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 […]

Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz star in Martin Scorsese's love letter to the movies and his first PG movie

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ on Amazon Prime

Hugo (2011), Martin Scorsese’s first family film (it’s PG!) and his first engagement with 3D, is a love letter to the magic of cinema. Based on the novel by Brian Selznick, it is a tribute to early film pioneer George Méliès (played by Ben Kinsgley), a child’s adventure through a grown-up world of loss and […]

Steven Spielberg makes compelling drama from the statesmanship it took to pass the 13th Amendment to the American Constitution

Daniel Day-Lewis is ‘Lincoln’ on Netflix

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012) is a remarkable historical drama. Scripted by Tony Kushner, guided by Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book A Team of Rivals, Lincoln casts a spotlight on one of the most important political actions in American history: passing the 13th Amendment to the American Constitution, which abolished slavery. In compelling detail, this film shows […]

What to stream: ‘Altered Carbon’ and ‘Babylon Berlin’ on Netflix, spy drama ‘Absentia’ on Amazon Prime

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 … Babylon Berlin (Germany, with subtitles), a lavish limited series crime drama set in the decadence and depression 1929 Weimar Germany, is based on the detective novels of Volker Kutscher and developed […]

Kelly Reilly in the historical drama co-starring Zoë Wanamaker, Mackenzie Crook, and David Morrissey

What to stream: a sweeping ‘Britannia’ on Amazon and a ‘Futile and Stupid’ biography on Netflix

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 … Amazon Prime reaches for Game of Thrones spectacle in Britannia, a sprawling, violent historical epic featuring Druid mages, Celtic warrior queens, warring tribes, bloody battles, and David Morrissey as a Roman […]

Michelle Williams in Kelly Reichardt's frontier western

‘Meek’s Cutoff’ – Lost on the Oregon Trail on Hulu

Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff (2010) opens without preamble. We are given a place and a year—”Oregon, 1845,” stitched into a piece of homespun embroidery—and then dropped in the high desert to observe three frontier families ford a river. They wordlessly, almost morosely, march across, then take the opportunity to fill canteens, wash and check the […]

Aaron Staton, Hattie Morahan, and Owen McDonnell in the BBC homefront drama

‘My Mother & Other Strangers’ – Growing up in wartime on Amazon Prime

Set in a rural Irish town during World War II, My Mother & Other Strangers (2017) is another British TV homefront drama, this one viewed through the memories of an adolescent boy. Francis Coyne (Michael Nevin) is the son of Rose (Hattie Morahan), who is London born and bred and treated like an outsider by […]

Song Kang-ho stars in the South Korean spy thriller by Kim Jee-woon

‘The Age of Shadows’ – Korean spy thriller on Netflix

Kim Jee-woon, director of such hits as hits The Good the Bad the Weird and I Saw the Devil, announced his return to South Korea after his Hollywood tryout with The Age of Shadows (South Korea, 2016, not rated, with subtitles), a sprawling spy thriller set in the underground resistance to the Japanese occupation of […]

Kevin Costner stars in the History Channel miniseries with Bill Paxton and Powers Booth

‘Hatfields & McCoys’ on Netflix

The Hatfields and the McCoys turned the most famous family feud in American history into a personal war right out of a Shakespeare tragedy. The names themselves have become an instant cliché understood by everyone, even while the actual history behind it was forgotten in all the satirical appropriations of the story for movies and […]

Benicio Del Toro is Ernesto Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh's biographical drama

Last chance: Benicio Del Toro is ‘Che’ on Netflix

Steven Soderbergh’s two-part Che (2008), starring Benicio Del Toro as the revolutionary leader turned martyred legend and idealized cultural icon, is not a tradition bio-pic. Spanning four-and-a-half hours over two films—Part One on the triumph in Cuba, Part Two on the failure in Bolivia—it’s both two films and a single, unified work that focuses on […]