The best superhero movie of the year, and other films, are now streaming

If there’s a theme to this week’s collection of newly streaming movies it would have to be “not quite fitting in.” Either the movies are about outcasts, or the movies themselves occupy the fringes in some way.

We have an early, largely unsung film by Fritz Lang, one of cinema’s greatest masters, as well as a later entry by the great director Billy Wilder.

We have a movie that looks like a slapstick comedy but is actually a thoughtful, touching story, and a movie that could have been a preachy Oscar-mongering work, but is actually a brilliant, observant crime film.

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Catch all the Jaws movies and other flicks now online

The latest batch of new and notable movies now available for streaming seem to be centered on crimes, or acts of violence or trespass, yet each of these 12 films explore the subject in unique and distinctive ways.

One director uses violence to elicit fear in one movie and heartbreak in another. Revenge is a motivating factor in at least three of this week's films: One achieves it through music and singing, another focuses on teamwork, and a third explores a lone man finding his purpose.

Violence can be at the core of comedy as well, from a gangster traveling to Hollywood and putting his skills to use in the movie industry, to a golf course groundskeeper resorting to drastic measures to deal with a gopher.

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Catch 'No Country for Old Men' and other movies streaming online

Another week, another crop of movies now on your favorite streaming services. Whether you’re partial to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, one of the others, or all of the above, new and old movies are yours for the watching.

Catch the Coen brothers’ classic No Country for Old Men. Witness Christian Bale’s turn as a serial killer in the sardonic American Psycho. Or get your horror on with Final Destination 3. 

Too dark? Partake of some lighter fare with the delightful stop-animation Shaun of the Sheep; a movie adaptation of The Little Prince; or the hilarious-if-juvenile antics of Police Academy. 

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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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