Henry Thomas and friend in Steven Spielberg's beloved science fiction fantasy

‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ on Peacock

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Steven Spielberg’s suburban fairy tale for kids who think they are too hip to believe in fairies, is as glorious as ever 35 years after its debut. Henry Thomas is Elliot, an emotionally bruised kid suffering under his parents’ separation who finds another lonely, lost soul, a benevolent alien left behind […]

Mia Wasikowska is an American heiress in a British haunted manor in Guillermo Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak'

Last chance: ‘Crimson Peak’ on HBO Max and all HBO platforms

Crimson Peak (2015) revives a kind of filmmaking and storytelling that isn’t made anymore. It’s been described, incorrectly, as a Gothic horror. This is Gothic romance with notes of horror, bathed in the unreal and magical colors of a baroque Italian horror and brought to life by Guillermo Del Toro’s beating heart of compassion in the […]

'Back to the Future' and its sequels with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd

Last chance: ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy on Netflix

“The future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.” Michael J. Fox goes backwards, forwards, and sideways through time as Marty McFly in a souped-up DeLorean for the first time in Back to the Future (1985), where he jaunts back to 1955, meets his parents (Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson), and […]

Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, and Gort, directed by Robert Wise.

The original ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

The original The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) remains the most thoughtful of the first contact films. Michael Rennie makes a striking American film debut as Klaatu, the well-spoken stranger from outer space who lands his saucer in Washington D.C. to speak to the world’s leaders. They shoot first, of course, and Klaatu escapes […]

Gael García Bernal stars in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's breakthrough drama from Mexico

‘Amores Perros’ – A dog-eat-dog world on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

A wounded figure lies helplessly bleeding in the backseat of a car recklessly careening through city streets while a pistol blasting thug in a souped-up pickup drives the fleeing car into a shattering crash. The jerky in-your-face camerawork, raw, earthy colors, and jagged editing looks just like a low budget crime picture that exploded from […]