Johnny Depp and Frank Langella in the 1999 thriller directed by Roman Polanski

Johnny Depp searches for ‘The Ninth Gate’ on Amazon Prime Video

The horror of Roman Polanski is not about spectacle and shock, but a goose-pimply sense of something evil lurking just outside the frame and hidden behind the faces of its slightly unsettling characters. At times The Ninth Gate (1999), adapted from the novel The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte, recaptures the beautiful uneasiness of such […]

What to stream: ‘Shirley’ on Hulu, ‘Fuller House’ and ’13 Reasons Why’ conclude on Netflix, ‘Dear…’ on Apple TV

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Elisabeth Moss is Shirley Jackson in “Shirley” (2020, R), a Gothic psychodrama costarring Michael Stuhlbarg as her combative husband and Odessa Young and Logan Lerman as the young couple forced to endure their […]

Jennifer Lawrence stars in the Oscar nominated film by Debra Granik

Jennifer Lawrence arrives in ‘Winter’s Bone’ free on Kanopy

Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone (2010), set in the crime and poverty of the Ozark Mountains, is a coming-of-age survival story in an outlaw culture where meth labs have replaced moonshine stills and the code of silence is enforced with pitiless finality. Jennifer Lawrence was revelation as the 17-year-old Ree, who has grown up fast to […]

David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Dr.’ on Criterion Channel

Mulholland Dr. (2001) – David Lynch pulled a near magic trick in what can only be an exercise in creative rewriting and re-conception. Taking an open ended TV pilot rejected by the networks, he added 45 minutes and created closure in a weird, mystical logic that, in its unique Lynchian way, makes a twisted emotional […]

Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame star, Nicholas Ray directs from the Dorothy B. Hughes novel

Humphrey Bogart ‘In a Lonely Place’ on Criterion Channel

In a Lonely Place (1950) hasn’t much to do with the Dorothy B. Hughes novel on which it was ostensibly based, beyond the title (one of the most evocative in noir history), the Los Angeles setting, and the murder of a young woman that puts our ostensible hero, volatile, hard-drinking Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey […]

‘Veronica Mars’ – the movie on Hulu

We used to be friends, a long time ago, Veronica Mars and I. Okay, that’s not exactly true, but it sure felt like it. I watched the show faithfully and was impressed by the display of support when creator Rob Thomas turned to Kickstarter to get starter funds to convince Warner there was an audience […]

Mia Farrow in Roman Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby'

The original ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Roman Polanski’s American directing debut, is one of the most celebrated American horror films of all time, but horror isn’t really the right description for this film. Yes, it is about a cabal of devil worshippers in modern day (circa late 1960s) and an innocent served up to bear Satan’s child, but Polanski […]

‘A Most Wanted Man’ on Amazon Prime Video

A Most Wanted Man (2014) is the final film completed by Philip Seymour Hoffman before his untimely death in 2014. That alone is reason enough to see the film, adapted from the post 9/11 novel by John le Carré and directed by Anton Corbijn, a music video veteran who becomes more accomplished with each feature. […]

The original ‘The Wicker Man’ on Netflix

The original The Wicker Man (1973) begins as a murder mystery and turns into something else entirely. Edward Woodward stars as the stiff English police detective who is sent to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl and discovers a culture living a happy “heathen” lifestyle, lorded over (literally) by […]

What to stream: Agatha Christie on Amazon, ‘Lost Girls’ and ‘Carmen Sandiego’ interactive on Netflix, ‘Dangerous’ on Hulu

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Rufus Sewell plays a successful businessman and reckless womanizer whose lovers start to turn up dead in “The Pale Horse” (2020, TV-14), a two-part adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel. Set in 1960s […]