for that to be the main focus of the finale. Plus, any show that wastes the talent of Michael K. Williams is not using it’s brain. I also saw The Grey last night and am still glowing from it. What a fantastic film. If this isn’t on my top ten of 2012 list, then we’ll be in for one hell of a year.

Any spoilerish thoughts about last week’s film, Bunraku?  Nope, it’s already forgotten.

Next Week? Your pick. The Evictors? Case 39? The Escapist? Limitless? Dylan Dog? 11\11\11? There’s too many!

Mitt Romney as Two-Face!