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 spy on the run (The November Man, starring Pierce Brosnan and Olga Kurylenko), some haunted explorers (As Above/So Below, starring Perdita Weeks and Ben Feldman/), and four supernatural elimination specialists (Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd). What do the critics have to say?



The November Man

36%

Pierce Brosnan is best known for his stint as cinema’s greatest spy, James Bond. He plays a different sort of espionage agent in The November Man; unfortunately, critics say that while the film is slick and competently made, it suffers from convoluted plotting and middling dialogue. Brosnan stars as Peter Devereaux, an ex-CIA agent who’s lured out of retirement to protect an important witness. However, Devereaux quickly discovers that everyone’s out to get him. The pundits say that Brosnan is strong as a thoughtful, haunted protagonist, but The November Man is largely a generic spy thriller that’s weighted down by an overloaded narrative. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Brosnan’s best-reviewed films.)



As Above/So Below

26%

What better place to set a horror movie than the catacombs beneath Paris, where the bones of millions of souls are part of an intricate series of dark tunnels? Critics say As Above/So Below occasionally takes full advantage of its chilling locale, but its characters aren’t particularly well-developed. It’s the story of three adventure seekers on a quest to find a mythical artifact. When they venture into the catacombs, however, they’re forced to confront horrors both tangible and psychological. The pundits say As Above/So Below is atmospheric and occasionally spooky, but it lacks the weight and urgency necessary to be a true head-trip.



Ghostbusters

97%

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Yes, that’s right: Ghostbusters, one of the most beloved comedies of the 1980s is back in theaters in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Critics found it to be a sublime blend of witty banter and inspired special effects, and it’s barely dated a lick since its original release.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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