David Bowie is an icon, but you are probably only familiar with this Nicholas Roeg movie if you are into art films or the kind of movie watcher who aspires to view the whole Criterion Collection. I first tried to watch it when I was 15 and going through a huge Bowie phase—St. David plays the lonely alien at the center of The Man Who Fell to Earth—but teenage-me found it tedious and confusing, and I quickly turned it off. I’m happy to report that I was wrong.
While it lacks the special effects and action of most sci-fi, seen through (somewhat) adult eyes, The Man Who Fell to Earth is a hypnotic and haunting rumination on the nature of corruption, alienation, and despair. It hearkens back to an era of film where directors took huge risks trying to create unique and timeless art. The Man Who Fell to Earth doesn’t always succeed, but it comes close, and what more can you really ask for a film you can stream for free?
Where to watch: Prime Video