Last chance: ‘Argo’ – a stranger than fiction rescue tale on HBO Max

Winner of the 2013 Academy Award for best picture, Argo (2012) is also the name of a fake movie and a real-life rescue stranger-than-fiction mission to rescue the six Americans who escaped the U.S. Embassy in Iran when it was stormed in 1980. Ben Affleck directs (it’s his third film behind the camera) and takes […]

‘Inception’ – Christopher Nolan’s mind-heist on Peacock

Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010), a caper film that heists dreams instead of treasure, is surely the most cerebral action thriller to become a blockbuster. It’s a genre film that reshuffles the rules and lays them out in a mind-bending pattern. Playing out on multiple planes of dream reality, it’s also another Nolan film to completely […]

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Catch Me If You Can’ on Peacock

FBI agent Tom Hanks chases check forger Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can (2002), Steven Spielberg’s take on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. The real-life Abagnale successfully passed himself off as a pilot, a lawyer, and a doctor, and passed over $4 million in forged checks, all before his 21st birthday. […]

Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, directed by Alfred Hitchcock

‘To Catch a Thief’ on Amazon Prime and Paramount+

To Catch a Thief (1955), Alfred Hitchcock’s frothiest entertainment, stars Cary Grant as a reformed jewel thief on the French Riviera who immediately comes under suspicion when a cat burglar goes to work on the rich and famous staying in the local luxury hotels. Heiress Grace Kelly decides to play detective the best way she […]

Antony Starr and Ivana Milicevic star in the Cinemax series 'Banshee'

The Pure Pulp Pleasure of ‘Banshee’ on HBO Max

I like to think of Cinemax as the grindhouse version of HBO: not as exclusive, not as ambitious, not as high-toned (late night Cinemax wasn’t called “Skinemax” for nothing). And it’s the same when it comes to original programming, the cable TV mark of distinction. Where HBO boasts such impressive productions as The Wire and […]

Alan Arkin and Peter Falk star in the hilarious 1979 comedy written by Andrew Bergman

The original ‘The In-Laws’ on Criterion Channel

“You interested in joining the CIA? The benefits are great. The trick in not getting killed. That’s the key to the whole benefits program.” Ever had a relative who thinks they’re part of the CIA? Ever had one who really was? The original The In-Laws (1979) tackles both at once and delivers one of the […]

What to stream: ‘Ammonite’ on Hulu, ‘Coming 2 America’ on Amazon, ‘Raya’ on Disney Premium

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Kate Winslet plays fossil hunter Mary Anning and Saoirse Ronan is a young woman sent to the sea for her health in “Ammonite” (2020, R), a fictional love story inspired by the real […]

‘Ocean’s Eleven’ – the art of the modern heist on HBO Max

Steven Soderbergh and his cool cast accomplish what Lewis Milestone couldn’t with the original Vegas playboy Rat Pack back in the 1960s: they swing to the beat of the heist. Ostensibly a remake / reworking of the fun but often flat heist classic with Frank Sinatra and friends, Ocean’s Eleven (2001) is the most shamelessly […]

Jason Statham in 'The Bank Job,' directed by Roger Donaldson

‘The Bank Job’ on Netflix

The Bank Job (2008) may sound like a generic crime vehicle from the title and the casting of genre action star Jason Statham, a stalwart tough guy with stocky presence and limited range, but don’t let that stop you from digging into this British film. Based on (or more accurately inspired by) the real life […]

Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, and Adam Driver in Steven Soderbergh's red state heist comedy

‘Logan Lucky’ – Steven Soderbergh’s red state heist comedy on Hulu and free on Kanopy

Four years after Steven Soderbergh’s “retirement” from feature filmmaking (he found a loophole by making Behind the Candelabra for HBO and creating and directing the cable series The Knick), he returned to the big screen with Logan Lucky (2017), a bouncy, deft, sweetly and cleverly comic heist picture about a pair of hard-luck brothers in […]