Jennifer Lawrence stars in 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2,' the fourth and final film in the young adult action franchise.

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ on Peacock

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015) brings an end to the first and most successful big screen adaptation of a young adult dystopian thriller of an oppressive, brutal future. Divergent and The Maze Runner followed with less success, both commercially and dramatically, and for that matter the Hunger Games movies wind down as […]

‘Reservoir Dogs’ – Quentin Tarantino begins on HBO Max

Reservoir Dogs (1992), Quentin Tarantino’s quotable blast of post-modern crime movie cool, is one of the most attention grabbing directorial debuts in history. Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Steve Buscemi—all dressed in identical black suits with thin ties and dark glasses—are gangsters who regroup in an empty warehouse in the aftermath of jewel […]

George Clooney stars in the political thriller by Tony Gilroy

Last chance: George Clooney is ‘Michael Clayton’ on HBO Max

“I’m not a miracle worker. I’m a janitor.” George Clooney simmers as Michael Clayton (2007), a legal “fixer” who works behind the scenes of a powerful New York law firm, in Tony Gilroy’s smart, sharp legal drama. When he’s sent to clean up the moral meltdown of the firm’s leading litigator (Tom Wilkinson), he unwittingly […]

Last chance: Underdog Oscar winner ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ on Hulu

Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Danny Boyle’s underdog movie about a slum kid in India who defies all odds and follows his heart into the final rounds of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” was the most unabashedly, tragically, rapturously romantic film of 2008. Zipping back and forth through flashbacks told by adult Jamal (Dev Patal), it […]

Last chance: David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Dr.’ on HBO Max

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 […]

Jennifer Lawrence in 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I'

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ on Peacock

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014), the top box office hit of 2014, follows the lead of the Harry Potter and Twilight series by splitting the final book into two film installments, making this the third of four films. For anyone who has read the books that might seem like quite a stretch, drawing […]

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ on Peacock

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), the second film in the young adult dystopian series starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katnis Everdeen, the reluctant warrior who is dropped into a brutal deathmatch, improves upon the original The Hunger Games (2012) in almost every way. Taking the same basic premise—a despotic government that keeps its citizens in […]

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 […]

Cillian Murphy in the zombie film by Danny Boyle

’28 Days Later’ – the zombie pandemic on Hulu and Paramount+

28 Days Later (2003), Danny Boyle’s 21st century take on the zombie film, isn’t actually a zombie film, Boyle insists, and technically he’s correct. The springy, savage human monsters aren’t dead, merely infected with an experimental viral weapon called “rage,” which has turned them into mindless animals intent in tearing every living thing they see […]

‘Take Shelter’ – Madness and the end of the world on Amazon Prime and Hulu

You could describe Take Shelter (2011), the second feature from the talented Jeff Nichols, as an apocalyptic thriller, but this is a different kind of horror. Working class husband and father Curtis LaForche, played with sincere compassion and palpable anxiety by Michael Shannon, has visions of an Armageddon of Biblical proportions: black rain, Earth-scorching storms, […]