Reese Witherspoon in Alexander Payne's satire 'Election' with Matthew Broderick

‘Election’ – Vote Tracy Flick on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Election (1999), Alexander Payne’s wicked satire of power and (social) politics set in the overheated incubator of a high school student body election, is as sharp and perceptive now as it was in 1999. Matthew Broderick is the passionately dedicated and somewhat condescending civics teacher Jim McAllister, whose extra-curricular involvement helps compensate for a passionless […]

Robert Hays and Julie Haggerty lead the cast in the disaster movie farce from David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams

‘Airplane!’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Airplane! (1980, PG), the directorial debut of the writing/directing team of David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams (who apprenticed on the screenplay of Kentucky Fried Movie), has my vote for the funniest film ever made. Ostensibly a goof on the barely remembered 1957 aviation thriller Zero Hour! (note the exclamation mark) by way of […]

Jane Fonda stars in the campy psychedelic romp from director Roger Vadim

‘Barbarella’ – Sexy space camp on Hulu

Barbarella (1968), a campy psychedelic romp produced by Italian Dino de Laurentiis, directed by French eroticist Roger Vadim, adapted from a risqué French comic strip by American satirist Terry Southern, and featuring an international cast, was Buck Rogers reworked as a sex kitten in space for the 1960s culture of free love and pop art. […]

Tom Hardy stars in the British/American co-production he created with Steven Knight

What to stream: Tom Hardy’s ‘Taboo’ on Hulu, plus ‘Dinner’ on Netflix, Brad Pitt as ‘Jesse James’ on Amazon, and more

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 … Actor Tom Hardy developed the dark and gritty historical TV series Taboo, a British-American co-production about half-Welsh, half-Native American sailor James Delaney (Hardy) who challenges the British shipping monopoly in 1814, […]

Stephen Chow in Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Comedy: ‘Shaolin Soccer’ and ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ on Hulu

In the early 2000s, Hong Kong comedy star Stephen Chow stole Jackie Chan’s crown as Hong Kong’s clown prince of kung fu comedy. He was dubbed the Jim Carrey of Hong Kong by American critics, but that completely misses his appeal. Sure, Chow is a brilliant physical comedian with an unpredictable streak, but he also […]

Sarah Gadon stars in the Netflix series adapted from the Margaret Atwood novel by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron

What to stream: ‘Alias Grace’ on Netflix, ‘Arrival’ on Amazon and Hulu, and more

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 … The Netflix original mini-series Alias Grace takes on the true story of a servant girl convicted of murder in 19th century Canada as reinterpreted by Margaret Atwood in her historical novel. […]

Jennifer Lawrence stars in the Oscar nominated film by Debra Granik

‘Winter’s Bone’ – Jennifer Lawrence arrives on Hulu

Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone (2010), set in the crime and poverty of the Ozark Mountains, is a coming-of-age survival story in an outlaw culture where meth labs have replaced moonshine stills and the code of silence is enforced with pitiless finality. Jennifer Lawrence was revelation as the 17-year-old Ree, who has grown up fast to […]

Amy Adams in 'Arrival,' directed by Denis Villeneuve

‘Arrival’ – First contact on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Arrival (2016) is the most cerebral of first contact films, a science fiction drama about communicating across cultures and across species and even across time without a common language, while failing to communicate within our own world. It is a film that looks out beyond our galaxy and inward to our own souls, to challenge […]

Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp in the second of Netflix's Stranger Things

What to stream: ‘Stranger Things 2’ on Netflix, ‘Too Funny to Fail’ on Hulu, ‘Fearless’ on Amazon and more

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 … The boys are back for Halloween in the second season of Stranger Things, the wonderfully weird Netflix original spooky series about a group of school friends who face strange doings in […]