This week on home video, we’ve got one of the most acclaimed horror films in recent memory and Tim Burton’s latest film, an understated true story. After that, we’ve also got new films from David Cronenberg and Jean-Luc Godard, as well as some other notable indie titles and a few new releases on television, including a Robin Williams sitcom. Read on for the full list:

The Babadook (2014) 98%

Horror as a genre has undergone a lot of transformations over the years, so much so that it’s become almost impossible to pinpoint what exactly defines a “typical” horror film these days. Perhaps because of this, critics have warmly welcomed films that have returned to what they’ve labeled more “traditional” fright flicks. Last year’s The Babadook, an Australian film about a single mother learning to cope with the death of her husband, offered exactly the brand of horror critics were craving, and they rewarded it with a Certified Fresh 98 percent on the Tomatometer. Essie Davis is Amelia, whose husband’s tragic death six years prior has traumatized their son Sam (Noah Wiseman). After reading Sam a disturbing bedtime story about a boogeyman-like monster called the Babadook, strange occurrences begin manifesting in their home, and Amelia fears she may be losing her mind. More tense and atmospheric than gory or startling, The Babadook‘s reliance on psychological terror is likely to stick with you far longer than the cheap thrills offered by other films.

Big Eyes (2014) 71%

Tim Burton employs such a specific tone and aesthetic that, after 15 feature films, audiences come to his movies with some preconceived notions. Even the few occasions where he’s ventured a little beyond his niche — efforts like Ed Wood or Big Fish — sport enough Burtonian flourishes to bear his unmistakable signature. Enter Big Eyes, a quieter, gentler look at a remarkable true story that still feels like a Tim Burton movie, only different. Christoph Waltz plays Walter Keane, the celebrated painter of the 1950s and 1960s known for his eccentric trademark: portraits of waifs with unusually large eyes. As we know now, however, the truth was that he didn’t paint those portraits at all; they were the work of his wife Margaret (Amy Adams), who let a lie spiral out of control as Keane’s popularity grew. Critics called Big Eyes thought-provoking for its social commentary and well-acted, thanks to its top notch cast, even if some felt it failed to delve deeply enough to achieve long-lasting significance. At 71 percent on the Tomatometer, it’s an understated drama just a bit outside of Burton’s typical wheelhouse, but a fascinating story nonetheless.



Goodbye to Language (2014) (86 percent), Jean-Luc Godard’s challenging Certified Fresh portrait of a relationship from the perspective of a stray dog.
[Rec] 4: Apocalypse (2015) (81 percent), the fourth installment of the Spanish zombie-horror series.
God Help the Girl (2014) (68 percent), starring Emily Browning and Hannah Murray in a bohemian coming-of-age drama set in Glasgow, Scotland’s West End.
Maps to the Stars (2015) (63 percent), starring Mia Wasikowska and John Cusack in David Cronenberg’s ensemble drama about a troubled Hollywood family.
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015) (22 percent), the sequel to the 2012 Hammer Films horror entry about the haunted Eel Marsh House.
Sullivan’s Travels (1941) (100 percent), Preston Sturges’ iconic Hollywood satire starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, is the first of two releases from the Criterion Collection and available in a new DVD and Blu-ray.
Odd Man Out (1947) (100 percent), Carol Reed’s celebrated noir thriller starring James Mason and Kathleen Ryan, is Criterion’s second release this week, also available in a new DVD and Blu-ray.
The Missing‘s (2014) (96 percent) acclaimed first season is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
The Crazy Ones (2013) (55 percent), CBS’ sitcom starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and the late Robin Williams, releases its first season on DVD this week.

This week on streaming video, we’ve got a well-received Tom Cruise-Emily Blunt action film, Seth MacFarlane’s western farce, and a coming-of-age film also currently playing in theaters. Then we’ve got a couple more notable new choices, as well as a slew of great films newly available on Netflix. Read on for details:

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

With the planet under attack from alien invaders, Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is sent into battle — and killed instantly. However, he finds himself in a time loop, reliving the same battle scenario and gradually discovering how to defeat the enemy.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes


This stunning black and white drama is the story a young woman on the verge of joining a convent who discovers a dark family secret.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

A Million Ways to Die in the West

In this Western spoof, writer/director/star Seth MacFarlane plays Albert, a cowardly rancher in a wild west town who falls for Anna (Charlize Theron), who’s handy with a gun. However, Anna is married to a wanted outlaw, and soon Albert is in his crosshairs.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

God Help the Girl

Emily Browning stars in this coming-of-age comedy directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu


This documentary follows up on the soldiers featured in the Oscar-nominated Restrepo — soldiers who participated in some of the most intense fighting of the conflict in Afghanistan.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu

True Grit

In this intriguing western from the Coen Brothers, Hailee Steinfeld stars as Mattie, a 14-year-old who hires grizzled U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to track down the man who killed her father; reluctantly, he agrees, and the two journey across an unforgiving landscape, encountering danger along the way.

Available now on: Netflix

All Is Lost

Robert Redford stars in this minimalist drama about a man whose boat is lost at sea.

Available now on: Netflix

Le Week-End

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan star in this Certified Fresh drama about a feuding married couple who spend an eventful weekend in Paris.

Available now on: Netflix

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Moviegoers have witnessed many things, but nothing as bodacious as this time travel comedy starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as a pair of metalheads who recruit some personages of historical significance to help them pass an oral presentation.

Available now on: Netflix

God’s Horses

God’s Horses is a drama about a group of childhood friends who are recruited by a terrorist organization.

Available now on: Netflix


Thomas Haden Church stars in this drama about a man who goes on the run after committing an accidental killing.

Available now on: Netflix

This week at the movies, we’ve got just one wide release: The Identical, starring Blake Rayne, Ashley Judd, and Ray Liotta in the fictional story of an Elvis-esque rocker and his twin brother. What do the critics have to say?

The Identical


It’s a heartbreaking — and undeniably intriguing — bit of trivia that every Elvis Presley fan knows: the King had an identical twin brother who was stillborn. What would have happened had Jesse Presley survived? Unfortunately, critics say The Identical takes this premise and squanders it on a schmaltzy, unintentionally funny plot sprinkled with bland tunes and uneven performances. Blake Rayne plays a dual role as brothers separated by birth. One grows up to become a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, and the other is expected to join the ministry — though he finds the lure of music hard to resist. The pundits say The Identical is well-meaning but surprisingly ham-fisted; it’s a movie about a rock star that’s short on edge or memorable music.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • No No: A Dockumentary, a portrait of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis and the no-hitter he threw while on acid, is at 100 percent.
  • Wetlands, a transgressive dramedy about a teenager who acts out while dealing with her parents’ divorce, is at 94 percent.
  • Last Days in Vietnam, a documentary about the evacuation of South Vietnamese collaborators from Saigon, is at 92 percent.
  • Memphis, a drama about a few days in the life of a troubled soul singer, is at 75 percent.
  • God Help the Girl, starring Emily Browning in a coming-of-age comedy directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, is at 71 percent.
  • Thunder and the House of Magic, an animated adventure about a cat who moves into a magician’s house, is at 68 percent.
  • Kelly & Cal, starring Juliette Lewis in a drama about an alienated suburban mom who befirends a teen from the neighborhood, is at 64 percent.
  • Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It, featuring the Canadian goofballs in a mockumentary about keeping marijuana illegal so as not to hurt their thriving business, is at 57 percent.
  • Frontera, starring Ed Harris and Michael Peña in a drama about a murder investigation along the Mexico-Arizona border, is at 55 percent.
  • The Longest Week, starring Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde in a comedy about a writer who moves in with his best friend and falls in love with his girlfriend, is at 22 percent.
  • Innocence, a dark drama about a troubled girl at a sinister boarding school, is at zero percent.

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