Critics Consensus

Onward, The Invisible Man, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Hit Digital Release This Week

As more people self-quarantine at home, we run down the most notable films hitting VOD and early digital release.

by | March 19, 2020 | Comments

As more and more people are compelled to practice social distancing and encouraged to stay home, as movie theaters temporarily shutter their doors, and as studios continue to pull their scheduled 2020 films off the release calendar, we’ve decided to reformat this weekly Critics Consensus column to focus on titles that are newly available on the home entertainment market. With that in mind, our list of digital new releases this week includes a fresh-from-the-theaters Pixar movie, the latest Star Wars adventure, a Razzie-winning Broadway adaptation, and a trio of brand new theatrical releases that are being made digitally available way ahead of schedule. See below for the most notable titles hitting VOD this week.


The Invisible Man (2020) 91%

It was just three weeks ago that we saw the release of The Invisible Man, Universal Pictures’ updated take on the classic H.G. Wells novel, starring Elisabeth Moss. However, in light of the recent global crisis, the studio has opted to make a handful of its latest theatrical releases available to would-be moviegoers who are self-quarantined at home, and this is the biggest of them. Moss stars as Cecilia Kass, who flees the home of her abusive ex and learns soon after that he has committed suicide. Except that he might not have, and now Cecilia has to figure out if she’s really imagining things, or if it’s possible he actually invented a way to make himself invisible. It’s a timely story that’s well-crafted, and it impressed critics enough to become the best-reviewed horror film of the year so far. If you didn’t get a chance to see it before the theaters closed, it should be available for digital rental on Friday.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, Vudu


Onward (2020) 88%

Following Universal’s example, Walt Disney Studios has also decided to release one of its most recent theatrical films into the digital marketplace just a couple of weeks after it opened. Pixar’s Onward features the voices of a couple of MCU stars, Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, as a pair of elf brothers living in a suburbanized fantasy world where magic has been rendered obsolete by technology. When Ian is gifted the means to resurrect his dead father for 24 hours on his 16th birthday, he inadvertently only summons the bottom half, so he and Barley set out on a road trip to rediscover the magic they’ll need to bring back the rest of their dad before time runs out. Though it isn’t being hailed as an instant classic, Onward still earned enough acclaim to be Certified Fresh, and if you’re looking for something new to watch with your stir-crazy kids, you can pay to watch it today or wait for it to drop on the Disney+ streaming service on April 3.

Available now on: FandangoNOWGoogle PlayiTunesVudu
Available Friday, April 3 on: Disney+


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) 52%

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had a lot riding on its shoulders. Not only was it the conclusion of the recent sequel trilogy in the Star Wars universe, but it was meant to wrap up the entirety of the so-called Skywalker Saga itself, which began with the original film all the way back in 1977. If that weren’t enough, writer/director J.J. Abrams also had to contend with upended expectations from Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi even as he attempted to tie up over four decades of storytelling in one film. Did Abrams succeed? Critics loved The Last Jedi but didn’t care much for The Rise of Skywalker, and audiences had pretty much the opposite reaction, so it’s probably safe to say both directors’ efforts landed somewhere in the middle. The story catches up with our new galactic heroes and some old, familiar faces as they face off against an evil from the past and chart a new course for the future. This one dropped earlier this week, so you can properly binge the entire saga at home now.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, Vudu


Cats (2019) 20%

Even if there was never a “butthole cut” of the film, Cats still managed to capture the moviegoing public’s morbid curiosity, what with its nonsensical “plot,” its peculiar A-list cameos, and its reportedly horrifying special effects, and it even succeeded in impressing a handful of critics, even as it baffled countless others. If you’re one of those people who wondered what the fuss was about, but not enough to pay theater prices to see it, you can now gather up a group of friends and host a watch party. Whether or not you choose to remain sober for the multiple Razzie Award winnerSeth Rogen chose not to — is up to you, but results may vary.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu


The Hunt (2020) 57%

After just one week in theaters, the “liberal elites hunt deplorables” movie The Hunt, which ultimately isn’t as controversial as it thinks it is, will be available to watch from the comfort of your nonpartisan couch. It’s kind of a fitting culmination of several months of delays for the movie, which was pulled from its initial release date in September of 2019 amid a pair of deadly mass shootings and rescheduled for the same opening weekend — last weekend, to be precise — when strict social distancing measures went into effect pretty much everywhere. That said, the chances of getting into heated political debates over the film are probably much slimmer if you’re watching it at home with your friends, so maybe that works in the movie’s favor. As one of the three titles Universal announced for early digital access, The Hunt is expected to be available on Friday.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu


Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen by the Holy Storsh (2018) 65%

This small, indie comedy didn’t get a very wide release, so it’s exactly the kind of film that should benefit from a more robust home market for the foreseeable future. Kate Micucci and Sam Huntington star in Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss as a married couple in whose home a local cult leader (played by Taika Waititi) previously killed himself in the bathtub. Inspired by his actions, his followers begin breaking into the house to copy his death, and the couple soon find themselves the unwitting facilitators of ritual suicide. It’s a pitch-black comedy that screened in just a few theaters at the beginning of march, and it’s available now on a few VOD platforms.

Available now on: AmazonGoogle PlayVudu


Human Capital (2019) 67%

This film is the only one this week that is available digitally and also technically scheduled to open in theaters, although the cineplex closures will probably affect the latter and relegate the film strictly to the former. Marisa Tomei and Liev Schreiber star in this remake of the 2014 Italian film of the same name about two families whose lives become connected after a tragedy. Its gotten decent reviews so far, and its impressive supporting cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Alex Wolff, and Maya Hawke. It was set to open in theaters and be available on VOD on Friday.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu


EMMA. (2020) 87%

The third and likely least well-known film that Universal is making available for an early digital release is Autumn de Wilde’s new interpretation of the classic Jane Austen novel Emma. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as the titular matchmaker, who discovers that maybe she’s not as good at bringing people together as she thought she was, all while her own romance bubbles up and takes her by surprise, and critics have been delighted by the film to the tune of a Certified Fresh 85% Tomatometer score. This one has been in theaters for longer than the other films, but it wasn’t in many, so now’s your chance to check it out at home.

Available now on: FandangoNOWGoogle PlayiTunesVudu


Thumbnail images by Walt Disney Pictures and Universal Pictures

Tag Cloud

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