Biutiful (2010) 58 Add to Netflix Queue
Javier Bardem earned a surprise Oscar nomination for his lead performance as a Barcelona criminal struggling to raise his children as a single father in a somewhat depressing Spanish-language drama from Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel). Some critics were disappointed in the film as a whole, but it still earned quite a few nominations and awards for best foreign language film last year.
Drive Angry (2011) 44 Add to Netflix Queue
This intentionally campy action film stars Nicolas Cage as a man who breaks out of Hell and, while driving a variety of old muscle cars, seeks revenge against the men (including William Fichtner) who murdered his daughter and abducted her baby. Nobody saw it when it played in theaters earlier this year.
Kaboom (2011) 64 Add to Netflix Queue
Gregg Araki's take on the raunchy college comedy (with some sci-fi thriller elements thrown in for good measure) is shot in the filmmaker's endearingly amateurish and unconventional style and is reportedly influenced by Twin Peaks. Unlike most raunchy college comedies, it screened at Cannes.
|Blu-ray American Graffiti (1973) Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams||n/a|
|David Byrne: Ride, Rise, Roar (2011) Tour documentary||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Eddie Vedder: Water on the Road (2011) Live performances||n/a|
|Blu-ray Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson||n/a|
|Passion Play (2011) Bill Murray, Megan Fox, Mickey Rourke||Add to Queue||22|
|TV on DVD:|
|The Dog Whisperer Season 5||n/a|
|Psych Season 5||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Rookie Blue Season 1||Add to Queue||52|
|Stargate Universe Season 2||Add to Queue||n/a|
|True Blood Season 3||Add to Queue||79|
Another Year (2010) 80 Add to Netflix Queue
Director Mike Leigh's (Secrets & Lies, Naked) latest dramedy appeared on over 25 critic top 10 lists at the end of 2010 and earned Leigh an Oscar nomination for his screenplay. The film traces a single year in the life of a happily married couple and their less contented friends and family; Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, and Ruth Sheen star.
AMC's much praised drama about a high school chemistry teacher and family man turned methamphetamine manufacturer somehow keeps getting better (and darker) with each passing season. If you haven't seen the third season, which earned Emmy awards for stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, you are in for a treat, and you'll want to catch up before season four debuts on July 17.
The Company Men (2011) 69 Add to Netflix Queue
Noted TV writer-producer John Wells (ER, The West Wing) makes his feature directorial debut with this timely drama about the impact of corporate downsizing told from multiple perspectives -- including those of an executive (Tommy Lee Jones), a newly-unemployed worker (Ben Affleck), and the drywall installer who gives him a new job (Kevin Costner).
Just Go With It (2011) 33 Add to Netflix Queue
Jennifer Aniston's critical losing streak continued with this romantic comedy that paired her with Adam Sandler (who isn't so popular with reviewers himself). Loosely based on the 1969 film Cactus Flower (itself based on a play), the film centers on a plastic surgeon who adopts a dubious strategy to attract women: he pretends to be married.
True Grit (2010) 80 Add to Netflix Queue
Finally arriving on DVD, the Coen brothers' 2010 adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel (originally adapted, of course, as a John Wayne western) earned 10 Oscar nominations, more than all but one other film last year. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld stars as a young girl who enlists an alcoholic marshal (Jeff Bridges) to help her avenge her father's murder before the killer (Josh Brolin) can be tracked down by a determined Texas Ranger (Matt Damon).
|Blu-ray AC/DC: Let There Be Rock (1979) Concert film||n/a|
|Blu-ray The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving||68|
|American: The Bill Hicks Story (2011) Documentary||Add to Queue||55|
|Blue Crush 2 (2011) Straight-to-video sequel||n/a|
|Carancho (2011) Argentine crime drama||Add to Queue||66|
|The Housemaid (2011) Korean thriller||Add to Queue||68|
|In Her Skin (2011) Australian thriller||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Blu-ray The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) Clint Eastwood||n/a|
|Rubber (2011) French horror-comedy||Add to Queue||59|
|Sanctum (2011) Allison Cratchley, Christopher Baker, Rhys Wakefield||Add to Queue||42|
|Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour (2011) Tour documentary||Add to Queue||n/a|
|TV on DVD:|
|The Big C Season 1||Add to Queue||66|
|Burn Notice Season 4||Add to Queue||n/a|
|The Gene Autry Show Season 1||n/a|
|HawthoRNe Season 2||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Leverage Season 3||Add to Queue||n/a|
|McMillan and Wife Season 3||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Pretty Little Liars Season 1||Add to Queue||52|
|Rawhide Season 4 Vol. 1||n/a|
|Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... Season 2||n/a|
|Stargate Universe The Final Season||Add to Queue||n/a|
|White Collar Season 2||Add to Queue||n/a|
Battle: Los Angeles (2011) 37 Add to Netflix Queue
Though it certainly was better than the similar alien invasion film Skyline, Battle: Los Angeles left most critics and some moviegoers disappointed when it debuted this spring. If you ignore the overly melodramatic and cliched story and dialogue and its pro-military propaganda, you'll find plenty of exciting action sequences throughout, though you can probably get that and more from your favorite first-person shooter.
FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) goes on yet another undercover mission in drag after his stepson witnesses a murder. Naturally, his stepson then assists the investigation while also wearing a wig and women’s clothing. A commercial and critical failure, this pointless third installment in the Big Momma's House franchise arrived a full five years after the second movie. Maybe it's time to retire the fat suit.
Hall Pass (2011) 45 Add to Netflix Queue
Married men Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis are given a week-long "hall pass" by their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) to do whatever they want, with whomever they want, with no questions asked and no repercussions. The result is a mediocre Farrelly brothers comedy, which, unfortunately, seems to be the norm for the writer-director duo these days.
Red Riding Hood (2011) 29 Add to Netflix Queue
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke hoped to appeal to the same audience with this horror movie take on the classic tale of "Little Red Riding Hood," but the film proved not to be a hit, and critics hated it. David Leslie Johnson’s (Orphan) script is set during the Middle Ages, where a werewolf has been terrorizing the small town where hooded heroine Valerie is torn between two men. Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, and Lukas Haas star.
|Blu-ray The Cincinnati Kid (1965) Steve McQueen, Edward Robinson, Karl Malden||n/a|
|Con Artist (2010) Documentary||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Foo Fighters: Back and Forth (2011) Music documentary||n/a|
|Blu-ray Heavy Metal (1981) Animation/Cult classic||n/a|
|Insignificance (1985) Criterion Collection||n/a|
|Jackass 3.5 (2011) Straight-to-video sequel||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Kill the Irishman (2011) Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D'Onofrio||Add to Queue||50|
|Korkoro (2011) French-language drama||Add to Queue||60|
|Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2011) Martial arts||Add to Queue||49|
|Monogamy (2011) Rashida Jones, Chris Messina||Add to Queue||47|
|Norm MacDonald: Me Doing Standup (2011) Stand-up comedy special||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Blu-ray Point Break (1991) Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey||n/a|
|TV on DVD:|
|The Glades Season 1||Add to Queue||64|
|Haven Season 1||Add to Queue||53|
|Man v. Food Season 3||Add to Queue||n/a|
The Adjustment Bureau (2011) 60 Add to Netflix Queue
Delayed by almost a year, this loose adaptation of the Philip K. Dick short story "Adjustment Team" finally arrived in theaters earlier this year. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star in this sci-fi thriller that centers on a rising political star whose future is thrown into question when he falls for a mysterious ballerina, only to learn that someone or something is working to keep them apart.
Cedar Rapids (2011) 70 Add to Netflix Queue
Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover) stars as an incredibly naive insurance agent who heads to the "big city" of Cedar Rapids, Iowa to attend a conference in this well reviewed, low-key indie comedy. The strong supporting cast for director Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck) includes John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Root, and The Wire’s Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Greg Heffley enters the seventh grade, where he continues to be tormented by his older brother, Rodrick. This quickly-made sequel to Diary of a Wimpy Kid -- also based on a book by Jeff Kinney -- received similar (middling) reviews and performed about as well at the box office. Almost the entire cast -- save for Chloë Moretz -- returns for new director David Bowers (Flushed Away).
It may not quite have been the best reviewed new show of 2010, but those critics who praised Louie were still talking about it months later, and it developed enough of a cult following among comedy fans to merit a second season (which begins June 23 on FX). Though it shares some elements with Seinfeld, Louie is anything but derivative. While each episode (written, produced, directed, edited by, and starring comedian Louis C.K.) generally follows the same formula -- two short films, mixed with clips of Louie's stand-up routine -- the tone and structure of the filmed content is refreshingly unpredictable, moving from hilarious to intensely dramatic, from realistic observations of everyday life as a single father to surreal out-of-town trips and bizarre visits to a therapist. You likely haven't seen anything like it before.
Unknown (2011) 56 Add to Netflix Queue
Liam Neeson continued to cement his unlikely status as an early-year action star in this decent thriller about a doctor who awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife doesn't recognize him and another man has assumed his identity. Diane Kruger and January Jones also star.
|Ceremony (2011) Uma Thurman, Lee Pace||Add to Queue||40|
|Chicago: Live in Concert (1993) Live concert||n/a|
|The Eagle (2011) Channing Tatum, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Bell||Add to Queue||55|
|Happythankyoumoreplease (2011) Josh Radnor, Kate Mara, Malin Akerman||Add to Queue||45|
|Kiss Me Deadly (1955) Criterion Collection||n/a|
|Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (2011) Made-for-TV movie; Debbie Gibson, Tiffany||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Orgasm Inc. (2011) Documentary||Add to Queue||64|
|TV on DVD:|
|The Closer Season 6||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Medium Season 7 (also available: The Complete Series)||Add to Queue||n/a|
Barney's Version (2011) 67 Add to Netflix Queue
A showcase for the always excellent Paul Giamatti, this adaptation of Mordecai Richler's comic novel takes viewers through 35 years in the long and colorful life of ordinary man Barney Panofsky, a span that includes three marriages. Dustin Hoffman, Rosamund Pike, and Minnie Driver also star.
Beastly (2011) 40 Add to Netflix Queue
Though not quite ghastly, this modern-day take on the classic "Beauty and the Beast" story (yes, another one) was aimed at teens, but failed to impress either them or anyone else (including critics). Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer, and Mary-Kate Olsen star.
Season of the Witch (2011) 28 Add to Netflix Queue
In development for a decade, this supernatural action film set during the Middle Ages finally arrived in theaters earlier this year, though consider yourself lucky if you failed to realize it. Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman star for director Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds).
Sucker Punch (2011) 33 Add to Netflix Queue
Zack Snyder's latest CGI-enhanced, slow-mo-filled epic certainly provoked a strong reaction; just not the one he probably intended. A violent fantasy set in a bizarre mental institution where a young woman (Emily Browning) is imprisoned and dreams of escape, Sucker Punch was lambasted by most (though not all) critics for its misogynistic treatment of its many female characters, its convoluted and nonsensical storyline, and its overindulgent direction. The Blu-ray release (but not the DVD) will feature an extended R-rated cut with 18 additional minutes added to the film.
|Black Moon (1975) Criterion Collection||n/a|
|Blu-ray Eddie Vedder: Water on the Road (2011) Live performances||n/a|
|Blu-ray Jumanji (1995) Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams||39|
|People on Sunday (1930) Criterion Collection||n/a|
|The Warrior's Way Martial arts||Add to Queue||45|
|TV on DVD:|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent Season 6||Add to Queue||n/a|
|Pawn Stars Season 3||n/a|
|Rizzoli & Isles Season 1||Add to Queue||62|
|Warehouse 13 Season 2||Add to Queue||n/a|