Missed it in theaters? Now's your chance to stream Ian McKellen in 'Mr. Holmes'

Three of my movie recommendations this time around are about thinking: There’s an aging detective trying to recover the memory of his last case, a wife who discovers the true nature of her relationship after repeatedly lying to him, and a group of smart people who sit around drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and talking about life. Since we’re in the midst of the Olympic Games, I’d also encourage you to catch T-Rex, a documentary that’s not about a terrible lizard, but a terrific female middleweight boxer named Claressa Shields.

Other new and notable movies this week involve physical activities of their characters and subjects, whether it’s making punk music or folk music, shooting an erotic movie, exploring a terrifying underworld, or defending yourself with a machete. Sometimes the act of escaping can be physical, with the fear of getting caught increasing the adrenaline flow. Characters this week escape from a tyrannical dystopian future and with a stolen baby. Another character tries to escape the rut he’s in by doing the right thing in court.

T-Rex (Netflix/PBS)

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Star Trek VI and 11 other movies are now streaming online

These days too many movies neglect the importance of how they look, the overall aesthetic. Some movies adopt a thick, gray visual scheme, while others are merely flat-looking. Sloppy, tangled, indecipherable hand-held camera work is also a trend, as are movies smothered in sludgy, smeary digital effects.

Happily, several new movies streaming this week have great visuals at the fore, and feature specific, highly skilled, highly pleasing cinematic imagery. Two of them are shot in black-and-white, yet succeed in being totally distinct. One is dreamy, the other nightmarish. Three others are set largely outdoors and make beautiful, dramatic use of their earthy exteriors.

Two are horror films that use bright colors and imaginative set design to convey their unholy chills. Two sci-fi movies provide uncharacteristically vibrant designs, suggesting the positive possibilities of exploring space. Finally, we have three lightweight comedies that focus on brightness and color to lift the mood. Whatever your preferred genre, there’s a good-looking movie here that’s sure to please.

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Pulp Fiction leads a pack of great movies now streaming online

This week’s collection of streaming movies now available online will have you appreciating the breadth of craft that goes into this wholly entertaining artform

The importance of a strong screenplay, for instance, is made evident in two clever time-travels films: Uncertainty and Timecrimes. Well-written dialogue delights in the classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and the inimitable Pulp Fiction. A famous screenwriter himself makes for compelling source material in Trumbo, earning actor Bryan Cranston his first Oscar nomination.

Indeed, there’s a whole host of notable performances on display this week’s movies—from Marilyn Monroe to Johnny Depp to a still-formidable 70-something Robert Mitchum to John Cazale, who impressed in every role of his too-short life, as you will see in a documentary about the actor.

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'Muhammad Ali: The Greatest' and 10 other movies now streaming

As kids, summer did not begin on the official first day of summer. Summer began when school let out and we were suddenly free to go to the movies. Those movies seemed bigger, more exciting, more adventurous, with bigger laughs, and bigger heroes.

This week in new and notable streaming movies, we have three of the biggest dinosaur movies ever made; you can watch them in a long triple-feature on a hot summer day.

The spirits of the dead haunt the living in a new collection of Poe classics; and an English criminal investigates the death of his daughter in sunny Los Angeles.

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'Apocalypse Now' leads a pack of 12 movies now streaming online

It can be said that bad movies are a crime, but very often good movies have crime as part of their stories. Consider Adam Sandler’s latest Netflix offering (his second of a four-film deal), which has its heroes hitting the road and solving a puzzle as a direct result of committing a crime (faking their own deaths).

Other movies this week deal with home invasions and federal investigations. A jury tries to decide whether an accused murder is innocent, and a monster attacks a family based on an ill-fated wish. And in two of this week’s movies, the promise of hidden gold drives all kinds of terrible deeds, from betrayal to murder.

Sometimes “crime” is a little less easily defined. An immature father doesn’t know how to be around his son, and tends to leave. A man (or, a Jerk) earns a fortune and loses everything. Another man becomes the leader of the most powerful nation on earth and starts a war. And a soldier in war travels upriver, under orders to kill one of his own men.

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