Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as young John Lennon in the story of his early life directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson

‘Nowhere Boy’ – John Lennon before the Beatles on Netflix

Nowhere Boy (2009) tells the story of the early life of John Lennon, the man who would put together the Beatles as a teenage boy. What’s marvelous about the film is that it isn’t elevated into some mythological status. There are none of those clichéd lines where someone in the group or some prescient member […]

Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson star the homefront war drama directed by Oren Movermen

‘The Messenger’ – The bearer of bad news on Hulu

In The Messenger (2009), combat veteran Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) may be “a goddamn hero,” in the words of his commanding officer, but in the final months of his enlistment he’s assigned to the most challenging mission of his career: casualty notification and the emotional minefield of civilians dealing with the death of a loved […]

Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher star in the film directed by Milos Forman

‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Milos Forman passed away at age of 86. In his memory, I’ve republished an article on the film that earned Forman his first Academy Award. A rare screen adaptation of a beloved novel to maintain the emotional and dramatic power of the original while establishing its own distinctive approach to the story, One Flew Over […]

Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell star in the 1948 film noir classic.

Nicholas Ray’s ‘They Live by Night’ on FilmStruck

“This boy… and this girl… were never properly introduced to the world we live in…,” begins They Live By Night (1948), a bubble of a brief, idealized vision of young love immediately swept away in the urgency and desperation of the prison break in the very next scene. The directorial debut of American filmmaker Nicholas […]

Willem Dafoe and Brooklyn Prince in the film by Sean Baker

What to stream: ‘The Florida Project’ on Amazon Prime Video, ‘Troy’ falls on Netflix, and a new month of releases for all

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Willem Dafoe earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as the manager of a low-rent hotel in The Florida Project (2017, R), a powerful and moving look at the life of […]

Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks star in this family drama based on a true story

‘People Like Us’ on Netflix

People Like Us (2012), a based-on-a-true-story family drama, offers some touching moments between the Hollywood contrivances and some moving moments that remind us of the power of family ties. Chris Pine stars as Sam, an amoral wheeler dealer in financial straits who has to be pushed by his girlfriend (a terribly underserved Olivia Wilde) to […]

Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese's 'Mean Streets,' starring Harvey Keitel, Amy Robinson, and David Proval.

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Mean Streets’ on FilmStruck

“You don’t pay for your sins in church. You pay for them on the street. All the rest is bullshit.” Mean Streets (1973) is not Martin Scorsese’s first film, but it is the film in which he came into his own. Passionate, energetic, stylistically inventive and personally driven, it is the first mature, full blooded “Martin […]

Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger star in George Cukor's drama of the end of colonial British rule in India

‘Bhowani Junction’ on FilmStruck

Set in 1947 India, after World War II and in the early days of the independence movement, Bhowani Junction (1956) is a Hollywood drama with an old-fashioned sense of storytelling and a modern (for the time) approach to colonialism, bigotry and identity. Ava Gardner stars as the Anglo-Indian woman looking for her own identity in […]

Rebecca Hall, Luke Evans, and Bella Heathcote star in the film by Angela Robinson

‘Professor Marston and the Wonder Women’ on Hulu

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) is not your usual comic superhero origin story. It turns out that the majestic Amazon princess from a mythic island of female warriors was born of a Harvard psychologist and outspoken feminist who had a polyamorous relationship with two women who inspired the character and a passion for […]