Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Greg Mottola's semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film 'Adventureland.' Photo credit: Miramax

‘Adventureland’ on Netflix and Amazon Prime

With American Ultra on VOD and disc this week, I’d like to flash back a few years to recommend Adventureland, the first film to pair Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. Adventureland is more than just a chintzy theme park outside of Pittsburgh, where college grad James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) spends a summer trying to save […]

Nick Nolte stars in Neil Jordan's colorful heist drama 'The Good Thief,' with Tchéky Karyo, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Ralph Fiennes

‘The Good Thief’ on Netflix

A faithful remake, a spirited updating, and a deft, colorful, thoroughly entertaining heist film swimming in character and atmosphere, Neil Jordan’s The Good Thief (2002), his reworking of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob Le Flambeur, may not be his best film, but it is one of his most purely enjoyable. The payoffs are many: Nick Nolte’s shaggy performance […]

Maribel Verdú in Pablo Berger's 'Blancanieves' from Spain

‘Blancanieves’ on Amazon Prime

Blancanieves (2009), an inventive retelling of Snow White as a silent-movie melodrama in the 1920s world of bullfighting royalty and flamenco style in Spain, stirs in grand melodrama, circus fantasy, and toreador hero worship with a mix of silent film conventions and contemporary storytelling. We’re talking the same sort of modern silent film as The […]

Halloween Picks: ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ on Netflix

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, written and directed by California-based filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour, is a vampire movie that stirs American movie references into a stylized Iranian street drama. The Girl (as she is identified in the credits), played by Sheila Vand (Argo), walks the streets (and at one point rides a purloined […]

Rinko Kikuchi in David and Nathan Zellner 'Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter'

‘Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter’ on Amazon Prime Video

In the early 2000s, an urban legend circulated about a young Japanese woman who watched film Fargo and travelled to Minnesota to search for the treasure buried in the snow. Filmmakers David and Nathan Zellner turned that apocryphal story into Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (2014), a deft, a sweetly offbeat indie drama starring Rinko Kikuchi […]

‘A Most Violent Year’ on Amazon Prime

A Most Violent Year should have been an Oscar contender. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”) and set in the crime-ridden culture of early 1980s New York City (which was the most violent year on record in the city’s history), smart, shadowy tribute to the crime dramas of the seventies and early eighties, […]

Antiviral, the debut feature from Brandon Cronenberg, is on Hulu.

‘Antiviral’ – The next generation of Cronenberg horror on VOD

Antiviral (2012), Brandon Cronenberg’s debut feature, brings inevitable comparisons to his father. Set in the near future, it’s a story of “biological communion” with cultural superstars via celebrity viruses, black market viral thieves (who use their own bodies to smuggle the cultures), and genetically-modified meat that borders on cannibalism. The rigorously austere, antiseptic look recalls David […]