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 platforms. 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, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
Berlin Syndrome (Cate Shortland)
While the recent 10 Cloverfield Lane and Room told stories of captivity with various hooks — science-fiction and the process of healing, respectively — Cate Shortland’s approach in her latest, harrowing drama Berlin Syndrome makes room for more nuance and depth. Locked in a Berlin apartment, there is little hope for our protagonist for nearly the entire runtime. And while some of the story’s turns can feel overtly manipulative, Shortland finds a bracing humanity in depicting the perverse situation of Stockholm syndrome. – Jordan R. (full review)
David Lynch: The Art Life (Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm)
Before David Lynch was a filmmaker, he was a struggling painter, whose lifeblood was to “drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and paint.” That’s what he dubbed “the art life,” and what an image – as featured in the many contemporary photos seen in this new documentary – it is, the bequiffed 20-something Lynch sitting back in his Philadelphia studio, composing transgressive abstract artwork. Bookmarked by footage of Lynch working on his latest paintings in his Hollywood Hills penthouse, the wonderful new documentary David Lynch: The Art Life showcases the artistic developments of one of America’s most singular directors. – Ed F. (full review)
I Knew Her Well (Antonio Pietrangeli)
For one reason or another, Antonio Pietrangeli never took off internationally like his compatriots Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini. Part of that is certainly due to his premature death in 1968, when he drowned while working on a film. But even before that, I Knew Her Well, now newly restored by Janus Films and the Criterion Collection, was never released in the United States. It stars Stefania Sandrelli, who certainly has the makings of a star — five years later, she would help propel The Conformist to international acclaim — and Pietrangeli’s episodic structure, use of pop music, and jarring editing fits with the work of contemporary French New Wavers, and also bore a resemblance to Fellini, particularly La Dolce Vita; even in context of its time, it hardly seems uncommercial. – Forrest C. (full review)
Where to Stream: FilmStruck
Inglorious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
A movie so audacious in concept and execution, it should get the blood pumping within the first ten minutes, and by the last ten, you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief while cheering with such fervor your head will spin. Like the best of Tarantino‘s work, it sends a love of cinema coursing through your veins. Christoph Waltz gives the best performance of its respective year, and what will likely be his career. It has a brain behind the brashness that is uncommon in today’s multiplexes, and will sadly continue to be. – Nick N.
Where to Stream: Netflix
John Wick: Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski)
Closer to an expansion of its predecessor than a true follow-up all its own, John Wick: Chapter 2 offers a fair share of what already worked while ironing out a few rough spots. Which isn’t to say the formula’s been perfected just yet. The basic set-up might hint at this: some unfinished business from John Wick’s last crusade rears its head in an explosive, fiery way. Before you ask, worry not: his new dog makes it through all right, as revealed in one of this movie’s simpler and, tellingly, more clever images, a quiet subversion of where you think things are headed. The reluctant killer now finds himself carrying out an assassination plot, caught in a double-cross, the subject of a big-game bounty hunt, and some other scenarios that, who are we kidding, are the threads stringing us from one action sequence to another and one killing to the next. So, so many killings. – Nick N. (full review)
Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)
Stories — whether black, white, or other — always have the potential to transcend race, economics, and environment to hit on a deeper level, stripped of labels, known as universal humanity. Barry Jenkins‘ Moonlight does this. I’m not black, gay, or poor, yet I saw myself in Chiron’s struggle for identity within a world trying to exclude him. He’s betrayed and bullied, but never broken. We never grow to become quite what we expect, despite forever remaining a manifestation of our individual pasts. Nothing reveals this truth better than Trevante Rhodes‘ portrayal of Chiron in this time-warp triptych’s final third: wholly different from the boy met an hour previous, and identical to his core. – Jared M.
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
Raw (Julia Ducournau)
Raw doesn’t entirely work as a cohesive whole, but there’s enough unforgettable imagery presented by Julia Ducournau to be worth a recommendation. We said in our review that “the shocks of Raw — or, rather, Justine’s various humiliations — belong more to a dire Todd Solondz cringe comedy, even if there are aspirations to Carrie. (A chaste girl gets animal blood dumped on her in slow-motion, after all.)”
War Machine (David Michôd)
Brad Pitt has gone back to World War II a handful of times in the last decade or so, he’s now taking on a more modern battle with War Machine. David Michôd‘s follow-up to The Rover is based on Michael Hastings‘ novel The Operators, which depicts the rise and fall of General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Also starring Tilda Swinton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Anthony Michael Hall, Topher Grace, Will Poulter, Lakeith Stanfield, Emory Cohen, John Magaro, RJ Cyler, Alan Ruck, Scoot McNairy and Meg Tilly, this satirical comedy will hopefully flex a new muscle for Michôd after his previous films.
Where to Stream: Netflix
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