Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard in 'The Immigrant,' directed by James Gray.

‘The Immigrant’ with Marion Cotillard on HBO Max

Marion Cotillard earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the Dardenne Brothers’ Two Days, One Night but I think her best performance that year was in The Immigrant (2014). Cotillard plays Ewa, a Polish immigrant in 1921 New York who, turned away by relatives, is dependent on a mercenary burlesque producer and pimp (played […]

Amy Adams in 'Arrival,' directed by Denis Villeneuve

‘Arrival’ – First contact on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Arrival (2016) is the most cerebral of first contact films, a science fiction drama about communicating across cultures and across species and even across time without a common language, while failing to communicate within our own world. It is a film that looks out beyond our galaxy and inward to our own souls, to challenge […]

Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker on Netflix

Oscar winner ‘The Hurt Locker’

“Tell me something. What’s the best way to disarm one of these things?”“The way you don’t die, sir.” Set in the Iraq war after the proclamation of “Mission Accomplished” and the transformation of a battlefield army into an occupation force, The Hurt Locker (2008) follows the finals days in the rotation of a bomb disposal unit […]

Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans picks sides in "Captain America: Civil War."

‘Captain America: Civil War’ on Disney+

Captain America: Civil War (2016) is an Avengers movie in everything but name. It’s got Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) as team captains picking sides in the hero-vs.-hero fight over government oversight of the self-appointed world policemen. Thor and Hulk are MIA but everyone else, from Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) […]

‘The Avengers’ – the birth of the Marvel supergroup on Disney+

The Avengers (2012) is a superhero epic years in the making. Unlike The X-Men, which arrived full formed in 2000, The Avengers is the comic book version of the supergroup, with stars in their own right coming together (not without some friction and ego-thumping) for a battle royale. So Marvel put together a long term […]

Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner appear in Wind River by Taylor Sheridan, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. © 2016 Sundance Institute.

‘Wind River’ – Frontier justice on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Wind River (2017) isn’t actually the directorial debut of Taylor Sheridan, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Siccario and Hell And High Water, but it may as well be. It most certainly is his film (unlike his forgotten 2011 horror film, Vile) and, like his earlier screenplays, a drama of frontier justice in the modern world (when […]

Tom Cruise stars in 'Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation'

‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the fifth film in the big-screen franchise based on the sixties Cold War spy TV series, continues to spin its alternative to the James Bond brand of espionage thriller. Like the 007 films, they are globe-hopping spectacles with spectacular set-pieces and stunts. But while each film is tethered on Tom […]