James Caviezel is Jesus in Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ'

‘The Passion of the Christ’ on Amazon Prime and free on Kanopy

The Passion of the Christ (2004), Mel Gibson’s passionate, personal, and visceral take on the final 12 hours of Christ’s life on Earth is, in its own way, as controversial as Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ. Taking the Gospels as his source, Gibson creates his own cinematic version of […]

‘Millennium Actress’ – Satoshi Kon’s celebration of cinema on Amazon Prime

As loving and perceptive a tribute to the power and legacy of movies as I’ve ever seen, Satoshi Kon’s animated drama Millennium Actress (Japan, 2001) deftly weaves history and film and memory into an imaginative meditation on way the movies become a part of our lives. It’s Not exactly the first thing you’d expect from […]

Eric Johnson, Eve Hewson, and Clive Owen in the Cinemax original series 'The Knick,' available on HBO On Demand, HBO Go, and HBO Now for a limited time

Clive Owen in ‘The Knick’ on HBO Max

The Knick (2014-2015), a medical drama period piece set at a struggling hospital in 1900 New York City, is the project to which Steven Soderbergh committed himself after he announced his retirement from filmmaking. So instead of directing a film, he directed all twenty episodes of the two seasons of this original series. Clive Owen […]

Leonardo DiCaprio is Howard Hughes in 'The Aviator,' directed by Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Aviator’ on Paramount+

The Aviator (2004), Martin Scorsese’s epic biography of the life of Howard Hughes, is his love-letter to the old-Hollywood bio-pic. This is high-style filmmaking wrapped up in a tormented hero whose soaring flights of greatness are matched by the mortal pull of his devils, which Scorsese establishes (perhaps too patly) in a childhood prologue bathed […]

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 […]

‘The Killing Floor’ – integrating the union on Criterion Channel and free on Hoopla

The Killing Floor (1984) is the slaughterhouse of the Chicago stockyards where Mississippi sharecropper Frank Custer (played by Damien Leake) finds work when he heads north for better opportunities during World War I. Working his way up to better-paying work as a butcher, he brings his wife (Alfre Woodard) and kids to Chicago, but he […]

What to stream: ‘Minari’ on VOD, ‘Billie Holiday’ on Hulu, ‘Allen v. Farrow’ on HBO Max

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 …   A Korean family emigrates to rural Arkansas in “Minari” (2020, PG-13, with subtitles), a modest but rich drama from Korea-American filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung that takes a nuanced view of the immigrant […]

Daniel Day-Lewis is ‘Lincoln’ on HBO Max

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012), scripted by Tony Kushner, guided by Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book “A Team of Rivals,” ” 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 the art and craft of […]

Tatsuya Nakadai in the Akira Kurosawa epic

Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ on Amazon Prime

Akira Kurosawa Ran (Japan, 1985), the story of an aging warlord who hands power to his sons is loosely inspired by the story of sixteenth century warlord Mōri Motonari, who conquered his rivals and extended his kingdom with the help of his three sons. The script, however, is firmly built on King Lear, with sons […]