RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Lee Daniels' The Butler, Riddick, Carrie, and More

Enough Said, Fruitvale Station, 20 Feet From Stardom, Short Term 12, and even more.

by | January 14, 2014 | Comments

It looks like the studios have finally gotten back into the groove, as far as home video releases are concerned. This week, we’ve got a few big releases to talk about, but they’re far overshadowed by the wealth of smaller, critically acclaimed films on the list. We’ve got a total of seven Certified Fresh movies coming out this week, ranging from a clever home invasion thriller to an unconventional coming-of-age story to a music documentary. Read on for the full list:

Lee Daniels’ The Butler


Lee Daniels’ The Butler looked like an awards contender early on, and though much of the buzz has died down since then, it’s still likely a movie worth seeing. Loosely based on the life of longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, who recounts his life growing up in Georgia during the 1920s and learning to be a house servant before working under several US presidents. The film follows Gaines as he and his family navigate the tumultuous years of the Civil Rights Era. With Lee Daniels (Precious) at the helm and a remarkable all-star cast that included Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, and Cuba Gooding Jr., as well as folks like Robin Williams, John Cusack, and Alan Rickman standing in as various presidents, The Butler impressed critics mostly with its acting, despite a sometimes uneven narrative. At 73% on the Tomatometer, it’s an interesting and emotional look at American history from a unique perspective.



After a nine-year absence that pretty much had most fans assuming 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick would be the last anyone would see of the series’ sci-fi antihero, David Twohy returned to the world of Richard B. Riddick for a third installment, simply titled Riddick, with Vin Diesel reprising the title role. This time out, Riddick finds himself marooned on a desolate, predator-infested planet with no recourse but to send out a distress beacon, which alerts bounty hunters to his presence. Hoping to flee the planet and travel to his home planet of Furya, Riddick must dispatch the mercenaries and commandeer one of their ships. None of the films in this franchise is a critical winner, but for what it’s worth, Riddick is so far the best-reviewed at 59%, with critics calling it a passable sci-fi actioner that recalls many of the thrills of the first film, which helped inspire a cult fanbase. If you’re a superfan, you might also be interested in the Complete Collection set available on Blu-ray this week.



Did this movie need to be made, especially considering Brian DePalma’s 1976 adaptation of the Stephen King novel is so well regarded? Probably not, but one could possibly argue that, after more than 35 years, it made some sense to update the story with a more contemporary high school setting. Young star Chloe Grace Moretz plays the awkward Carrie White this time, while Julianne Moore takes on the role of her overbearing religious nutcase mother. Carrie isn’t very popular at school, but there’s one thing that sets her apart from other bullied teens: she’s telekinetic. And very upset. Director Kimberly Peirce hits all the proper notes here, but largely fails to find anything new to show or say, and because of that, most critics found Carrie rather superfluous, despite its solid performances. At 49%, it’s not a terrible film, but it’s just not different enough from DePalma’s version to justify its existence.

Enough Said


Contrary to what you may have heard, Enough Said isn’t, in fact, James Gandolfini’s final appearance on film; that comes later this year in Animal Rescue. That said, if this had been his last performance, it would have been a pretty great swan song. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Eva, a divorced single mother and masseuse who finds a friend in a new client (Catherine Keener) and begins dating a single father (Gandolfini) with a daughter of his own. It’s only later that Eva realizes her two new companions are exes, which complicates both relationships. Certified Fresh at 96% on the Tomatometer, Enough Said earned accolades for its wit and charm, as well as a thoughtfully bittersweet script buoyed by strong performances all around — Julia Louis-Dreyfus was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work here. It’s an understated dramedy for the grown-up set that’s worth seeing for the acting alone.

You’re Next


Home invasion thrillers have become quite popular these past few years, and of the two we got last year involving masked intruders, You’re Next came out squarely on top. Crispian (AJ Bowen) and his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) travel out to a remote vacation house for Crispian’s family reunion, unaware that a trio of murderers in animal masks lie in wait. As chaos breaks out during dinner, the family members scramble to survive, while one in particular reveals a previously undisclosed knack for survival. Critics mostly agreed that You’re Next succeeded in overcoming typical slasher conventions, injecting a dose of dark humor and some fresh twists to set it apart from the pack. Certified Fresh at 74%, it’s a gory, energetic affair that’s more fun than most.

Fruitvale Station


Ryan Coogler’s debut feature premiered at Sundance last year, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, and the film and its up-and-coming star, Michael B. Jordan, have earned numerous accolades since. Another based-on-real-events tale, Fruitvale follows Oscar Grant (Jordan) as he spends December 31, 2008, with his loved ones, including his mother, his girlfriend, and his daughter, before the tragic and widely publicized events of the following morning. It’s a deeply felt slice-of-life narrative bolstered by a star making performance from Jordan, who some might remember as Wallace from HBO’s The Wire, as well as strong supporting turns from Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz, and it’s Certified Fresh at 94% on the Tomatometer. Yeah, it’s probably worth a watch.

Short Term 12


Speaking of powerful dramas with outstanding lead performances, here’s another one that was almost completely overlooked last year by anyone outside of the critical community. Brie Larson, who’s had a solid run of supporting roles in the past few years, shines bright here as Grace, a committed supervisor at a foster care home for at-risk teens. With the help of her coworker boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), Grace is focused on transitioning one sensitive young man out of the facility when a gifted teenage girl named Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) arrives and forms a unique bond with her. Critics were near-universal in their praise for Short Term 12, which they found to be a revealing drama that effectively communicated the plights of neglected youths with great empathy. This is another strong Certified Fresh choice this week at 99% on the Tomatometer.

20 Feet From Stardom


We might as well keep the streak going, right? 20 Feet From Stardom very narrowly missed winning the Golden Tomato Award for best-reviewed documentary of 2013. The film focuses on a particular group of unsung (no pun intended) heroes in the music industry: the backup singers. While interviews with stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Mick Jagger help round out the narrative, the strength of the doc resides in the personal stories of the backup singers themselves, phenomenally talented artists who, in many cases, simply never got the recognition they deserved for making everyone else sound so good. Certified Fresh at 99% on the Tomatometer, 20 Feet From Stardom is a rich, fascinating, and eye-opening documentary with a killer soundtrack.

The Spectacular Now


As we’ve written before, 2013 was a pretty good year for coming-of-age films, and The Spectacular Now is arguably the best of the bunch. That’s perhaps not so surprising when you consider the film was directed by James Ponsoldt, who displayed a knack for delicate relationship drama in 2012’s Smashed, and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, who showed similar prowess when they penned (500) Days of Summer. Miles Teller plays Sutter Keely, a charming party boy who spends little time considering his future, and Shailene Woodley is Aimee Finecky, the geeky “good girl” Sutter eventually develops a crush on. As the two grow closer and begin a relationship, Sutter’s flighty ways and increasing alcoholism become obstacles, and he must finally decide what his future will hold. Critics praised The Spectacular Now for its earnest portrayals of young romance and its refusal to rely on its genre’s all-too-familiar themes. Certified Fresh at 92%, it’s a poignant, sensitive look at growing up featuring fine performances.

Blue Caprice


Finally, we cap our long list of Certified Fresh films with Blue Caprice, a dark drama inspired by the infamous Beltway sniper attacks in Washington D.C. back in 2002. Isaiah Washington is John Allen Muhammad, a native Louisianan with a grudge against his country, and Tequan Richmond plays Lee Malvo, the Jamaican-American teen who sees a father figure in Muhammad and soon finds himself swept up into John’s murderous ambitions. First timer Alexandre Moors directs with an unbiased hand, allowing the events to unfold without really skewing the narrative one way or the other, but critics found this method powerful and chilling. Add in a couple of terrific performances from its leads and a smart script, and you’ve got yet another based-on-true-events story effectively translated to the big screen.

Also available this week:

  • +1 (64%), a sci-fi thriller about three friends at a college party who encounter a supernatural phenomenon that creates doppelgangers.
  • A.C.O.D. (51%), starring Adam Scott and Richard Jenkins in a comedy about a grown man who learns he was part of a study on divorce when he was young, and promptly loses control of his life.
  • A Single Shot (51%), starring Sam Rockwell and William H. Macy in a thriller about a hunter who accidentally kills a woman, then makes off with the box of cash he found on her.

Tag Cloud

reboot Alien Musical Mary Tyler Moore cancelled television news Brie Larson FX Ghostbusters Awards Tour witnail Tubi USA Network Heroines X-Men NBA golden globes 20th Century Fox live action HBO Go cartoon Hear Us Out based on movie true crime Instagram Live Rocky Image Comics aapi sports kong target scene in color broadcast Superheroes saw BBC One NBC Oscar 2015 Trivia women concert facebook cops CMT Box Office Rom-Com ID DirecTV ABC Signature Drama vampires Wes Anderson 21st Century Fox prank remakes Pet Sematary Writers Guild of America First Look crime thriller docudrama Amazon black satire Black Mirror TV One TCA Winter 2020 24 frames Indigenous child's play Valentine's Day Chernobyl MTV crime Schedule obituary Animation zombie target Mary Poppins Returns New York Comic Con rt archives boxoffice Election documentaries TV Polls and Games South by Southwest Film Festival romantic comedy biopic Tokyo Olympics MGM Avengers 90s aliens binge Holidays The Arrangement Travel Channel award winner Horror obi wan action-comedy vs. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina high school feel good IFC Films singing competition theme song Geeked Week art house 71st Emmy Awards Bravo transformers TCM tv talk Exclusive Video ABC Netflix DGA Adult Swim robots travel politics SDCC 4/20 heist movie nfl Paramount Plus zombies royal family indie Paramount Network social media MSNBC game of thrones interviews spinoff Spike harry potter HBO Universal Pictures Prime Video fast and furious streaming spy thriller romance LGBT crime drama 1990s Anna Paquin Amazon Prime doctor who 93rd Oscars Tumblr Freeform Sony 79th Golden Globes Awards casting movie japanese chucky Family archives Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt FXX Paramount Pictures critics king arthur Sci-Fi Opinion 94th Oscars AMC Plus sequel festival OneApp worst movies green book toronto PaleyFest trophy Interview Star Trek new york Infographic 72 Emmy Awards Pirates batman ITV Winners Apple TV+ Cannes E3 Red Carpet CW Seed emmy awards scene in color film series Podcast popular blockbuster Hallmark Christmas movies Disney Channel Pop TV kaiju comic books Women's History Month YouTube Red richard e. Grant YA PlayStation dark Action best dogs 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards pirates of the caribbean YouTube Premium adventure sitcom jamie lee curtis genre olympics slashers godzilla mcc TV movies Mindy Kaling TV Land foreign GLAAD Sundance Now Sony Pictures 99% disaster Masterpiece serial killer Christmas comic blaxploitation Tarantino Nat Geo book police drama Fargo LGBTQ Academy Awards screen actors guild SXSW 2022 marvel cinematic universe Kids & Family new star wars movies Lifetime leaderboard sequels fresh OWN Broadway Fox Searchlight biography Oscars Captain marvel spider-man HBO Max japan legend composers HFPA french know your critic Emmy Nominations video on demand Spectrum Originals Calendar monster movies Elton John TCA Awards quibi Emmys rt labs critics edition space telelvision Marvel VOD thriller Song of Ice and Fire Western TIFF MCU Martial Arts series Ovation Shudder renewed TV shows teaser stoner Comics on TV Television Academy Britbox See It Skip It GIFs worst war Thanksgiving Sundance TV 73rd Emmy Awards natural history NYCC CNN History deadpool Trailer hidden camera Sneak Peek Disney+ Disney Plus BBC America cancelled TV shows First Reviews SXSW slasher Endgame Holiday Marvel Television Stephen King Pixar mutant Countdown trailers spanish Lucasfilm IMDb TV Fall TV Video Games posters 2019 Star Wars WGN Lifetime Christmas movies Funimation DC Universe adaptation festivals anthology name the review Columbia Pictures period drama spain Musicals mockumentary canceled TV shows australia canceled werewolf Photos AMC Comic Book Television Critics Association Logo 007 political drama science fiction christmas movies streamig SundanceTV Netflix Christmas movies young adult Paramount Film Festival Best Actress nature Certified Fresh new zealand Arrowverse children's TV stand-up comedy Awards summer TV preview Rocketman golden globe awards The Walking Dead what to watch Turner Character Guide Tomatazos RT History Warner Bros. San Diego Comic-Con Hollywood Foreign Press Association El Rey VH1 Comedy suspense Comic-Con@Home 2021 razzies criterion FOX Best Actor anime Black History Month gangster sag awards Spring TV Discovery Channel debate Quiz justice league rotten Country rt labs 2017 Baby Yoda Rock scene in color Hulu Creative Arts Emmys talk show Premiere Dates Mudbound BET Awards die hard all-time Best Director FX on Hulu diversity psycho IFC Reality A&E The CW The Academy Tags: Comedy ViacomCBS stop motion YouTube Pacific Islander USA comics boxing rotten movies we love mob Cosplay dragons Dark Horse Comics a nightmare on elm street WarnerMedia strong female leads Year in Review revenge halloween Toys classics Turner Classic Movies cancelled TV series 2018 The Walt Disney Company dceu parents spider-verse twilight Mary poppins joker game show animated toy story summer TV Classic Film National Geographic GoT PBS italian VICE halloween tv ghosts scary superman A24 wonder woman CBS All Access APB Nickelodeon movies Teen films cats Watching Series President The Witch Disney Plus Amazon Studios unscripted king kong technology independent Marathons superhero Legendary breaking bad Fantasy Reality Competition hist American Society of Cinematographers comedies Superheroe jurassic park Peacock critic resources Epix The Purge Crunchyroll Neflix hollywood Film hispanic heritage month hispanic supernatural Star Wars Celebration basketball Trophy Talk scorecard scary movies kids Cartoon Network Crackle cinemax Showtime venice comic book movies Food Network discovery psychological thriller versus cars Winter TV Biopics live event Extras Pride Month cults dc Apple BBC Acorn TV CBS docuseries Starz elevated horror Shondaland indiana jones Marvel Studios BET TruTV south america historical drama RT21 Summer Sundance james bond TCA 2017 Nominations comic book movie nbcuniversal franchise streaming movies crossover directors Native latino ABC Family spanish language ESPN Best Picture cooking Mystery rom-coms Lionsgate adenture Disney streaming service scene in color series comiccon documentary TNT TLC television dreamworks blockbusters asian-american TCA reviews BAFTA international zero dark thirty sopranos Best and Worst Esquire mission: impossible football Apple TV Plus Ellie Kemper Pop 2021 summer preview Hallmark E! marvel comics Universal Super Bowl Syfy Comedy Central 45 laika dexter ratings Grammys dramedy screenings finale Music Walt Disney Pictures lord of the rings miniseries book adaptation cancelled free movies universal monsters DC Comics Amazon Prime Video Fox News TV renewals 2020 2016 video DC streaming service Binge Guide Set visit Focus Features medical drama TBS Disney Vudu black comedy