Nathan Fillion leads the crew in Joss Whedon's short-lived series 'Firefly.'

Joss Whedon’s ‘Firefly’ on Hulu and Facebook Watch

Firefly: Complete Series, Joss Whedon’s short-lived foray into sci-fi television, was (purposely or not) sabotaged by Fox when it finally premiered on network TV. The 14 episodes (that’s counting the movie-length pilot as a single episode) were rearranged by the network brain trust, completely disrupting the carefully constructed narrative that he wove through the episodes […]

Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in 'The Lobster' from Yorgos Lanthimos.

Love is strange: ‘The Lobster’ on Netflix and Kanopy

Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos describes his English language debut The Lobster as his film about love (following Dogtooth, his film on life, and Alps, on death). Which is not necessarily to call it a love story. It is, in its own way, but it just as much about the social expectations of love and marriage […]

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

‘Ex Machina’ on Kanopy

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 […]

What to stream: ‘Happy as Lazzaro’ and ‘1983’ on Netflix and Kanopy has the great American indies

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Alice Rohrwacher won the screenwriting prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Happy as Lazzaro (Italy, 2018, PG-13, with subtitles), a modern parable of a holy innocent (first-time actor Adriano Tardiolo) that […]

‘A Most Violent Year’ on Kanopy

A Most Violent Year (2014) should have been an Oscar contender. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) and set in the crime-ridden culture of early 1980s New York City (which was the most violent year on record in the city’s history), smart, shadowy tribute to the crime dramas of the seventies and early eighties, […]

Ethan Hawke in the film by Paul Schrader

Paul Schrader’s ‘First Reformed’ on Amazon Prime Video and Kanopy

Anyone who has followed the career of Paul Schrader could fall into the trap of simply cataloguing the ways in which First Reformed (2018) is a summation of his themes and inspirations. Imagine the promotional possibilities: “From the author of “Transcendental Cinema” and “Notes on Film Noir” and the screenwriter of Taxi Driver and The Last […]

Jacob Tremblay and Best Actress Oscar winner Brie Larson in 'Room,' directed by Lenny Abrahamson

Brie Larson in ‘Room’ on Netflix and Kanopy

It’s called Room (2015). Not The Room, simply Room, as if there were no others. And for Jack (Jacob Tremblay), the five-year-old son of a young mother (Brie Larson), there aren’t. It’s his entire world, his universe, and as far as he knows nothing exists outside the walls. His mother, known only as Ma in the film, […]

Max von Sydow and Bengt Ekerot star in the Swedish classic by Ingmar Bergman

Life, death, and chess in Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’ on Kanopy

Arguably the most famous of Ingmar Bergman’s films and certainly his most iconic, The Seventh Seal (Sweden, 1957) is Bergman at his most allegorical. Max von Sydow, young and blond and heroic, is a disillusioned knight returned from the Crusades in a state of spiritual desperation: his faith has been shaken by senseless death and […]

What to stream: ‘Lucky’ on Hulu, ’45 Years’ on Netflix, ’50/50′ on Amazon, and free streams through Kanopy and Hoopla

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Free streams: If you have a library card, you may be able to stream free movies, documentaries, and other programs through Kanopy and Hoopla. Most major library systems in the country […]

‘History is Made at Night’ on FilmStruck and Shout! Factory TV

Andrew Sarris, the grand old man of American movie criticism, wrote: “History is Made at Night is not only the most romantic title in the history of cinema but also a profound expression of [Frank] Borzage’s commitment to love over probability.” Though not as well known to even film buffs as Alfred Hitchcock or Michael […]