Indie Fresh List

Indie Fresh List: One Night in Miami, MLK/FBI, and Promising Young Woman

Check out the latest Fresh indie releases, including what's in theaters, what's on VOD, and what's coming soon.

by | January 15, 2021 | Comments

Join us weekly as Rotten Tomatoes reports on what’s indie features are streaming. From promising releases by new voices to experimental efforts from storied filmmakers – or perhaps the next indie darling to go the distance for end-of-year accolades – we will break it all down for you here each week.

This week in our inaugural 2021 installment of Indie Fresh List, we have a theater adaptation about a famed night in history, a historical political documentary about MLK and the FBI, and newly available on VOD, a tale about a young woman going to extreme lengths to handle grief — and get vengeance. In our Spotlight Section, we have a recent drama starring The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby and a fantastical documentary about people with autism who are non-verbal.  Catching up on some trailers that dropped while we were on hiatus, we have new clips featuring Zendaya, Daniel Kaluuya, Rosamund Pike, Trevante Rhoades, and Tilda Swinton.

New This Weekend  

One Night in Miami (2020)


A fictional re-telling of a famous night in history when Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, and Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) met up after the latter was crowned the Heavyweight Champion of the world in 1964 is at the center of the drama for our first pick this week. As we singled out in our Ridiculously Early Actor and Director predictions, debut feature director Regina King (Watchmen) has assembled an incredible ensemble that includes Leslie Odom Jr.Aldis HodgeKingsley Ben-Adir, and newcomer Eli Goree. King showcases her skill not just behind the camera but in crafting elevated performances as well, and all the aforementioned names are in the Oscars conversation.

Playing in select theaters now and streaming on Amazon Prime.

MLK/FBI (2021)


Director Sam Pollard received unpreceded access to the FBI archives while assembling the historical crime documentary MLK/FBI. Though it can be classified as a crime doc, it is an equally powerful examination of the politics of activism and serves as an expose of the brutal surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, who labeled King the “most dangerous” Black person in America. “Pollard has many ways of providing material to immerse the viewer in the cultural moment and cut the tensions of government intrusion with interviews and archival footage,” writes Aaron Neuwirth of We Live Entertainment.

Playing in theaters and available on VOD now.

Writer-director and Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennel had a clear vision for her grief-stricken dramedy that was more than a rage-filled revenge plot. “I think lots of people think that this film is very sort of scorched-earth, but actually… much of the movie is about forgiveness and redemption and the possibility of those things. But those things only come after some honesty and some self-scrutiny and apology,” Fennel told us when we chatted earlier this month. A favorite with critics since its Sundance debut, the film was released by Focus Features on Christmas Day, and just three weeks later, we now get it on VOD.

Available on VOD now. 

Spotlight Picks

The Reason I Jump (2021)


Inspired by the acclaimed Japanese memoir originally written by a young man named Naoki Higashida when he was just 13 years old, the documentary The Reason I Jump explores neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people, offering fresh, fascinating insight into the world as seen through their eyes. Critics were enraptured with praise for the film — it currently sits at 97% on the Tomatometer — which illustrates that just because you don’t speak, it doesn’t mean you have nothing to say. It will be “revelatory for viewers who know little about the subject, and affirmative for caregivers and parents of children on the autism spectrum,” writes Marjorie Baumgarten of the Austin Chronicle.

Playing in select theaters. 

Pieces of a Woman (2020)


In Pieces of a Woman, Vanessa Kirby (Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Hobbs & Shaw, Netflix’s The Crown) plays a young mother who loses her child during childbirth and then attempts the herculean task of piecing herself back together after the tragedy. Things are not helped by her narcissistic mother and her well-meaning but clueless husband, who also happens to be a recovering addict. Kirby, who picked up the Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival, is a favorite to nab a nomination in the same category for the Oscars, and Sara Michelle Fetters of writes that “Kirby’s magnificence alone makes Pieces of a Woman worthy of a look.”

Streaming now on Netflix.

Along with…

New Indie Trailers

I Care a Lot

Rosamund Pike plays a nefarious assisted living CEO who tries to con the wrong person (Dianne Wiest) and gets in over her head.

The Human Voice 

Tilda Swinton stars in Pedro Almodóvar’s (Pain & Glory) first English-language film — and clocking in at 30 minutes, it’s a short one — inspired by the play of the same name by Jean Cocteau about a woman dealing with some personal issues in dramatic fashion.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Recording artist-turned-actress Audra Day and Trevante Rhodes appear in this clip from the long-awaited biopic about Jazz legend Billie Holiday and her frequent legal troubles.

More than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story

An examination and celebration of the unseen life of actor Pat Morita, who the world knew as the sage Karate sensei Mr. Miyagi.

Judas and the Black Messiah 

A second trailer from the upcoming historical thriller Judas and the Black Messiah goes in-depth on the figures from the dramatized take on the assassination of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton; starring Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield.

Malcolm & Marie

Zendaya and Tenet’s John David Washington give us more on their characters in the soulful second trailer from Euphoria creator Sam Levinson’s shot-in-quarantine feature Malcolm & Marie.

Thumbnail image by Focus Features

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

anthology casting HBO Go Esquire crime Hulu stoner Crackle Television Critics Association TCM Peacock ViacomCBS dc critics adventure Mary Poppins Returns Fantasy Britbox indie 007 Disney Channel Black Mirror Superheroes BBC America hispanic werewolf nbcuniversal scorecard A24 true crime japanese singing competition toy story spanish supernatural San Diego Comic-Con space Lionsgate President renewed TV shows Fox Searchlight social media Ovation Trivia hist 24 frames Nominations cooking Starz Biopics Comics on TV die hard Endgame Rocketman WGN USA Network transformers Black History Month biography romantic comedy TruTV godzilla fast and furious discovery TIFF Lifetime Christmas movies science fiction Mindy Kaling spider-man festivals Musical war Captain marvel Tumblr unscripted Brie Larson tv talk Martial Arts foreign blockbusters king kong Acorn TV New York Comic Con Turner Classic Movies deadpool Sneak Peek Comedy Central medical drama kong streaming MCU Disney Plus American Society of Cinematographers Extras Paramount Mudbound animated rotten movies we love Emmys archives LGBT dramedy Podcast IFC strong female leads Sundance Now Musicals OWN Sci-Fi zero dark thirty ABC Family Superheroe Teen screen actors guild laika finale TNT historical drama obituary game of thrones Amazon Prime Video Star Trek crime drama See It Skip It Amazon The Academy natural history documentary YouTube Red telelvision zombie comedies 21st Century Fox Shudder psycho theme song name the review Reality twilight HBO Emmy Nominations pirates of the caribbean cops GIFs Holidays mutant AMC Rock Adult Swim Marvel Television comiccon RT21 Travel Channel Pirates Animation concert dragons NYCC elevated horror parents 99% Classic Film kids 45 Pop BET cars south america The Arrangement Universal comics VH1 ABC Comic Book MSNBC Lifetime spanish language Set visit indiana jones what to watch TV One Spike IFC Films Turner Election stop motion Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Nat Geo vampires Comedy SundanceTV political drama Western blockbuster Ellie Kemper National Geographic Arrowverse films Anna Paquin 2017 BBC One DirecTV asian-american technology stand-up comedy Dark Horse Comics Disney news game show Hear Us Out Academy Awards Film Festival golden globe awards doctor who 4/20 Country DC Universe Binge Guide batman Apple TV Plus a nightmare on elm street Legendary jamie lee curtis Walt Disney Pictures Alien GLAAD Avengers CW Seed MTV PaleyFest Music sports FXX boxoffice halloween book TLC aliens cancelled television zombies dceu HBO Max Year in Review Broadway justice league movie Mystery women harry potter VICE DGA popular 2021 Creative Arts Emmys YouTube Disney+ Disney Plus Schedule teaser Trailer police drama scary movies cats Awards jurassic park Winter TV franchise emmy awards joker composers chucky screenings comic books Pride Month Cartoon Network hollywood romance Tarantino toronto Vudu Red Carpet The Walt Disney Company Cosplay richard e. Grant ghosts Paramount Network Elton John revenge 2020 TCA australia Fox News boxing hidden camera latino Warner Bros. Tubi SDCC Netflix Christmas movies Netflix spy thriller BET Awards E! prank reviews spain trailers versus Chernobyl worst Sundance TV movies remakes Interview criterion Awards Tour TCA Awards cancelled Oscars video adaptation FX on Hulu Bravo WarnerMedia USA Pixar Logo nfl Winners NBC christmas movies Thanksgiving CBS satire PlayStation Spectrum Originals Apple TV+ cinemax LGBTQ based on movie Fall TV CMT Epix italian fresh Kids & Family Drama YA facebook 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Star Wars serial killer superhero OneApp BAFTA First Look A&E french mockumentary Christmas canceled Crunchyroll VOD razzies green book Television Academy cartoon Hallmark kaiju Trophy Talk Sundance DC streaming service Character Guide Pop TV ID all-time Watching Series Valentine's Day CBS All Access 2015 El Rey superman 2018 festival Horror 72 Emmy Awards TV Land Photos Cannes Box Office Song of Ice and Fire Syfy Summer YouTube Premium Best and Worst cancelled TV series ratings period drama TCA Winter 2020 slashers mission: impossible Apple FX travel GoT 2016 Pet Sematary Paramount Plus TV Family breaking bad child's play universal monsters Amazon Prime Certified Fresh FOX 2019 rt archives Super Bowl classics rotten Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt television independent Columbia Pictures Tomatazos Amazon Studios Mary poppins Women's History Month SXSW award winner Showtime Countdown dark ABC Signature talk show Freeform miniseries halloween tv Premiere Dates monster movies Hallmark Christmas movies Grammys james bond Polls and Games Masterpiece football Rom-Com Food Network Infographic CNN Nickelodeon The Purge dogs crossover comic sag awards Rocky Discovery Channel Spring TV robots Lucasfilm sequel Holiday canceled TV shows BBC TV renewals sequels children's TV X-Men psychological thriller worst movies rom-coms Video Games Reality Competition Marathons Shondaland cancelled TV shows E3 directors documentaries series Calendar Mary Tyler Moore ITV TBS Quiz binge Stephen King cults History venice Writers Guild of America black reboot video on demand anime best PBS Action free movies 71st Emmy Awards ESPN The Witch spinoff RT History thriller golden globes witnail quibi The CW Exclusive Video Ghostbusters Disney streaming service Film nature disaster diversity DC Comics TCA 2017 Baby Yoda sitcom docudrama docuseries First Reviews crime thriller APB Toys blaxploitation The Walking Dead 20th Century Fox Marvel Studios Heroines Marvel Opinion politics Sony Pictures Funimation