We’ve got a pretty eclectic mix of new selections available on streaming this week, from the anticipated team-up of Netflix’s Marvel heroes to a campy anti-drug film, as well as a couple of horror flicks, a crime thriller, an indie drama, and more. Read on for the full list.


New on Netflix

 

The Good Place: Season 1 (2016) 92%

Kristen Bell and Ted Danson star in this NBC comedy about a deceased woman who suspects she may have been incorrectly admitted into an afterlife paradise and attempts to break away from her past life’s bad behavior.

Available now on: Netflix


Marvel - The Defenders: Season 1 (2017) 78%

Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist come together in this culmination of Netflix’s Marvel series, which finds the reluctant hero team facing off against otherworldly criminal organization The Hand.

Available now on: Netflix


Bad Rap (2016) 70%

This documentary charts the rise of Asian-American rappers through the lens of four performers, featuring interviews and live concert footage to share a largely unknown story.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

White Zombie (1932) 86%

Taking a breather from Count Dracula, Bela Lugosi stars as Murder Legendre, a malevolent vooodoo master, with an entourage of undead minions in this low-budget chiller from 1932.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Morvern Callar (2002) 84%

Samantha Morton stars in Lynne Ramsay’s thriller about a Scottish woman who covers up her boyfriend’s suicide, takes credit for his unpublished novel, and moves to Spain for a party lifestyle.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Felony (2013) 70%

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: Amazon Prime


My Bloody Valentine (2009) 61%

Supernatural‘s Jensen Ackles stars in this grisly remake of the 1981 horror film about a psychotic coal miner who wreaks havoc upon a small town.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Reefer Madness (1936) 39%

This campy cult classic began life as a warning against marijuana usage, insisting that a little pot will drive normal people to acts of depravity like rape, manslaughter, and suicide.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on FandangoNOW

 

The Wedding Plan (2016) 86%

This comedy from Israel centers on a woman who befuddles her friends and loved ones by refusing to cancel her wedding plans even after the groom backs out.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Megan Leavey (2017) 86%

Kate Mara stars in this inspirational true story about the bond between a Marine corporal and the K9 patrol dog she served two tours of duty with in Iraq.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Sunset Song (2015) 81%

Terence Davies‘ Certified Fresh drama centers on a young farm girl who finds independence and romance at the outset of World War I.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Lemon (2017) 55%

Brett Gelman and Judy Greer star in this dramedy about an actor whose fading hopes of stardom are mirrored by his less-than-satisfying family life.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Lowriders (2016) 57%

This LA-based drama co-starring Demian Bichir and Melissa Benoist follows a graffiti artist trying to pull away from his family’s history of violence.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Mummy (2017) 16%

Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella star in the latest iteration of Universal’s classic monster movie, in which a vengeful ancient princess awakens to wreak havoc across the world.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


All Eyez on Me (2017) 18%

Demetrius Shipp Jr., Kat Graham, and Lauren Cohan star in this chronicle of the life of influential rapper and actor Tupac Shakur.

Available now on: FandangoNOW

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:


Whiplash
94%

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
88%

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
61%

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
97%

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

Available now on: Netflix


Felony
70%

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


RoboCop
48%

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


Monster
81%

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 surprisingly solid list of new films to check out, including no less than five Certified Fresh movies. Considering the glut of bad movies plaguing most cineplexes these days, the offerings below make a strong case for staying in. Read on for details:



Nightcrawler

95%

Jake Gyllenhaal’s really been on a tear in recent years. Beginning with 2011’s Source Code, he’s starred in five straight Certified Fresh films, and his most recent effort even drew some awards attention. Nightcrawler stars Gyllenhaal as a petty thief who spies a future in amateur video journalism and, after selling some footage to a news director (Rene Russo), begins a dark downward spiral into his most sociopathic impulses. The feature directing debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler earned high marks from critics who cited Gyllenhaal’s creepy performance as a highlight and made comparisons to Taxi Driver. Certified Fresh at 95 percent, this is a dark thriller that operates equally well as a thought-provoking satire of sensationalist news media.



Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

61%

Live action family films — decent ones, anyway — seem to be rarer in supply these days, so it’s always a nice surprise when one comes along that’s pleasant and suitably entertaining. Based on the popular 1972 children’s book of the same name, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is about exactly what its title indicates: on the day before his 12th birthday, a young boy named Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) stumbles through an extremely unfortunate series of events. Spoiler alert: everything turns out okay. Most critics found Alexander a perfectly fine diversion for parents to share with their kids, even if the film fails to make a strong, lasting impression, and awarded it a respectable 62 percent on the Tomatometer. It’s not the best kids’ movie around, but it’s pretty harmless and good-natured.



Rosewater

76%

During the Summer of 2013, Jon Stewart took a short break from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to focus on his feature directorial debut, a drama based on a true story that, at least peripherally, involved him. Rosewater depicts the plight of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari (played by Gael García Bernal), who was detained by Iran in 2009 after he sent video footage of post-election riots to the BBC. Held in prison for almost four months, Bahari was tortured and interrogated about, among other things, his appearance on Stewart’s satirical show, before finally being released. Based on the best-selling memoir that Bahari wrote about the experience, Rosewater earned mostly strong reviews from critics, who rewarded the film with a Certified Fresh 74 percent for its timely subject matter, Bernal’s performance, and Stewart’s prowess in his first stint behind the camera.



Predestination

84%

It’s unusual for a genre flick released during the first half of January to earn high marks from critics, especially one that, save for the involvement of star Ethan Hawke, reads more like something you might find in the direct-to-dvd listings, but Predestination managed to beat the odds. In it, Hawke plays an unnamed “Temporal Agent,” tasked with time-traveling to the past to stop crime. Given one last job before retirement, the Agent travels to the 1970s to meet with a man whose unusual life story leads to a twisty, decade-hopping pursuit of the truth. Certified Fresh at 81 percent, Predestination impressed critics with its surprisingly smart storytelling — as well as a remarkable performance from costar Sarah Snook — and helped offer a mindbending alternative to the usual January dreck.

Also available this week:

  • The Cannes Festival-winning Force Majeure (93 percent), a Swedish drama about a small family vacationing in the alps whose bonds are tested when its patriarch leaves them in the lurch during an avalanche scare.
  • Taiwanese import Stray Dogs (88 percent), a drama about a destitute man living on the streets and his two children, who encounter a mysterious woman that may change their lives.
  • Kill the Messenger (77 percent), a Certified Fresh thriller starring Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who publicized his findings on the birth of the crack epidemic and the shady dealings of the CIA.
  • Felony (74 percent), starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Wilkinson in a crime thriller about three detectives at odds with each other after an accident that nearly kills a child.
  • Lynn Shelton’s Laggies (69 percent), starring Keira Knightley and Chloe Grace Moretz in a dramedy about a 28-year-old slacker who befriends a teen and falls for her father.
  • Addicted (8 percent), a drama about a married woman who embarks down a dark road of temptation.
  • HBO’s miniseries Olive Kitteridge (95 percent), starring Frances McDormand and Bill Murray in a four-part adaptation of the Elizabeth Strout novel of the same name.
  • Season six of Showtime’s dark dramedy Nurse Jackie (67 percent), starring Edie Falco as a drug-addicted nurse.
  • And finally, two choices from the Criterion Collection: Nicolas Roeg’s classic thriller Don’t Look Now (96 percent), starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, and Jean Renoir’s A Day in the Country (100 percent), a shorter feature about a family’s idyllic vacation in the French countryside.
This week at the movies, we’ve got soldiers in a tank (Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf), a princess and her suitors (The Book of Life, with voice performances by Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana), and star-crossed lovers (The Best of Me, starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden). What do the critics have to say?



Fury

76%

Take the star of Inglourious Basterds, mix him in with a ragtag band of soldiers reminiscent of the crew in Saving Private Ryan, and what have you got? Fury, a World War II drama that critics say is a powerful document of the horrors of war that doesn’t quite meet its grand ambitions but still packs a wallop. Pitt stars as tank commander who leads a diverse band of brothers on a deadly mission behind enemy lines to stymie a Nazi attack; along the way, our heroes come face-to-face with the grim realities of life on the battlefield. The pundits say Fury is a rock solid war film, with bracing battle scenes and a feeling of you-are-there authenticity. (Check out Pitt’s 10 best-reviewed films here.)



The Book of Life

83%

Right off the bat, The Book of Life has a couple big things going for it: it’s a visually stunning fantasy that’s rooted in Mexican cultural tradition. And critics say that’s mostly enough, even if the story is never up to brilliance of the animation. It’s the tale of two childhood friends who fall in love with a princess, one of which must make a perilous journey through the land of the dead in order to win her heart. The pundits say The Book of Life is energetic and vibrant, a rare example of style winning out over substance.



The Best of Me

12%

Nicholas Sparks knows the value of corn better than anybody, and the films adapted from his novels (The Notebook, A Walk to Remember ) can extract tears from even the sternest souls. But critics say The Best of Me is so preposterous and bland that it’s more likely to inspire incredulity or boredom than sniffles. Two high school sweethearts are reunited at a mutual friend’s funeral, and find that they still have feelings for each other, before forces beyond their control intervene. The pundits say the actors do what they can with the paper-thin characters and silly dialogue, but ultimately, The Best of Me is too schmaltzy and absurd to resonate.

Certified Fresh on TV this week:


The dubious premise of Jane the Virgin (100 percent) is part of its unlikely charm, which critics say shines thanks to sharp writing and a knockout performance by Gina Rodriguez.

Thanks to a liberal dose of propulsive, bloody action and enough compelling character moments to reward longtime fans, critics say The Walking Dead‘s fifth season (97 percent) continues to deliver top-notch entertainment.

Critics say The Affair (96 percent) is a somber, bewitching exploration of truth and desire, thanks to some smart, creative storytelling and spectacular performances from Dominic West and Ruth Wilson.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya, an animated folk tale about a girl who’s found inside a bamboo stalk, is at 100 percent.
  • Dear White People, a comedy about an African American college student whose no-holds-barred radio show shakes up the predominantly white campus, is at 97 percent.
  • Birdman, starring Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in a comedy about an actor famous for playing a superhero who’s trying to mount a Broadway play, is Certified Fresh at 94 percent.
  • Housebound, a horror comedy about a woman sentenced to home confinement who discovers her house is occupied by a malevolent spirit, is at 94 percent.
  • Diplomacy, a historical drama about a plot to destroy Paris during World War II, is at 91 percent.
  • Listen Up Philip, starring Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss in a dramedy about a self-obsessed author burning bridges with the people around him, is at 87 percent.
  • Watchers of the Sky, a documentary about activists pushing for justice in the wake of mass atrocities, is at 87 percent.
  • Felony, starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Wilkinson in a thriller about three cops dealing with the potential fallout from a bust gone wrong, is at 79 percent.
  • Camp X-Ray, starring Kristen Stewart in a drama about a guard at Guantanamo Bay who develops a friendship with a detainee, is at 64 percent.
  • Rudderless, starring Billy Crudup and Anton Yelchin in a drama about a man who copes with his son’s untimely death by playing music, is at 61 percent.
  • Summer of Blood, a horror comedy about a schlubby guy who becomes a lady-killing vampire, is at 60 percent.
  • Young Ones, starring Michael Shannon and Elle Fanning in a sci-fi drama about a farming family struggling to survive in the midst of a global water shortage, is at 50 percent.

Finally, props to Andrew LaPlant for coming the closest to guessing Addicted‘s eight percent Tomatometer.

This week on streaming video, we’ve got Michael Bay’s latest thundering installment of the Transformers franchise, Jon Favreau’s small but well-received dramedy, and a little seen thriller from Australia, as well as a handful of notable choices newly available to stream on Netflix. Read on for details:


Transformers: Age of Extinction
17%

Stepping into the lead role is Mark Wahlberg as Texan robotics expert Cade Yeager, who unwittingly comes into possession of a dormant Optimus Prime just as a secretive CIA task force is ramping up efforts to hunt down all rogue Transformers. When it becomes clear the government is colluding with a shady tech firm, Optimus rallies the remaining Autobots to storm their headquarters and uncover a larger conspiracy.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Budu


Chef
87%

This Certified Fresh comedy, directed by and starring Jon Favreau, tells the story of a chef who quits his job at a swanky restaurant to operate a food truck.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Felony
70%

Joel Edgerton wrote, produced, and co-starred alongside Tom Wilkinson and Jai Courtney in this Australian thriller about three cops at odds with each other about how to proceed after an accident leaves a young boy in critical condition.

Available now on: iTunes


Breakfast at Tiffany’s
89%

Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard star in this bittersweet romantic comedy that has inspired thousands of Halloween costumes over the years.

Available now on: Netflix


About a Boy – Season One

David Walton stars in this TV adaptation of the 2002 film starring Hugh Grant (itself an adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel), about a singer whose bachelor lifestyle is interrupted by the presence of a new neighbor and her precocious son.

Available now on: Netflix


High Noon
95%

Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly star in Fred Zinnemann’s classic thriller about a marshal who finds himself taking on a gang of bandits alone.

Available now on: Netflix


Stardust
77%

Based upon Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel and featuring an all-star cast, Stardust spins a tale of a young man who sets out to prove his love to the girl of his dreams by presenting her with a fallen star; he embarks on a journey through a forbidden kingdom, encountering witches, pirates, and other magical folks along the way.

Available now on: Netflix


Manakamana
96%

This visually stunning documentary documentary is about a cable car in Nepal that carries tourists and locals to a temple in the mountains.

Available now on: Netflix


The Duchess
62%

Keira Knightley stars as Georgiana Spenser, an ancestor of Princess Di’s, who becomes an 18th century style icon while navigating the rough waters of palace life.

Available now on: Netflix

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