Entertainment Best new movies available On Demand May 22, 2015 11:28 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email "American Sniper," "Still Alice" and more: See our picks for the Oscar winners, box office hits and independent films that are available (or will be soon) to watch On Demand, whether you subscribe to Optimum, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish or Verizon. 'Selma' Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures, Pathé / Atsushi Nishijima An electrifying David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the voting rights marches in Alabama in 1965. Well-researched and hugely informative, "Selma" could become one of the definitive films about the civil rights movement. (Rated PG-13) 'Welcome to Me' Photo Credit: Suzanne Hanover In "Welcome to Me," Kristen Wiig plays a mentally unstable woman who uses her lottery winnings to launch a bizarre, self-obsessed television show. Highly offbeat and often funny, even if the payoff never quite arrives. The great cast includes James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Linda Cardellini. (Rated R) 'Still Alice' Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her performance as a college professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's in "Still Alice." Not an upbeat movie, but the script -- by married directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland -- strikes a note of triumph. Westmoreland, who grew up partly in Westbury, died of ALS earlier this year. (Rated PG-13) 'American Sniper' Photo Credit: TNS Clint Eastwood's harrowing biopic of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (a gutsy Bradley Cooper) doesn't wring its hands over the Iraq War and makes no apologies for its gung-ho hero. Despite a little halo-hanging, "American Sniper" is a mostly clear-eyed look at the physical and emotional cost of war. (Rated R) 'Seventh Son' Photo Credit: Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures B-grade fantasy-action film, elevated slightly by Jeff Bridges as a traveling demon-hunter and Julianne Moore as a wicked queen. No great shakes, but "Seventh Son" is smarter and more compelling than you might expect. (Rated PG-13) 'The Wedding Ringer' Photo Credit: Matt Kennedy Kevin Hart plays Jimmy, a professional best man who rents himself to friendless grooms like Doug (Josh Gad). The two likable stars, and a good-hearted script that keeps its head out of the gutter, make this a surprisingly enjoyable buddy comedy. With Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting. (Rated R) 'Paddington' Photo Credit: StudioCanal The film version of the classic children's book has one major selling point: A cast of stellar British actors, including Ben Wishaw as the voice of Paddington bear (a computer-animated creation), Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as his adoptive human parents and Nicole Kidman as a fiendish taxidermist. (Rated PG) 'The Boy Next Door' Photo Credit: Universal Pictures With her marriage on the rocks, pretty high-school teacher Claire (Jennifer Lopez) falls in bed with a hunky student (Ryan Guzman). "Fatal Attraction" this ain't, but look no further for a fun, trashy thriller. The violence is a bit tame, though the sex might surprise you. (Rated R) 'Big Eyes' Photo Credit: Leah Gallo Tim Burton's delightfully odd biopic was unjustly overlooked last year. Amy Adams is terrific as the painter Margaret Keane -- whose portraits of saucer-eyed waifs became a hot trend during the 1960s -- and Christoph Waltz steals the show as her husband, Walter, who took all the credit. The film tackles sexism, classism and art-ism, all with a sense of humor. Excellent period outfits, too. (Rated PG-13) 'A Most Violent Year' Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima Trying to stay honest as a New York City businessman has never been easy -- and especially not in 1981, the year in which this gritty drama is set. Intense performances from Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, but this third film from J.C. Chandor ("Margin Call," "All Is Lost") is more mood-piece than thriller. (Rated R) 'Interstellar' Photo Credit: TNS / Melinda Sue Gordon Television seems like the wrong place for Christopher Nolan's ambitious space epic, but that's modernity for you. Oscar-nominated for Hans Zimmer's score. "Interstellar" stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. (Rated PG-13) 'The Imitation Game' Photo Credit: Jack English Graham Moore won the adapted screenplay Oscar for this film about Alan Turing, a World War II codebreaker later prosecuted for homosexuality. "The Imitation Game" stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, both nominees. (Rated PG-13) 'Unbroken' Photo Credit: David James Angelina Jolie's solid biopic tells the remarkable tale of World War II survivor Louis Zamperini. "Unbroken" stars Jack O'Connell and a riveting Japanese newcomer named Miyavi. (Rated PG-13) 'Into the Woods' Photo Credit: Peter Mountain Meryl Streep earned a supporting-actress Oscar nod as The Witch in this musical fairy tale. Themes of death and infidelity may unsettle younger children. "Into the Woods" stars Emily Blunt and James Corden. (Rated PG) 'Two Days, One Night' Photo Credit: AP “Two Days, One Night”: Marion Cotillard’s second Oscar nod came for playing a Belgian factory worker struggling to keep her job. Written and directed by the Dardenne brothers, torchbearers of the old European art-house sensibility. (Rated PG-13) 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' Photo Credit: Mark Pokorny / Mark Pokorny The finale to Peter Jackson's trilogy is a little dopey at times, but ultimately satisfies. "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies" stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Ian McKellan. (Rated PG-13) 'Top Five' Photo Credit: TNS / Ali Paige Goldstein Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson make a terrific couple in this smart, dialogue-driven comedy set in a vibrant New York City. Be warned: The humor in "Top Five" also gets really gross. (Rated R) 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1' Photo Credit: Lionsgate, Murray Close Smart political allegory, or place-holding "middle film"? You decide! "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1" stars Jennifer Lawrence and newly minted Oscar winner Julianne Moore (for "Still Alice"). (Rated PG-13) 'Foxcatcher' Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Bennett Miller's moody drama is slow going but worth seeing for Steve Carell's Oscar-nominated turn as an insane millionaire. Also starring supporting-actor nominee Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum. (Rated R) 'Whiplash' Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics / Daniel McFadden This terrific indie film, about a young jazz drummer and his abusive teacher, has become an Oscar darling. It's up for best picture and adapted screenplay, and J.K. Simmons is sure to win for supporting actor. If you watch only one VOD movie this month, this should be it. (Rated R) 'Kill the Messenger' Photo Credit: Chuck Zlotnick From Dix Hills director Michael Cuesta comes the story of Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), the intrepid but deeply flawed journalist who connected the CIA to crack cocaine and paid dearly for it. Gripping and smart, if a little one-sided, and Renner's best work since "The Hurt Locker." (Rated R) 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' Photo Credit: Disney / Dale Robinette The classic book about a beleaguered child gets stretched into a Disney feature film. It's short and sweet, if nothing else. Steve Carell, as a dad with his own troubles, will strike a chord with grown viewers. (Rated PG) 'Big Hero 6' Photo Credit: Disney Disney's sci-fi adventure feels a bit scattered, but the endearing characters will get a pretty good grip on your heartstrings. The rare all-ages crowd pleaser. (Rated PG) 'Beyond the Lights' Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner A hip-hop update of "The Bodyguard" with Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a suicidal pop star. Nate Parker sinks the film as a humorless hunk, but the music scenes crackle and the pro-female, pro-black messages come through clearly. (Rated PG-13) 'The Theory of Everything' Photo Credit: Working Title Films Eddie Redmayne is an Oscar shoo-in as the near-paralyzed but prolific scientist Stephen Hawking; Felicity Jones earned a nod as his wife. It's less a biopic than a love story, in which a youthful romance is put to the test. (Rated PG-13) 'Nightcrawler' Photo Credit: Open Road Films / Chuck Zlotnick Dan Gilroy's bloody hilarious satire of television news is an underdog Oscar nominee for original screenplay. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a crime videographer with no morals; Rene Russo is terrific as his best customer. (Rated R) 'The Babadook' Photo Credit: TNS / Matt Nettheim Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman star in the Australian horror film "The Babadook," directed by Jennifer Kent. 'The Maze Runner' Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox, Ben Rothstein Basically, "The Maze Runner" is "The Hunger Games" for boys. Its selling points are an enormous maze (very cool-looking) and a fairly strong cast (though there's only one girl). Short on character development, but long on pizzazz. Some rough violence. (Rated PG-13) 'Tusk' Photo Credit: Kent Smith / Mark Fellman 'Tusk,' the latest from Kevin Smith, is a comedy-horror film starring Justin Long as a podcaster who is kidnapped by a walrus-obsessed maniac. Weird and not at all successful, but notable for a broad comic turn by an unrecognizable Johnny Depp. (Rated R) 'This is Where I Leave You' Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture Shawn Levy's comedy "This is Where I Leave You,' about a dysfunctional family is fairly standard, except for one thing: a terrific cast. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll play to their strengths as messed-up adults; Jane Fonda is their oversexed mother. Written by Jonathan Tropper from his bestselling novel. (Rated R) 'Magic In the Moonlight' Photo Credit: AP / Jack English "Magic in the Moonlight," the latest from Woody Allen, stars Emma Stone as a pretty spiritualist and Colin Firth as a resolute atheist. Let's see, what usually happens in an Allen movie when a 54-year-old man meets a woman half his age? It's a charming and funny film all the same. (Rated PG-13) 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," the second film in the rebooted sci-fi series, received strong reviews for its CGI effects and the motion-capture performance of Andy Serkis. Newsday critic Rafer Guzman however, found it slow-moving and kind of dumb. (Rated PG-13) 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Photo Credit: Marvel / Jay Maidment "Guardians of the Galaxy" is a comedy about a high-spirited superhero. It's "Pulp Fiction" meets "Star Wars" with Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana. (Rated PG-13) 'The Hundred-Foot Journey' Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures / Francois Duhamel Another generous helping of schmaltz from director Lasse Hallström ("Chocolat"), this time with Helen Mirren as a snooty French chef trying to make her peace with Indian cuisine. "The Hundred-Foot Journey" is overly sweet, but a gorgeous presentation. (Rated PG) 'Let's Be Cops' Photo Credit: AP Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr., star in "Let's Be Cops," one of those we-got-carried-away comedies. Not hilarious, not terrible, with two very likable leads. Contains deleted scenes, which may or may not improve things. (Rated R) 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Photo Credit: AP "How To Train Your Dragon 2" is possibly a smidge better, and definitely more emotional, than the first film. Lovely animation and a great voice cast (Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett). Parents should be forewarned about a sorrowful death scene. (Rated PG) 'Into the Storm' Photo Credit: AP After two "Sharknado" movies, it's tough not to burst out laughing at this preposterous, cornball disaster-flick. If you're feeling snarky, "Into the Storm" is camp heaven. With Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies. (Rated PG-13) '22 Jump Street' Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures In "22 Jump Street" Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reprise their over-age-student roles from 2012's hit comedy "21 Jump Street." The many jokes about how bad sequels are only proves the point, but the stars still have great chemistry. (Rated R) 'James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge' Photo Credit: National Geographic National Geo / Mark Thiessen James Cameron chronicles his self-financed dive to the deepest part of the world's ocean in "James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge." Fun stuff for movie fans, tech-heads and anyone interested in science. (Rated PG) 'A Most Wanted Man' Photo Credit: Roadside Attractions Philip Seymour Hoffman leads a stellar cast (Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright) in the latest John Le Carré thriller "A Most Wanted Man." Low energy, but the small screen might well serve this actor-driven film. (Rated R) 'Maleficent' Photo Credit: AP / Disney, Frank Connor Disney's live-action film "Maleficent," about the animated queen from 1959's "Sleeping Beauty," drew mixed reviews, but many praised Angelina Jolie in the complex title role. (Rated PG) 'Brick Mansions' Photo Credit: AP / Philippe Bosse Paul Walker, the late star of the "Fast and Furious" franchise, plays an undercover cop in "Brick Mansions," set in a future Detroit that's been walled off from the world. This parkour-themed action flick is goofy, enjoyable junk. The rapper RZA steals the show as a dandy villain. (Rated PG-13) 'Ida' Photo Credit: Music Box Films A young Polish nun (Agata Trzebuchowska) is surprised to learn she is descended from Jewish parents killed during World War II in "Ida." This post-Holocaust drama is not what you might expect: It's utterly unsentimental, and the more powerful for it. Agata Kulesza, as Ida's rage-filled aunt, practically scorches the screen. In Polish with English subtitles. (Rated PG-13) 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Photo Credit: AP / Marvel-Disney A perfectly good addition to the Marvel universe, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is full of rough action and snappy humor, though it's not nearly as artful as 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger." The fine cast includes Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and a delightfully cool Robert Redford. (Rated PG-13) 'Neighbors' Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Glen Wilson Seth Rogen and Zac Efron play a new dad and a hard-partying frat boy, respectively, who end up living next to each other in "Neighbors." Great chemistry between the two, plus a surprisingly insightful script, lift this R-rated comedy above the average. With Rose Byrne. (Rated R) 'Chef' Photo Credit: Open Roads Films / Merrick Morton Jon Favreau's modest comedy, "Chef," in which he plays a fancy-pants chef reduced to driving a food truck, is so charming and sweet you may not care about the total absence of plot. And what a cast: Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo and young Emjay Anthony are nothing short of terrific. It's all icing and no cake -- but who doesn't love icing? (Rated R) 'The One I Love' Photo Credit: AP / Sundance Institute A romantic comedy with Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass, "The One I Love" packs a high-concept twist that critics are being careful not to spoil. Let's just say that reviews have been strong, and this is surely the first time Duplass has been called "spectacular" by Variety. (Rated R) 'Locke' Photo Credit: AP / A24 Films Tom Hardy ("Inception") plays a working-class bloke on a fateful drive to London, and he's the only actor you'll see in the entire film. If you're not familiar with his singular genius, start with "Locke." (Rated R) 'Fading Gigolo' Photo Credit: AP / Millennium Entertainment In a rare break from making his own movies, Woody Allen plays a nebbish who pimps out his shy best friend (writer-director John Turturro). "Fading Gigolo" is terribly uneven but worth seeing for Allen, who hasn't been this funny, charming and likable in years. (Rated R) 'The Two Faces of January' Photo Credit: Magnolia Pictures Based solely on the credits, "The Two Faces of January" could be a winner. Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis") plays a con man who becomes entangled with an attractive couple (Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen). It's adapted from the novel by Patricia Highsmith ("The Talented Mr. Ripley"). (Rated PG-13) 'Draft Day' Photo Credit: AP / Dale Robinette Kevin Costner plays a football manager trying to cattle-trade his way to a winning team without losing his integrity. The surprise in "Draft Day" is that Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters") directs the holy heck out of this thing, transforming a squishy sports story into a fast-moving, visually inventive comedy-drama. Though not exactly a winner, the movie sure leaves it all on the field. (Rated PG-13) 'Blended' Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures A family rom-com starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. You may be wondering: Is it atrocious, or merely bad? Actually, "Blended" is OK, thanks to its two charming stars as single parents reluctantly falling in love. Manage your expectations. (Rated PG-13) 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Photo Credit: AP / Martin Scali Your small screen may diminish the visuals in this painstakingly detailed production from director Wes Anderson ("The Royal Tenenbaums"), but you can still appreciate the deadpan humor of "The Grand Budapest Hotel's" star-studded cast, which includes Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody and Mia Wasikowska. (Rated R) 'Life Itself' The late Roger Ebert allowed director Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") to chronicle his final five months for this biographical documentary. The result: "Life Itself" is a look back at the inspirational career of our last great film critic. (Rated R) 'Under the Skin' Photo Credit: AP / A24 Films It stars Scarlett Johansson, but be warned -- "Under the Skin" ain't for everyone. The story of an alien who preys on Earth men (mostly nonactors ambushed on the street), the movie is artful and mesmerizing but deeply nihilistic. The soundtrack, by indie rocker Mica Levi, will scrape you raw. (Rated R) 'Noah' Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Niko Tavernise Pre-release outrage from the Christian community over this unorthodox Biblical epic (starring Russell Crowe as the ark-builder) forced Paramount Pictures to add a disclaimer to its trailers -- and then "Noah" kind of faded away. Too bad, because it's the weirdest, wiggiest Bible movie you'll ever see. (Rated PG-13) 'Lone Survivor' Photo Credit: Greg Peters In "Lone Survivor" (2013), a dramatization of the Middle East Navy SEAL operation known as Red Wings, Taylor Kitsch plays Patchogue-raised Michael Murphy, though the starring role goes to Mark Wahlberg as Marcus Luttrell, who wrote the source book. The basic formula -- brutal action plus sentimental speeches -- will work for some viewers, but probably not for all. (Rated R) 'Non-Stop' Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Myles Aronowitz Terrific B-grade fun in this preposterous but tightly-wound thriller about an air marshal (Liam Neeson) trying to stop a terrorist in the middle of an overseas flight. Julianne Moore also stars. Please remember to switch off all logical reasoning skills before takeoff. (Rated PG-13) 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Skydance Productions Chris Pine steps into the shoes of the CIA hero created by novelist Tom Clancy. Pine is an appealingly fresh face, and Kevin Costner adds gravitas as Ryan's jaded handler, but the script feels as creaky as a Cold War fighter jet. Kenneth Branagh directs, and also overacts as the Bond-style villain. (Rated PG-13) 'The Lego Movie' Photo Credit: AP / Warner Bros. Pictures Here's your pick of the month -- a wildly inventive and endlessly funny kids' movie set in the Lego universe. The excellent animation is computer-generated but convincingly blocky, and there's plenty of humanity in the charming voice cast: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks and Morgan Freeman. (Rated PG) 'Son of God' Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox This compressed version of the History Channel hit series "The Bible" focuses on the life of Jesus, played by Brad Pitt look-alike Diogo Morgado. It's straightforward, committee-approved proselytizing, but could be worthwhile for those who don't want to sit through the 10-hour original series. (Rated PG-13) '300: Rise of an Empire' Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures If you liked Zack Snyder's beef-and-blood festival "300," you may tolerate this sequel, directed by a Snyder surrogate who can't get enough of slow-mo gore. I found it pretty awful, save for a bravura performance by Eva Green ("Dark Shadows") as a military femme fatale. She's wonderfully deranged. (Rated R) 'Veronica Mars' Photo Credit: AP / Robert Voets The beloved but canceled television series is now a movie, but the best way to watch it is still on your TV. Kristen Bell returns as the title character, a small-town sleuth, along with just about every actor who ever appeared on the show. An event for fans, if not for the rest of us. (Rated PG-13) 'Her' Photo Credit: AP / Warner Bros. Spike Jonze’s sci-fi film about a nerd (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his computer (the voice of Scarlett Johansson) isn’t a comedy or a cautionary tale but a genuine romance. It’s touching, melancholy and more than a little mind-expanding. (Rated R) 'I, Frankenstein' In this supernatural action movie, Frankenstein’s monster (Aaron Eckhart) becomes involved in a war between angelic gargoyles and ancient demons. It’s exactly as dumb as it sounds, but not at all bad. Eckhart has conviction, and so does the whole enjoyably goofy production. (Rated PG-13) 'God's Pocket' Photo Credit: AP / Lance Acord The late Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a small-time crook under the direction of “Mad Men” star John Slattery. With a high-caliber cast that includes his TV colleague Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, Richard Jenkins and Eddie Marsan, you’re in for some strong moments. Pete Dexter wrote the source novel, so be prepared for bitter humor, working-class bathos and other Dexterisms. (Rated R) 'Enemy' Photo Credit: A24 Films Calling all fans of David Lynch! Here’s a recommendation, directed by Denis Villeneuve of “Prisoners” and “Incendies.” It’s a creepy, anxiety-producing head-scratcher about a man who meets his exact double. Jake Gyllenhaal is terrific in two roles, but it’s the enigmatic story (based on Jose Saramago’s novel) that will keep you watching until the final, freaky scene. (Rated R) 'Pompeii' Photo Credit: Constantin Film International GmbH / Impact Pictures It’s “Spartacus” meets “Titanic,” with a volcano replacing the iceberg, and it’s a ton of fun. This is well-done pulp, with vigorous direction from Paul W.S. Anderson, a cast of dedicated scenery chewers (that means you, Kiefer Sutherland) and an unexpectedly topical edge of doom. An overlooked gem. (Rated PG-13) 'Frozen' Photo Credit: AP For the few who didn't catch it in theaters (and for the fanatics who just can't seem to "Let It Go"), Disney's musical, girl-powered tale -- which recently became the biggest animated box-office success of all time. (Rated PG) 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Photo Credit: AP The Coen brothers' latest is one of their best, a bittersweet rumination on creative ambition and youthful dreams. (Rated R) '12 Years a Slave' Photo Credit: AP / Francois Duhamel You won't soon forget this movie's combination of beauty, horror and triumph. (Rated R) 'American Hustle' Photo Credit: MCT Another high-energy dazzler from David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook"), packed with vibrant performances and delicious '70s details. (Rated R) 'The Book Thief' Photo Credit: AP Gorgeous photography and a potential new star in 13-year-old Sophie Nélisse, but this is the rosiest view of Nazi Germany since "The Sound of Music" -- without the music. (Rated PG-13) 'The Wolf of Wall Street' Photo Credit: MCT Martin Scorsese's epic tale of debauchery feels overlong and sometimes misses its mark, but it's the director's raunchiest, funniest film yet. (Rated R) ‘Nymphomaniac: Volume 1' Photo Credit: Christian Geisnaes Charlotte Gainsbourg and Shia LaBeouf star in Lars von Trier’s controversial new movie. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.