Arts

Stream These Great Movies Before They Leave Netflix in September


The director John Hillcoat and the musician-turned-screenwriter Nick Cave reunited after the triumph of “The Proposition” (2005) for this 1930s crime film with a phenomenal cast, including Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce and Mia Wasikowska. Cave’s story, adapted from the historical novel “The Wettest County in the World” by Matt Bondurant, concerns the bootlegging Bondurant brothers (Clarke, Hardy and LaBeouf), who find their business interests threatened by a crooked U.S. Marshal (Pearce) and a rival bootlegger (Oldman), among others. The period costumes and settings are stunning, and the sprawling cast meshes nicely; Hardy is especially strong as a man of few words but furious fists.

Stream it here.

This 1992 smash, directed by Penny Marshall, is based on the true story of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, formed in 1943 to help keep the national pastime going while World War II pulled male ballplayers out of the majors. Geena Davis stars as Dottie Hinson, star catcher of the Rockford Peaches, and Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, the former baseball star and current drunk who coaches the team when he’s sober (which is infrequent). With able support from Jon Lovitz, Madonna, Lori Petty, David Straitairn and many more, this one is smoothly assembled, sensitively acted and riotously funny.

Stream it here.

A decade after winning the Oscar for her screenplay adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility,” Emma Thompson returned to the typewriter to pen the film version of a slightly less venerated literary property: the “Nurse Matilda” children’s novels, by the British author Christianna Brand. But it doesn’t feel like slumming; Thompson invests her screenplay with all the winking wit you would expect, and she absolutely goes for broke in her performance of the title role, a kind of warts-and-all Mary Poppins. The director Kirk Jones orchestrates the chaos with a sure hand.

Stream it here.

The first five films of the Rocky franchise — starring, written and sometimes directed by Sylvester Stallone — vary wildly in style, quality and critical and commercial reception. But taken together, they create a fascinating portrait of mainstream American moviemaking from the late 1970s to the early ’90s, as the modest, character-driven drama of the 1976 original slowly but surely gave way to the montage-heavy, jingoistic bombast of “Rocky IV” from 1987. But for better or worse, each film offers its own pleasures, from the specificity of Stallone’s dialogue to the richly played supporting characters (particularly Talia Shire’s Adrian and Carl Weathers’s Apollo Creed) to the crowd-pleasing closing bouts.

Stream “Rocky” here, “Rocky II” here, “Rocky III” here, “Rocky IV” here and “Rocky V” here.

When J.J. Abrams was announced as the director of a newly rebooted series of “Star Trek” films, he was still best known for his television work. The decision smacked of some desperation; after several “Star Trek” television spinoffs and numerous big-screen resurrections, what could anyone (let alone a not-yet-proven filmmaker) add to the mythos of the original “Enterprise” crew? But Abrams’s inaugural 2009 entry was an absolute treat, a sleek, well-cast popcorn picture that reinvigorated the original characters and story while also playing appropriate tribute. The 2013 follow-up, “Into Darkness,” is less successful but still an entertaining diversion, particularly for Benedict Cumberbatch’s take on Ricardo Montalbán’s villainous “Khan.”

Stream “Star Trek” here and “Star Trek: Into Darkness” here.



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