This week on streaming video, we’ve got one of the best shows on TV right now, a bunch of classics, and some worthy foreign films, among other things. Then, we’ve also got three Oscar-nominated films available for purchase, as well as a Certified Fresh romantic comedy. Read on for the full list:


New on Netflix

 

Better Call Saul: Season 1 (2015) 97%

AMC’s follow-up to Breaking Bad follows Bob Odenkirk’s character before he became Saul Goodman, when he was still known as Jimmy McGill, a petty scammer with a clever streak who falls into some hard times and struggles to bounce back.

Available now on: Netflix


How to Steal a Million (1966) 100%

Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole star in this caper comedy about a woman who hires a thief to help her rob a museum in order to preserve her wealthy father’s reputation. It makes more sense if you watch it.

Available now on: Netflix


 

Full Metal Jacket (1987) 92%

Matthew Modine and Vincent D’Onofrio star in Stanley Kubrick’s Certified Fresh Vietnam War movie takes viewers through a grueling boot camp before dropping them directly into the field of battle.

Available now on: Netflix


Charlie's Country (2013) 95%

This Australian film follows an Aboriginal man living off the land as he clashes with the authorities and attempts to reconcile with the changing world around him.

Available now on: Netflix


Stranger by the Lake (2013) 94%

Alain Guiraudie’s sexy, Certified Fresh thriller tells the tale of a man who falls for a mysterious stranger who may be involved in a murder.

Available now on: Netflix


Sand Dollars (2014) 94%

Geraldine Chaplin stars in a drama about the relationship between and older American woman and a twentysomething Dominican.

Available now on: Netflix


Waking Ned Devine (1998) 84%

This Certified Fresh comedy centers on a small Irish town at a loss for what to do when the winner of its lottery is found dead with the winning ticket in his hand.

Available now on: Netflix


The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002) 80%

Based on the animated Nickelodeon series of the same name, this Certified Fresh family film follows young Eliza Thornberry, who takes it upon herself to stop poachers from harming a herd of elephants.

Available now on: Netflix


Sin City (2005) 77%

Robert Rodriguez’s Certified Fresh adaptation of the Frank Miller comic is a dark, grisly collection of interconnected pulp fiction starring Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, and Mickey rourke, and shot with a unique visual flair.

Available now on: Netflix


Charlie's Angels (2000) 69%

Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, and Cameron Diaz play the titular special agents, who jump into action when a tech entrepreneur goes missing.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Hulu

 

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Season 1 (2015) 83%

NBC’s new comedy, about four survivors of a planetary disaster trying to accept their circumstances, is airing right now, but you can catch all the episodes on Hulu after they air.

Available now on: Hulu


New on Amazon Prime

 

Mommy (2014) 88%

This Certified Fresh drama from Montreal’s Xavier Dolan is the story of a single mother dealing with her difficult teenage son.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Man of Tai Chi (2013) 71%

Directed by and starring Keanu Reeves, Man of Tai Chi is a martial arts film about a young fighter who competes in an underground fight club.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Awkward.: Season 5 (2015) 50%

MTV’s comedy stars Ashley Rickards as an ordinary teen who goes mostly unnoticed until she suffers an accident that everyone misunderstands as a suicide attempt.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on Fandor

 

Leila (1996) 100%

This Iranian drama tells the story of a happily married woman who begins to suffer under her very traditional new mother-in-law, who demands that she bear a male child for her husband.

Available now on: Fandor


The Thief of Bagdad (1940) 100%

This influential film from 1940 — which won three Oscars, including one for its groundbreaking special effects — follows a young thief who falls in love with a princess and enlists the aid of a genie to help him win her heart. Sound familiar?

Available now on: Fandor


Red Desert (1964) 96%

Michelangelo Antonioni’s existential drama stars Monica Vitti as a troubled married woman who enters into an affair with an engineer.

Available now on: Fandor


Lola Montes (1955) 82%

German director Max Ophüls final film is a period biopic focusing on the life of the Irish dancer and courtesan and her relationship with composer Franz Liszt.

Available now on: Fandor


Equinox Flower (1958) 88%

Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu’s lighthearted drama follows a traditional father’s various emotional reactions to the news that his young daughter plans to buck tradition and choose her own husband.

Available now on: Fandor


Available to Purchase

 

Spotlight (2015) 97%

Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and many more star in this Oscar-nominated drama about the team of Boston Globe reporters who uncovered charges of sexual abuse against the Catholic Church.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes, Vudu


Bridge of Spies (2015) 90%

In Steven Spielberg’s Certified Fresh Cold War thriller, Tom Hanks stars as an American attorney called upon to defend a Soviet agent at a trial, and who subsequently finds himself involved in a clandestine prisoner exchange between the CIA and the KGB.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes


Steve Jobs (2015) 85%

Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet star in Danny Boyle‘s Certified Fresh biopic of the Apple founder, which focuses on three of his major product launches, as well as his sometimes rocky interpersonal relations.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes, Vudu


Man Up (2015) 80%

Simon Pegg and Lake Bell star in this Certified Fresh romantic comedy about two mismatched people who end up on a date together after a case of mistaken identity.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes, Vudu

This week on streaming video, we’ve got an anticipated film adaptation of a popular novel, an acclaimed drama that won Julianne Moore an Oscar this year, and the final season of a popular AMC drama series to lead things off. Then, we’ve got a few smaller films you may have missed and Helen Hunt’s latest directorial effort (which is simultaneously in theaters). Read on for the full list.


Fifty Shades of Grey
25%

Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele, a timid undergrad tasked with interviewing a wealthy, good-looking entrepreneur named Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). The mutual attraction is clear, but Ana soon learns that Christian has some rather unusual bedroom habits and must decide whether or not she’ll follow his lead.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Still Alice
85%

Julianne Moore took home the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in this Certified Fresh drama about a linguistics professor who is diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease; Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin turn in sharp supporting roles.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Mommy
88%

This Certified Fresh drama from Montreal’s Xavier Dolan is the story of a single mother dealing with her difficult teenage son.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes


Ride
52%

Hitting VOD the same day it opens in theaters, Helen Hunt’s film stars herself as a strict single mother who learns to loosen up when she moves from New York to Los Angeles to be closer to her son, who’s dropped out of college to surf.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu


Sons of Anarchy – Season 7

The final season of AMC’s popular hit show brings the saga of SAMCRO to a fitting Shakespearean conclusion, filled with the character work and gripping action that made it a fan favorite.

Available now on: Netflix


Alamar (To the Sea)
91%

This Certified Fresh quasi-documentary about a father-son fishing trip is distinguished by its lyrical pacing and gorgeous locations.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Afghan Star
100%

This Certified Fresh documentary is an enlightening and sobering chronicle of an attempt to create an American Idol-esque talent competition for Afghan television.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

This week on home video, we’ve got a well-received adaptation of a classic children’s book character, P.T. Anderson’s latest film, and a handful of films with big stars that earned mediocre reviews. Luckily, there are also a couple of smaller films that are worth your while. Read on for details:


Paddington (2014) 98%

If you’re going to adapt a beloved children’s book character for film, you’d better do it right. Thankfully, almost everyone who saw Paddington approved. For the unfamiliar, Paddington Bear was created by British author Michael Bond in 1958, ultimately spawning dozens of books, three television series, merchandise, and more. Think Winnie the Pooh, but with a penchant for marmalade instead of honey. The film remains quite faithful to the character’s origin story, in which a talking bear from Peru with nowhere to go is adopted by a kind family who grows to accept him as one of their own. Conflict comes in the form of a taxidermist (Nicole Kidman) who wants to capture and stuff Paddington for her museum collection. Critics called Paddington an utterly charming family film and awarded it a Certified Fresh 98 percent on the Tomatometer, calling it a welcome update on the character that both respects the source material and provides some fresh laughs.


Inherent Vice (2014) 72%

If you’ve met anyone who’s seen Inherent Vice and asked them to describe it, chances are you got a muddled mess of a story with lots of stops and starts and “Wait; lemme back up”s. This is because Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest ensemble drama-comedy, based on the eponymous novel by Thomas Pynchon, is a near indecipherable shaggy dog story full of dead ends, red herrings, and plain old wackiness. Joaquin Phoenix plays stoner P.I. Doc Sportello, who can’t refuse when his ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) asks him to look into a possible abduction plot involving her new boyfriend’s wife and her lover. From there, Doc discovers what may be a much larger conspiracy that may or may not involve the LAPD, a missing musician, and a heroin-smuggling cult, among other things. Bolstered by a typically outstanding cast that includes Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro, Reese Witherspoon, and more, Inherent Vice will satisfy fans of P.T. Anderson and the source novel, even if those expecting a more traditional, coherent narrative will probably find themselves scratching their heads.


 

ALSO AVAILABLE THIS WEEK:

Last Days in Vietnam (2014) (95 percent), a documentary covering the final days of the Vietnam War and the joint efforts of the South Vietnamese and American soldiers to save as many lives as possible.
Mommy (2015) (91 percent), Xavier Dolan’s drama about a single mother trying to raise her ADHD teen son with the help of a new neighbor.
The Gambler (2015) (46 percent), starring Mark Wahlberg and Jessica Lange in a remake of the 1974 James Caan film, about a lit professor with a gambling problem who owes the wrong people a lot of money.
The Wedding Ringer (2015) (28 percent), starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad in a comedy about an awkward groom-to-be who hires the services of a professional Best Man.
The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman in a thriller about a high school teacher who has a one-night stand with a younger man who becomes obsessed with her.

This week at the movies, we’ve got fairy tale creatures (Strange Magic, with voice performances from Alan Cumming and Evan Rachel Wood), an eccentric adventurer (Mortdecai, starring Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow), and a troubled teacher-student relationship (The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman). What do the critics have to say?


Strange Magic

18%

On paper, an animated musical inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream sounds reasonably promising. Unfortunately, critics say Strange Magic could use a whole lot more pixie dust — along with visual inspiration and interesting characters. It’s the story of Marianne (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood), a fairy princess who’s been jilted by her Prince Charming. The cad then discovers a love potion, which sets off a series of battles and daring rescues. The pundits say Strange Magic is oddly charmless, and its few clever ideas are smothered by a plot that’s both patchwork and overly busy.



Mortdecai

12%

What’s the deal with Johnny Depp? With the exception of the animated Rango, the man who was once the biggest star in Hollywood hasn’t had a critically approved starring vehicle since Public Enemies in 2009. The critics say Mortdecai is a stunning misfire, a tonally-jarring would-be caper comedy that reduces its talented cast to broad, goofy caricatures. Depp is Charlie Mortdecai, a mustachioed, anachronistic rogue who’s tasked with recovering a stolen Goya painting; hilarity, in the form of pratfalls and double-entendres, ensues. The pundits say Mortdecai is visually sharp but comically dull; it’s an attempt at satire that seems unsure of what exactly it’s lampooning. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of Johnny Depp’s wildest looks through the years.)



The Boy Next Door

12%

The divide between trashy fun and plain ol’ trash is often razor thin. Critics say The Boy Next Door falls on the wrong side of the line, promising campy thrills that it can’t ultimately deliver. Jennifer Lopez stars as a high school English teacher who’s taking a break from her husband when she has a tryst with a teenager. Naturally, he becomes obsessed and possessive, threatening our heroine’s security and peace of mind. The pundits say The Boy Next Door simmers but never reaches full boil, so its silly dialogue and ludicrous plotting are never quite as entertaining as they could be. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Lopez’s best-reviewed movies, as well as director Rob Cohen’s Five Favorite Films.)

What’s Hot On TV:


Critics say Justified (100 percent) returns to form for its endgame, rebounding with crisp storytelling and colorful characters who never take themselves too seriously.

The critics say the high quality execution and cool characters are top-notch, but the nonsensical time-travel scenarios make 12 Monkeys (54 percent) less watchable than its original source material.

The pundits say the stale cop humor of Backstrom (33 percent) is a cop-out, availed little by the talented cast’s attempt to make the best of its sloppy schtick.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Red Army, a documentary about the legendary Soviet hockey team, is at 100 percent.
  • The Duke Of Burgundy, a drama about an erotic relationship between two entomologists in a lavish country estate, is at 97 percent.
  • Mommy, a drama about a single mother dealing with her difficult teenage son, is Certified Fresh at 91 percent.
  • Salvation Army, a coming-of-age drama about a gay Moroccan teenager dealing with complex family and societal dynamics, is at 83 percent.
  • Killers, a thriller about a serial killer and a vigilante who each record videos of their bloody deeds, is at 83 percent.
  • Black Sea, starring Jude Law and Scoot McNairy in a thriller about a submarine crew searching the deep for rumored treasure, is Certified Fresh at 78 percent.
  • Son of a Gun, starring Ewan McGregor and Brenton Thwaites in a drama about a small-time crook who falls under the influence of a seasoned criminal, is at 59 percent.
  • The Humbling, starring Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig in a drama about an emotionally fragile actor who is rejuvinated by a much younger woman, is at 56 percent.
  • Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston and Anna Kendrick in a drama about a woman suffering from chronic physical and emotional pain, is at 38 percent.
  • Song One, starring Anne Hathaway and Mary Steenburgen in a drama about aspiring New York City folkies, is at 37 percent.
  • Manny, a documentary about the champion prizefighter and politician Manny Pacquiao, is at 25 percent.
  • We’ll Never Have Paris, starring Melanie Lynskey and Simon Helberg in a romantic comedy about a passive guy who chases the ex he dumped when she relocates to the City of Lights, is at 20 percent.
  • Americons, a drama about the rise and fall of a shady real estate investment firm, is at 17 percent.

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