New this week to streaming video, we’ve got a recently crowned Oscar-winner, an incisive documentary, and the latest from David Cronenberg. Then, on Netflix and Amazon PRIME, a selection of noteworthy choices are available, including the recent remake of an iconic Paul Verhoeven film. Read on for details:


Miles Teller and freshly-minted Oscar winner J.K. Simmons star in this Certified Fresh drama about an ambitious jazz drummer and his punishingly strict teacher.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play

Code Black

This documentary takes an in-depth look at the doctors in one of America’s busiest emergency rooms.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu

Maps to the Stars

Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, and a bunch of other notables star in David Cronenberg’s dark comedy about a variety of messed-up Hollywood denizens.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

The Overnighters

This Certified Fresh documentary focuses on the North Dakota oil boom and the hardships experienced by prospective workers there.

Available now on: Netflix


Joel Edgerton,Tom Wilkinson, Jai Courtney, and Melissa George star in a thriller about three cops dealing with the potential fallout from a bust gone wrong.

Available now on: Netflix


When Detroit detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is badly injured on the job, a military contractor fits him with a robot exoskeleton in an attempt to create the ultimate crime fighter.

Available now on: Netflix


Charlize Theron took home a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in this haunting Certified Fresh drama.

Available now on: Amazon PRIME

This week on home video, we’ve got a couple of Oscar winners, a comedy sequel, and the final season of a popular drama. Then, we’ve got another Oscar nominee and a handful of smaller releases that might be worth your time. Read on for details:

Big Hero 6


It’s official: Big Hero 6 is the Best Animated Feature of 2014 according to the Academy, and now you can chortle and coo at Baymax in the comfort of your own living room. Loosely based on the Marvel comic of the same name, the film takes place in the fictional metropolis of San Fransokyo, where a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) who enrolls in a super exclusive school for gifted scientists after the death of his older brother. Faced with the possibility of tracking down his brother’s killer, Hiro teams up with his new friends — and invents some hi-tech gear for them — in order to bring the villain to justice. Critics were big fans of the animation in Big Hero 6, as well as the action-packed story and surprisingly heartfelt touches, leading to a Certified Fresh 90 percent Tomatometer score. As a bonus, the Blu-ray will also get you the Oscar-winning animated short Feast, as well as the requisite behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes.



Speaking of Oscar wins, the one category that was arguably a complete lock was Best Supporting Actor, which went to J.K. Simmons for his portrayal of a draconian music conductor in Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. Based on Chazelle’s own experiences, the film starred Miles Teller as ambitious jazz drummer Andrew Neiman, who comes under the tutelage of notoriously brutal instructor Terence Fletcher (Simmons) at a prestigious music school. Fletcher pushes Andrew to extremes, leading to a battle of wills and a climactic showdown. Critics gushed over Whiplash, rewarding it with a Certified Fresh 95 percent on the Tomatometer not only for the impressive performances from Simmons and Teller, but also for the film’s sustained tension and superb sound and editing. The particularly notable audio commentary track features Simmons and Chazelle, but the Blu-ray also comes with a 43-minute piece on professional drummers, Chazelle’s original 18-minute short which was expanded into the feature film, and more.

Horrible Bosses 2


2011’s Horrible Bosses was a successful ensemble comedy that made the most of its stars talents, and while the film didn’t feel especially ripe for a sequel, it was somewhat inevitable. This time around, pals Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) embark on an entrepreneurial venture producing a new shower head. When the trio is duped by an unscrupulous investor (Christoph Waltz), they decide the best course of action is to kidnap his son (Chris Pine) for ransom. It’s often rare for comedy franchises to strike gold twice in a row, especially when the first film relies on a specific premise that’s abandoned in its sequel, and Horrible Bosses 2 fell prey to the sophomore jinx, clocking in at 35 percent on the Tomatometer. Critics were unamused by what they called lazy writing and witless humor, but it might still tickle your fancy if you’re a fan of its three stars.

Sons of Anarchy: Season Seven

Late last year, FX’s popular biker drama Sons of Anarchy finally came to a close after seven seasons, and by most counts, its final year was a success. Built on a foundation of deep character development, bursts of violent action, and dark family drama, SOA hurtled into its finale with six straight Fresh seasons under its belt — all at 78 percent or above. The final episode itself was well-received at 88 percent, and though its Shakespearean conclusion was something of a given, most agreed it was satisfying and effective nonetheless. The complete series was previously available with an empty slot for the season seven package, and you can pick that up this week — or you can pick up the complete series with season seven included as well.

Also available this week:

  • Code Black (91 percent), a documentary focusing on the Los Angeles County Hospital’s trauma ward, the busiest emergency department in the country.
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights (81 percent), starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker in a Certified Fresh romantic drama about a pop diva who begins to question her career trajectory. The film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category.
  • The Borderlands (79 percent), a horror film about a team of investigators looking into reports of paranormal activity at a remote church in England.
  • Private Peaceful (64 percent), starring Jack O’Connell and George MacKay in a war drama about two brothers who grow up rough and enlist in the military together.
  • Cantinflas (29 percent), starring Óscar Jaenada and Michael Imperioli in a drama about the famous titular Mexican entertainer.
  • And finally, two choices from the Criterion Collection: Federico Fellini’s Fellini Satyricon (78 percent), a surrealist portrait of Rome, is available in a new DVD and Blu-ray; and the 1978 animated adaptation of Watership Down (82 percent), Martin Rosen’s haunting rabbit tale of survival, is also available in a new DVD and Blu-ray.

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