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New to Streaming: ‘The Double,’ ‘The Freshman,’ ‘The Monuments Men,’ ‘Devil’s Knot,’ and More

Written by on May 9, 2014 

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we believe it’s our duty to highlight the recent, recommended 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, and shoot over suggestions to @TheFilmStage

All Cheerleaders Die (Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson)

Oh, those silly amateur Wiccans trying to play God. Haven’t they learned it never ends well? Bringone cat back to life and you think you can change the course of nature — just because you’re in love. It’s a sweet thought, sure, but as anyone who has ever seen a horror film would say, “There are always consequences.” That whole “one life for another” stuff does its best to balance out the universe without fail. Thankfully, Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson know how to have fun when showing those scales evening out, because we’re going to laugh either way — better to make those chuckles intentional rather than not. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Cable-on-Demand (DirecTV, TWC, XFinity, Verizon Fios, Dish, and more)

The Double (Richard Ayoade)

Comically dry like director Richard Ayoade‘s debut, Submarine, his sophomore effort takes more than a few steps towards an even more arid realm of complete existentialist surrealism. As adapted by the helmer and Avi KorineThe Double brings Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s novella to the big screen with a surefire confidence in its visual form and an eccentric comedy that should go a long way towards securing the IT Crowd star as a permanent, unique voice in contemporary cinema. There is a definite stylistic kinship to his first film, pairing it well with this one’s descent into a psychological conflict of identity: every waking second of Simon James’ (Jesse Eisenberg) entire existence shatters with the introduction of a confidently superior doppelgänger named James Simon. – Jared M. (full review)

See Also: Our interview with Richard Ayoade.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Devil’s Knot (Atom Egoyan)

The most disturbing thing about the case regarding those most commonly known as the West Memphis Three is that some version of it can be still happening, right now. The details are public, thanks in large part to the documentaries by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, as well as Amy Berg‘s more recent West of Memphis, but the newest film on the subject, Devil’s Knot — a dramatization by master filmmaker Atom Egoyan — casts its glance toward the first part of this saga, only briefly including a scene wherein the efforts of those making Paradise Lost are required. – John F. (full review)

See Also: Our interview with Atom Egoyan.

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Freshman (Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor)

Thanks to the work of Harold Lloyd Entertainment and Janus Films, Lloyd’s 1925 comedic masterpiece, The Freshman, recently joined the Criterion Collection in a fantastic new Blu-Ray. The college-set, football-obsessed feature is one of Lloyd’s most consistent works, showing off both his skills as a master of elongated-gag set pieces as well as the character’s down-to-Earth pathos. – Peter L. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu Plus

The Monuments Men (George Clooney)

It looks like everything is here, so what’s missing? George Clooney’s The Monuments Men is that most frustrating type of movie; it assembles a great cast, a talented director, a tantalizing slice of history, and despite the best of intentions, can’t manage to get out of the gate. It’s by no means a bad movie, but when your DNA suggests the makings of greatness, merely OK is hard comfort. – Nathan B. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon)

Taking a 180-degree turn from the blockbuster hijinks of his record-breaking The Avengers, Joss Whedon has taken part in a little breather before completing the Marvel follow-up. Adapting William Shakespeare to the modern day, Much Ado About nothing brings Whedon back with his regular gang of Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker. Following a release this summer, this black-and-white, small-scale production is now available to stream on Netflix. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Trust Me (Clark Gregg)

Clark Gregg’s Trust Me is an often hilarious dark comedy, evolving into satire, veering towards drama and then continuing back to where it began. Where it goes after that you may not see coming, except for the fact the film’s very first shot tells you a little too much right off the bat. Gregg, maturing in his sophomore effort as director from his debut feature Choke, does double duty, also starring as Howard, an agent for child actors. He knows the territory as a former child star and he fights for backend deals, ensuring that once the money is MC Hammer-ed away by reckless parents, the checks will still come in. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

What are you streaming this weekend?

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