This week on home video, we’ve got an Oscar winner and another Oscar nominee, a comedy flop, a couple of dark comedies, and a bit of the old ultraviolence. Plus, there are a few notable reissues from the Criterion Collection and on Blu-ray. See below for the full list!



Leave it to Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis to make a commercially viable film out of a relatively talky historical drama about Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to get the Thirteenth Amendment passed by congress. Oh sure, it was critically lauded and all that, but its $261 million box office total is arguably more impressive, considering the subject matter. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the cast was rounded out by Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, and Hal Holbrook, with a little Joseph Gordon-Levitt tossed in the mix, all of whom helped to bring the script to vibrant life. Aside from the numerous other honors it took home this awards season, at this year’s Oscars Lincoln nabbed twelve nominations including almost all of the “important” categories, though it only took home two of them: Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis (kind of a shoo-in) and Best Production Design. Certified Fresh at 89%, it’s probably one of the most surprisingly entertaining history lessons you’ll ever get, and DDL’s performance alone is probably worth the watch.

Killing Them Softly


As the story goes, Brad Pitt wanted to work with Australian director Andrew Dominik ever since he saw Dominik’s 2000 debut, Chopper, and he got his wish after he specifically sought out Dominik and the two collaborated on the moody western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, a critical success. They paired up again last year for Killing Them Softly, a darkly funny adaptation of the George V. Higgins novel Cogan’s Trade, and results were similarly impressive. After a couple of petty crooks (Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn) hold up an illegal poker game full of bad-guy types, the local crime bosses bring in a seasoned hitman (Pitt) to sniff them out and snuff them out. Set against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis, Killing Them Softly has a little more on its mind than beatings and bullets, though, and critics found it a powerfully effective allegory for unchecked capitalism. It’s bleak, visceral, and sometimes bloody, but Certified Fresh at 76%, it might hit the spot if you enjoyed Pitt and Dominik’s previous work together.

Parental Guidance


Parental Guidance opened last Christmas against Oscar contenders Django Unchained and Les Misérables, presumably to serve as family-friendly counterprogramming. Critics, unfortunately, were largely disappointed in the film, and now we wait for Billy Crystal to redeem himself in Monsters University. Here, he and Bette Midler star as Artie and Diane, an older couple who agree to babysit their grandkids when their daughter and her husband must leave for a business trip; hilarity in the form of generational humor presumably ensues, as Artie and Diane find their old school parenting techniques differ vastly from those of their daughter. Parental Guidance is sweet enough, as comedies of this nature typically are, but it’s so safe, fluffy, and predictable that it’s uninteresting and bland. At 19% on the Tomatometer, it might make you chuckle and say “aww” a few times, but you’ll probably also forget about it as soon as the credits roll.

The Collection


2009’s The Collector began as a Saw prequel before its makers ditched that idea and decided to go with a separate story, so that gives you some idea what the franchise is like. “Franchise?” you may ask. Why, yes, because now we have a sequel in the form of The Collection, in which “The Collector” kidnaps a young woman named Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) and spirits her away to an abandoned hotel rigged with booby traps. Desperate to save his daughter, Elena’s father hires a previous survivor to help guide a rescue team through the perilous maze of the hotel; people die, gruesomely. Now, there weren’t many critics who endorsed The Collection, but a lot of them did concede that if you’re a fan of the gory “torture porn” genre, this might be your bag. For the rest of us who are squeamish, probably best to keep away.

A Royal Affair


A Royal Affair was Denmark’s entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at this year’s Oscars, which saw no shortage of period dramas, and though it ultimately lost to Amour, it earned some impressive reviews of its own. Set in the 18th century court of Danish king Christian VII (played by Mikkel Følsgaard), the film recounts the story of Johann Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen), the king’s personal physician, who helps restore the mentally ill king’s health but harbors a secret affair with the queen, Caroline Matilda (Alicia Vikander). If you’re looking for sumptuous costumes, lavish sets, and proper sexual intrigue of the aristocratic sort, critics say that, Certified Fresh at 89% on the Tomatometer, A Royal Affair will have what you want.

The Comedy


Anyone who’s seen an episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! has sensed a sort of dark subtext underlying the absurdist anti-humor, and it seems this energy was harnessed for The Comedy, which stars Tim and Eric‘s Tim Heidecker. Swanson (Heidecker) is an aging, apathetic layabout Brooklynite who spends his time in pointless activities with his hipster friends. He’s about to inherit his father’s estate, but he doesn’t particularly care, and he instead begins to push the boundaries of acceptable behavior until they bend to his will or break across his face. It seems pretty clear that The Comedy‘s title is meant to be ironic, though there is some deadpan humor to be found. At 44% on the Tomatometer, the film entertained some critics but disappointed, disgusted, or bored just a few more.

Also available this week:

  • Two choices from the Criterion Collection: Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux (97%) and Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped (100%), both arriving on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Presumably in anticipation of the upcoming 3D IMAX rerelease of Jurassic Park (90%), that film and its two sequels — The Lost World (52%) and Jurassic Park III (50%) — are all being reissued on Blu-ray this week.
  • A 20th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition of The Sandlot (61%), though it’s unclear what bonus features this new version will contain.
  • Since we featured Westworld here a couple of weeks ago, we thought it only fair to mention the new Blu-ray for its lesser 1976 sequel, Futureworld (33%) on Blu-ray.

This week at the movies, we’ve got an efficient enforcer (Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt and Richard Jenkins) and a methodical madman (The Collection starring Emma Fitzpatrick and Josh Stewart). What do the critics have to say?

Killing Them Softly


The economic collapse of 2008 didn’t just deep six Wall Street — it put the squeeze on the underground economy as well. That’s the theme of Killing Them Softly, a twisty crime thriller that critics say is sharply written and visually striking, though it occasionally pushes its big ideas too hard. After a couple of incompetent crooks steal from a mafia-sanctioned poker game, the family sends Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) to rub them out. However, the mafia’s corporation-like structure makes Jackie’s task more complicated at nearly every turn. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Killing Them Softly doesn’t always match its outsized ambitions, but it’s still a thoughtful, visceral foray into gangland built around Pitt’s magnetic performance. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Pitt’s best-reviewed movies.)

The Collection


The Collection is a sequel to the 2009 frightfest The Collector, and critics say it’s an improvement — it’s a sleek, twisted, and well acted, though it intermittently gets bogged down in predictability and gratuitous bloodiness. Thinking she’s going to a party, Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) is taken to a mysterious location, only to wind up in the clutches of the murderous Collector. In order to retrieve her, a rescue squad turns to Arkin (Josh Stewart), the only one to ever escape the Collector’s clutches. The pundits say The Collection will please gorehounds with its grisly inventiveness, but others are likely to blanch at its over-the-top violence.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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