Peter Jackson directs the first film in J.R.R. Tolkein's trilogy

Last chance: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ on Netflix

With The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), New Zealand genre film maverick Peter Jackson does the impossible: he makes a faithful, magical, thrilling, and—most importantly—compelling film version of J.R.R. Tolkein’s great cult fantasy epic. Streamlining the complex story and wealth of detail from the novel, Jackson manages to introduce a […]

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in the 1959 Hammer horror classic directed by Terence Fisher

Christopher Lee is ‘The Mummy’ on Filmstruck

Hammer Films’ greatest nemeses, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, once again square off in The Mummy (1959), the studio’s reworking of Universal’s The Mummy (with elements of The Mummy’s Tomb and The Mummy’s Ghost thrown in for good measure). Cushing stars as archaeologist John Banning, whose dig for a lost tomb results in untold treasures […]

Christopher Lee is Dracula in the Hammer horror film from Terence Fisher with Peter Cushing

Hammer Films’ ‘The Horror of Dracula’ on FilmStruck

After Hammer’s tremendous success with The Curse of Frankenstein, they struck a deal to adapt Universal studio’s catalogue of classics. The Horror of Dracula (1958) was their first follow-up. Christopher Lee removes the monstrous make-up from the earlier film and makes his entrance as an elegant, confident, altogether seductive Dracula, a frightening figure of flashing […]

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing star in the Hammer horror film from Terence Fisher

‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ – Hammer horror on FilmStruck

Britain’s Hammer Studios had been making films for decades before they suddenly redefined themselves with this lurid remake of the Universal Studios horror classic. Prohibited by Universal from copying their blocky make-up (and their script for that matter), Hammer returned to Mary Shelley’s novel for inspiration for The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)… and then went […]

Christopher Lee in the horror film by Terence Fisher

‘The Devil’s Bride’ – Christopher Lee versus the Devil on FilmStruck

Christopher Lee, long the house villain of the horror films from England’s Hammer Films, takes a rare heroic turn in The Devil’s Bride (1968), also known in the U.S as The Devil Rides Out. Lee plays scholar and occultist Duc de Richleau, the kind of role that Peter Cushing had made his métier, as a […]

Colin Blakely is Sherlock Holmes in the film by Billy Wilder

‘The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’ on FilmStruck

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) is one of the loveliest of Billy Wilder’s pictures, a sly, bittersweet, autumnal film that approaches the Holmes legacy with a sense of humor and a sense of respect. Robert Stephenson plays Holmes as a genial, witty fellow well aware of his reputation and quite a bit more […]

Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz star in Martin Scorsese's love letter to the movies and his first PG movie

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ on Amazon Prime

Hugo (2011), Martin Scorsese’s first family film (it’s PG!) and his first engagement with 3D, is a love letter to the magic of cinema. Based on the novel by Brian Selznick, it is a tribute to early film pioneer George Méliès (played by Ben Kinsgley), a child’s adventure through a grown-up world of loss and […]

Joe Dante’s zany ‘Gremlins 2: The New Batch’ on Amazon Prime

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) is not merely the rare sequel that is funnier than the original, it is one of the funniest comedies of its time, a veritable live-action cartoon from Joe Dante at his most unrestrained. Set in a New York skyscraper, Gizmo, the cuddly, the sweet-natured teddy bear of a pet […]