Here’s a look at a few interesting new releases available to rent from cable and digital providers and some titles that have recently hit streaming services.
Video on Demand
“A Kind of Murder”: Director Andy Goddard crafts a stylish slow-burning thriller that is based on a 1954 novel by Patricia Highsmith (“The Talented Mr. Ripley”). Walter (Patrick Wilson) is an architect with a passion for writing mystery stories. He clips true crime stories out of the newspaper for inspiration and becomes particularly obsessed by one involving a local man who seems to have gotten away with killing his wife. After Walter’s own spouse, Clara (Jessica Biel), is suspiciously murdered in a similar way, the cops become convinced that he’s a copycat killer. Set in 1960s Manhattan, the set design and costuming are especially impressive considering the film’s low budget. The film’s strong supporting cast includes Eddie Marsan (“Ray Donovan”), Haley Bennett (“The Girl On The Train”) and Vincent Kartheiser (“Man Men”). This is one that was completely overlooked upon release but now ripe for discovery at home. (Cable and digital VOD)
“Miss Sloane”: Jessica Chastain gives a fiery Golden Globe-nominated performance as a powerful lobbyist in Washington who risks her career by switching sides to fight against the gun lobby. The film’s theatrical promotion was predictably attacked by pro-gun activists, but the story arc here could have been about almost anything. It’s only one piece of the puzzle, which mostly is used to illustrate the shadowy backroom deals going on behind-the-scenes at almost any moment in our nation’s capital. As Elizabeth Sloane, Chastain is fearless and uncompromising. The movie’s final twists are a little too convenient, but overall it’s a thrilling ride. John Madden (“Shakespeare In Love”) directs from a sharp debut script by Jonathan Perera. (Cable and digital VOD)
Also on streaming services
“Fire At Sea”: Nominated for best documentary at the Academy Awards, this powerful Italian documentary illustrates the plight of refugees who are stranded on an island off the coast of Sicily. Not counting several thousands of people who lost their lives trying to even get this far, it shows us tens of thousands of people trying desperately to improve life for their families. They’re mostly fleeing from Africa and the Middle East and trying to find a permanent home. (Netflix)
“Gimme Danger”: In this blistering documentary, Jim Jarmusch makes his case as to why the Stooges are the greatest band in rock ‘n’ roll history. Frontman Iggy Pop, along with bandmates Ron and Scott Asheton and James Williamson, detail the band’s origins and describe the creative process behind their three classic albums. Bursting with raw archival footage, it’s a dream come true for fans. (Amazon Prime)