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:



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


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.



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.



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 family pratfalls (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner); a tense trial (The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall); a legendary vampire (Dracula Untold, starring Luke Evans and Sarah Gadon); a failure to communicate (Men, Women & Children, starring Adam Sandler and Rosemarie DeWitt); and a torrid affair (Addicted, starring Sharon Leal and Boris Kodjoe). What do the critics have to say?

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


<pTerrible, horrible, no good, and very bad? Or terrific, honest, noteworthy, and very good? Critics say Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day falls directly in the middle — it’s pleasant, charming, inoffensive, and a little tepid. Based upon Judith Viorst’s beloved children’s book, the movie stars Ed Oxenbould, who has a lousy day at school and subsequently wishes that his other family members are also stricken with bad luck as well. Hilarity and, ultimately, family bonding ensue. The pundits say Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is perfectly passable family entertainment — it’s well-meaning and reasonably funny, but nothing earth-shaking. (Watch our video interviews with stars Jennifer Garner, Steve Carrell, Ed Oxenbould, and more.)

The Judge


It’s been a while since we’ve been treated to a weighty courtroom drama at the multiplex, so it’s not unreasonable to have high expectations for The Judge — especially since it stars Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. Unfortunately, critics say that despite its fine performances, the film is overlong and far too predictable. Hank Palmer (Downey) is a big-city attorney who returns to his hometown in Indiana for his mother’s funeral. His estranged father Joseph (Duvall), the town judge, is accused of murder, so Hank ends up defending him, while trying to make peace with the past. The pundits say The Judge is impeccably crafted, and the stars play off each other quite well, but it’s got too much melodrama and not enough suspense. (Check out our video interviews with Downey, Duvall, and more.)

Dracula Untold


You can drive a stake through his heart, expose him to sunlight, and come at him with a convent’s-worth of crucifixes, and still, Dracula will rise again — since the silent era, we’ve been treated to hundreds of cinematic depictions of Transylvania’s favorite son. That said, critics say Dracula Untold is visually striking but narratively shaky, borrowing heavily from a wide range of fantasy/adventure movies. In 15th Century Romania, Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) makes a deal with an old vampire in order to protect his kingdom from an invading army. He’s granted a variety of supernatural powers, but at the cost of developing a taste for blood. The pundits say Dracula Untold offers some fun battle scenes, but it’s a bit unclear on the rules of being a vampire. (See interviews with Evans, Sarah Gadon, and more.)

Men, Women & Children


In Up in the Air and Young Adult, director Jason Reitman crafted witty, portraits of lonely people trying to connect with others. Unfortunately, critics say his latest, Men, Women & Children, jettisons the wit in favor of a more hectoring tone that’s only partially redeemed by the strong cast. It’s a multi-stranded ensemble piece set in a small town in Texas, in which adults and their teenage children are immersed in their phones and computers, but have difficulty communicating offline. The pundits say Men, Women & Children is ambitious and well-acted, but its message ultimately overrides its storytelling.



We’d love to tell you what the critics thought of Addicted, but it wasn’t screened prior to its release. It’s the tale of a successful businesswoman who gets in over her head when she cheats on her husband with an artist. Guess the Tomatometer!

Certified Fresh on TV this week:

We’ve seen plenty of heavy, gritty superhero stories lately. What critics say makes The Flash (Certified Fresh at 96 percent) stand out is it light, likeable tone — it’s energetic, buoyant, and likely to have appeal beyond the comics crowd.

The fourth iteration of Ryan Murphy’s creep fest, American Horror Story: Freak Show (Certified Fresh at 79 percent) proves there are plenty more dark corners for the series to explore; Critics say it’s stylishly presented and well-acted by returning players Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Whiplash, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in a drama about an ambitious jazz drummer and his punishingly strict teacher, is Certified Fresh at 97 percent.
  • The Overnighters, a documentary about the influx of people looking for stable jobs amidst North Dakota’s energy boom, is at 94 percent.
  • Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, the second installment of the horror/comedy franchise about Nazi zombies, is at 87 percent.
  • Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner in a drama about investigative journalist Gary Webb’s discovery of CIA ties to a drug trafficking conspiracy, is at 71 percent (check out Renner’s Five Favorite Films here).
  • The Canal, a horror film about a man who is haunted by a grisly murder that took place in his home, is at 71 percent.
  • St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy in a comedy about a hard-living curmudgeon who bonds with his neighbor’s 12-year-old son, is at 63 percent.
  • One Chance, a drama based on the true story of the amateur opera singer who became an overnight sensation on Britain’s Got Talent, is at 61 percent.
  • I Am Ali, featuring audio recordings of the boxing legend, is at 42 percent.
  • You’re Not You, starring Hilary Swank and Emmy Rossum in a drama about a woman suffering from ALS and the college student who cares for her, is at 22 percent.
  • Autómata, starring Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith in a sci-fi drama about an insurance agent who investigates a self-improving robot, is at 21 percent.
  • The Pact II, a horror film about a woman who’s bedeviled by a serial killer, is at zero percent.
  • Kite, starring Samuel L. Jackson and India Eisley in a thriller about an orphan who attempts to break free from the detective who trained her to be a killer, is at zero percent.
  • Catch Hell, starring Ryan Phillippe as a has-been actor who’s kidnapped and blackmailed while shooting an indie film, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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