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

Atlantis (Valentyn Vasyanovych)

In Valentyn Vasyanovych’s post-apocalyptic Atlantis, the sky above Ukraine hangs like a sheet of steel, a uniform mass of clouds bucketing water onto the mud-covered wasteland down below. The year is 2025, and the country has just emerged victorious–if shattered–from a war with Russia. It’s a conflict all too steeped in the decade’s real-life skirmishes between Ukraine and its neighbor to come across as strictly fictional, and that’s the thing that makes Atlantis so disturbing. It’d be tempting to call Vasyanovych’s a dystopia, were it not for that fact that, all through its 108 minutes, everything about it feels almost unbearably vivid–closer to some news report or a post-conflict documentary than any artificial rendition thereof. There are soldiers gingerly plucking mines out of fields, foreign NGOs fretting about the country’s recovery, unidentified corpses exhumed and re-buried, and shell-shocked veterans struggling to find their way back into civilian life. – Leonardo G. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Calm with Horses (Nick Rowland)

Going under the title Calm with Horses when it premiered at TIFF last fall, Nick Rowland’s new drama starring Barry Keoghan and Cosmo Jarvis is now known as The Shadow of Violence. Now, with a Netflix debut, it has reverted back to its original title. Jared Mobarak had high praise for it, saying in his review, “I’ve already mentioned Jarvis—who expands upon his breakout turn in Lady Macbeth—but I don’t want his delivering one of the year’s best performances to be diminished. It’s a role that could have easily been ruined by angst-fueled mumbling and frustration without the necessary heart to earn empathy. He instead lets us know about the pain inside and the never-ending struggle to be good that appears less winnable each and every day. Arm is a man whose purpose was stripped away and reclaimed by monsters doing everything possible to also steal his conscience.”

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Climb (Michael Angelo Covino)

In The Climb–as occasionally in life–friendship can be an uphill struggle at the best of times. So how about the worst? Michael Angelo Covino’s auspicious feature debut confronts that topic as a barometer might an oncoming storm. It’s essentially a buddy comedy, although one of the caustic variety, and built to make you squirm just a little, like Judd Apatow put through a filter of something like Festen or Force Majeure. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself (Frank Oz)

It’s a tough act for a critic to try and explain the joys and pleasures of Derek DelGaudio’s In & of Itself. In short, it’s an evocative exploration of narrative and identity through magic and trickery, starting with a thesis statement: we are all our own unreliable narrators. While this premise could also be a trigger warning at the beginning of Rashômon, Shutter Island, and a few Fincher films, In & of Itself takes a fascinating turn, steeped in the kind of narrative that’s required at the heart of every magic show. Objects are given meaning, including a gold brick that appears on stage and around the city of New York, symbolizing a brick thrown into the window of his childhood home after his mom came out. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Identifying Features (Fernanda Valadez)

The winner of the Audience Award and Best Screenplay in the World Cinema (Dramatic) section at Sundance Film Festival last year, we recently caught up with Identifying Features at New Directors/New Films last month. Mark Asch said in our review, “The original Spanish-language title of Identifying Features is Sin Señas Particulares, or “No Particular Signs”—a reference to the individuating marks found, or not, on unclaimed corpses found near the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s an echo of Sin Nombre (“Nameless”), Cary Joji Fukunaga’s vivid immigration-thriller debut from 2009, and an apt title for a film that takes a fresh look at lives erased and distorted by migration and violence. Though Trump-era border policy is an implicit backdrop to the cartel activity and mass abductions she depicts, debuting director Fernanda Valadez’s zoomed-in perspective is on family trauma, not imperial culpability.”

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson)

One does not necessarily have to be fond of canines in order to love Isle of Dogs, but it helps. It may also help to have a fondness for the meticulous craft of stop-motion animation itself or, even more interestingly perhaps, for Japanese cinema. It is a delightful, exquisitely-detailed production that sees Wes Anderson return to animated filmmaking for the first time since Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it’s clear, as he has admitted, that his biggest influences were not the works of Laika or Aardman, but rather Akira Kurosawa. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Disney+

Japanese Noir

Featuring a new introduction by Imogen Sara Smith, a selection of slick Japanese noir films are now on The Criterion Channel, featuring Stray Dog (1949), Black River (1956), I Am Waiting (1957), Rusty Knife (1958), Stakeout (1958), The Bad Sleep Well (1960), Intimidation (1960), Take Aim at the Police Van (1960), Zero Focus (1961), Pigs and Battleships (1962), High and Low (1963), Youth of the Beast (1963), Cruel Gun Story (1964), Pale Flower (1964), Tokyo Drifter (1966), Branded to Kill (1967), and A Colt Is My Passport (1967).

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

The Kid Detective (Evan Morgan)

The premise behind Evan Morgan’s The Kid Detective definitely hit upon my nostalgia as a big fan of the HBO Encyclopedia Brown series when I was a kid. You do wonder what might happen to someone like that as they grow older. Do they become cynical? Depressed? Do they become actual private detectives or go into the police force? A real-world Encyclopedia Brown would have to face the reality that what they thought they were doing was never actually what it was. Being the cute kid to whom the mayor gives a key to the city and the town pitches in to rent office space isn’t the same as being a qualified law enforcement official citizens can rely on. Public celebrity doesn’t garner public trust. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Notturno (Gianfranco Rosi)

The reaction to Notturno is going to be as interesting to observe as the work itself, and it begs to be further contextualized by experts on the Syrian Civil War and ISIS. The stellar documentary further confirms Gianfranco Rosi’s mastery of his chosen form: concise narratives of ordinary people captured in their environments––often those afflicted by broader conflicts––and all depicted through precise still compositions that double as formally polished photojournalism. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Our Friend (Gabriela Cowperthwaite)

There was a brief period of time during the first Obama administration when Hollywood tried to make Jason Segel a leading man. Freshly minted by the ever-expanding Apatow Cinematic Universe, he was being pitched as the next romantic comedy star. Things didn’t really pan out, and whatever charming qualities can be found in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, and The Five-Year Engagement, those films revealed the limits of Segel’s on-screen charisma. This was a supporting actor through and through, always at ease performing in the friend zone. So it’s not at all surprising that Segel shows up as Dane, the saintly bestie in Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Our Friend, one of those prototypical American indies that tries to be comedic, dramatic, and life affirming all in the same breath. – Glenn H. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time (Lili Horvát)

The hook for Hungarian writer/director Lili Horvát’s second feature doesn’t lack intrigue. Following a doctor who returns back home to Budapest after a chance, love-inducing meeting with another at a surgical conference, Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time––a mouthful of a title for the mystery-first drama––lives in the grey areas of the workplace, relationships, and loneliness. Once Vizy Márta (Natasa Stork) arrives to meet her hopeful-lover, Drexler János (Viktor Bodó), he’s nowhere to be seen, and after she finds him at the local university (and attached hospital), he seems to not recognize her. According to him, he’s never seen her before in his life. – Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

The Salt of Tears (Philippe Garrel)

If anything, what Garrel’s film lacks in emotional connection it gains in reserved reflection. It’s a study in male chauvinism, and yet these characters–both men and women–are adults, in adult relationships, whose responsibility is theirs alone. There’s something generous in that type of filmmaking–no anger, just disappointment, with the lingering melancholy that nobody’s actions in life are perfect. – Ed F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Spoor (Agnieszka Holland)

Set in a remote village surrounded by flora and fauna where at any minute wild hogs can stroll into your garden unannounced, the film stars Agnieszka Mandat-Grabka as retired part-time English teacher Janina. Although she obviously stays in a lot, Janina seems quite beloved by her young students, fellow townsmen, and especially her two dogs. When said canine housemates go missing one day, Janina is devastated. But more mischief is in the cards as, soon thereafter, important local figures, from the police chief to the mayor, start turning up dead all over the place. – Zhuo-Ning Su (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

You Will Die at Twenty (Amjad Abu Alala)

Set in a remote Sudanese village where religion and prophecy are valuable currencies, You Will Die at Twenty beautifully examines misguided notions of faith. After giving birth to her first baby, Sakina (Islam Mubarak) visits the local Sheikh for a formal blessing. Instead of hearing promising words about the child’s bright future, she receives a dire omen: the boy will die on his 20th birthday. – Glenn H. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

The White Tiger (Ramin Bahrani)

You know that young Balram Halwai’s (Adarsh Gourav) ascent from servant to entrepreneur within Ramin Bahrani’s The White Tiger won’t be quite what we’re used to thanks to two moments. One comes via a quip at Slumdog Millionaire‘s expense explaining how there are no game shows in India that could make someone from Balram’s sweet-maker caste rich. The other is when we discover the so-called “Great Socialist” (Swaroop Sampat)—the nation’s leader and a woman who herself rose from “country mouse” to powerful politician—isn’t afraid to fill her own pockets despite the image she projects. You don’t escape the sort of poverty that Balram was born into with idealism. You do it with pragmatism after realizing freedom within a democracy isn’t actually free. It must be taken. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Also New to Streaming


Clapboard Jungle (review)
No Man’s Land (review)
PG: Psycho Goreman (review)

Amazon Prime

Black Book
Boarding Gate
Ismael’s Ghosts
The Square

The Criterion Channel

Three by Pablo Trapero
Ray & Liz (review)
Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis
Documentaries by Julien Temple


Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Public Enemy

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Endless Poetry
The Silence
About Some Meaningless Events
Heroes Don’t Die

Psychomagic: A Healing Art

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