Gong Yoo stars in the South Korean zombie film directed by Yeon Sang-ho

‘Train to Busan’ – Korean zombie classic on Amazon Prime Video and more

You could call Train to Busan (South Korea, 2016) “Zombies on a Train”—it certainly makes a catchy logline and it frames the premise accurately and succinctly—but it reduces this fleet, fierce, unexpectedly human thriller to a mere gimmick. Apart from the slyly eerie prologue, the film opens without any hint of the viral rampage to […]

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 […]

Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds in 'Mississippi Grind,' directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Ryan Reynolds works the ‘Mississippi Grind’ on Showtime and free on Kanopy and Hoopla

Mississippi Grind (2015) plays like a seventies character drama, a meandering road movie through the byways of American characters who populate the card rooms and dice tables and racetracks, and an oddball buddy movie built on a chance encounter and an instant kinship between two losers gambling their lives away. Ryan Reynolds is Curtis, a […]

‘A Most Violent Year’ on Showtime and free on Kanopy and Hoopla

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, […]

Elle Fanning and Alice Englert star in 'Ginger and Rosa,' a touching coming of age drama set in the turbulent early 1960s and directed by Sally Potter

‘Ginger & Rosa’ on Showtime and free on Kanopy and Hoopla

Ginger & Rosa (2012) offers something we don’t usually see in the movies: a sensitive and nuanced portrait of two teenage girls, best friends since childhood, growing up and growing apart as they forge separate identities and diverging personalities and interests. It’s set in the volatile era of early 1960s London, before the Beatles but […]

Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, and Greta Gerwig are "20th Century Women."

Celebrate Mother’s Day with ’20th Century Women’ on Netflix and free on Kanopy and Hoopla

20th Century Women (2016) stars Annette Bening as Dorothea, a single mother of a teenage boy (Lucas Jade Zumann) determined to give him good life lessons with a little help from her friends. Elle Fanning is her son’s best friend, who escapes her troubled family and is warmly welcomed Dorothea, and Greta Gerwig and Billy […]

Tommy Lee Jones is ‘The Homesman’ on Amazon Prime and free on Hoopla

The Homesman (2014) was overlooked by critics in the rush to praise more conventional and less resonant films in 2014. It deserves a second look. Tommy Lee Jones directs, co-writes, and stars in the film as George Briggs, a drifter saved from a lynching by Mary Bee (Hilary Swank), a tough, capable settler who has […]

What to stream: ‘Spider-Man’ on VOD, ‘Amazing Grace’ on Hulu, ‘High Life’ on Amazon, ‘Raising Dion’ on Netflix

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019, PG) sends the web-slinging teenage superhero (played by Tom Holland) to Europe, where […]

What to stream: ‘Diagnosis’ on Netflix, ‘The Chaperone’ on PBS, ‘Our Boys’ on HBO, ‘Avengers’ ends on VOD

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Avengers: Endgame (2019, PG-13) brings practically every superhero of the Marvel big screen universe together to save the universe and bring the second phase of the interconnected stories to a close. It’s now the […]