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. Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below, and shoot over suggestions to @TheFilmStage.

Bastards (Claire Denis)

While out at sea, supertanker captain Marco Silvestri (Vincent Lindon) receives an urgent call from his sister, Sandra (Julie Bataille), that beckons him to return to Paris immediately. Sandra’s husband had committed suicide while her daughter, Justine (Lola Créton), has been traumatized by a brutal rape. Determined to bring those responsible for such a heinous crime to justice, Marco embarks on an personal investigation to avenge his niece. When Sandra points the finger of blame on a wealthy businessman, Edouard Laporte (Michel Subor) — who eerily and, perhaps intentionally, bears a distinct resemblance to Dominique Strauss-Kahn — he begins observing Laporte as a means of uncovering clues as to what happened. Marco sells off all his worldly possessions and moves into a posh apartment complex where Laporte’s mistress and son are living; the deeper Marco finds himself in this seedy underground playground of the uber elite, the muddier the waters of truth become. – Raffi A. (full review)

Where to Stream: iTunes, Google Play

Call Me Kuchu (Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall)

Created as a documentary to expose the horrifying human rights offenses committed by the Ugandan government against the LGBT community, directors Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall were given impressive access to the nation’s most vocal activists by following them as the fight raged on the streets and in the courtroom. With local newspaperRolling Stone outing as many homosexuals as it could in tasteless, tabloid-style photo spreads courtesy of paid infiltrators and a Christian zealot-led Parliament hoping to rapidly push through a new law declaring sexual orientation punishable by death, every brave soul standing against the tide risked rape, abuse, and death daily. And just as growing international support and a surprising local judicial turnaround appeared to earn the promise of victory, the risk became a tragic reality as threats escalated into murder. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix Instant

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Extended Edition (Peter Jackson)

Consider this inclusion a warning more than anything else. Released into theaters last year at a near-unbearable 169 minutes, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey involved dishwashing, no-stakes CGI battles, painful humor surrounded by a fine lead performance from Martin Freeman, and one notable scene with Gollum. Ahead of the Desolation of Smaug, Peter Jackson has now added 13 minutes to this journey, and while we’d be more interested in revisiting this if the runtime went the other way, perhaps die-hard fans will find some interest here. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: iTunes

Our Day Will Come (Romain Gavras)

Gavras’ feature directorial debut Notre jour viendra [Our Day Will Come] follows a pair of troubled French redheads looking for payback along their hastily hatched venture to escape to Terre de Rêve, Ireland—the Land of Dreams. Rémy (Olivier Barthelemy) is shy, bullied, and submissive to a fault whether at home or in school; Patrick (Vincent Cassel) is a bored psychiatrist no longer able to hide his indifference with patients. Their meeting was a stroke of fate as the latter’s commute just happened to pass the former’s house as it swarmed with police due to Rémy roughing up his mom before running away. Patrick catches up, offers a ride, and eventually witnesses firsthand the cruelty of his peers. Recalling his own childhood torment, something snaps and Patrick decides to take back their dignity. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon VideoiTunes, Google Play

Phantom (Todd Robinson)

Todd Robinson’s Phantom is, at times, a skillfully executed film saved from direct-to-video boredom, mostly due to top-notch performances. Starring Ed Harris as Demi, a man whose father is a legendary, highly decorated naval officer, he is a secret embarrassment deeply haunted by his past mistakes. He finds himself commanding a sub on its way to the scrap yard (or China). As he explains it, an old seaman without a ship is just another drunk. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix Instant

Populaire (Régis Roinsard)

Régis Roinsard’s Populaire is being marketed as a romantic comedy, and so it is, but it’s also a buddy comedy of sorts, featuring a girl and her trusty typewriter. As colorful and perky as its tenacious blonde protagonist, Populaire is a sumptuously crafted and cheerful event likely to beguile the same audiences who adored Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist.  If there’s nothing particularly new or fresh in the film’s story of a 1950’s secretary discovering her modern woman by entering a speed-typing competition, the familiarity is easily overlooked thanks to Roinsard’s quirky, energetic telling and the chemistry of Romain Duris and Déborah François as the two leads. In a flourish that deftly increases the tale’s appeal, the director conjures a vision of the 1950’s inspired by Doris DayAlfred Hitchcock and Douglas Sirk, with all the melodrama and high-style those names imply. – Nathan B. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix Instant

Redemption (Steven Knight)

Here it is, ladies and gents, that serious Jason Statham film few were expecting. Once called a more narratively-appropriate Hummingbird, now called a more Jason Statham-y-appropriate Redemption, this film served as a small indie art-house surprise right square in the middle of the zombie/superhero part of the year, when it was theatrically released. That it stars an action hero who would be easily suited in any one of these tent-poles only adds to the surprise. Statham plays Joseph Smith, an ex-soldier with severe PTSD. Following a disjointed flashback to a military situation in Afghanistan that Joseph was a part of, we meet our hero on the dirty streets of London amongst a small commune of homeless people. Equipped with wet rags and long, stringy hair, Joseph has little to live for aside from his friend Isabel (Victoria Bewick). Seconds later, a couple of thugs show up and start bullying those in the commune. Isabel pleads with Joseph not to fight back. He acquiesces, and we watch our action hero get mercifully beaten down while his friend is taken away. Joseph is able to escape, finding refuge in a posh, empty apartment in another part of town. Upon learning the owner will not be back until October, Joseph decides to use the place – and all of the clothes and means within it – to turn his life around. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix Instant

V/H/S/2 (Various)

It has been exactly one year since the original V/H/S played at Sundance, yet we already have the sequel to the horror omnibus cleverly titled V/H/S/2. In case you are unfamiliar with the original premise, a bunch of hooligans break into a house and discover VHS tapes each documenting some sort of terrifying tale. Each scary short is directed by different filmmakers while the wrapper storyline serves as interstitial breaks between each segment. In the sequel, a pair of private investigators searching for a missing student stumble upon a similar house and, low and behold, find more videotapes to watch. While this narrative gimmick seems perfectly suited for the horror genre, there is a lack of cohesion that makes this sequel feel like a half-baked follow-up. – Raffi A. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix Instant

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (Alex Gibney)

Eventually, we were going to have a movie about Julian Assange and his subversive WikiLeaks website, but is it better that we got the documentary before the biographical drama? I think so; by the time Benedict Cumberbatch takes the screen as Assange in The Fifth Estatelater this year, viewers will have a nifty, comprehensive reference in Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wiki Leaks. Cobbling together scads of charts, reports, files, and testimonies, this venture feels most like an interactive article one might find on that other wiki site, the one that ends in ‘pedia’. – Nathan B. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix Instant

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