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New to Streaming: ‘Shoplifters,’ ‘The Favourite,’ ‘Free Solo,’ and More

Written by on February 15, 2019 

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’re highlighting the noteworthy titles that have recently hit platforms. Check out this week’s selections below and an archive of past round-ups here.

Creed II (Steven Caple Jr.)

There’s no better way to recognize what a filmmaker brings to the table than a sequel without him/her. This isn’t to say Ryan Coogler wasn’t involved in the making of Creed II—he is a producer on the project after all. No, it’s simply to point out how different Creed was to the Rocky films that came before it. Yes, it was pretty much a redux of the original installment that put Sylvester Stallone on Hollywood’s map as both a leading actor and screenwriter, but it relived those beats with a depth of character and emotion that transcended the nostalgic love we have for the Oscar-winner. Coogler and co-writer Aaron Covington lent a modern authenticity that moved beyond boxing to living life itself in the shadows of greatness. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)

thefavourite

It hurts to watch the films of Yorgos Lanthimos—emotionally, yes, but there are times when one can almost feel the physical pain endured by the characters on screen. In the case of The Favourite (as well as The Lobster and Dogtooth), this is a compliment. The Favourite is a film of repellant behavior, 18th-century grime, and utter degradation. It is also gleefully hilarious and luridly intoxicating. Featuring career-best performances from Olivia Colman as Queen Anne, Rachel Weisz as her closest friend and confidante, and Emma Stone as the servant who comes between them, The Favourite practically dares the viewer to turn away—and knows there’s little chance of that happening. – Christopher S.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Free Solo (Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi)

A great double feature with Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Josh Lewis said, “Free Solo features the first climber to ever ascend Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan without the safety of a rope.” He added, “Alex risks his life purely out of a selfish, abstract desire for personal stimulation which, though still technically amazing to watch, leaves a bit ickier of a sensation as you watch him hurt the people around him on his quest for some sort of vague transcendence.”

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross)

hale-county-this-morning-this-evening-1

Structurally, Hale County This Morning, This Evening does not do much to distinguish itself from other contemporary vérité documentaries which focus on quotidian details within a certain milieu. But even so, it still finds value in the unique incidents it captures. Send a hundred different filmmakers to a hundred different places, and even if their work is aesthetically identical, they’ll each document at least a few unique moments that will make each piece worth it. Beyond that, director RaMell Ross demonstrates a talent for framing a scene in a striking manner, such as shooting a trash fire so that the rays of the sun shine through the smoke. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: PBS (through 2/25)

Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda)

shoplifters

The most heart-stopping, suspenseful moment in 2018 cinema is also one of the quietest. It occurs near the end of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Palme d’Or-winning drama Shoplifters. A secret is revealed that shakes the foundations of all we’ve seen before, and leads the audience to rethink how this offbeat, poverty-stricken family of shoplifters should be viewed. Kore-eda, the director of Like Father, Like Son and After the Storm, excels at this type of emotional detonation. With Shoplifters, he has made his most devastatingly powerful film to date. – Chris S.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

We the Animals (Jeremiah Zagar)

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We the Animals is most effective when it breaks free from conventional storytelling and relies on image, sound, emotion, and mood. Much of the film has an appropriately aimless feel, as the brothers wander the house and the community (the film was shot in Utica, NY). When events of great importance actually do occur, the effect is almost startling. The standout moments, though, are those in which introspection takes over. Zagar does not quite stick the landing — the discovery of Jonah’s journal seems to promise an ending that does not arrive — yet this, too, feels appropriate. When young Jonah retrieves his crinkled drawings and writing from the trash and smooths out the pages, we understand that eventually, he will be liberated. – Chris S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Morgan Neville)

wont-you-be-my-neighbor

When Fred Rogers sang the iconic title song of Won’t You Be My Neighbor? at the beginning of the documentary, a chorus of audience members singing along rose up around it. For multiple generations, Rogers’ PBS program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood cannot be separated from childhood itself. The film can easily coast on sentimentality and nostalgia for emotion, and does so frequently and unabashed. Which is frustrating, since there are glimpses of a more complex human being throughout the film, one who would have made for a much better subject. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Go

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

The Front Runner (review)
The Happy Prince
Maria by Callas
Ralph Breaks the Internet (review)
The World Before Your Feet (review)

Criterion Channel’s Movie(s) of the Week

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Tom Jones

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Diary of a Country Priest
Victory Day
Brothers of the Night
Boris without Béatrice
Yesterday Never Ends
The Cove
Return to Montauk

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.


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