Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

Alice, Darling (Mary Nighy)

Everything you need to know about Alice’s (Anna Kendrick) state of mind concerning the abuse inflicted by her boyfriend Simon (Charlie Carrick) are the words “it’s not like he hurts me.” We feel Sophie’s (Wunmi Mosaku) wince in our bones—”hurt” doesn’t only become noteworthy when wrought by a physical altercation. Alice is glued to her phone to ensure she doesn’t miss a call or text. She wakes up super early to apply make-up and style her hair to Simon’s preference. Parrots all the soundbites he uses to police her eating habits about the toxicity of sugar. And literally pulls her hair out of her head whenever she has a spare second of freedom because the pain is all that stops her from acknowledging her crippling shame. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Babylon (Damien Chazelle)

Those seeking an insightful exploration of cinema history in Hollywood’s Golden Age or a nuanced, affecting character study on the lives within this early era will mostly like be disappointed by Damien Chazelle’s latest. Babylon is a brash, bombastic, unwieldy comic opera conveyed with enough bad taste and directorial panache that it—refreshingly—registers as a refutation of the well-mannered prestige drama to which these kinds of nostalgic odes often conform. And while there’s a touch of wistfulness in regards to the communal power of big-screen cinema, the film is more defined by an acidic unsentimentality, both when it comes to its characters and the precarious world they inhabit. Capturing the mad, violent clash of high and low art during a period of upheaval in a fledgling industry that has no consideration for basic morality (much less the safety of its workforce), Chazelle’s indulgent, rollicking vision of the birth of sound pictures eventually evolves into an audaciously bold omen of the medium’s uncertain future. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

The Bowery-Spring, 1994 (Sara Driver)

Narrated by beloved NYC writer Lucy Sante and shot on the fly with a crew of three artists in their late teens, The Bowery–Spring, 1994 pieces together a history of the neighborhood’s storied bedlam. Driver’s interviews with resident sidewalk characters tessellate into an affecting portrait of a community on the cusp of drastic change.

Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club

Celebrate Black History

While they do strong work year-round highlighting work from Black filmmakers, The Criterion Channel has a special Black History Month series, featuring films by William Greaves (Nationtime), Kathleen Collins (Losing Ground), Bill Duke (The Killing Floor), Charles Burnett (The Final Insult), Garrett Bradley (America), Ephraim Asili (The Inheritance), and more.

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Douglas Sirk Rarities

If your only experience with Douglas Sirk is his vibrant, Technicolor melodramas of the mid-to-late 1950s, The Criterion Channel is offering the opportunity to see four black-and-white features made in the same decade: Thunder on the Hill (1951), All I Desire (1953), There’s Always Tomorrow (1956), and The Tarnished Angels (1957).

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Framing Agnes (Chase Joynt)

In order to best explain the field of ethnomethodology, which studies how social order comes to happen through the actions of individuals, sociologist Harold Garfinkel set up “breaching experiments,” an invitation for researchers to break traditional societal rules and examine how people react to the disruption. For example: experimenters can act like they’re guests in their homes and tip their families for their “service,” or they can reach out to customers in stores and restaurants, “confusing” them for clerks and servers. With these social non-sequiturs, Garfinkel hoped people would see how they often are unconscious keepers of rules and referees of normalcy—therefore, beings with much more power than they imagined. – Jose S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Kino Now

A Human Position (Anders Emblem)

Anders Emblem’s A Human Position, in which a young journalist’s investigation of a news story from her quiet, seaside village sparks a personal crisis, is so quiet and unassuming it’s no surprise that it slipped under most people’s radars. It’s still a shame, though: its paradoxical nature (ultra-precise in its direction yet comforting to watch, dealing with heavy political and personal subject matter but somehow always light on its feet) makes for beguiling experience that establishes Emblem as an exciting new filmmaker. – C.J. P.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Orphan: First Kill (William Brent Bell)

Screenwriters Alex Mace and David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick gave their character Leena Klammer, aka Esther Albright, a complete back story at the end of Jaume Collet-Serra’s Orphan. A victim of a rare hormone disorder known as hypopituitarism, causing proportional dwarfism, had made it so this 33-year-old woman looked as though she were only nine. The condition obviously prevented her from being seen as a mature adult; thus she used it to her manipulative advantage. What began as thieving, however, eventually escalated to murder once her desire to sleep with her adopted “fathers” reinforced that finding love, while unquestionably difficult, proved impossible when her targets initially believed themselves to be her dad. At least seven people were left dead in her wake alongside their homes’ charred remains. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Prime Video

Plane (Jean-François Richet)

Nowadays it’s rare to see a multiplex movie with so little affect. And arriving in the second week of January as one of the few dumping-ground action programmers we thankfully still get, the bluntly titled Plane can be––and this is not a backhanded compliment necessarily––described as a VOD action movie that somehow escaped to theaters. Directed by French action craftsman Jean-François Richet, the kind of cineaste who probably grew up on Charles Bronson movies exported to Europe as opposed to Jean-Luc Godard at the cinematheque, the film can bring to mind both Clint Eastwood and even the late John Flynn in its formal simplicity. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Skinamarink (Kyle Edward Ball)

“1995” declares a 1970s-style title card in the opening minutes of Kyle Edward Ball’s Skinamarink, a film presented in fake grain filters meant to suggest the scratchy 35mm video nasties of that era (the ‘70s, not the ‘90s). The date proves totally irrelevant to Skinamarink’s minimal plot; at best it vaguely informs the technology we see in the two-story suburban household where the entire film takes place. This might pass as a conscious irony, but over the ensuing 100 minutes it becomes far more plausible that this semiotically lazy confusion of time and history is a quality of Ball as director, and not of his film’s barely glimpsed preschool-age protagonists. – Eli F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Shudder

Tuesday (Charlotte Wells)

After naming her debut feature Aftersun the best film of 2022 here at The Film Stage, like many, we’ve been eager to seek out the earlier shorts of Charlotte Wells. While we’re still looking for 2017’s Blue Christmas (drop a line if you have access!), her 2015 film Tuesday will now have the opportunity to reach a wider audience thanks to a MUBI debut. A beautifully textured precursor to her debut, which would also examine fathers and daughters, it’s another testament to Wells’ strong ability to find the heartbreak in silences.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Also New to Streaming

The Criterion Channel

All You Need Is Love
Oscar Micheaux: Trailblazer
Queer Britannia: A Derek Jarman Retrospective
Robert Siodmak: Four Key Noirs


Casualties of War
The Story of a Three-Day Pass

MUBI (free for 30 days)

A Bigger Splash
The Sleeping Negro
 Before Midnight


She Is Love

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