With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options—not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves–each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit platforms. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films

Check out Jared Mobarak’s reviews of all of this Oscar-nominated short films, including Animation, Live-Action, and Documentary.

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Concrete Cowboy (Ricky Staub)

There is a moment of surreal wonder near the start of Concrete Cowboy, the TIFF premiere co-starring Idris Elba, that is never equaled again, a sequence of unexpected radiance conjuring a sense of astonishment. A troubled teenager has been sent from Detroit to Philadelphia to spend the summer with his long-absent father. He arrives at night to a nearly empty, rather foreboding street. Eventually he finds his (seemingly) menacing father and is led into a ramshackle, messy home. Suddenly he sees a large horse and responds appropriately: “There’s a horse… in your house.” – Chris S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Funny Face (Tim Sutton)

Funny Face is the latest work from Tim Sutton, a New York-based director whose previous films–Dark Night (a bold revisiting of the 2012 cinema shooting in Colorado) and Donnybrook (about a lucrative bare-knuckle boxing match)–also focused on violent loners, albeit of a different variety. Cosmo Jarvis stars as Saul, a lonely outsider who enjoys James Dean, smoking cigs and watching the Coney Island Cyclone from the rooftop of his apartment. (It’s never made explicitly clear, but his erratic behavior suggests some form of autism.) His love interest is a younger Muslim woman named Zama (played by newcomer Dela Meskienyar); the Bonnie to his Clyde. On a 48-hour odyssey the duo will buy some Nikes, hit some delis, and rob a car. More nefarious plans are made a little further down the line. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Godzilla vs. Kong (Adam Wingard)

According to the contrived mythology of Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse, “titans” like Godzilla and Kong are mortal enemies because only one can reign supreme. Apparently ancient beasts have never been good at sharing. Every previous film in the franchise has been building toward their inevitable clash, and now it comes to big dumb life thanks to Adam Wingard’s massive and massively tedious tent-pole. – Glenn H. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

The Maestro: Scores by Ennio Morricone

Perhaps the most legendary composer of all-time, Ennio Morricone left behind a vast body of work and some highlights are now being presented on The Criterion Channel, including Fists in the Pocket (1965), The Battle of Algiers (1966), The Big Gundown (1966), Death Rides a Horse (1967), Teorema (1968), The Mercenary (1968), A Quiet Place in the Country (1968), Machine Gun McCain (1969), Burn! (1969), Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970), Companeros (1970), The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), The Automobile (1971), Duck, You Sucker (1971), Arabian Nights (1974), The Human Factor (1975), Night Train Murders (1975), Hitch-Hike (1977), Days of Heaven (1978), The Professional (1981), The Mission (1986), and Ripley’s Game (2002).

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore (Sky Hopinka)

Ethnographic documentary has historically been used as a tool by colonial filmmakers to exoticize non-Western communities and cast themselves as white saviors. Sky Hopinka’s short films challenge that power dynamic in beautiful and inventive ways, experimenting with voice-over narration, inter-titles, music and sound design to explore how language, memory, and cultural history help strengthen identity. His fluid style always works in service of the oral histories and folklore of Native peoples that might otherwise go unrecorded and lost. With małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore, an elegiac and at times mesmerizing feature debut, Hopinka examines how mythology continues to inform the work of younger Chinookan generations who are carving out their own path in the Pacific Northwest. – Glenn H. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

The Oak Room (Cody Calahan)

Watch an exclusive clip above.

It starts with a bottle of beer hitting a bar before an off-screen fight gets that glass bouncing along to the impact of bodies we never see. And it finishes with a similar still life that may or may not be the exact same beverage—a question left in limbo considering bottles are hitting bars past closing time throughout the entirety of director Cody Calahan and screenwriter Peter Genoway’s film The Oak Room. There are a lot of these almost cyclical moments during its brisk, dialogue-heavy ninety-minutes: drifters coming down the steps to greet a bartender hoping to go home, blizzard snow climbing windows, and the desire to tell stories with calculated meaning whether or not the teller or the listener knows as much once the words begin. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

The Salt of Tears (Philippe Garrel)

If anything, what Garrel’s film lacks in emotional connection it gains in reserved reflection. It’s a study in male chauvinism, and yet these characters–both men and women–are adults, in adult relationships, whose responsibility is theirs alone. There’s something generous in that type of filmmaking–no anger, just disappointment, with the lingering melancholy that nobody’s actions in life are perfect. – Ed F. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman)

It is apropos that Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby is screening in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Discovery platform. It is a discovery, in every sense: the discovery of a new comic voice behind the camera, the discovery of a note-perfect star in lead actor Rachel Sennott, and the discovery of a viewing experience that is at once hilarious, awkward, uncomfortable, and unforgettable. Shiva Baby is a blast of energy and from its first moment to its last Seligman finds the right balance. There is genuine suspense, if not horror; the score, by Ariel Marx, could just as easily fit a summer camp slasher flick. But the greatest feeling for the audience––after discomfort––is excitement. – Chris S. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Starring Dirk Bogarde

English actor Dirk Bogarde was born 100 years ago this week and The Criterion Channel are presenting a deserved showcase on his best performances, perhaps most notably the rarely-seen, controversial Luchino Visconti feature The Damned, along with their most acclaimed collaboration, Death in Venice. The series also features The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954), Cast a Dark Shadow (1955), Victim (1961), The Servant (1963), Darling (1965), Accident (1967), The Night Porter (1974), Despair (1978), and Daddy Nostalgia (1990).

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

A Tale of Winter (Éric Rohmer)

Had Éric Rohmer ever drawn someone more vividly than Charlotte Véry’s Félicie? A lofty claim, to be sure, one I might not fully uphold without hours upon hours of revisits and (worse yet for my case) first-time views. But it’s hard to imagine many characters, anywhere, understandable on such intuitive levels—A Tale of Winter circles her wounded past and romantic present with equal interest because, of course, these things are never exactly separate, a fact Véry’s performance elucidates in those moments only the camera may observe her trepidation, desire, indecision, and whatever follow-through results. A superb drama of one. – Nick N.

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese)

The deeply referential new South African film This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection strongly evokes Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry, perhaps cinema’s greatest contemplation of the subject. Both concern a central character seeking a dignified end, with the notion of a burial especially symbolic to the ultimate sense of finality. The interesting distinction is that in this film, for its setting in the tiny Lesotho village of Nasaratha (named after Nazareth, the birthplace of Jesus), the town’s gravesite actually makes up one of the largest parts of the local landmass. The dead truly live alongside with the living. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Also New to Streaming

The Criterion Channel

Directed by Ursula Meier
A Girl Missing
Close to Home: How to Make a Movie Without Leaving the House
Shadow Play: The Animated Films of Lotte Reiniger
The Best of the Marx Brothers
The Gamblers
To Sleep with Anger
Man Push Cart & Chop Shop
The Leopard


The Last Cruise


Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn (review)

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Plan 9 From Outer Space
Cinema Novo
Abnormal Family
Running Stumbled
Ghostbox Comedy

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