Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton in Billy Wilder's adaptation of the Agatha Christie play

‘Witness for the Prosecution’ with Charles Laughton and Marlene Dietrich on FilmStruck

Based on the stage play by Agatha Christie, Witness for the Prosecution (1957) isn’t opened up for the screen so much as it is perked up with witty dialogue and wily characterizations, two strengths of filmmaker Billy Wilder and writing and producing partner I.A.L. Diamond. Charles Laughton plays the legendary barrister who defies doctor’s order […]

Donnie Wahlberg, Neil McDonough, and the men of Easy Company in the miniseries from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks

‘Band of Brothers’ on Amazon Prime Video and HBO

After Saving Private Ryan in a single mission, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks teamed up to produce a chronicle of the European theater of World War II from a soldier’s-eye view on a vast canvas. The resulting made-for-HBO ten-hour miniseries Band of Brothers (2001), based on the non-fiction book by historian Stephen Ambrose, takes us […]

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

‘Indignation’ – Philip Roth’s America on VOD and disc

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, […]

Mowgli and friends in Disney's live-action 'The Jungle Book.'

‘The Jungle Book’ – Disney’s 2016 remake on VOD and disc

The Jungle Book (2016), Jon Favreau’s live action (or at least photo-realistic) version of the Rudyard Kipling stories, offers far more than the bare necessities as it combines Kipling’s stories and Walt Disney’s 1967 animated musical adaptation for a marvelous new version of the classic story of a boy quite literally raised by wolves. The […]

Frank Langella in the literary drama directed by Andrew Wagner

Frank Langella is ‘Starting Out in the Evening’ on Amazon Prime Video

In Starting Out in the Evening (2007), Frank Langella is heartbreakingly good as author Leonard Schiller, a once-celebrated author forgotten in the years since his last novel and flattered by the attention of an appreciative graduate student (Lauren Ambrose) intent on reintroducing his work to the world with her thesis. His discreet performance, all politeness […]

Sterling Hayden and Sam Jaffe star in the film noir from John Huston

John Huston’s ‘The Asphalt Jungle’ on FilmStruck

The Asphalt Jungle (1950) (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) is one of John Huston’s rare forays into the genre that would later be called film noir. His first, The Maltese Falcon (1941), helped set the template of the PI noir. Ten years later, working from an adaptation of the caper novel by W.R. Burnett scripted in collaboration […]

Frances O’Conner is Fanny Price in Patricia Rozema's adaptation of the Jane Austen novel

Patricia Rozema’s ‘Mansfield Park’ on Hulu

Patricia Rozema’s adaptation of Mansfield Park (1999) combines Jane Austen’s novel with elements of her letters and journals to turn heroine Fanny Price (played by Frances O’Conner) into a woman of self-possession and confidence. The strong-willed, creative girl in an impoverished family is sent to live with snooty rich relatives, where she is more than […]

Chadwick Boseman is the African superhero in the Marvel Comics hit movie

What to stream: ‘Black Panther’ on VOD, ‘Cargo’ on Netflix, plus ‘In the Fade’ and the end of ‘Orphan Black’

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 … Chadwick Boseman as Prince T’Challa, aka Black Panther (2018, PG-13), in the first Marvel superhero movie built around black hero. Director Ryan Coogler adds his own sensibility with his creation of […]