Felicity Jones leads the mission Gareth Edwards' Star Wars stand-alone

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ on Netflix

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) is exactly as the title promises. Set in the margins of the original Star Wars, it stars starring Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, an orphaned survivor living on the fringes of Empire-controlled territory. Part scavenger opportunist and part scheming survivor, she’s been raised in hiding by a revolutionary […]

Henry Thomas and friend in Steven Spielberg's beloved science fiction fantasy

‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ on Netflix

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Steven Spielberg’s suburban fairy tale for kids who think they are too hip to believe in fairies, is as glorious as ever 35 years after its debut. Henry Thomas is Elliot, an emotionally bruised kid suffering under his parents’ separation who finds another lonely, lost soul, a benevolent alien left behind […]

The original crew of the Starship Enterprise reunited for 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan'

‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ and eight more ‘Star Trek’ movies on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), still the best of the big screen Star Trek movies, features Ricardo Montalban reprising his role from the original series TV episode “The Space Seed,” but now the genetically perfect human has become a man obsessed with revenge against Captain Kirk. This a veritable swashbuckler of a […]

An Seo Hyun and friend in Bong Joon Ho's "Okja."

Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Okja’ on Netflix

Okja, a social satire/political allegory/action fantasy from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, skips theaters entirely to debut on Netflix. You may recall that it was a point of controversy at the Cannes Film Festival, not for its subject matter but because of the Netflix model of releasing its films straight to streaming. The Netflix logo elicited […]

Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman in the superhero film directed by James Mangold

‘Logan’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Can a comic book superhero movie tell a human story? Logan (2017) makes the case that the genre is not limited to spectacle (though this film does offer some accomplished—and violent—action scenes), end of the world stakes, or world-building chapters in a massive franchise. Set in the near future of 2029, which is a lot […]

Don Johnson stars in the film directed by L.Q. Jones from the Harlan Ellison novella

‘A Boy and His Dog’ on Amazon Prime and Shout! Factory TV

A Boy and His Dog (1976), the directorial debut of longtime character actor and Sam Peckinpah regular L.Q. Jones, is not the first post-apocalyptic vision of America but it does offer a different approach to the empty streets and ghostly cities that previously stood in for life after the end. Jones, adapting the novella by […]

Mamoru Oshii directs this landmark cyberpunk anime from 1995

The original ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and its anime universe on Hulu

Ghost in the Shell (Japan, 1995) (Anchor Bay, Blu-ray Steelbook) – Mamoru Oshii’s cyberpunk thriller was the first Japanese anime created for the international market and it became the biggest animated import in the US in years. Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow and recalling Blade Runner and the earlier anime hit Akira, Oshii’s […]

Kurt Russell stars in the cult film from John Carpenter

The original ‘Escape from New York’ on Netflix

Escape from New York (1981) – “Plissken? I heard you were dead.” “Call me Snake.” Maybe it’s not John Carpenter’s best film, but it’s one of his most fun and the premise is irresistible: in the future, Manhattan has been turned into a high security island prison and Liberty Island is the guard station. When […]

Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood, and Ethan Hawke in 'Good Kill,' directed by Andrew Niccol

‘Good Kill’ – War at a distance on Netflix and Showtime Anytime

Good Kill (2015) tackles writer / director Andrew Niccol’s favorite theme: the intersection of technology and humanity. His problem is that his art is rarely as interesting as his ideas. The Truman Show works because Peter Weir is very good with the human equation, and Gattaca, to date, is Niccol’s most successful film, in part […]