Last chance: The United States of ‘Zombieland’ on Netflix

The zombie comedy was hardly fresh territory when Zombieland (2009) came along (and really, will anyone top Shaun of the Dead?) but it nonetheless does a fine job of mining the humor inherent in the end of the world. Jesse Eisenberg is the loner college geek who finds that his obsessive-compulsive instincts are just what […]

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ on Peacock

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), the second film in the young adult dystopian series starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katnis Everdeen, the reluctant warrior who is dropped into a brutal deathmatch, improves upon the original The Hunger Games (2012) in almost every way. Taking the same basic premise—a despotic government that keeps its citizens in […]

‘The Hunger Games’ – May the odds be ever in your favor on Peacock

Based on the first book in the dystopian trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (2012) was one of the more successful efforts to transform a hot young adult series into a big screen franchise, more mature than Harry Potter and grittier than Eclipse, and even a little political in its own right. The story […]

Tommy Lee Jones in the Coen Bros.'s Oscar-winning 'No Country for Old Men'

Oscar-winner ‘No Country for Old Men’

No Country for Old Men (2007), adapted from Corman McCarthy’s novel by directors/screenwriters/auteurs-of-our-age Ethan and Joel Coen, is a perfect match of story and storyteller. Josh Brolin’s Llewelyn Moss, a cowboy in modern Texas who returns from poaching trip with a fortune in drug money, is just smart enough to outrun trouble, but he’s a […]

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Who would have predicted that the second revival of the Planet of the Apes series would be so smart, so moving, so… human? Whatever your feelings on the 1969 original, at the time a startlingly unique film built on a warped-mirror fantasy premise, the sequels were exercises in diminishing ambition and the ridiculous 2001 Tim […]

Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson star the homefront war drama directed by Oren Movermen

‘The Messenger’ – The bearer of bad news on Hulu

In The Messenger (2009), combat veteran Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) may be “a goddamn hero,” in the words of his commanding officer, but in the final months of his enlistment he’s assigned to the most challenging mission of his career: casualty notification and the emotional minefield of civilians dealing with the death of a loved […]

Stuart Townsend's drama about 1999 WTO protests in Seattle

‘Battle in Seattle’ – Power to the people on Amazon Prime

Battle in Seattle (2008), the directorial debut of actor Stuart Townsend, is a conventional drama about the unconventional protest landmark: the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, Washington, a real event explored through the familiar fictional stories of various protesters, delegates and bystanders. Like far too many films and TV programs set in Seattle it was […]