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New to Streaming: ‘Slow West,’ ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service,’ ‘Rabbit Hole,’ ‘Focus,’ and More

Written by on May 15, 2015 

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With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Area 51 (Oren Peli)

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Following the wild, unexpected success of Paranormal Activity, director Oren Peli set out on his next project, another low-budget horror feature titled Area 51. Beginning production in 2009, there was word of reshoots but it’s mostly been radio silence on the project for the last half-decade. Following a group of friends on a weekend trip to Vegas who then stupidly try and break into Area 51, where they find terrifying proof of alien presence, it’s now finally available to stream. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Every Secret Thing (Amy Berg)

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Every Secret Thing effectively melds the sensibilities of its director Amy Berg (best known for her feature documentaries Deliver Us From Evil and West of Memphis, both complex films involving children and tragedy) and screenwriter Nicole Holofcener (who pushes the complex, triangular mother-daughter-daughter’s friend of her film Enough Said to thriller territory here). Adapted from a novel by Luara Lippman,  the film opens seven years in the past when two girls from different sides of the track attend a birthday party. Alice, whose mother Helen (Diane Lane) is an art teacher and Ronnie, who lives in poverty, are expelled and find a baby left unattended. They decide to take the child in and we learn from the headlines in the film’s title sequence the baby does not survive. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Focus (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa)

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You know that moment in a con movie where you’re shown an elaborate sequence full of subtle background action without knowing exactly what’s happening until the mastermind explains it all to a colleague—and us—who’s unaware? It’s my favorite trope of the genre because it either provides a sense of awe in the trick’s success or allows me to pat myself on the back for noticing the ruse. Sadly, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa forget the first part and keep us in complete darkness assuming their revelation will prove more intense as a result. The truth, however, is that it comes off as lazy or worse: insecure. If your game doesn’t play subliminally enough to get past us, showing it later only enhances our belief it would never have worked in the real world. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)

What could have been an exploitative look at an instance of police brutality and the unfathomable outcome wrought from fear and abuse of authority in an incident more complex than simple racial undertones might describe, writer/director Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station decides instead to show how integral each life on this earth is to those he/she loves. It isn’t about vilifying the white murderer or turning the black victim into a hero; it’s about showing the life of a complicated man with faults and a checkered past finally understanding what matters above selfish wants and desires. And with some of the year’s best performances—Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz—we’re made to understand both the good and bad results of our actions and that things are never as cut and dry as we’d like to believe.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Kingsman: The Secret Service (Matthew Vaughn)

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Kingsman: The Secret Service, the latest pairing of comic scribe Mark Millar and director Matthew Vaughn, wants to sell itself as a fresh and irreverent take on British spy antics, a silly shot-in-the-arm that harkens back to the campier days of James Bond. With the genre favoring more stoic and gritty explorations as of late, it’s an initial thrill to see Colin Firth decked out in a bespoke suit, umbrella in hand, dispatching bad-guys as if we lived in a world where the most commonly know Avengers were still Emma Peel and John Steed. – Nathan B. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

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