10 best movies like Raymond and Ray | Pretty Reel

With a star-studded cast led by Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor, Raymond & Ray’s new low-key comedy-drama is the perfect counterweight to the over-bloated blockbusters of the summer. With its quirky tone and character-driven narrative, the film continues a long line of excellent films that make viewers think.

From Oscar-winning classics like Ordinary People to lesser-known films like The Straight Story, some of cinema’s brightest gems explore dysfunctional family relationships like Raymond & Ray. While there are a ton of family movies gone wrong, only a few capture the same evocative tone as Apple TV+’s latest hit.

Our Foolish Brother (2011)

Stream on Prime Video and Tubi TV

One idea that Raymond & Ray explores in depth is how very different the lives of siblings can be, and the oft-forgotten comedy Our Idiot Brother brings these ideas to the fore. Newly released from prison, the eternal slacker Ned imposes himself on his upright sisters, and their old sibling conflicts resurface.

Starring Paul Rudd in the lead role, the film never fails to make audiences laugh while analyzing the strength of family ties. The script never makes Ned a totally hateful heel, and it’s easy to see the conflict on both sides. With a cast of comedy stars and indie cinema darlings, Our Idiot Brother passed most audiences in 2011, but it deserves a modern revisit.

Montana History (2021)

Stream on Showtime and Fubo TV

Ditching comedy and focusing exclusively on drama, Montana Story is the darkest next step for Raymond & Ray fans. After their father falls ill, two estranged siblings return to the family ranch in Montana in order to care for him, and they stir up his dark past in the process.

With the Big Sky country of Montana as a backdrop, the film is a feast for the eyes and food for thought. With the same energy and tone as some of the best neo-western films, Montana Story is a nuanced story that allows the characters to shine. Although it lacks the star power of Raymond & Ray, its themes and performances are equally strong.

Marvin’s King of Gardens (1972)

Stream on Prime Video and Tubi TV

Though it has divided critics and audiences, The King of Marvin Gardens is one of Jack Nicholson’s most underrated performances of his lofty career. The film follows a brooding radio host named David who is brought in by his brother on a get-rich-quick scheme involving an island resort. However, things heat up when David’s dour demeanor begins to spoil his brother’s good time.

Following the titanic success of Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces, The King of Marvin Gardens was an even deeper dive into character-driven storytelling. Like Raymond & Ray, the film is a comedy-drama, but the drama eventually outweighs the humor at the end. With a trio of brilliant performances from its protagonists, The King of Marvin Gardens is like a clinic in the art of cinema.

The Skeleton Twins (2014)

Stream on Starz

With SNL alums Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig in the lead roles, audiences expected heartbreaking comedy from The Skeleton Twins, but they got so much more. After a series of near-death experiences that shake them to their core, two estranged siblings reunite and explore where their lives fell apart.

Similar to Raymond & Ray, Death is what brings the characters together and serves as a reminder that life is too short to hold grudges. Wiig and Hader shocked audiences with their dramatic prowess, though some viewers were disappointed that the film often emphasized drama over comedy. With the Duplass Brothers involved, The Skeleton Twins is a great introduction to the mumblecore genre for uninitiated viewers.

The Savages (2007)

Stream on HBO Max

Coming at the height of the independent film movement of the 2000s, The Savages slipped under many viewers’ radar, but was a great film nonetheless. When their father falls ill, a brother and sister duo reunite and must learn to be responsible adults while caring for him.

Similar to Raymond & Ray, The Savages uses its basic premise as a stage for Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman to strut their stuff. Understated in the extreme, the film opted for a realistic vibe that really shines through in the believable relationship between brother and sister.

Broken Flowers (2005)

Stream on Freevee

Sibling relationships aren’t the only thing that makes for a compelling indie film, and Jim Jarmusch’s early 2000s thinker Broken Flowers showed that a parent/child relationship can be just as compelling. An aging Don Juan finds himself in an existential crisis when he discovers he had a child with one of his former lovers.

Bill Murray was the perfect choice for the lead role, and his aloof demeanor masks a man who is actually going through a midlife crisis. Jarmusch’s signature directing style culminates in one of the most abrupt endings in cinematic history, and Raymond & Ray fans can’t expect the same polished closure they got from the new movie. .

Onward (2020)

Stream on Disney Plus

Due to the events of 2020, Pixar’s Onward movie has been glossed over despite being one of the studios’ most convoluted stories. Set in a fantasy realm, the film follows two elf brothers who embark on an epic quest to spend one more day with their recently deceased father.

Far more low-key than Pixar’s usual fare, Onward is still a shining example of why the studio is so good at telling stories. Like Raymond and Ray, unusual circumstances are what bring the brothers together, and they bond over their shared loss and pain. The movie is humorous, but where it’s really best is when it elicits a few tears from its audience.

Adaptation (2002)

Stream on Hulu

Charlie Kaufman has made a name for himself as a filmmaker who tackles simple themes in the most complicated way possible. Adaptation is the story of two brothers, one is a screenwriter with a severe case of writer’s block, and the other is a carefree man who seems content with all aspects of his life.

Along with the two brothers played by Nicolas Cage, Adaptation is one of Cage’s best movies and performances. Although Raymond and Ray focus on estranged brothers, Adaptation illustrates a relationship that is at breaking point and could easily become estranged in the future.

Ordinary People (1980)

Stream on Showtime and Fubo TV

In Raymond & Ray, it’s the death of a loved one that brings them together, but death actually tears a family apart in the classic movie Ordinary People. After the death of his older brother, a teenager falls into a dark place as he is alienated from his parents who are also grieving the loss of their child.

Best known for its powerful performances, Ordinary People is actually an exercise in brilliant subtlety against a melodramatic story. Devoid of Raymond & Ray humor, the film is still a riveting analysis of survivor guilt and how a traumatic event can actually tear people apart instead of bringing them together.

The Straight Story (1999)

Stream on Disney Plus

Director David Lynch is best known for his surreal masterpieces, but his lesser-known film The Straight Story showed he could do so much more. After learning of his brother’s illness, a man goes on a trip on his lawnmower to see him before he dies.

Like Raymond & Ray, there is a quirk in the film that gives it spice. Despite this offbeat tone, the film is at its best when it’s relatable, and it’s the human story that’s most important. Although not one of Lynch’s most popular films, The Straight Story proved he was a master storyteller.

10 best movies like Raymond and Ray | Pretty Reel