Carice Van Houten stars in Paul Verhoeven's World War II resistance thriller 'Black Book'

Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Black Book’ on Amazon Prime Video

Paul Verhoeven left Hollywood and returned to Holland to make Black Book (2006), a riveting World War II resistance thriller with a runaway pace and a gripping sense of peril. Carice Van Houten (best known to American audiences as Melisandre, the priestess / witch of Game of Thrones) is our heroine, a Dutch Jew in […]

Ang Lee’s ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’ on Amazon Prime Video

Eat Drink Man Woman (Taiwan, 1994), Ang Lee’s delightful 1994 take on family, food, and love, watches the uneasy relationships of three independent minded sisters to their widowed father (Sihung Lung, from Lee’s previous film The Wedding Banquet), an aging, old-fashioned master chef known as Old Chu who is losing touch with his daughters and […]

What to stream: ‘Little Women’ on VOD, ‘Parasite’ on Hulu, ‘Quibi’ launches short form streaming programs

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Greta Gerwig directs and adapts “Little Women” (2019, PG) and her take on Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel brings a modern perspective to the lives of women in Civil War-era America. Saoirse Ronan […]

Bong Joon-ho's 2006 South Korean monster movie 'The Host'

‘The Host’ – Bong Joon-ho’s monster mash on Hulu

The Host (2006), Bong Joon-ho’s South Korean monster movie hit, is neither a parody, subversion, or revision of the often campy horror movie genre. It stirs a stew of genre conventions, from political commentary to dysfunctional family satire to earnest emotional pathos, into an often thrilling monster movie as indebted to the B-movies of seventies American […]

Mathieu Kassovitz stars in the French TV espionage drama

‘The Bureau’ – the great French espionage drama on Sundance Now

French film star Mathieu Kassovitz takes the lead in The Bureau, a French drama set in a clandestine branch of the French Secret Service that handles deep cover agents in the Middle East and Africa. He is the bureau’s star agent back from a six-year assignment in Damascus to become the right hand of the […]

Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa's 'Drunken Angel,' co-starring Takashi Shimura

‘Drunken Angel’ and ‘Stray Dog’: Kurosawa Noir on The Criterion Channel

Like filmmakers all over the world, Akira Kurosawa’s films took a darker turn after the end of World War II, when the national demands of rousing propaganda films were no longer an industry imperative and filmmaker and audiences faced the challenges of life after war. Here are two of his most interesting and most compelling […]

Gong Yoo stars in the South Korean zombie film directed by Yeon Sang-ho

‘Train to Busan’ – Korean zombie classic on Netflix and Amazon Prime

You could call Train to Busan (South Korea, 2016) “Zombies on a Train”—it certainly makes a catchy logline and it frames the premise accurately and succinctly—but it reduces this fleet, fierce, unexpectedly human thriller to a mere gimmick. Apart from the slyly eerie prologue, the film opens without any hint of the viral rampage to […]

The original Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy with Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist

The original ‘Dragon Tattoo Trilogy’ on Amazon Prime Video

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, a trio of novels that teams up a disgraced journalist with a punk hacker, was an international phenomenon. The books sold millions in translation across the globe and were brought to the screen in Sweden, both in feature films and extended versions for TV. David Fincher directed an English-language version of […]

Max von Sydow and Bengt Ekerot star in the Swedish classic by Ingmar Bergman

Life, death, and chess in Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’ on Criterion Channel

Arguably the most famous of Ingmar Bergman’s films and certainly his most iconic, The Seventh Seal (Sweden, 1957) is Bergman at his most allegorical. Max von Sydow, young and blond and heroic, is a disillusioned knight returned from the Crusades in a state of spiritual desperation: his faith has been shaken by senseless death and […]

Ingrid Thulin and Max Von Sydow in the Swedish classic by Ingmar Bergman

Dark theater: Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Magician’ on Criterion Channel

Ingmar Bergman created The Magician (Sweden, 1958), in the midst of his most fertile and prolific period of filmmaking. It’s a chamber drama about a travelling medicine show fronted by a mute mesmerist (Max von Sydow) that enters into a battle of wills with the Minister of Health (Gunnar Björnstrand), a rationalist who considers the […]