AT THE MOVIES - Look past the obvious for your next movie night in

AT THE MOVIES - Look past the obvious for your next movie night in

As the tepid springtime weather in New England continues to inspire weekend shut-ins, a dollar grab for a DVD at the local supermarket makes for a cheap and convenient escape from abnormally brisk temperatures. But what to grab on the fly when faced with a list of uninspiring movies previously screened in theaters, and a rapidly melting ice cream haul on hand? Here are six recent unsuspecting diamonds in the rough for discerning renters, buried in a queue of blockbusters, sure to suitably ail a bit of late-April apathy.

(The Crass Crime Flick) "Killer Joe" - William Friedkin's low down, dirty southern saga of destitute double crossin' is not for the tame at heart, and packs a wallop for those looking for a bit of steamy scandalization. Matthew McConaughey, as a full-time detective, part-time contract killer in Texas, leaps out of his rom-com shell and bounds toward a better career with a performance that will convince you never to look at fried chicken the same way again.

(The Quirky Sundance Hit) "Safety Not Guaranteed" - Featuring scene-stealing secondary characters from your favorite sitcoms ("Parks and Recreation's" Aubrey Plaza and "New Girl's" Jake Johnson) this smartly-written, well-acted dramedy breezes by without whimsy or pretension. Praise goes to Mark Duplass, as a loner who places a classified ad for a time travel companion which attracts the attention of journalists Plaza and Johnson. Duplass crafts a wounded character struggling with regret in a film far more thoughtful than it seems.

(The Tense Thriller) "End of Watch" - In and out of theaters faster than anyone could ever spell Gyllenhaal, the shaky-cam cop thriller by "Training Day's" David Ayer deserved a bigger box office pull and more acclaim for underrated actor Michael Pena. Pena and Gyllenhaal star as LAPD cops with brass cojones and bad timing, after an unfortunate run-in with the Mexican Cartel sets off an ultra-violent and expletive-laden chain of events laced with enough intensity to rival an episode of "Breaking Bad."

(The Inspiring Documentary) "Searching for Sugarman" - 2012 saw a wealth of brilliant documentaries, but the tale of the long-forgotten Detroit musician Rodriguez was certainly the most heart-warming. Winner of the Best Documentary Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, the story of a legend in another land (Rodriguez's '70s folk album flopped in the states but found success in South Africa) is a compelling journey with a tear-inducing payoff, epically scoped like a grand biopic with earnest intentions.

(The Warm, Sci-Fi-Tinged Drama) "Robot & Frank" - Its full-length trailer may be laughably crafted, but the future-set Frank Langella drama is surprisingly touching without being syrupy. The story of a former thief begrudgingly existing with his caretaker robot, Langella is warm and commanding in a script that plays like a Very Special Episode of "The Twilight Zone." Susan Sarandon co-stars as an earthy librarian with a soft-spot for Frank, bridging the gap between past sensibilities and future compliance, a simple but dignified theme.

(The Charismatic Black Comedy) "Bernie" - Richard Linklater's dark comedy true story about a fanciful Texan mortician suspected of murdering his widowed companion is a quiet and caustic character study, with a lead performance by Jack Black so out-of-the-box impressive it's a shame the academy barely flinched during nomination season. Co-starring the always brassy Shirley MacLaine as Black's rude companion, Linklater's film rests on its actors' shoulders and never topples, and Bernie - with his snake-oil smile and ardent affection for his hometown - is such a fascinating study, the simple tale is enhanced by its uniquely engaging main character.