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.
45 Years (Andrew Haigh)
Andrew Haigh’s third feature as a director, 45 Years, is an excellent companion piece to its 2011 predecessor, Weekend. The latter examined the inception of a potential relationship between two men over the course of a weekend, whereas its successor considers the opposite extreme. Again sticking to a tight timeframe, the film chronicles the six days leading up to a couple’s 45th wedding anniversary. Though highly accomplished, Weekend nevertheless suffered from a tendency towards commenting on itself as a gay issues film, which at times overrode the otherwise compelling realism. Despite treating material arguably even more underrepresented in cinema – senior relationships – Haigh avoids this same self-reflexive pitfall in 45 Years, pulling off an incisive and emotionally ensnaring tour de force. – Giovanni M.C. (full review)
Where to Stream: Netflix
Coco (Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina)
Pixar’s best film in years, Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina’s Coco does what the studio does best: create rich, human stories with a range of deep emotions and textures. The vibrant story centers on a 12-year old Miguel, a rebellious musical from a family of shoemakers who have forbidden him from playing rock ‘n’ roll. Idolizing music legend and matinee idol Ernesto de la Cruz, he finds himself on the other side of the Day of the Dead in a film about culture, legacy, honor and remembrance. Operating in a similar mode to another film about love and loss, A Ghost Story, Coco is just as rich and striking a deep emotional cord as Miguel traverses time to unpack a forgotten family history. The vibrant land of the dead is matched in the realm of the living with uncanny detail and emotional accuracy, lovely music, and engaging plots and subplots. Its glorious visuals are perfectly matched with first-rate storytelling. – John F.
Golden Exits (Alex Ross Perry)
There are no screaming matches or overt arguments, nor is there any sort of frenetic camera work, yet Golden Exits is unmistakably the work of Alex Ross Perry. The insecurities that bubbled up and exploded through his characters in Listen Up Philip and the even-more-heightened Queen of Earth stay grounded with his relatively small-scale latest film, these anxieties rather becoming the subtext for nearly every conversation. It’s a work of small decisions and jabs, glances and non-action. Should I stay at this bar where temptation exists? Should I continue staring at a woman that will only bring upon personal suffering? – Jordan R. (full review)
Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie)
Like waking up to start your day in your dingy flat, only to realize you dosed three tabs of high-grade LSD before drifting off the night before; as the room shifts, your confusion rapidly develops into heart-thumping stress as you remember you have something really goddamn important to do today — life or death sorta stuff. This is the feverish, ultra-anxiety-inducing sensation that Good Time plunges viewers into from its opening seconds. A sort of cinema delirium, it pulses with a vibrant potency that reminds you film can grab you by the throat; I barely breathed, and I loved every second. – Mike M.
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)
Immaculately scripted and evocatively realized, Lady Bird, writer-director Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, deftly captures the growing pains of adolescence through the eyes of a seventeen-year-old high school senior, caught between the realities of her daily life and the fantasies of her future. The heart of the film lies between Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother (Laurie Metcalf), whose contentious and warring relationship gradually reveals their inherent similarities. Packed with stunningly cast characters, beautifully quotable dialogue and painstaking attention to period detail, Lady Bird captures an arduous and ecstatic coming-of-age tone and feel with deeper emotionality than any other film in 2017. – Tony H.
Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh)
He never really left, but Steven Soderbergh is now officially back to movie-making and the results are top-notch. “It evinces so much of what’s made him that rare journeyman between arthouse and multiplex; and while one is by and large well-inclined not to presume much about career-sized intentions, a cursory glance reveals overlap after overlap,” Nick Newman said in his review. “It’s an easy-enough game of spot-the-predecessor — the heist mechanics of an Ocean’s movie, the working-class struggle of a Magic Mike, and, first most riskily and then most fascinatingly, the procedural iciness of a Side Effects or Contagion.”
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero)
The passing of George A. Romero last year struck the hearts of horror fans worldwide as his particular kind of scrappy genre genius has been paid homage to, but never precisely replicated. Now available on FilmStruck alongside a release on The Criterion Collection is a restoration of his landmark classic Night of the Living Dead, which turns 50 this year and is still a benchmark for how make a zombie thriller.
Where to Stream: FilmStruck
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)
There’s a reason Martin McDonagh can write a film like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri despite being a British playwright: he’s not writing America. He’s writing mankind circa 2017 through America. We are the angry townspeople screaming. We’re the posturing cowards who don’t actually care enough to act until our lives are affected. Anger begets more anger because we’ve lost the ability to answer it with anything else. There’s no redemption here. No vengeance. McDonagh’s damning treatise on 21st-century rhetoric’s rejection of responsibility is the blood-spewed rage we wield to combat the numbing guilt and hopeless despair consuming us whole. – Jared M.
Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins)
As a child I loved spinning in my living room pretending I was Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. I’d never have imagined I’d feel the same way in my 30s watching the big screen version of the Amazon princess’ story, and yet Patty Jenkins’ ode to the goodness of humanity did just that. Kudos to Gal Gadot for reminding us superheroes can have a sense of humor while they kick some major villain ass. – Jose S.
Where to Stream: HBO Go
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