Love and Mercy (USA). I wouldn't say I've ever been a particular fan of the Beach Boys, but this biopic about the creative, troubled genius behind their distinctive sound is illuminating and luminous (and sometimes dark as well).
Rectify (USA, 2013-15). The first two seasons of this Peabody Award-winning Sundance Channel show are available on Netflix. When DNA tests free a man who has been on death row for 20 years, he, his family, and his small town have to adjust. And, by the way, did he commit the original crime after all?
Top of the Lake (New Zealand, 2013). In this miniseries, also from the Sundance Channel, a young detective in a remote New Zealand town is forced to deal with her own difficult past as she tries to find a disappeared girl.
What We Do in the Shadows (New Zealand). I'm already a bit of a sucker for a good mockumentary, but this look at the complications of contemporary vampire life rivals even the beloved Spinal Tap.
Ex Machina (USA). While pretty female androids already border on cliché, this clever little film viciously turns the cliché on its head.
White God (Hungary). A girl and her dog story turns into something much more in this strange, poetic, and violent black and white fairy tale.
Girlhood (France). An innocent falls under the sway of an all-girl street gang.
While We're Young (USA). A consistently funny and insightful look at a 40ish couple taken with the bohemian lifestyle of a much younger couple.