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Los Angeles. Atlanta. Oakland. Detroit. St. Louis. Pittsburgh. All cities that find themselves in the thick of the playoff-baseball hunt this month. Movie-wise, these are also cities with a rich cinematic history, and we're in the mood to celebrate each one of them. Maybe this is how you determine which teams to pick in your office playoff pool. Who's to say? That's between you and your $10. All these films are streaming online right now, though, and every one of them is well worth your time.
The Comedy Option: The Kids Are All Right
The comedy here is tempered by a lot of humanity and tears, sure, but there's a comedic soul and lightness to Lisa Cholodenko's tale of a Los Angeles family looking to find its identity in the face of a stagnating marriage (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), kids on the verge of venturing out into the world (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson), and the "interloper" who made the whole family possible in the first place (Mark Ruffalo).
The Drama Option: Zodiac
With the hunt for the Zodiac killer spanning the entire Bay Area, Oakland gets to mix it up in David Fincher's atmospherically terrifying serial-killer procedural.
The Documentary Option: Detropia
The present-day struggled of Detroit to stay afloat economically are reflected in this bracing look at the decline of a major American city and the vibrant culture of a city worth saving.
The Indie Option: King of the Hill
Steven Soderbergh's Depression-era film is seen through the eyes of a young boy trying to make it on his own in 1930s St. Louis. Check out an impossibly young Jesse Bradford in the lead role.
The TV Option: The Walking Dead
The Atlanta-centrism of the first season makes this a perfect entry for Braves fans looking to rep some Atlanta pride. Just don't read too much into the title when assessing the team's playoff chances.
The Wild Card: Flashdance
No mention of Pittsburgh's finest could ignore this classic tale of a Steel Town welder with a pair of leg-warmers and a dream to dance. If Jennifer Beals isn't asked to throw out the first pitch at any of the Pirates' playoff games, there's something wrong with baseball.