‘Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius’ on Netflix

Little Jimmy Neutron is an Einstein in short pants with the vision of a junior Jules Verne. He races with Air Force pilots and launches satellites before breakfast, invents shrink rays for show-and-tell, and has even created a mechanical dog, Goddard, who is infinitely loyal, endearingly playful, and sports more gadgets than a Swiss Army […]

'Beyond,' a short story in the Matrix-inspired animated anthology 'The Animatrix.'

‘The Animatrix’ on HBO Max

The Wachowski Siblings conceived and produced The Animatrix (2003), an anthology of nine original animated short films, as a companion piece to their Matrix trilogy and a tribute to Japanese anime, one of their visual inspirations. The best pieces are short stories in the Matrix-verse concocted by the Japanese animation veterans: Beyond, a fanciful Miyazaki-in-Matrixland story […]

Mel Gibson in George Miller's original 1979 'Mad Max'

The original ‘Mad Max’ on Netflix and Criterion Channel

The original Mad Max (1979), George Miller’s grungy 1979 revenge flick, was an international smash when American International Pictures—the kings of the drive-in movies who spawned Roger Corman, teen horror, and biker films—acquired the film and replaced those Aussie accents with good ol’ American talk. It never really hit in the US and it’s hard to […]

‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut’ – the definitive version of the SF landmark on HBO Max

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1981/2007) – Ridley Scott’s visionary reworking of Philip K. Dick’s novel, “Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep,” was a box-office flop. Maybe it was too dark for a public flying away on the fantasy of E.T. in the summer of 1982, or too downbeat for audiences looking for a Harrison […]

‘Inception’ – Christopher Nolan’s mind-heist on Amazon Prime Video

Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010), a caper film that heists dreams instead of treasure, is surely the most cerebral action thriller to become a blockbuster. It’s a genre film that reshuffles the rules and lays them out in a mind-bending pattern. Playing out on multiple planes of dream reality, it’s also another Nolan film to completely […]

Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ on Netflix

Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, offers his most poignant and touching work in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). You wouldn’t even know it was his work from the opening of the film, an awkwardly sweet romantic flirtation between shy sad sack Joel (Jim Carrey in his least mannered […]

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 […]

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

‘Back to the Future’ trilogy on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

“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 […]

Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina

‘Ex Machina’ on Showtime Anytime and free on Kanopy and Hoopla

Ex Machina (2014) plays the man-vs.-machine story as a chamber drama. Domhnall Gleeson is the socially naïve computer programmer Caleb who wins a company contest to spend a weekend in the private retreat of visionary company CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a software genius who can’t wait to show Caleb his new project: a sophisticated artificial intelligence […]

‘Watchmen’ – Superhero redux on HBO Max

Zach Snyder delivers perhaps the most faithful adaptation of Watchmen (2009, R), the landmark graphic novel by writer Alan Moore (uncredited on screen, as is his tradition) and artist Dave Gibbons, that anyone could hope for. Moore’s story reimagines the history of comic book superheroes in the real world of global politics and complicated (and […]