It’s a relatively thin week for new releases on DVD, with just a couple of particularly notable titles available. These include a multiple Oscar nominee and a Certified Fresh drama, though they’re accompanied by a number of smaller indie features and a couple of new season sets of popular TV series. Read on for details:



Foxcatcher

87%

Films based on real people and real events were a big hit at this year’s Oscars, and Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher was no exception. The dramatic thriller notched five nominations, including Best Director, Best Actor for Steve Carell, and Best Supporting Actor for Mark Ruffalo. Channing Tatum stars as Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, who, along with his brother Dave (Ruffalo), is offered a paid position on a private wrestling team funded and coached by an eccentric philanthropist named John du Pont (Carell). Though they initially bond over early successes, du Pont’s erratic behavior creates a rift between them that results in tragic consequences. Critics found much to praise in the performances of all three leads and found them well-equipped to handle the nuances of the chilling true story, leading to a Certified Fresh 88 percent score. Bonus features are limited to a 16-minute featurette, a couple of deleted scenes, and the film’s trailer.



Outlander: Season One, Part 1

Just ahead of the April premiere of the continuation of its first season, the first half of Starz’s surprise hit sci-fi/fantasy drama Outlander is set to hit shelves this week. Based on the novel series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon, the show follows a WWII nurse named Claire Beauchamp Randall (Caitriona Balfe) who is magically transported 1743 Scotland, where she meets both the ancestor of her husband and the dashing Highlander battling him, setting into motion an era-spanning love triangle. If it all sounds a bit hokey and soapy, the critics say it’s well worth a watch, thanks to the acting, the stunning cinematography, and the faithful adaptation of its source material. Certified Fresh at 90 percent, Outlander‘s first season is a worthy introduction to a surprisingly satisfying series. The box set comes with every episode so far on two discs, which also contain a total of 21 deleted scenes and six featurettes.

Also available this week:

  • The second season of another Starz drama, Da Vinci’s Demons (100 percent), following the exploits of a young Leonardo da Vinci as he is swept up in the political intrigue of his day.
  • Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast (73 percent), an animated feature from Disney starring the fairy in an adventure to save Pixie Hollow from a creature who may actually be a gentle giant.
  • Life Partners (60 percent), starring Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs in a comedy about two friends whose friendship begins to suffer when one of them finally begins dating a guy seriously.
  • Barry Levinson’s The Humbling (51 percent), starring Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig in a drama about a struggling actor who finds inspiration in his relationship to a young lesbian he can’t quite keep up with.
  • The Better Angels (40 percent), starring Brit Marling and Diane Kruger in a drama about the formative years in the life of a young Abraham Lincoln.
  • The Last of Robin Hood (29 percent), starring Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning in a drama about the later years of Errol Flynn’s life, when he began an affair with the much younger Beverly Aadland.
This week at the movies, we’ve got a perilous space mission (Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway) and a boy and his robot (Big Hero 6, featuring voice performances by Ryan Potter and Scott Adsit). What do the critics have to say?


Interstellar

72%

Many have tried, but few have approached 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s heady mix of philosophical depth and space adventure (though last year’s Gravity had its moments). Director Christopher Nolan is clearly gunning for the sci-fi pantheon with Interstellar, and while critics say the movie is loaded with ambition and jaw-dropping visuals, its plot is sometimes a muddle. In the not-too-distant future, Earth is on the verge of becoming uninhabitable. Coop (Matthew McConaughey) a former test pilot, is recruited for a risky mission to find another planet that might be able to sustain human life. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Interstellar veers between brilliance and bombast, but its best moments approximate a sense of awe that recalls Andrei Tarkovsky‘s’s Solaris. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down McConaughey’s best-reviewed films, as well as our interviews with the stars.)



Big Hero 6

90%

Does the world need another superhero origin story? If it’s as lively as Big Hero 6, then the answer is yes; critics say this colorful, beautifully-crafted animated film scores on the strength of its distinctive setting, heartfelt story, and its loveable robotic hero, the puffy, literal-minded Baymax. Hiro Hamada is a pre-teen science geek whose older brother has invented an inflatable healthcare robot. However, tragedy strikes, and Hiro, Baymax, and a ragtag group of nerds must team up to save the city. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Big Hero 6 isn’t particularly original, but it’s briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching. (Check out Baymax’s Five Favorite Films here.)

What’s Fresh on TV:


Critics say that Olive Kitteridge (Certified Fresh at 95 percent) lives up to its compelling source material, thanks to fascinating performances from the likes of Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, and Bill Murray.


Despite a familiar Cold War spy template, critics say The Game (100 percent) has enough style, intelligence, and twists to be worth playing.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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