All movies are 2016/17 releases unless otherwise noted. Availability: DVD | Blu-ray | Both Blu-ray and DVD
Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson compiles leftover footage from other films she has shot during her 25-year career into an unconventional meditation on her life and the nature of her work, resulting in one of 2016's best-reviewed documentaries. This Criterion Collection release adds a making-of documentary, a discussion, and more bonus features.
Rosemary Myers’ lauded directorial debut is a coming-of-age story that follows Greta Driscoll (Bethany Whitmore) as her surprise 15th birthday party has an adverse effect on her life. Set in 1970s Australia, the film combines fantasy and musical elements to breathe cinematic life into what began in 2014 as a play written by Matthew Whittet.
Writer-director Jeff Nichols’ second film of 2016 (following the sci-fi family drama Midnight Special) is based on the true story of Virginia couple Richard and Mildred Loving. As played by Joel Edgerton and an Oscar-nominated Ruth Negga, the pair married in Washington D.C. in 1958 but, upon returning to their home in Virginia, were jailed for violating that state’s prohibition against interracial marriage. Over the next nine years the Lovings fought for their marriage, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court.
|More movie releases on February 7, 2016|
|The 9th Life Of Louis Drax MYSTERY/THRILLER | Aaron Paul, Aiden Longworth|
|Abattoir HORROR/THRILLER | Lin Shaye|
|Almost Christmas DRAMA/COMEDY | Danny Glover, Omar Epps, Gabrielle Union|
|American Pastoral DRAMA | Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly|
|Antibirth HORROR | Chloë Sevigny, Natasha Lyonne|
|Blackway THRILLER | Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles|
|The Bronx Bull DRAMA/SPORTS | Paul Sorvino|
|Burn Country DRAMA/THRILLER | James Franco, Melissa Leo|
|Come What May FOREIGN/DRAMA|
|Desierto ACTION/THRILLER | Gael García Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan|
|Dirty Dancing (1987) 30th anniversary edition|
|The Eagle Huntress DOCUMENTARY|
|Frank & Lola DRAMA/THRILLER | Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots|
|Justice League Dark ANIMATION (straight-to-video release)|
|Life on the Line ACTION/DRAMA | John Travolta, Kate Bosworth|
|Little Sister DRAMA/COMEDY | Addison Timlin, Ally Sheedy|
|Nerdland ANIMATION/COMEDY | Paul Rudd, Patton Oswalt|
|No Highway in the Sky (1951) DRAMA/THRILLER | James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich|
|Prince of Foxes (1949) ACTION-ADVENTURE | Tyrone Power, Orson Welles|
|The Take ACTION/THRILLER | Idris Elba|
|The Tenth Man FOREIGN/DRAMA/COMEDY|
|Trolls ANIMATION/FAMILY | Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake|
|Two Lovers and a Bear DRAMA | Tatiana Maslany, Dane DeHaan|
|What a Way to Go (1964) COMEDY | Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman|
|What Happened Last Night COMEDY | Amber Rose|
|TV on DVD/Blu-ray|
|Dynasty SEASON 1|
|From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series SEASON 3|
|Graves SEASON 1|
|Killing Reagan TV MOVIE|
|Last Tango in Halifax SEASON 4|
|Moveable Feast SEASON 4|
|Penny Dreadful COMPLETE SERIES|
|Quantum Leap COMPLETE SERIES|
|Shaun the Sheep SEASONS 3-4|
|The Twilight Zone  COMPLETE SERIES|
|Vice Principals SEASON 1|
|Wolf's Rain COMPLETE SERIES|
Director Denis Villeneuve’s success with this sci-fi story about a language expert (Amy Adams) brought in to work with a theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner) to communicate with a visiting alien species bodes well for those looking forward to the director’s Blade Runner sequel. Based on Story of Your Life, a short story by Ted Chiang, the film has connected with critics on both an artistic and emotional level, and it collected eight Oscar nominations, including one for best picture.
Thought at one time to be a potential best picture contender, director Ang Lee's adaptation of Ben Fountain's novel about a young war hero (newcomer Joe Alwyn) flashing back to his tour of duty in Iraq while being honored at an NFL game turned out to be a commercial and artistic flop. Lee's decision to film the drama in 3D 4K resolution at an unheard-of 120-per-second frame rate was part of the problem (critics and audiences found the visuals hugely distracting), though it could work better on the small screen.
Proof that even indie movies apparently come in pairs, this is one of two 2016 films to examine the story of Christine Chubbuck, a Florida news reporter who took her own life during a live television broadcast in 1974. While Kate Plays Christine (also on home video this month) is an unconventional documentary, Christine offers a dramatized look at Chubbuck's life. Antonio Campos (Simon Killer) directs a cast led by Rebecca Hall (in a widely praised performance) and Michael C. Hall.
Writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig’s well-reviewed debut feature centers on a high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) whose life is thrown into chaos when her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her older brother Darian (Blake Jenner). Woody Harrelson plays Nadine’s teacher/reluctant counselor, and Kyra Sedgwick is her mother. A glimmer of hope in Nadine’s messy life is provided by the possibility of a friendship with a boy played by Hayden Szeto.
|More movie releases on February 14, 2016|
|Bleed for This DRAMA/SPORTS | Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart|
|Blood Brothers HORROR/THRILLER|
|The Crash THRILLER | Minnie Driver, Maggie Q|
|Five Nights in Maine DRAMA | David Oyelowo, Dianne Wiest, Rosie Perez|
|Golden Kingdom FOREIGN/DRAMA|
|King Cobra DRAMA | James Franco, Christian Slater, Molly Ringwald|
|London Town DRAMA/MUSICAL | Jonathan Rhys Meyers|
|National Bird DOCUMENTARY|
|One Million Years B.C. (1966) ACTION-ADVENTURE | Raquel Welch, John Richardson|
|The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) Criterion Collection release|
|The Witness DOCUMENTARY|
|TV on DVD/Blu-ray|
|Beavis & Butt-Head COMPLETE SERIES|
|Hap and Leonard SEASON 1|
|Kojak SEASON 1|
|Mercy Street SEASON 2|
|Quarry SEASON 1|
|Star Trek: Enterprise COMPLETE SERIES|
Mel Gibson’s first directorial effort since 2006’s Apocalypto is based on the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), who saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun at the bloody WWII battle of Okinawa. As an army medic, Doss became the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The controversial director’s obsessions—faith, violence, courage—are in abundance in this typically gory work, which picked up six Academy Award nominations including best picture.
Just the third film in 16 years for writer-director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me, Margaret), Manchester by the Sea is one of 2016's best-reviewed films and the recipient of six Academy Award nominations including best picture. This tale of grief follows Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck, the favorite to win the best actor Oscar) as he returns to his hometown following the death of his brother (Kyle Chandler) and finds himself appointed the legal guardian of his nephew (the Oscar-nominated Lucas Hedges). The strong supporting cast includes Michelle Williams (another Oscar nominee), Matthew Broderick, Gretchen Mol, Tate Donovan and Kara Hayward.
Writer-director-fashion mogul Tom Ford (A Single Man) won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize at last year's Venice Film Festival for his first film in seven years, an adaptation of Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan that intertwines two separate narrative strands. In one, Susan Morrow (Amy Adams), a Los Angeles art dealer, receives a novel written by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) titled Nocturnal Animals. As she reads the novel, Ford dramatizes the action, a violent tale of revenge about a husband and father (also Gyllenhaal) whose wife (Isla Fisher) and daughter (Ellie Bamber) are kidnapped as the family drives across West Texas. As these stories play out, Ford also utilizes flashbacks to reveal Susan and Tony’s past romance. The film was shut out of the best picture race, though co-star Michael Shannon was nominated for an Oscar.
|More movie releases on February 21, 2016|
|Bad Santa 2 COMEDY | Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates|
|Blood on the Mountain DOCUMENTARY|
|Deluge (1933) ACTION-ADVENTURE | Peggy Shannon, Lois Wilson|
|Homeland: Iraq Year Zero FOREIGN/DOCUMENTARY|
|Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame DOCUMENTARY|
|Mildred Pierce (1945) Criterion Collection release|
|Sophie and the Rising Sun DRAMA | Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale|
|Speed Sisters DOCUMENTARY|
|Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) Criterion Collection release|
|TV on DVD/Blu-ray|
|Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio TV SPECIAL|
|Grace and Frankie SEASON 2|
|The Level SERIES 1|
|Lou Grant SEASON 4|
|Nashville SEASON 4|
With Flight and The Walk, director Robert Zemeckis made a solid return to live-action filmmaking. But last year's WWII espionage thriller Allied failed to continue his winning ways with critics. Reportedly based on a true story, the script by Steven Knight (Locke) follows intelligence officer Max Vatan on a deadly mission behind enemy lines, where he meets French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard). Following their first encounter, they reunite in London, where their happy relationship is threatened when he begins to suspect she is a spy. Jared Harris, Matthew Goode, August Diehl, and Lizzy Caplan round out the cast.
The most recent Marvel film is one of the highest-scoring entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Directed by Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us from Evil), the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a surgeon who, after damaging his hands in a car accident, seeks a cure in Kathmandu and finds the Ancient One, a master of mysticism played by Tilda Swinton. After facing early controversy over its casting, this 14th official Marvel Universe film earned praise for its visual audacity but not its too-familiar origin story.
In Actress director Robert Greene’s performance-based, non-fiction film, the “Kate” of the title is actress Kate Lyn Sheil and the “Christine” is Christine Chubbuck, a news anchor who committed suicide on air in 1974. (See Christine, above, for another movie that recounts the same story.) As in his previous film, Greene, who won a Special Jury Award for writing at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, explores the meaning and impact of reality, performance, artifice, and perspective as Kate researches Christine’s life in order to portray her in a film.
The murder of five women seems an unlikely subject for a musical, but London Road was a hit when it premiered on stage at the National Theatre in 2011. Theater director Rufus Norris then filmed the same story with a script by original author Alecky Blythe. The film uses Ipswich residents’ own words to document the 2006 events when a community came together after a local was charged with murder.
The best-reviewed film of 2016, writer-director Barry Jenkins’ first feature since 2008’s Medicine for Melancholy is a three-part story examining the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of a gay black man growing up in Miami’s inner city. Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue and with a cast that includes Naomie Harris, André Holland, Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monáe, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, and Jharrel Jerome, Moonlight is up for eight Oscars, including best picture.
Warren Beatty’s first film as writer-director since 1998’s Bulworth (and possibly final appearance as an actor) is a period rom-com that finds Beatty playing Howard Hughes. The "rom" part of the equation centers on Lily Collins, playing contract actress Marla Mabrey, and Alden Ehrenreich, as Howard Hughes’ driver Frank Forbes. Coming between the pair is Beatty’s slightly off-his-rocker Hughes. The strong supporting cast includes Haley Bennett, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen, Annette Bening, Oliver Platt, Candice Bergen, and Steve Coogan. Some reviewers found it intermittently charming, but others found it too disjointed to be enjoyable.
|More movie releases on February 28, 2016|
|All We Had DRAMA | Katie Holmes|
|Before Sunrise / Before Sunset / Before Midnight Criterion Collection set|
|Contract to Kill ACTION | Steven Seagal|
|Framed (1975) ACTION/THRILLER | Joe Don Baker|
|The Gate (1987) HORROR/FANTASY | Stephen Dorff|
|Officer Downe ACTION/SCI-FI/COMEDY | Kim Coates, Tyler Ross|
|Shut In THRILLER | Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt, Jacob Tremblay|
|We Are The Flesh FOREIGN/HORROR/FANTASY|
|Wheeler DRAMA | Stephen Dorff|
|TV on DVD/Blu-ray|
|Fuller House SEASON 1|
|A Place to Call Home SEASON 4|
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