Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' Watch: New Trailer For ‘Kingsman: Secret Service’ Starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson & Taron Egerton Star Watch: New Trailer For ‘Kingsman: Secret Service’ Starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson & Taron Egerton Star Chilly New Banner For Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Explores A Cold New World Chilly New Banner For Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Explores A Cold New World 15 Films That Failed To Hit The 2014 Fall Festival Circuit 15 Films That Failed To Hit The 2014 Fall Festival Circuit Watch: Steven Soderbergh Re-Scores And Changes Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' To Black-And-White Watch: Steven Soderbergh Re-Scores And Changes Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' To Black-And-White Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack First, Mostly Rave Reviews Arrive For David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' First, Mostly Rave Reviews Arrive For David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

Stream This: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'Wreckers,' Spike Lee's Doc 'Bad 25' & More On VOD This Week

The Playlist By Emma Bernstein | The Playlist July 5, 2013 at 12:38PM

Happy Fourth of July Weekend! We hope you're making the most of the summer weather and enjoying a fair share of barbeques, beers, and beach time. However, if you feel like stepping away from the UV for an hour or two and relaxing inside with a good flick, we would like to provide a few timely suggestions. There's, of course, the Independence Day-themed selection for your patriotic viewing pleasure. Similarly, several documentaries that capture acutely American topics and people, and both celebrate and question what it means to be a United States citizen, appear here. And in honor of this weekend's blockbuster release, "The Lone Ranger," we are recommending a throwback from the early days of Johnny Depp's career, in case you can't remember what he looks like without heavy makeup and a wig. Relish the long weekend cinephiles, whatever you choose to do, and let us know what you think of our streaming selections in the comments section below.
1
Stream This, Wreckers, Bad 25

Happy Fourth of July Weekend! We hope you're making the most of the summer weather and enjoying a fair share of barbeques, beers, and beach time. However, if you feel like stepping away from the UV for an hour or two and relaxing inside with a good flick, we would like to provide a few timely suggestions. There's, of course, the Independence Day-themed selection for your patriotic viewing pleasure. Similarly, several documentaries that acutely capture American topics and people, and both celebrate and question what it means to be a United States citizen, appear here. And in honor of this weekend's blockbuster release, "The Lone Ranger," we are recommending a throwback from the early days of Johnny Depp's career, in case you can't remember what he looks like without heavy makeup and a wig. Relish the long weekend, cinephiles, whatever you choose to do, and let us know what you think of our streaming selections in the comments section below.

"Wreckers" (2011)
What It's About: With a move to the English countryside and a fixer-upper of a cottage, the happily married Dawn (Claire Foy) and David (Benedict Cumberbatch) are ready to start a family. But, as with so many well-laid plans, it just isn't meant to be. David's brother, Nick (Shaun Evans), a war veteran suffering from posttraumatic stress, surprises the couple with a visit. Before long, he is revealing a complicated and suspicious family past quite unknown to Dawn, and she begins to question whether she really knows her husband at all.
Why You Should Stream It: It's not always easy to keep a struggling couple looking realistic, but first time director D. R. Hood manages to elicit subtle but extremely powerful performances that are reinforced by a high-tension script that relies heavily on subtext (and in a good way). Moreover, Foy gives a heartbreakingly believable performance and Cumberbatch offers his usual level of excellence, his penchant for inscrutable facial expressions serving the character of David as well. A faintly haunting score merging with the film's evocative and hazy look deepen the sense of uncertainty to great effect, the audience left as lost as the heroine.
Where It's Available: Amazon Instant, iTunes

"Born on the Fourth of July" (1989)
What It's About: In 1960s suburban New York, Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) is proud to be an American. He reveres President Kennedy, shares his birthday with the United States and, desperate to serve his country, enlists in the Marines directly out of high school. However, after a firefight in Vietnam leaves him paralyzed from the mid-chest down, the soldier returns home to family, friends, and a country that he no longer recognizes or understands, and with whom he has no place. As he struggles to rebuild his life, Kovic begins to see the illusions and dangers inherent in his patriotism and joins other veterans in their anti-war efforts.
Why You Should Stream It: Based on the best-selling autobiography, "Born on the Fourth of July" was co-written by Kovic and the film's director, Oliver Stone (also a Vietnam veteran). As a semi follow up to the latter's 1986 Oscar-winner "Platoon," the violence, guilt, pain, and lost innocence of the Vietnam War are also present with striking intensity and harrowing realness here, anchored by a simply astounding, Academy Award-nominated performance from Cruise. The film was nominated for six other Oscars, and won Stone a Best Directing statue. Finally, of course, it's Independence Day -- a celebration of American freedoms. And Tom Cruise's transformation from a decorated soldier to a countercultural figure fighting the man provides an accurate and inspiring representation of just how much freedom we enjoy here in the good old U.S. of A.
Where It's Available: Amazon Instant, iTunes, VUDU

"Oxyana" (2013)
What It's About: 1,400 close-knit, proud, hard-working citizens populate the coal-mining town of Oceana, West Virginia...and many of them are addicted to OxyContin and other prescription pills. What was ingested into the community as a remedy for the grueling physical work in the mines has become an abused substance, one that has ruined countless lives and threatens to decimate more. Footage of the neglected neighborhood backgrounds share histories from current and recovering addicts alike: the power of the drug quickly becomes apparent as the disintegration of Oceana is shown to coincide with rising use of OxyContin. Family members and local police officers also have a chance to comment, making it known that their love for the town and all its residents -- and their hope that the situation will eventually improve -- providing them with the will to remain there.
Why You Should Stream It: At this year's Tribeca Film Festival, "Oxyana" won a Special Jury Mention and director Sean Dunne, who has previously enjoyed success helming documentary shorts, won Best New Documentary Director. Our review from that festival called the doc "unwavering and unflinching," concluding, "it's a pained and uncompromising look at horrors that have decimated a community, and while raw-nerved and difficult to stomach at times, Dunne's respectful ability to never look away from these harsh realities is what makes the doc so vital, powerful and striking." While no less important than films examining the macro story of the war on drugs, the smaller scale of this particular portrait of addiction may hit closer to home and prove more affecting.
Where It's Available: Vimeo

"Cry-Baby" (1990)
What It's About: It's 1954 in Baltimore. Cars are fast, hair is greasy, Elvis is king. Pretty boy Wade Walker (Johnny Depp), nicknamed Cry-Baby for his trademark ability to shed a single tear, leads a gang of high school outsiders and enjoys status as a local god. However, much changes when -- much to the chagrin of his friends and her family -- he falls in love with the "square" Allison (Amy Locane) and begins to open up about his troubled, unhappy past. As the two get closer, the obstacles mount, including Allison's jealous ex-boyfriend and a conniving bad girl who hopes to bring Cry-Baby back to her side of the tracks. Iggy Pop and Ricki Lake co-star; Willem Dafoe makes a cameo!
Why You Should Stream It: A parody of high school musicals that spawned a Tony-nominated Broadway musical of the same name, "Cry-Baby" is another irresistibly campy creation from the ostentatious oeuvre of director John Waters. The songs are catchy, the costumes and sets a visual delight, the period era setting and lingo perfect. And the through line of satiric comedy gives it a delicious edge, adding complexity to the typically two-dimensional musical genre. Depp's ridicule of his (then prevalent) heartthrob status is especially successful, his Danny Zuko caricature both perfectly on point and immensely enjoyable; a wonderful irony also stems from the fact that he took the role to avoid typecasting as a teen idol. A box office flop upon its release, the film has since attained cult status and remains an excellent entry in the professional histories of its director and star alike.
Where It's Available: Amazon Instant, iTunes, VUDU


This article is related to: Streaming, Oxyana, Bad 25, Wreckers, Criterion Collection, VOD, New On VOD


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates