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

‘Crimson Peak’ – Guillermo Del Toro’s Gothic ghost story on Netflix

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 […]

Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance as Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in the BBC miniseries 'Wolf Hall'

‘Wolf Hall’ – power and privilege on Amazon Prime

The BBC historical miniseries Wolf Hall (2015) stars Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell (not to be confused with Oliver Cromwell), advisor and legal counsel to Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII. Rylance is a theatrical legend in Britain but not so well known in the U.S., although that’s changing thanks to his sublime performance in […]

Eric Johnson, Eve Hewson, and Clive Owen in the Cinemax original series 'The Knick,' available on HBO On Demand, HBO Go, and HBO Now for a limited time

Clive Owen in ‘The Knick’ on HBO Max

The Knick (2014-2015), a medical drama period piece set at a struggling hospital in 1900 New York City, is the project to which Steven Soderbergh committed himself after he announced his retirement from filmmaking. So instead of directing a film, he directed all twenty episodes of the two seasons of this original series. Clive Owen […]

Tom Hardy in George Miller's 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ on HBO Max

Mad Max: Fury Road wasn’t the biggest hit film of the summer of 2015 (that honor belongs to Jurassic World) but it is easily the most visceral and the most intelligent action film of that year. Decades in the making, there’s nothing else like this out there. Directed by George Miller (who made the first […]

Quentin Dolmaire and Lou Roy-Lecollinet in Arnaud Desplichin's 'My Golden Days'

‘My Golden Days’ on Criterion Channel

My Golden Days (2015), from French filmmaker Arnaud Desplichin, is ostensibly a sequel / prequel to Desplichin’s breakthrough feature My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument (1996) but it lives on its own as a remembrance of times past. Mathieu Amalric (Desplichin’s cinematic alter-ego) reprises his role as Paul Dédalus twenty years […]

Paul Rudd is Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. in the Marvel superhero movie directed by Peyton Reed.

‘Ant-Man’ – Marvel gets small on Disney+

Ant-Man (2015) hit theaters with a slightly different approach for a Marvel superhero movie. It’s more playful and comic, with a reluctant hero who has a motley crew of buddies and a mentor with a sly sense of humor as well a drive for justice, and while the stakes are big (stopping a tech giant […]

Maika Monroe in David Robert Mitchell 's 'It Follows'

‘It Follows’ on Peacock

It Follows (2015) is both the title and the premise of this simple but intelligent low-budget horror. The premise is like a twist on Ringu / The Ring, except that this curse is passed on through sex, which writer / director David Robert Mitchell plays with a tender sense of romance that twists into a terrible betrayal […]

Anya Taylor-Joy in Robert Eggers' 'The Witch.'

‘The Witch’ – Puritan horrors free on Kanopy

The Witch (2015) is a primal horror film rooted in fear and superstition, and there is no shortage of either in early 17th century New England, where a devout Puritan father has taken his family to start a new life. Adding to the general hardship of British village folk carving a new colony out of […]

Kurt Russell in 'Bone Tomahawk,' a western directed by S. Craig Zahler

‘Bone Tomahawk’ with Kurt Russell on Amazon Prime

Bone Tomahawk (2015), the other 2015 western starring Kurt Russell, is no knock-off created to cash in on Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. The feature debut by writer / director S. Craig Zahler is a sturdy frontier western about strong but decidedly mortal settlers who take the responsibilities of community seriously, and its odyssey takes them […]