Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks star in this family drama based on a true story

‘People Like Us’ on Netflix

People Like Us (2012), a based-on-a-true-story family drama, offers some touching moments between the Hollywood contrivances and some moving moments that remind us of the power of family ties. Chris Pine stars as Sam, an amoral wheeler dealer in financial straits who has to be pushed by his girlfriend (a terribly underserved Olivia Wilde) to […]

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 […]

Timo Vuorensola directs this German farce about space Nazis.

‘Iron Sky’ – Steampunk Nazis on Amazon Prime

Iron Sky (Germany, 2012) is an inspired concept—Hitler escaped Germany with a cadre of Nazi loyalists and established a colony on the dark side of the moon—executed with total conviction, at least in the details. This isolated outpost lives in a steampunk world forged from the legacy of Krupp machineworks, all giant gears and pistons, […]

Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan in Neil Jordan's 'Byzantium'

‘Byzantium’ – Women and men and life immortal on Netflix

Byzantium (2012), Neil Jordan’s take on the vampire genre (from a play by Moira Buffin), is not a traditional horror film. There is blood, of course, and there is sex, but it’s less eros and more survival. Clara (Gemma Arterton) walks the streets (or in this case, the boardwalk of a British coastal town in […]

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 […]

Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof star in the modern dress Shakespeare adaptation from Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon does ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ on Hulu

Joss Whedon shot Much Ado About Nothing (2012), his modern-dress take on the Shakespeare farce, in two weeks at his own house during down-time in the middle of making The Avengers, and his invited old friends and collaborators to join him. Angel co-stars Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof take the lead roles of Beatrice and Benedick […]