This week in streaming, we’ve got enough James Bond movies to have yourself a little 007 marathon, a couple of Certified Fresh indies, and one summer blockbuster that tore up the box office last year, plus more. See below for the full list.

James Bond movies free on Amazon Prime

Classic James Bond is all the rage this week on Amazon Prime, where several of 007’s most iconic adventures are available to stream for free. Eight of the franchise’s most famous films, including Dr. No, Goldfinger, Licence to Kill, and Octopussy, have been released, so you can have yourself a little marathon.

Dr. No






License to Kill


For Your Eyes Only


You Only Live Twice


The World Is Not Enough




The Hunger Games

In a dystopian North America, a tyrannical government stages an annual televised gladiatorial competition, in which young people are selected to fight to the death. When Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her old friend Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) enter the fray, they team up to survive, and their alliance poses a threat to the established order.

Available now on: Netflix


A documentary that chronicles the adverse effects of harassment on five students and their families, the Certified Fresh Bully is a topical examination of an important issue.

Available now on: Netflix

This Must Be the Place

This Must Be The Place stars Sean Penn as a washed-up rock star who goes on a road trip to find a man who humiliated his late father.

Available now on: Netflix

Dr Seuss’ The Lorax

Ted (Zac Efron) is a youngster who ventures beyond the seemingly idyllic confines of Thneedville and discovers that greed has led to deforestation, despite the warnings of the diminutive orange tree defender the Lorax (Danny DeVito).

Available now on: Netflix

This week in streaming, we’ve got Peter Jackson’s latest trek to Middle-earth (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), along with a star-studded road movie (This Must Be the Place) and a Certified Fresh dramedy about the road to recovery (Smashed). Read on to find out what’s available to watch right now.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) journeys with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a band of dwarves to the Lonely Mountain, where the dwarves’ ancestral homeland is being occupied by a fearsome dragon. Along the way, our heroes encounter all manner of orc, troll, wizard, and even giants made of stone, as well as the mischievous Gollum.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars in this Certified Fresh dramedy about a young woman struggling with alcoholism.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

The Lincoln Lawyer

Matthew McConaughey stars as a somewhat sketchy defense attorney who’s just landed the case of his career when he’s brought in to defend a millionaire bad boy (Ryan Phillippe). Soon, however, our hero discovers that not everything is as it seems.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

This Must Be the Place

This Must Be The Place stars Sean Penn as a washed-up rock star who goes on a road trip to find a man who humiliated his late father.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

Gun Hill Road

Gun Hill Road is an indie drama about a man just released from prison who finds his family has gone through some dramatic changes.

Available now on: Netflix

This week on home video, we’ve got four new releases that are Certified Fresh, including one multiple Oscar-winner, one animated adventure, a music doc, and an indie drama about alcoholism. On top of that, there’s also the relatively well-received biopic about Alfred Hitchcock and the making of Psycho and a quirky Sean Penn-powered road trip drama. Lastly, we have a feature adaptation of the famed Cirque du Soleil troupe’s performances, as well as a handful of notable reissues. See below for the full list!

Life of Pi


Yann Martel’s 2001 novel Life of Pi was a worldwide success, so it’s not surprising that development of a film adaptation began as early as 2003. Many considered the book “unfilmable,” however, so we didn’t get the movie until Ang Lee took up the helm (after several others dropped out) and felt technology was up to snuff to tell the story. The fantasy adventure revolves around Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma), an Indian teen whose parents own a struggling zoo and decide to sell all their animals to a buyer in Canada, where the family will settle. En route to Winnipeg, their freighter encounters a massive storm that wrecks the ship and leaves Pi stranded alone on a lifeboat with a few animals, including a fearsome Bengal tiger. Like its source novel, Life of Pi was met with both critical and commercial success, and was nominated for eleven Academy Awards; it won four Oscars, including Best Director for Ang Lee. Certified Fresh at 88%, it’s a trasportive, beautifully shot, technically impressive film, even if its underlying message may not resonate with everyone.

Rise of the Guardians


Another film based on a book (or series of books, rather, authored by William Joyce), Rise of the Guardians reimagines mythical childhood figures like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Jack Frost as warrior-like protectors of the world’s children — in addition to their regular duties delivering presents and hiding Easter eggs, that is. Voiced by Chris Pine, Jack Frost is a bit of a mischief maker, starting snowball fights and conjuring blizzards, until he’s recruited by the existing guardians to help defeat Pitch (Jude Law), a dark spirit intent on taking over the world. In the process, Jack discovers both his true worth as a guardian and the secrets of his past life. Though critics felt the story itself could have been a little more focused, they also liked the clever premise of the film, as well as its lush animation and brisk pacing. Certified Fresh at 74%, Rise of the Guardians is a fresh take on some familiar characters that most will be able to appreciate.



Screenwriter Sacha Gervasi’s directorial debut, 2007’s Anvil! The Story of Anvil, earned heaps of praise, so hopes were high for his film about Alfred Hitchcock, especially considering Anthony Hopkins would be filling in the role of the great director and Helen Mirren would be playing his wife and collaborative partner, Alma Reville. Hitchcock specifically chronicles the director’s efforts to finance and produce Psycho and the tumultuous relationship that resulted between him and Reville during the making of the film. Although critics would have liked to see a bit more subtlety and insight, most found the film stylishly directed and worth watching, even if only for the inspired performances from Hopkins and Mirren. At 63% on the Tomatometer, Hitchcock isn’t the be all and end all of biopics on The Master of Suspense, but it’s a well-acted glimpse into his life and old Hollywood.

Sound City


Last year, musician Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) purchased a vintage Neve 8028 mixing console from Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where he had taken part in recording the seminal Nirvana album Nevermind in 1991. The purchase inspired him to direct a documentary recounting the history of the influential studio, which oversaw the recording of several rock legends and musical icons ranging from Neil Young, Elton John, and Grateful Dead to Barry Manilow, Weezer, Metallica, and many more before it closed in 2011. Peppered with interviews and performances by many of those artists, Sound City weaves together the complete story of the studio and culminates in the purchase that inspired the film in the first place. The film, which opened in limited release just a month ago, has so far earned a 100% Tomatometer, with critics calling it an affectionately crafted passion project that’s thrilling, nostalgic, and a must-see for music fans.

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D


Cirque du Soleil has been an expanding Las Vegas mainstay for several years now, but they’ve been a touring troupe for even longer, their television specials have won awards, and they’ve adapted their shows into films before. This latest venture, Worlds Away, is unique in that it also offers a 3D perspective for the first time, and what’s more? It’s James Cameron-approved 3D. Though it is, in fact, just another showcase for the talents of its performers, there is a narrative framing device: a young woman named Mia (Erica Linz) visits the local circus and falls into a dreamlike world with an aerialist; in order for the two to reunite, they must traverse the various tents of the circus and navigate through their performances. Critics were fairly split here; while some thought the film incoherently plotted and most conceded it was inferior to its live equivalent, others felt it was still beautiful to look at and entertaining enough. At 46%, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away won’t compare to the real thing, but it’s not too bad if you can’t make it to one of the live shows.



Aaron Paul has already built up a considerable fanbase from his role in Breaking Bad, but while Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s star is slowly rising, she hadn’t quite landed the starring role that showcases her talents properly… until Smashed came along. In this low key indie, Paul and Winstead play Charlie and Kate, a young married couple who both decide to come to terms with their alcoholism. When Kate, an elementary schoolteacher, vomits in the middle of class, then drunkenly succumbs to smoking crack later that same night, she consequently joins group therapy and resolves to change her life. Critics roundly applauded Winstead’s performance, as well as director James Ponsoldt’s sensitive direction and the film’s melodrama-free script, en route to a Certified Fresh 84% on the Tomatometer. Costarring Nick Offerman, Octavia Spencer, and Mary Kay Place, Smashed failed to generate much heat at the box office, but here’s hoping it leads to more substantial roles for Winstead.

This Must Be the Place


At first glance, This Must Be the Place might seem simply like the latest in a long line of quirky indie comedy-dramas: Sean Penn, looking like a cross between Bono and Edward Scissorhands, is aging former rock star Cheyenne, who travels home to New York from Ireland in order to reconcile with his estranged father as he lies on his deathbed. Though his father dies before he arrives, Cheyenne soon discovers that he was an Auschwitz survivor whose lifelong mission was to track down the man who abused him there; Cheyenne takes up his father’s quest and sets out across the US to find his father’s persecutor. It’s a strange tale, to be sure, but critics mostly found it surprisingly touching, buoyed by Penn’s oddly charismatic performance. At 68%, This Must Be the Place might be a little too off-kilter for some, but if you give it a chance, it might surprise you.

Also available this week:

  • A 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release of Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit (98%), with a collection of extras ported over from previous releases and an in-depth commentary track.
  • Two choices from the Criterion Collection: The original 1958 The Blob (69%), now on Blu-ray; and Fritz Lang’s Ministry of Fear on both DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Some animated Disney films, paired with their direct-to-DVD sequels: Mulan (86%), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (74%), and Brother Bear (38%).
  • Ron Howard’s 1988 fantasy flick Willow (46%) on Blu-ray.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a sensitive villain (Wreck-it Ralph, with voice work by John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman), a troubled pilot (Flight, starring Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle), and a fighting blacksmith (The Man With the Iron Fists, starring Russell Crowe and RZA). What do the critics have to say?

Wreck-it Ralph


What do video game characters do when the lights go off at the arcade? That’s the inspired premise of Wreck-it Ralph, which critics say is a visual phantasmagoria with a clever story and heartfelt characters that should appeal to kids and their parents. Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is the bad guy in a retro arcade game, but he longs for acceptance and love from his fellow video game characters. So he ventures out of his game in search of adventure and respect — a trek that could have devastating consequences for his pixelated peers. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Wreck-it Ralph falls a little short of the Toy Story movies, but it’s a deft mix of strong storytelling and sensorial ingenuity. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down memorable video game movies.)



Flight is the tale of the flawed man behind a great act of courage, and critics say it features a terrific performance from Denzel Washington, while director Robert Zemeckis successfully balances white-knuckle action with a perceptive look at a vulnerable, troubled man. Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a commercial airline pilot whose mid-air heroics help to avert a catastrophic crash. Soon, however, his halo is tarnished, as investigators examine whether Whip was under the influence while flying. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Flight is effectively unsettling, a smart, surprisingly entertaining film about addiction that never lets its message overwhelm its narrative.

The Man With the Iron Fists


As the mastermind of the Wu-Tang Clan’s sound, RZA famously sampled dialogue and sound effects from classic martial arts films. And he basically does the same thing in his directorial debut, The Man With the Iron Fists, which critics say is a disjointed but spirited and exciting pastiche of movie styles. RZA stars as a blacksmith who tries to defend his village against a bloodthirsty clan that descends on the town in search of gold. The pundits say The Man With the Iron Fists overcomes its narrative flaws to deliver an action-packed spectacle that brims with over-the-top exuberance. (Check out 24 Frames for a crash course in martial arts movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Linda Burke for coming the closest to guessing Silent Hill: Revelation 3D‘s five percent Tomatometer.

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