Daniel Day-Lewis earned his second Best Actor Academy Award for his riveting performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's sinewy film

‘There Will be Blood’ on Amazon Prime

There Will be Blood (2007) – “I built my hate bit by bit.” Daniel Day-Lewis earned his second Best Actor Academy Award for his riveting performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s sinewy film. Loosely adapted from Sinclair Lewis’ novel “Oil!,” it reworks the American entrepreneurial success story as an elemental frontier myth, roughly hewn out of […]

Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck in David Lowery's 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ on Netflix and Hulu

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013), second feature from director / writer David Lowery, plays like the cinematic answer to an outlaw folk song. Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck play lovers Ruth and Bob, young adults who grew up fast under the watch of dubious father figure Skerrit (Keith Carradine) and ended up as small-time hold-up […]

Sarah Gadon and Logan Lerman in James Schamus's adaptation of Philip Roth's novel 'Indignation'

‘Indignation’ – Philip Roth’s America on HBO Now

Indignation (2016) – Could you have found a more challenging project upon which to build a directorial debut? James Schamus, the longtime maverick film producer who co-wrote many of Ang Lee’s films, adapts the 2008 Philip Roth novel and directs this measured, serious, heavily introspective coming-of-age drama. Logan Lerman stars as Marcus, a serious, studious, […]

Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer in the true story directed by Theodore Melfi

‘Hidden Figures’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Hidden Figures (2016), a Hollywood drama based on the true stories of three African-American women who were essential yet unseen and uncelebrated members of the team that put the first Americans in space, is terrific drama, eye-opening history, and a great lesson for Hollywood. This movie headlined by three African-American actresses was the number one […]

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis star in the Oscar-winning film

Oscar-winner ‘Fences’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Fences (2016) – Denzel Washington and Viola Davis earned Tony Awards for their performances in the 2010 Broadway revival of August Wilson’s play “Fences,” the story of a working class African-American family in 1950s Pittsburgh. With the blessing of Wilson’s widow (the playwright passed away in 2005), Washington brought the play to the big screen, […]

‘Shotgun Stories’ on Amazon Prime

Arkansas-born director Jeff Nichols has carved out a terrific career making distinctive films with a personal commitment and a personal take on American Southern culture: Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012), Midnight Special (2016), and the Oscar-nominated Loving (2016). It all begins with his debut feature Shotgun Stories (2007) The story revolves around three adult brothers—Son, […]

‘Manchester by the Sea’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Some emotional wounds can’t be healed. Manchester by the Sea (2016), the third film from playwright and screenwriter turned filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan, takes on that proposition in family drama, or rather a drama about what we do for family even when there are things we can’t do for ourselves. Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) lives on […]

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in the Oscar-nominated drama "Loving." from filmmaker Jeff Nichols

‘Loving’ – The couple behind the history on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Loving (2016), Jeff Nichols’s portrait of Richard and Mildred Loving, does more than put a face to a landmark Supreme Court decision. Their 1958 marriage was a crime in the state of Virginia because Richard (played by Joel Edgerton with a terse determination) was a white man and Mildred (Ruth Negga, vulnerable yet hopeful) was […]