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.
The Boxtrolls (Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi)
Although their features thus far come from different minds (both on the page and when it comes to the execution), the Oregon-based stop-motion studio Laika clearly has specific, shared preferences. Darker, more daring, and perhaps more meticulously crafted than the average studio animation, following Coraline and ParaNorman, their latest feature feels like a natural next step for the company. Based on Alan Snow‘s 2005 novel Here Be Monsters, The Boxtrolls is set in the secluded town of Cheesebridge, an isolated, dairy-obsessed place occupied by the false notion that little creatures (think Minions with more personality) located in the sewers live only to terrorize the citizens. The only one that doesn’t believe this nonsense is a boy raised by the Boxtrolls themselves, Eggs, who is named after the origins of the obligatory box outfitted to his body, and voiced by Game of Thrones‘ Isaac Hempstead Wright. – Jordan R. (full review)
Coherence (James Ward Byrkit)
If you’ve ever dabbled in theoretical physics–or watched The Big Bang Theory–you’ve probably heard of Schrödinger’s Cat. The cat that’s simultaneously dead and alive while unseen within a closed box also housing a vial of poison? Two realities co-existing with the only certainty being that both are possible until one snaps into place as truth when the flaps are unfolded to reveal an opaque interior newly transparent? Its wild paradox can either baffle you or help in comprehending quantum physics depending how deep down the rabbit hole you’re willing to go; expanding the number of outcomes infinitely only makes it wilder. What if the box is a house, the cat a dinner party with both good and bad people? Predictable and unpredictable people? Sane and insane? Hungry and full? This is writer/director James Ward Byrkit‘s Coherence. – Jared M. (full review)
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
The Drop (Michaël R. Roskam)
Finding international acclaim with the bleak, riveting 2011 Belgian drama Bullhead, director Michaël R. Roskam has returned with his Hollywood follow-up, the English-language crime drama The Drop. Written by a man who knows the genre well after Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (based on his short story Animal Rescue), all the ingredients are seemingly in place for another knock-out, including a high-caliber cast toplined by Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and the late James Gandolfini in his final role. While there are sequences that hint it might cohere to such promise, by the finale its familiarity and muddled narrative prevent The Drop from reaching such lofty heights. – Jordan R. (full review)
Gone Girl (David Fincher)
Something is wrong from the very first moments of Gone Girl, David Fincher‘s sinister, immensely entertaining tenth film and an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s pulpy bestseller. Before Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, before her husband Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) quickly becomes the prime suspect, and before the multitude of twists and turns that follow, the ever-precise Fincher foreshadows his all-encompassing, disconcerting tone through simple opening credits. – Jordan R. (full review)
The Interview (Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg)
Who would’ve thought a movie complete with Katy Perry and fecal jokes could cause so much brouhaha? The Interview did just that by royally pissing off North Korea. The story surrounding Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s film almost makes this high-concept comedy funnier, but it’s already got enough laughs, so it doesn’t need any help from North Korea’s unfortunate threats or cyber attacks. Following the duo’s successful directorial debut, This is the End, they’ve delivered a superior sophomore effort with this rousing bro comedy. – Jack G. (full review)
Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt)
Rather than the gear shift that was to be expected, Night Moves rather clearly offers a careful reconfiguring (but no sacrifice) of the idiosyncrasies, both formal and narrative, which have made Kelly Reichardt’s voice so important to the American cinema. A critical adherence notwithstanding, the new sense of ambition which Night Moves allows her to exhibit speaks volumes, posing the question of where, now, she might go. – Nick N.
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
Nymphomaniac: Extended Director’s Cut (Lars von Trier)
Once the dust has settled, the posturing ceased, and both parts made readily available, those who appreciated Nymphomaniac on an initial go-round can more fully see it as one of Lars von Trier’s great achievements. A breezy four hours might feel to contain the world entire — from Bach to Bond to parallel parking to… well — but it never strays from the writer-director’s well-worn tortured-woman narratives, proving how much ecstasy he can truly harness when at the peak of his powers. It feels like it’s been too long since we received something truly essential from his end — this is at least the man’s best film since Dogville, though I, for comparison’s sake, might be inclined to go back as far as Breaking the Waves — but, no matter where he goes next, there will always be Joe’s sexual odyssey. And Rammstein. – Nick N. (full review)
Where to Stream: Netflix
The Trip to Italy (Michael Winterbottom)
If all one needs to make a movie if a girl and a gun, as per Godard, then perhaps all you need to make a good comedy is two guys in a restaurant, talking about nothing. That’s the basic gist of Michael Winterbottom‘s The Trip and the basic gist of his sequel, The Trip To Italy. Returning are comedian-actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, this time traveling around Italia to eat well and write well as a follow-up to the foodie piece they wrote (or rather Rob wrote) the first time around. – Dan M. (full review)
Where to Stream: Netflix
Also New to Streaming
What are you streaming this weekend?