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.

Boiling Point (Philip Barantini)

More often than not, one-take films struggle to justify their gimmick. Whether shot in one go or utilizing an intensive editing process to appear like so, the technique almost always threatens to overshadow whatever story is at the center rather than emphasizing it. Used correctly, it can prove immersive in the exact same way as a theatrical production—breaking down barriers between performer and audience, who can see their work unfold in real-time. Unfortunately, the impracticality of telling a story this way is usually highlighted via several scenes of actors slowly walking between filming locations. – Alistair R. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

The Feast (Lee Haven Jones)

Lee Haven Jones’ slow-burn eco-horror The Feast may feature extended conversations around the dinner table about wealth inequality and the ecological damage of mining environmental resources. But behind a polished aesthetic and explicit metaphor about mother nature’s revenge lies an assured gross-out flick—featuring more than one scene in which vomit becomes a central ingredient of a farm-to-table dish—that announces the first-time feature director as one to watch. Subdued and formalistic for the first two-thirds of the film before, very literally, taking the camera off the tripod for a particularly gory finale, The Feast may test one’s patience but, for those willing to embrace these Welsh-film’s eccentricities, Jones has crafted one of the more horrifying dinner parties this side of The Invitation.  – Christian G. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Films about Food

Timed with Thanksgiving, OVID.tv is offering up a selection of fine films about food. Selections include Eat this New York by Andrew Rossi, Soul of a Banquet by Wayne Wang, Bugs by Andreas Johnsen, A Chef’s Voyage by Rémi Anfosso and Jason Matzner, Cuban Food Stories by Asori Soto, The Goddesses of Food by Vérane Frédiani, and much, much more to feast on.

Where to Stream: OVID.tv

Freeland (Kate McLean and Mario Furloni)

Capturing the rhythms of life on a rural Humble County, California commune in a changing cultural landscape, Kate McLean and Mario Furloni’s beautifully crafted Freeland is a restrained, nuanced drama centered around a quietly thrilling performance by Krisha Fairchild as aging hippie Devi. Devi built Freeland, a sanctuary that has survived by shipping its products throughout the North East. Life on the farm, here with young people including the enterprising de facto leader of her team Josh (Frank Mosley), is perhaps as simple as it ever was as their evenings are spent joking around a communal dinner table. The group, mostly young and likely around the same age as Devi when she arrived in Freeland, have taken time away from their lives to work the land. Devi, despite her age and experience, has simply never chosen to move on to a house in the suburbs. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Jagged (Alison Klayman)

It really is strange to look back almost 30 years and realize just how seminal Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill was to rock music. Being only thirteen at the time of its release, I didn’t understand then what I can now. “You Oughta Know,” “Hand in My Pocket,” and “Ironic” were in constant rotation every time the radio was turned on, but my brain processed them as songs just like any other. When you hear Shirley Manson of Garbage succinctly explain what that string of hits actually did for the industry, however, everything comes into focus: she relates how despite there being multiple, successful women-led acts, it wasn’t until Alanis arrived that the record labels finally saw them as legitimately viable. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain (David Midell)

I’m not sure there’s a more textbook example of police overreach and excessive force than the one depicted in David Midell’s The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain. The number of checkpoints that had to be missed, ignored, or willfully flaunted for the tragedy that ensures to occur is too high to count. In a perfect world (one the “defund the police” movement strives to create), officers wouldn’t have been dispatched to Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s (Frankie Faison) in the first place. He was a seventy-year-old Black Marine veteran with mental health flags. Any wellness check should have been conducted by (or had the participation of) a healthcare professional, social worker, or counselor. Welcome to America. Why spend money saving lives when you can overwork an under-educated, already-present police force instead? – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

King Richard (Reinaldo Marcus Green)

Throughout King Richard, I kept waiting for a flashback. The thing about biopics is that even the good ones tend to be overstuffed, bogged down by an incessant need to fill out their subject’s life. It generally comes with the price of admission. But director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s latest offering never indulges the genre’s cradle-to-grave instincts. It’s a relief, and also a reminder that, despite its title coronating Richard Williams, this is really the origin story of his tennis prodigies, Venus and Serena, whom he willed onto an unrelenting trajectory to superstardom. He only operates within the confines of their development. – Jake K. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

Last Night in Soho (Edgar Wright)

Can someone get Edgar Wright a DJ residency? Or a prime-time (or drive-time) radio slot. Few working directors are so passionate and eager to play the tunes, to fill the audio mix of their films with their voluminous record collection. In the immensely entertaining Last Night in Soho, he associates and recalls––especially if you come from or reside in the UK––the Britpop era; that time in the mid-90s where British pop music (not forgetting the Spice Girls along with Oasis and Blur) was commercially triumphant, when it wore its British identity on its sleeve in ways that ranged from prideful to nostalgic to necrophiliac (the latter word as music journalist Scott Plagenhoef described it). Also vital to recall are the overlapping cross-currents of the Euro 96 football tournament (where the “It’s Coming Home” terrace anthem and meme derives from) and Tony Blair’s controversial rebranding of the UK Labour Party.  – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Mandibles (Quentin Dupieux)

Like the giant fly in Mandibles, director Quentin Dupieux has been buzzing and provoking us for roughly the past decade, trying to build a reputation as a new French surrealist auteur. Many were won over by last year’s Deerskin, buthis latest bizarre creation truly confirms his talent. His two best-known features, Rubber and the aforementioned Deerskin,can be summed up in a simple high-concept phrase: respectively, the “killer tire film” and the “killer jacket film.” In surrealist logic, the evolutionary chain clearly goes from tire to scream (Reality) to jacket and now to fly. Rather than something out of Cronenberg’s beloved remake, this fly is a charming, almost Spielbergian creature––far less dangerous than its human cast members. The film is notable for finding different sources of humor, puerile as they may be, than his usual theatrical violence. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Prayers for the Stolen (Tatiana Huezo)

Everything that happens in the small town at the center of documentarian Tatiana Huezo’s fiction debut Prayers for the Stolen runs through the Mexican drug cartel. The men have all but left to find work elsewhere, sending money to pay off collectors. The women work in the poppy fields, scratching opium bulbs to pay bills and earn a semblance of “protection” by being useful to the cause. And the soldiers stationed there act tough with guns as a superficial deterrent while cowering down in hopes of not getting shot whenever caravans of gangsters drive through. None of it truly matters, though. The cartel still comes at night to drop dead bodies and steal away young girls simply because they can. Everyone fears they’ll be next. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Procession (Robert Greene)

It begins with a press conference wherein Michael Sandridge, Tom Viviano, and Mike Foreman—all survivors of abuse—discuss how the Catholic Church in Kansas allowed priests to groom and assault them. It’s an obviously tense scene, in large part because of how the Church has engaged in a coordinated cover-up spanning decades, moving pedophiles around to deflect and confuse while simultaneously expanding the number of their victims. Foreman is justifiably enraged as he incredulously scoffs at the fact that the establishment has propped itself upon the salvation of statutes of limitations rather than the empathetic, Christian principles dictated via confession. Those in power would rather hide and lie than admit their complicity while sanctimoniously asking us to believe they’re God’s chosen few. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Sweet Thing (Alexandre Rockwell)

Alexandre Rockwell’s Sweet Thing could be pulled from any era. Shot in striking 16mm black-and-white, the coming-of-age film—Rockwell’s first feature since 2013—is an intimate story about childhood, connection, freedom, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive. Starring Rockwell’s own children Lana and Nico as, respectively, Billie and Nico, Sweet Thing keeps its lens on two children maturing before they should and forced into situations of adulthood. – Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

tick, tick… Boom! (Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Despite any prescience on behalf of its subject matter, I’m sure even the playwright himself, Jonathan Larson, would have looked back on his big-budget, science fiction Broadway hopeful “Superbia” with enough hindsight to acknowledge there was no way it would ever see the light of day. As the relatable cartoon shared by artists all over the internet of an iceberg attests: the amount of work produced to get to the one piece that finds an audience (in any medium) is too high a multiplier to even begin hypothesizing. And any creator who isn’t made aware of this fact in school has been done a disservice by their educators. That doesn’t, however, mean you shouldn’t dream or that your first try won’t get funded. Lightning does strike for some. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Zeros and Ones (Abel Ferrara)

The city of Rome certainly means something to Abel Ferrara. A new home after being priced-out and disgusted by the “new” New York, it’s served in recent films as both a liberating and confining environment for tortured artists. Yet in his latest film, Zeros and Ones, we’re plunged into a land outside whatever Ferrara’s probably even imagined. Beyond just the grainy, handheld photography provided by Alex Ross Perry and Safdie Brothers veteran Sean Price Williams, drones map out the vacant night, providing glimpses of its extreme 2020 lockdown—a city symphony of the world’s deadest metropolis. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Also New to Streaming

The Criterion Channel

Discomfort Zone: Three Films by Ruben Östlund


The Outsiders: The Complete Novel
Simple As Water


The Master

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Escape from New York
Winter’s Night
Pilot Pirx’s Inquest
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc

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