Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf in "American Honey," directed by Andrea Arnold

‘American Honey’ – Youth unbound on Amazon Prime

American Honey (2016), the first American film from British filmmaker Andrea Arnold, is a road movie powered by the restlessness and passion of its young heroine Star (newcomer Sasha Lane), the eldest daughter of a deadbeat mom and a skeezy father (step-father?) who won’t stop pawing her teenage body. Recruited by Jake (Shia LaBeouf), a […]

David Oyelowo and Madina Nalwanga in Disney's "Queen of Katwe."

‘Queen of Katwe’ – The inspiring true story on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Queen of Katwe (2016) tells the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a poor, uneducated girl in Uganda who sells corn on the street of her impoverished slum until an encounter with chess offers her the possibility of something more. Newcomer Madina Nalwanga plays Phiona, the nine-year-old daughter of single mother Nakku Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o), taking […]

Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck in David Lowery's 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ on Netflix and Hulu

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013), second feature from director / writer David Lowery, plays like the cinematic answer to an outlaw folk song. Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck play lovers Ruth and Bob, young adults who grew up fast under the watch of dubious father figure Skerrit (Keith Carradine) and ended up as small-time hold-up […]

‘Shotgun Stories’ on Amazon Prime

Arkansas-born director Jeff Nichols has carved out a terrific career making distinctive films with a personal commitment and a personal take on American Southern culture: Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012), Midnight Special (2016), and the Oscar-nominated Loving (2016). It all begins with his debut feature Shotgun Stories (2007) The story revolves around three adult brothers—Son, […]

Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Blu-ray / DVD: Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Pioneers of African-American Cinema (Kino, Blu-ray, DVD) – The legacy of African-American filmmaking—specifically films made by and for African-American audiences before Hollywood integrated its casts and gave leading roles to African-American actors—is largely unknown to even passionate films buffs, in part because the films were rarely seen by white audiences in their day, and in […]

Michael Fassbender stars as 'Steve Jobs' in the feature written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle

‘Steve Jobs’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Steve Jobs isn’t the usual big screen biopic. Ostensibly adapted from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography, Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay discards the familiar birth-to-death sweep to offer a triptych of snapshots of Jobs, the co-founder of Apple who became the face of the company over his stormy stewardship, driving innovation and driving out opposition. Apart from a […]

Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife."

‘The Good Wife: The Complete Series’ on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

Created by Michelle and Robert King, the first season of The Good Wife offers a classic legal drama reframed by a ripped-from-the-headlines twist. Julianna Margulies’ Alicia Florrick is the publically loyal but privately ambivalent wife of a disgraced Chicago politician (Chris Noth), who resigns in the face of a sex scandal. “Six months later,” Alicia […]