Evan Rachel Wood and Kate Winslet in the 2011 miniseries adaptation of the James M. Cain novel by Todd Haynes

‘Mildred Pierce’ – the miniseries on Amazon Prime and HBO Now

Mildred Pierce (2011) is less a remake than a new run at adapting the James M. Cain novel. Previously made into a Hollywood classic (which earned Joan Crawford her only Oscar), it’s been transformed into a five-hour mini-series by director Todd Haynes, who cast Kate Winslet in the title role as the mother blindly devoted […]

Paul Giamatti is John Adams in the HBO miniseries

‘John Adams’ and the birth of American democracy on Amazon Prime Video and HBO Now

One of the small moments of powerful insight offered in John Adams (2008), the superb HBO miniseries adapted from the biography by David McCullough and dramatized with a vivid sense of immediacy and historical texture, is the reminder that it wasn’t the election of George Washington that defined our democracy. It was the non-violent succession […]

Donnie Wahlberg, Neil McDonough, and the men of Easy Company in the miniseries from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks

‘Band of Brothers’ on Amazon Prime Video and HBO

After Saving Private Ryan in a single mission, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks teamed up to produce a chronicle of the European theater of World War II from a soldier’s-eye view on a vast canvas. The resulting made-for-HBO ten-hour miniseries Band of Brothers (2001), based on the non-fiction book by historian Stephen Ambrose, takes us […]

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 […]

Billy Howle stars in the Agatha Christie adaptation with Toby Jones, Kim Cattrall, and Andrea Riseborough

‘Witness for the Prosecution’ – A darker shade of Agatha Christie on Acorn

The British telefilm version of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution (2016) returns to the original source material, in this case the 1925 short story, to create a very different version from the play and 1957 film. It’s set in London after World War I where Leonard Vole (Billy Howle), a former soldier struggling to […]

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

The original ‘Dragon Tattoo Trilogy’ on Netflix

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 […]

Riz Ahmed, John Turturro, and Bill Camp star in the mini-series from Steven Zaillian and Richard Price

‘The Night Of’ – Justice grinds on HBO Now

The first episode of The Night Of (2016), the HBO mini-series created by Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and acclaimed author and screenwriter Richard Price (The Wire), plunges the audience into the skin of a Nasir “Naz” Khan (Riz Ahmed), a nerdy first-generation Pakistani-American college boy and tutor to the football star. A skinny […]

Bertie Carvel and Eddie Marsan are 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' in the BBC adaptation of Susanna Clarke's novel.

‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’ on Netflix

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015), adapted from the dense, richly-woven debut novel by Susanna Clarke, brings a different of approach to fantasy fiction and the idea of magic in the real world. Set in 19th century England, at the start of the Napoleonic Wars, it weaves the tale of two magicians—Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan), […]