10 movies worth your digital-streaming time

It is time once again to address the howling black hole of chaos that is your On Demand movie menu.

Brie Larson in “Free Fire.”

The Weekender

Funny women, big guns, and divine art

The Globe’s picks for the best ways to spend your weekend.

From left: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, and Michael Smiley.

Movie Review

‘Free Fire’ is fully loaded with a cast of characters

Set in Boston, Ben Wheatley’s new closed-box comedy of bullets and bad manners is highly enjoyable, especially if your tastes run to the violent, the absurd, and the violently absurd.

Oscar Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon in “The Promise.”

Movie Review

Too much gloss weakens story of ‘The Promise’

If there’s some way of meshing a soft-focus, star-crossed love story with a hard look at the ugliness of the Armenian genocide, this war drama doesn’t find it.

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Movie Review

‘Unforgettable’ is memorably misogynistic

A variation on the old crowd-pleasing classic “Fatal Attraction,” “Unforgettable” is contrived, implausible, derivative, and more.

doc talk

In these documentaries, some see grim images, others see humor

‘Behemoth’ surveys environmental ruin; ‘Last Laugh’ mines Holocaust.

In Focus

Documentaries celebrate independence at IFFBoston

An outsider’s point of view is rewarded on subjects ranging from a Poe devotee to the painful retirement of a life-altering service dog.

These dystopian films foreshadowed ‘The Circle’

In the new film, the blissful renunciation of privacy leads to disturbing developments. We’ve seen this movie before, or at least we’ve seen various elements of it.

Ben Wheatley turns Boston into boom town

The filmmaker talks about blowing up the city in “Free Fire.”

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Four stars go to...

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These films all earned four-star reviews from Globe critics Ty Burr, Janice Page, and Peter Keough, as well as former Globe critic Wesley Morris.

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Movie Review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/8136ad5f9b7146088a9494745f09f031-4598d222f4e14ba88d46ddca851ee09c-0-9894.jpg Launch of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ takes the faithful full circle

The new “Star Wars” is great fun, if not a great film. It consciously embraces the funky, handmade garage aesthetic of the 1977 original.

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A scene from Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1983 feature film, “Nostalghia.”


‘Nostalghia’ in sound and moving image

Toru Takemitsu’s “Nostalghia” was composed as a tribute to the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, whose penultimate feature was “Nostalghia.”

A golden snub-nosed monkey in “Born in China.”

Movie Review

‘Born in China’ gets back to nature

Disney’s latest nature documentary trains its spotlight on pandas, snow leopards, golden snub-nosed monkeys, red-crowned cranes, and Tibetan antelope.

Charlie Hunnam (left) and Tom Holland in James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z.”

Movie Review

Search for a vanished civilization becomes quest for inner meaning in ‘The Lost City of Z’

James Gray’s film tells the story of an Englishman who, between 1906 and 1925, journeyed time and again to the jungles of Brazil in search of a vanished civilization.

Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel have a longstanding faux feud.


Matt Damon gets bumped from Jimmy Kimmel’s United Airlines commercial parody

“I know what it’s like to get bumped. Trust me, I’ve been getting bumped from Jimmy’s show for the last eight years, and it takes a toll.”

Charlize Theron and Vin Diesel in “The Fate of the Furious.’’

New ‘Furious’ starts fast

Universal Pictures estimated that ‘‘The Fate of the Furious’’ would earn a record $532.5 million worldwide over the Easter weekend.

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron is just a few steps behind droid BB-8 as they escape a sparking hallway.

What the new ‘Star Wars’ trailer looks like to a fan

The teaser trailer, chock full of returning heroes and epic space battles, seems to frame itself around the Jedi training of Daisy Ridley’s Rey.

This is Adam Driver from “Girls.” He also is a bad guy in “Star Wars.”

What the trailer looks like to someone who’s never seen ‘Star Wars’

It’s not that I don’t know anything about “Star Wars.” I know, for instance, that boys over 35 get real excited about it.

Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon costar in “The Promise,” directed by Terry George.

Behind ‘The Promise,’ a pledge to keep up the fight

The filmmakers say “It’s not just about keeping the promise of never forgetting the Armenian genocide. ... There’s a whole social movement concurrent with the movie.”

“Equal Footing” is one of 11 short films about women and girls undertaking adventure sports in the No Man’s Land Film Festival.

scene here | Local films, festivals, and faces

Following women on a mission, and revisiting a silent classic

Film fans can get involved in closing Hollywood’s gender gap. When it’s time to kick back, there’s the epic silent classic “Ben-Hur.”

“Last Days of Solitary” premieres on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on PBS’s “Frontline.”

doc talk | peter keough

A return engagement for ‘The Grateful Dead Documentary’

Jerry Garcia’s film screens Thursday at Regal Fenway Stadium 13 as part of “The Grateful Dead Movie 40th Anniversary” program.

“Born in China” presents stories of three endangered species, including pandas.

‘Born in China’ doesn’t shy away from truth

“I think this is a good opportunity for kids to understand the truth of life and nature,” says the director of Disneynature’s sometimes grim documentary.

Anne Hathaway in “Colossal.”


The Weekender: Rampaging monsters, reclusive poets, and a revived ‘Rent’

The Globe’s picks for the best ways to spend your weekend.

Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy in “Their Finest.”

Movie review

A salute to ‘Their Finest’

At its best, which is often, the latest film by Danish director Lone Scherfig manipulates appearance and reality, relief and recognition, with exquisite finesse.

Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson in “A Quiet Passion.”

Movie Review

‘A Quiet Passion’ imagines the life of Emily Dickinson in a style befitting the mid-1800s

As directed by Terence Davies, ”A Quiet Passion” imagines the life of Emily Dickinson in a style that seems to have streamed directly from the mid-19th century.

Vin Diesel is back as Dom in “The Fate of the Furious.”

Movie Review

This joyride is a fitting fate for the ‘Furious’ franchise

The latest “Fast & Furious” installment finds Vin Diesel steering the series farther than ever from its original thug-life turf.

Jack Lowden in “Tommy’s Honour.”

Movie Review

‘Tommy’s Honour’ is handicapped by formulaic script

Jason (son of Sean) Connery’s melodramatic biopic tells the story of a Scottish golf legend.

Anne Hathaway’s character in “Colossal” returns to her rural hometown to battle her demons.

★ ★ ★ ½ Movie Review

It’s an Anne Hathaway indie flick and a Korean monster movie

‘Colossal’ throws Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis into an entertaining indie film and adds a giant movie creature stomping through downtown Seoul. And it works.

Smurfette (second from right) is voiced by Demi Lovato.

Movie Review

‘Smurfs’ sequel leaves audience a little blue

“Smurfs: The Lost Village” ditches the franchise’s recent live-action approach for a fully animated relaunch.

Mitsuha (voiced by Mone Kamishiraishi) in the Japanese anime blockbuster “Your Name.”

Movie Review

‘Your Name’ is pretty but too complicated

Rising Japanese anime star Makoto Shinkai’s gimcracky saga has the usual Studio Ghibli visual beauty but is too busy to stoke the imagination.

From left: Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon, and Nicole Kidman in “Big Little Lies.”

Ty Burr

The Golden Age of TV is exhausting

All this wonderful TV is great, but it’s wearing me down to a nub.

1989’s “Near Death” documentary by Frederick Wiseman.

Frederick Wiseman’s ‘Near Death’ experience

The 1989 documentary tracks the progress of four terminally ill patients at the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital.

Susan Sarandon (left) and Julia Roberts were accused of not getting along when they were making the 1998 movie “Stepmom.’’

Those alleged feuds between female stars are the stuff of stereotypes

The truth is usually a lot more boring — but that won’t sell tickets.

Nacho Vigalondo’s ‘Colossal’ undertaking

Putting a fresh spin on monster movies can be a monster-size task, but Spanish writer-director Nacho Vigalondo isn’t intimidated by the past — he just likes to mess with it.

A scene from “The Great War.”

Doc Talk | Peter keough

Eyeing epiphanies at Harvard Film Archive

Jem Cohen’s “World Without End (No Reported Incidents)” presents shots of commonplace objects, scenes, and people caught at just the right moment.

Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson in “A Quiet Passion.”


What drives Cynthia Nixon’s ‘Quiet Passion’

Not only does the “Sex and the City” star look like the poet Emily Dickinson, her director says she has the same kind of questioning spirit, vulnerable yet feisty.

“Birdman” stars Michael Keaton as an actor who is shadowed by the superhero character he played in a long-ago blockbuster.

Movie Review

‘Birdman’ is jaw dropping

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” is a stylistic wow that miraculously stays aloft for two hours.

From left: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin in “Going in Style.”

Movie Review

This remake’s got bank, and Ann-Margret

Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin play three Brooklyn old-timers who decide to rob a bank in “Going in Style.”

Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace in “Gifted.”

Movie Review

‘Gifted’ is powered by family chemistry

Chris Evans and “The Amazing Spider-Man” director Marc Webb ditch Marvel-scale spectacle for an absorbing story of a grade-school math prodigy caught in a messy custody dispute.

Yoko Maki and Hiroshi Abe in “After the Storm.”

Movie Review

‘After the Storm,’ focus is on the little things

“After the Storm” is the latest deceptive miniature from Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda.

Nicole Kidman and Robert Pattinson in “Queen of the Desert.”

Movie Review

A Werner Herzog film without the madness

“Queen of the Desert” is Werner Herzog’s epic telling of the life of Gertrude Bell, a British adventurer whose exploits paralleled those of T.E. Lawrence.

“Vase of Flowers” by Henri Matisse, part of “Matisse in the Studio,” which opens Sunday at the Museum of Fine Arts.

The Weekender: Matisse, Mariah, and magic

Michael Andor Brodeur’s picks for the best ways to spend your weekend.

Karidja Touré plays Marieme in “Girlhood.”

Movie Review

‘Girlhood’ follows Parisian daughters of African diaspora

The film is a tough, heart-stoppingly beautiful drama about teenage girls in the high-rise slums of Paris.

Movie review

‘Leviathan’ indicts contemporary Russia

If Andrey Zvyagintsev’s film takes the Academy Award on the 22nd, it’ll be a win for great filmmaking and a loss for the Putin government.

Marion Cotillard stars in the drama “Two Days, One Night.” The French actress was nominated for a best actress Oscar for her role.

Movie Review

Marion Cotillard shines in ‘Two Days, One Night’

The phrase “triumph of the human spirit” has been overused. “Two Days, One Night” freshly reminds us what it means.

Movie Review

‘Whiplash’ creates a relentless tempo

The film takes us to the edge of creative expression and sails off into where the monsters are.


Boston’s annual LGBT film fest underway

The festival runs through April 9.

Latest IFFBoston lineup is a film lover’s breath of fresh air

The annual festival sends shoots of challenging cinema into the local air, bringing in the best of Sundance and other festivals while also debuting titles.

Kevin Costner in “For the Love of the Game,” one of Sox pitcher Steven Wright’s favorite movies.

Red Sox’ Steven Wright, Joe Kelly, and Matt Barnes talk their favorite movies

Three Sox pitchers walk in to a movie theater. Do they all buy a ticket to the same kind of film?

“The Age of Consequences” focuses on climate change.

Hitting all the polarizing topics

Documentary screenings take on racism, sexism, abortion, gun violence, and other weighty topics.

Essam Ferris in “Fireflies” which will have its world premiere at the BIFF.

scene here | local films, festivals, and faces

In ‘Fireflies,’ exploration of racial profiling following war

“Fireflies” will have its world premiere on April 15 at 4 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre as part of a program of shorts at the Boston International Film Festival.

Jenny Slate and Chris Evans in a scene from “Gifted.”

Jenny Slate, Chris Evans are grateful for the gift of ‘Gifted’

Slate and Evans got a rare chance to play against type.