Indie Fresh List

Indie Fresh List: Bad Hair, Synchronic, and Radium Girls

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

by | October 22, 2020 | 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 Indie Fresh List, we have a horror movie about a killer weave, a time-bending sci-fi thriller, and a piece of true-crime historical fiction. In our Spotlight Section, we have a call back to a black-and-white documentary about incarcerationand we have new trailers featuring Margot RobbiePaul Bethany, and Sophia Lillis

New This Weekend 

[movie_block_apple id=771517281 tmeter=true poster=true]

Justin Simien tries his hand at the horror genre with this new thriller, which chronicles Black women’s constant struggle against unwanted, ill-informed opinions on our tresses. Black hair has literally become a political issue, as Black women and men have been discriminated against, suspended, or even fired for wearing their natural hair, and Bad Hair turns that tragic scenario into a terrifying horror device. Elle Lorraine plays Anna, a 1980s producer who installs a weave to conform to Caucasian beauty standards; the new ‘do comes at a great cost when she realizes it might actually be possessed. Nicholas Bell of IONCineama writes “Bad Hair is a fun homage to a time and place which still manages to say something pertinent about the Culture as it stands today while celebrating its resilience and integrity.”

Available to stream October 23 on Hulu.


[movie_block_apple id=771512613 tmeter=true poster=true]

In the new sci-fi thriller SynchronicJamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie team up to play best friends and paramedic partners who are called out for a string of strange and gruesome incidents. When the bizarre events hit closer to home, the pair uncover a plot to produce a powerful psychedelic that could alter their reality and the time continuum. “This philosophical core, coupled with the cynical paramedic duo premise, akin to Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead, makes for a unique, sci-fi-tinged drama with supernatural elements rooted in real-world stakes and emotion,” writes Katie Walsh of Tribune News Service. 

Playing select theaters and on VOD October 23.


[movie_block_apple id=771520054 tmeter=true poster=true]

In 1925, a group of tenacious young women set off a pro-labor lawsuit that had national implications, and Radium Girls gives that story the big-screen treatment. The American Radium Factory employed a group of young women to paint the dials of watches with glow-in-the-dark paint that contained radium, unaware of the dangers of working so directly with the element. Before the side-effects were known to the public, the girls would dip and lick brushes containing the toxic substance, causing catastrophic physical effects and eventual death. The “Radium Girls,” as they were dubbed, did fight back, however, and sued their employer, who they suspected knew about the deadly effects long before any of them started getting sick. Joey King and Abby Quinn star as sisters in the based-on-true-events historical drama that Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter says “fulfills a vital function with its dramatization of an important chapter in America’s history of labor reform.”

Playing select theaters and on VOD October 23.


Spotlight Pick

[movie_block_apple id=771517658 tmeter=true poster=true]

Fox Rich has had one goal for the past 20 years: to see the release of her husband Rob G. Rich from prison. In our spotlight selection this week we have a Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary that chronicles the human cost of mass incarceration, highlighting the inequities of who can truly find justice in our current system. Directed by Garrett BradleyTime follows Rich as she tirelessly works to free her husband, incorporating home videos and private moments to drive home the message. Time is “heartbreaking and passionate,” according to Alissa Wilkinson of Vox, and a “chronicle of love deferred and the life that hope can provide.”

 Available on Amazon Prime.


Along with…
[movie_link_apple id=771531135 tmeter=true], a thriller about a woman on the run who is stalked by a violent predator. [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771534136 tmeter=true], a documentary that examines the fight against voter disenfranchisement.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771534675 tmeter=true], a Spike Lee-directed concert documentary of Talking Heads frontman David Byrne’s live stage show. [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771511898 tmeter=true], a dark rom-com about a sickly girl who falls for the town screw-up.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771521846 tmeter=true], a thriller about a girl left alone who must battle escaped convicts when they invade her vacation home.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771514802 tmeter=true], a drama about two childhood friends who are torn apart by gang violence.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771534791 tmeter=true], a thriller about a widower recovering from a traumatic brain injury who undergoes experimental treatment.  [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771522227 tmeter=true], a rom-com about an aimless twenty-something who creates an art exhibit to showcase items from past relationships as a means to find closure.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517665 tmeter=true], a drama about a young man who is seduced by the Baltimore street bike community.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517527 tmeter=true], an in-depth documentary about trans performers on screen.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771505272 tmeter=true], a comedy about a group of teens who head to the woods for a nature hike, and hijinks ensue.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517664 tmeter=true], about a middle-aged playwright who looks to re-invent herself by returning to her hip hop roots. [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517656 tmeter=true], a documentary about the lawyers who work on landmark cases at the Supreme Court for the ACLU.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771520518 tmeter=true], a comedy about a failed thirtysomething writer travels back to her alma mater trying to relive former glory.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517033 tmeter=true], an intimate documentary on Civil Rights icon and politician John Lewis.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771512519 tmeter=true], about a trans woman who goes to extreme lengths to avoid deportation. [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517673 tmeter=true], a drama about a former beauty queen who looks to recapture her glory through her rebellious daughter’s own pageant run.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771511899 tmeter=true], a visceral Holocaust drama about a young orphan’s journey through the grim events of World War II.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517757 tmeter=true], a documentary about an artist who develops an unexpected friendship with one of the men who stole some of her paintings.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771501921 tmeter=true], a biopic about famed scientist Madame Curie.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517617 tmeter=true], a horror film centered on three generations of women as the elder matriarch suffers from Alzheimer’s.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771519151 tmeter=true], about an Ethiopian filmmaker who heads home from school to find his community is unrecognizable. [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771521401 tmeter=true], a thriller about a pair of couples who discover they’re under surveillance while vacationing at a seaside rental.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771518604  tmeter=true], a coming-of-age romantic comedy about a wild night on a college campus. [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771506759 tmeter=true], about a girl and her father who live nomadic lives out of their van.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517658 tmeter=true], a documentary about a woman’s fight to free her husband from prison. [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771534762 tmeter=true], a comedy about two former best friends who cross state lines to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771504523 tmeter=true], a sci-fi thriller about a young ham radio operator and a local DJ who hear a strange radio transmission.[/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771517273 tmeter=true], an eye-opening doc about Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s improv hip-hop group. [/movie_link_apple]
[movie_link_apple id=771535332 tmeter=true], a dark comedy-thriller about a Sheriff who appears to be the only person not convinced the town is being terrorized by a werewolf.[/movie_link_apple]

New Indie Trailers

Uncle Frank

Paul Bethany plays the enegmatic Uncle Frank to his niece, played by Sophia Lillis (It: Chapter Two), and inspires her runs away to join him in the big city.


Margot Robbie is a woman on the run in the rural south in this new western thriller.

The Donut King

A new documentary chronicles the eccentric “king” of a donut empire, Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy.

Thumbnail image by Everett Collection. 

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