‘The Night of Counting the Years’ – rediscovered and restored on Criterion Channel

A masterpiece of Egyptian cinema, The Night of Counting the Years (also known as The Mummy) (Egypt, 1969) is inspired by a real-life incident. An isolated mountain tribe in late 19th century Egypt was secretly selling off ancient artifacts from the tombs of the Pharaohs, specifically a cache of mummies hidden in the mountain caves […]

What to stream: ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘Rebecca’ on Netflix, a new ‘Borat’ on Amazon, ‘The Witches’ on HBO Max

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   An isolated, orphaned girl in 1950s Kentucky becomes a chess prodigy and (played by Anya Taylor-Joy as an adult) battles the chauvinist world of competitive chess (as well as addiction) in the limited […]

What to stream: ‘Muppets Now’ on Disney+, more ‘Umbrella Academy’ on Netflix, ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ on HBO

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 second season of the dysfunctional superhero series “The Umbrella Academy” opens with the characters scattered through the 1960s before being reunited to stop the apocalypse (again). This season picks up the pace […]

What to stream: Peacock launches with free and subscription versions, plus ‘Cursed’ on Netflix and ‘The Weekend’ on Amazon and Hulu

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Peacock, the new streaming service from NBC Universal previously available solely to Comcast customers, launches wide for everyone this week with a mix of original programs, hit movies and Hollywood classics, and popular […]

Mathieu Amalric and Catherine Deneuve, directed by Arnaud Desplechin

‘A Christmas Tale’ – A messy family holiday on Criterion Channel and Sundance Now

A Christmas Tale (France, 2008), Arnaud Desplechin’s mercurial, knotty and cinematically vibrant drama of family dysfunction stirred up over a Christmas gathering, was my pick for best film of 2008. Directing with restless energy, Desplechin sketches out a family tragedy, the untimely death of a first-born, that precedes the story by decades and then only […]

What to stream: ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ and ‘Marjorie Prime’ on Amazon, ‘Wormwood’ on Netflix

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 … Jean-Claude Van Damme spoofs his image and his career in Jean-Claude Van Johnson, a spy comedy about a retired action star who used his movie career as cover for his real […]

Garrett Hedlund (back to camera), Mary K. Blige, and Rob Morgan in a film directed by Dee Rees

What to stream: ‘Mudbound’ and ‘The Punisher’ on Netflix, ‘Future Man’ and ‘There’s… Johnny’ on Hulu, and Amazon Prime’s Pilot Season

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 … Mudbound (2017, not rated), Dee Rees’s drama of two families—one white, one black—living and farming in the poverty of the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s, takes on knotty issues of race […]

Sarah Gadon stars in the Netflix series adapted from the Margaret Atwood novel by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron

What to stream: ‘Alias Grace’ on Netflix, ‘Arrival’ on Amazon and Hulu, and more

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 … The Netflix original mini-series Alias Grace takes on the true story of a servant girl convicted of murder in 19th century Canada as reinterpreted by Margaret Atwood in her historical novel. […]

Harry Bauer is Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret in the film by Julien Duvivier

French classics ‘David Golder’ and ‘La tête d’un homme’ on Criterion Channel

Julien Duvivier was once a giant of French cinema with a string of popular and critical hits in the thirties and a successful foray into Hollywood in the forties. He’s been largely forgotten as filmmaker even with though one of his biggest hits, Pépé le Moko (1937), remains a revered (and oft-revived) classic of gangster […]

Hafsia Herzi and Habib Boufares in Abdellatif Kechiche's Cesar-winning film

‘The Secret of the Grain’ on Criterion Channel

The Secret of the Grain (France, 2007) – Tunisian-French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche’s rich drama of an aging French-Arab shipwright who, with the help of his extended family, transforms an abandoned ship left for scrap into a floating restaurant, is a magnificent journey through culture and family and community. The old man Slimane (Habib Boufares), divorced […]